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[TIFF ’12] Vanguard Selection Highlights: ‘Sightseers’, ‘Thale’, ‘Here Comes The Devil’ And More!!

Earlier today we gave you detailed rundowns on images from almost all of the TIFF Midnight Madness selections – along with a separate overall guide. While the Midnight Madness selections offer a great selection of horror (John Dies At The End, The Lords Of Salem, Aftershock, Hellbenders 3D, The ABC’s Of Death etc…) that’s not all the festival has to add to the genre world.

The Vanguard Selections might be less overtly gory, but a lot of them have the potential to be strong and disturbing genre efforts. Kill List director Ben Wheatley has Sightseers, there’s the horror sound booth chiller Berberian Sound Studios, animated comedy Hotel Transylvania (which technically falls into the “Kids” section, but hey – monsters), chick-with-a-tail tale Thale and much more.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6th-16th. Head inside for a preliminary rundown!

90 Minutes – (d) Eva Sørhaug, Norway – World Premiere
Director Eva Sørhaug (Cold Lunch) reveals the rage and violence lurking beneath seemingly tranquil domesticity in her bold and uncompromising sophomore feature.

Berberian Sound Studio – (d) Peter Strickland, United Kingdom – North American Premiere
Set in 1976: Gilderoy is hired to orchestrate the sound mix for the latest film by Italian horror maestro Santini. As time and realities shift, Gilderoy is lost in a spiral of sonic and personal mayhem and has to confront his own demons in order to stay afloat.

Here Comes the Devil – (d) Adrian Garcia Bogliano, Mexico/Argentina – World Premiere
On a family vacation a couple’s son and daughter disappear while exploring a cave-riddled mountainside. The children eventually return home seemingly unharmed but are withdrawn and devoid of emotion. The parents fear they have fallen prey to something inhuman — and that this dark evil has come home with them.

Hotel Transylvania – (d) Genndy Tartakovsky, USA – World Premiere
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula’s lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world’s most famous monsters — Frankenstein and his wife, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more — to celebrate his daughter Mavis’ 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem — but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis. A considerable portion of animation on Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania was completed out of the newly-expanded Sony Pictures Imageworks’ offices in Vancouver.

Painless – (d) Juan Carlos Medina, Spain/France/Portugal – World Premiere
At the dawn of the Spanish civil war, a group of children insensitive to pain is locked in a sanatorium in the heart of the Pyrénées. In the present day, brilliant neurosurgeon David Martel discovers that he has a tumor and starts searching for his biological parents, in order to get the bone marrow transplant necessary for his survival. During his quest, he will exhume terrifying secrets about his origins, reanimate ghosts of his country and confront Berkano, the only fateful survivor of the insensitive children. From the writer of [Rec].

Room 237 – Rodney Ascher, USA – Canadian Premiere
Room 237 fuses fact and fiction through interviews with ardent fans convinced they have decoded Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining’s secret messages regarding genocide, government conspiracy, and the nightmare that we call history. Ideas of five devotees of the film are braided together in a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of the horror classic.

Sightseers – (d) Ben Wheatley, United Kingdom – North American Premiere
Chris (Steve Oram) wants to show Tina (Alice Lowe) his world, and he wants to do it his way: on a journey through the British Isles in his beloved Abbey Oxford caravan. Erotic odyssey… Killing spree… Caravanning holiday… The trip taken by Tina and Chris in Sightseers is all these things and more.

Thale – (d) Aleksander Nordaas, Norway – Canadian Premiere
Two crime-scene cleaners discover a mythical, tailed female creature in a concealed cellar. She never utters a word, unable to tell her story, but the pieces of the puzzle soon come together: She’s been held captive for decades for reasons soon to surface.



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