Cinephiles in Canada will want to make their way to Cineplex’s Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto for the 13th Canadian Film Fest (CFF). There won’t be any glitzy Hollywood productions shown, as the CFF seeks to support independent Canadian films and filmmakers. This year’s edition opened March 19th and will run through the 23rd. Horror fans should take special note of two movies playing the CFF, because they’re sure to create a positive buzz throughout the industry.
John Geddes’ feature-length film, Creep Nation, is a dark and gritty look at how social media has overtaken our lives. While this has been the subject of a few movies in the past, Creep Nation has the advantage of feeling real. The movie doesn’t depend on weird over-the-top graphics or plot points that need computers doing things computers don’t do. The viewer is constantly reminded that the technology shown exists now. It’s probably sitting in your pocket right now.
Adam Seybold delivers a powerful performance as John, a troubled young man searching for his missing sister. His presence is arresting. Even his eye movements are captivating. As the movie changes tone from a meet-cute romance to a tense chase thriller, it is Seybold who keeps the viewer engaged and invested.
Choosing to punch the viewer in the gut rather than be overtly enlightening, Creep Nation takes the audience down through layers of depravity and refuses to let anyone come out clean.
The following Saturday afternoon sees the screening of The Desolation Prize, the directorial debut of Shane Day. It may be short, with an approximate running time of fifteen minutes, but it has more genuinely creepy moments than many feature-length films. While it may prominently concern, of all things, a haunted sweater, The Desolation Prize delves into how memories can attach themselves to us. They manifest in the least expected ways and affect others with their power. The film is well made, the performances are on point, and The Desolation Prize presents itself as a fine nugget of horror.
Creep Nation premieres March 20th, while The Desolation Prize is part of the Homegrown Shorts program on March 23rd. Interested parties can examine the entire schedule for the CFF here.
“The Canadian Film Fest is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to supporting Canadian independent films and cultivating emerging and established filmmaking talent. Film-loving audiences come to enjoy a diverse selection of 100% Canadian film screenings (features & shorts) and filmmakers flock to the CFF’s various industry events to take advantage of essential networking opportunities. CFF’s mission is to celebrate the art of cinematic storytelling by showcasing Canadian films and filmmakers.”