Advertisements

Blog Archives

Trailer time: IT

You’ll float too, in the new trailer for Stephen King’s IT, which is due in theaters September 8th. And yes, it looks damn frightening.

Advertisements

Near Dark: The Original Hillbilly Vamps

near-dark

Long before the teen angst pangs of Twilight or the fever heat of True Blood, director Kathryn Bigelow had an inkling of what a southern-fried vampire romance could be. Near Dark delivered on her vision of hillbilly vamps, an eighties cult classic that’s hard to believe is coming up on its thirtieth anniversary. The cinephiles at TIFF have dug out an archival print, so this Friday, July 21st, Bigelow’s blood-sucking hicks will rise again.

Read the rest of this entry

Spooky ‘Room 213’ is a Family-Friendly Ghost Story at TIFF Kids Fest

rsz_room213_01

The TIFF Kids International Film Festival is close to wrapping up, but there’s a few gems that are still worth checking out. While teens are unlikely to be moved by the charmingly chill ghost flick Room 213, it’s perfect for a younger audience, with a simple story and zero horror histrionics.

Read the rest of this entry

Biff Bam Pop’s Super Duper Shudder Holiday Giveaway

gift-of-fear-shudder-giveaway

Are you tired of hearing your cool friends brag about all the great content on SHUDDER CANADA?

Now you can be part of the horror movie-loving cognoscenti with your very own month-long subscription to the premiere streaming service… FOR FREE.

That’s right, we said FREE.
Read the rest of this entry

31 Days of Horror 2016: Horror-Rama Canada

rsz_a_frighteningly_scary_display_at_horror_rama

Halfway to Halloween, and here in Toronto, the scarestivities are well underway. The Toronto After Dark Film Festival is bringing the shivers to the Scotiabank Theatre for the next week. And this weekend, the third annual Horror-Rama Canada convention is turning the Hyatt Regency into a horror hotel.

Read the rest of this entry

31 Days Of Horror 2016: Top Three Terrifying Treats

the-exorcist

Although I’ve seen hundreds of horror films, I still consider myself something of a novice. The upside of this situation is that there is always a movie I haven’t yet seen, which means there are still hundreds, if not thousands, of films to look forward to seeing for the first time.

After all these years, I’ve managed to figure out what kinds of horror movies truly terrify me. Here are my top three favorites and why they scare(d) the living hell out of me.
Read the rest of this entry

Pump Up The Jam: August 19, 2016

pump-up-the-jam-august-19-2016-marching-church-by-elizabeth-peyton

Marching Church: The stars we are (photo by Elizabeth Peyton)

This week’s edition of “Pump Up The Jam” features A Band Aparte, Myrkur, Marching Church, Axis: Sova, Vallens, and more.
Read the rest of this entry

31 Days of Horror: Interview With TIFF’s Jesse Wente About The Mask

Julian Roffman’s The Mask is Canada’s first horror film and its first 3D feature too

Film is a fragile medium. It’s easy to forget in this digital age that so much of our cinematic history is committed to old-fashioned celluloid, the plastic spools wound on reels that rattle and clack on their way through the illuminated projector gate, giving us our magic in the dark. And celluloid is decidedly impermanent. The winding and travel of projection can damage film prints. And they fade, dry out, flake and become brittle over the years, even when they’re kept in optimal conditions. Film preservation has become a big concern, with directors like Martin Scorsese trying to raise awareness about how much film history might be lost if efforts aren’t made to keep these prints around.

TIFF has gone to great efforts to preserve films in its collection. This October, they’re breaking out a rarity, Canada’s first horror film, and first 3D feature as well. It’s a little known picture called The Mask, directed by Julian Roffman and released in 1961. In the film, a psychiatrist comes into possession of an ancient tribal mask. When worn, the mask assails him with nightmarish visions of monsters, occultists, and ritual torture. Believing that he has discovered a portal to the deepest recesses of his mind, he continues to explore this terrifying new psychic world — even at the risk of his sanity. It’s a dark, malevolent journey, with a riot of psychedelic 3D imagery every time the film intones for the doctor, and the audience, to “PUT THE MASK ON”. A definitive version of the film hasn’t been seen in decades, but through the restoration efforts of TIFF and the 3-D Film Archive of New Jersey, The Mask has been returned to its full, dizzyingly surreal glory. I spoke with the TIFF Director of Programming Jesse Wente about The Mask‘s strange journey, and TIFF’s challenging restoration.

Read the rest of this entry

31 Days of Horror 2015: The Hallow

The Hallow's blend of biological and fantastic horror gets under your skin

The Hallow’s blend of biological and fantastic horror gets under your skin

Fairies are creepy. Maybe not fairies, but certainly faeries. The fantastic creatures of celtic lore have a decided dark side, and you’re wise to give them a wide berth. In his video introduction to the screening of The Hallow (2015) at Toronto After Dark, director Corin Hardy advised the audience to keep their iron tools and flashlights handy, to ward off the malign faerie folk. We giggled nervously, having left our wrought iron at home. What a mistake. “If you trespass on them, they will trespass on you,” the movie’s introduction says, and boy did we get trespassed on, by an eerie, unsettling creature feature as relentless as the demons in the woods.

Read the rest of this entry

Biff Bam Pop Interview: Ron McKenzie talks to SPRING’s Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

Horror Cinema has been experiencing a rennaisance as of late, with indies such as THE BABADOOK and IT FOLLOWS being prime examples of this “new blood” transfusion. Now, we can add SPRING to the list of genre trailblazers.

The sophomore effort by writer/director duo, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (and the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2012 debut, RESOLUTION ), SPRING details the whirlwind romance between Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Louise (Nadia Hilker). Evan is an American ex-pat, dealing with grief and a personal emotional tailspin. Louise is a genetics student dealing with … well, secrets of her own. Deep, dark monstrous secrets. With brilliant practical special FX by Masters FX, bolstered by the solid performances and red-hot chemistry between Pucci and Hilker as well as the sumptuous and eerie beauty of Italy, SPRING is a rare beast  in every sense of the word. Weaving horror, sci-fi and romance into a cohesive and fascinating whole that’s been described as “Before Sunrise, as re-imagined by Clive Barker.” A good-enough description for a film that defies comparisons. There’s been a lot of hype for SPRING. I’m happy to report that it’s completely warranted.

Benson_Moorhead_Onset3

I had the chance to sit down with Benson and Moorhead in advance of last Friday’s premiere screening, to talk about SPRING’s genesis, the search for their film’s young lovers, mythology and monsters. Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: