One of the highlights of the year for Bloody Disgusting is the Toronto International Film Festival.
While many of you may not pay enough attention to the festival, you should, mostly in part to the work of Midnight Madness programmer Colin Geddes.
We’ve been lucky enough to be covering the festival since the 2003 showing of Alex Aja’s Haute Tension all the way to the explosive World Premiere of Adam Wingard’s You’re Next.
In fact, many of the hottest genre titles come out of Midnight Madness, which is why it’s important for you to pay attention.
And this year, man, what a slate! Midnight Madness begins with the hyped The Final Girls, which Patrick Cooper raved about in his review, and then travels Southbound (pictured) to the head-exploding Mind’s Eye.
Here’s the full list of films playing the 40th Toronto International Film Festival, which runs September 10 to 20, 2015.
“Midnight Madness winds up festival audiences as the days are winding down and they are hungry for more,” says Colin Geddes, international programmer for the festival. “From adrenaline-filled action and untamed horror to twisted comedy and darkly blurred lines of reality, this year’s line-up welcomes back celebrated masters and fresh visionaries of renegade genre cinema.”
Can Evrenol, Turkey World Premiere
“A squad of unsuspecting cops goes through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building.” The nightmarish feature debut Baskin is the first-ever Midnight Madness film from Turkey.
The Devil’s Candy
Sean Byrne, USA World Premiere
The director of the 2009 Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award winner The Loved Ones is back with an equally fresh twist on the supernatural genre. “A struggling artist (Ethan Embry) and his family buy the house of their dreams only to discover the property’s mysterious dark past and a former tenant who wants more than to simply come back home.” From the producers of Midnight Madness hits You’re Next and The Guest.
The Final Girls
Todd Strauss-Schulson, USA International Premiere
“Max (‘American Horror Story’s’ Taissa Farmiga) is a high school senior whose mom (Malin Akerman) was a celebrated ’80s scream queen. At a screening, Max and her friends are mysteriously transported inside her mom’s most infamous movie, where they must fend off the camp counselors’ raging hormones, battle a deranged machete-wielding killer and find a way to escape the movie and get back home.”
The Girl in the Photographs
Nick Simon, USA World Premiere
“Big-city glamour clashes with small-town values and a killer’s knife, in this bloody cocktail of terror from director Nick Simon and executive producer Wes Craven. Colleen’s life in the sleepy town of Spearfish is disrupted when she starts receiving photographs of brutally murdered women. Things get even crazier for Colleen when L.A. based celeb-photographer Peter Hemmings (Kal Penn) returns to his hometown of Spearfish to investigate.” Wes Craven executive produces.
Jeremy Saulnier, USA North American Premiere
“Broke, tired and at each other’s throats after a cancelled gig, a young punk rock band accepts a sketchy matinee show to get themselves home. When they stumble upon something they weren’t supposed to witness, the quartet is trapped in a terrifying siege.” Directed by Jeremy Saulnier (of 2013 Cannes Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize winner Blue Ruin), the film stars Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, and Patrick Stewart.
Green Room is preceded by the previously announced short film “The Chickening” from directors Nick DenBoer and Davy Force.
Ilya Naishuller, Russia/USA World Premiere
“Resurrected with no recollection of his past, a cyborg named Henry (the audience’s POV) and his ally, Jimmy (Sharlto Copley, ‘District 9’) must fight through the streets of Moscow in pursuit of Henry’s kidnapped wife in the world’s first action-adventure film to be entirely shot from the first person perspective.”
The Mind’s Eye
Joe Begos, USA World Premiere
Joe Begos returns with a psychokinetic thriller “about Zack Connors (Graham Skipper), whose abilities have kept him off the grid for years until he’s recruited by the mysterious Dr. Slovak. The snowy New England landscape turns into a whirlwind of psychic rage, flying axes, and brutal revenge as Zack does everything in his power to stop Dr. Slovak’s deadly descent into synthetically engineered telekinetic madness.”
Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath and Radio Silence, USA World Premiere
“Five intertwining tales of terror unfold along an endless desert highway. On a desolate stretch of road, weary travellers — two men on the run from their past, a band on their way to the next gig, a man struggling to get home, a brother in search of his long-lost sister and a family on vacation — are forced to confront their worst fears and darkest secrets in these interwoven tales of terror and remorse on the open road.”
Soi Cheang, Hong Kong International Premiere
“The anticipated follow-up to the bone-cracking martial arts brawler SPL (also known as Sha Po Lung and Kill Zone) that debuted in the programme in 2005 stars Midnight Madness discovery Tony Jaa (‘Ong Bak’). When an undercover cop (Wu Jing) has his cover blown and is thrown into a prison in Thailand run by a crime syndicate, he must team up with a prison guard (Jaa) to bust out and get revenge on those who wronged him. Filled with gun battles, prison riots and frenetic fight choreography, SPL 2 might knock the wind out of you — and possibly a few teeth.”
Takashi Miike, Japan North American Premiere
Japanese cinematic extremist Takashi Miike returns to his gonzo roots with this mind-melter that finds room for vampires, gangsters, monsters, martial arts and even a yakuza knitting circle. A true master and MVP of the programme, Miike wowed previous Midnight Madness audiences with such hits as Fudoh: The New Generation, Audition, The City of Lost Souls, Ichi the Killer, Zebraman, The Great Yokai War and Sukiyaki Western Django. He returns with a film too wild to be described and too fun to be missed!
“Delving into the dark side of humanity and dangerously sexy, this year’s Vanguard lineup has something unique for everyone,” says International Programmer Colin Geddes. “We’re leading audiences into a wild world of emotional sensations, demons and strange sea creatures — delivered with Vanguard’s distinctive twist on storytelling.”
Marcin Wrona, Poland/Israel World Premiere
“Peter is a stranger in the hometown of his future wife Janet. As a wedding gift from the bride’s grandfather, he receives a piece of land where the two can build a house and raise a happy family. While preparing the land for construction, Peter finds hidden bones of human bodies in the ground beneath his new property. Then very strange things begin to happen.”
AKIZ, Germany North American Premiere
“When 17-year -old Tina passes out at a party, she assumes it was just the side-effect of her wild lifestyle on the decadent Berlin-party scene. Soon she becomes unsettled and nervously manic as a mysterious ugly creature starts to haunt her, in both her dreams and waking hours, and nobody believes her.”
Lucile Hadžihalilović, France World Premiere
“A 10-year-old boy discovers a dead body in the sea just before he is brought to the hospital for a mysterious injection. Before long, something appears to be growing inside of him.”
Osgood Perkins, USA/Canada World Premiere
“In February, beautiful and haunted Joan makes a bloody and determined pilgrimage across a frozen landscape toward a prestigious all girls prep school, where Rose and Kat find themselves stranded after their parents mysteriously fail to retrieve them for winter break. As Joan gets closer, terrifying visions begin plaguing Kat while Rose watches in horror as she becomes possessed by an unseen evil force.”
Harrison Atkins, USA World Premiere
“On a weekend trip to the Hamptons with friends, Ruth (Lindsay Burdge) encounters a mysterious ghost (Peter Vack) haunting the guest house. One thing leads to another and they find themselves in the throes of an unexpected one-night stand. Soon, Ruth begins suffering from a bizarre sexually-transmitted disease that leaves doctors and friends confused and frightened. As her body and social connections begin to disintegrate, she must find a way to reconcile her condition with the world around her, or risk losing herself to a void from which she may never emerge.”
The 40th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 10 to 20, 2015.