Run for cover and grab your loved ones, Midnight Madness just unleashed its terrorific lineup for the 41st Toronto International Film Festival!
From high-octane crime films, gruesome visceral horrors, to a creepy, hair-raising documentary, and nerve-wrenching thrillers, this year’s slate will whet all appetites and leave audiences shocked, thrilled and checking under their beds before turning out the lights. Midnight Madness is generously sponsored by Cineplex Entertainment.
This year Midnight Madness welcomes back several alumni including Adam Wingard and Ben Wheatley; and exciting newcomers and heavy hitters André Øvredal, Greg McLean, Colm McCarthy, directing duo Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto (The Mo Brothers), Kōji Shiraishi and Julia Ducournau; and for the first time at Midnight — Paul Schrader and Morgan Spurlock.
“Midnight Madness is the destination for those who love to sink their teeth into excessive, unrelenting, weird and wild films,” said Colin Geddes, International Programmer for the Festival. “And this year we have the perfect fix for adrenaline junkies and blood thirsty fiends. Audiences can pick their poison from Paul Schrader’s frenzied crime caper starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe, Iko Uwais as an ultimate killing machine, the ruthlessly violent The Belko Experiment, late night autopsies, insatiable cannibalism served French- style, a zombie dystopian thriller, and the long-awaited return of Blair Witch. Midnight Madness has you covered!”
Bloody fights for survival bookend Midnight Madness — opening with Ben Wheatley’s hotly anticipated Free Fire, starring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer and Cillian Murphy, and closing with the ultimate showdown between J-horror icons from The Ring and The Grudge in Sadako vs. Kayako.
The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 to 18, 2016.
Films screening as part of the Midnight Madness programme include:
The Autopsy of Jane Doe
André Øvredal, USA World Premiere
Tommy Tilden and his son Austin run a family-owned morgue and when the Sheriff brings in their next case — a ‘Jane Doe’ — it seems like an open-and-shut case. But as the autopsy proceeds, Tommy and Austin are left reeling as each layer of their inspection brings frightening new revelations and an unnatural force takes hold of the crematorium. Starring Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox.
The Belko Experiment
Greg McLean, USA World Premiere
On what appears to be a normal day at Belko Industries, Belko employees are horrified when they find out that they’ve become guinea pigs in a company-wide experiment which will lead them to either kill their fellow employees or be murdered themselves. The experiment is masterminded by a mysterious voice which is controlling the loud speaker and instructing the employees to slaughter each other by any means necessary.
Blair Witch (read our review)
Adam Wingard, USA World Premiere
A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James’ sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods; but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.
Dog Eat Dog
Paul Schrader, USA North American Premiere
Dog Eat Dog is a gritty contemporary crime thriller about a trio of ex-cons, deep in the underbelly of Cleveland, who are hired for a kidnapping. When the botched abduction goes awry and gets completely out of control, the cons find themselves on the run, vowing to stay out of prison at all costs. Starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe.
*Midnight Madness Opening Night Film*
Ben Wheatley, United Kingdom World Premiere
Justine has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen and a gang led by Vernon and Ord who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired in the handover, a heart stopping game of survival ensues. Starring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley, Sharlto Copley, and Armie Hammer.
The Girl With All the Gifts
Colm McCarthy, United Kingdom North American Premiere
A heart-stopping original Sci-fi thriller, about hope, humanity and a young girl who wants to save the world. Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Mike Carey. Starring Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, Glenn Close, and Sennia Nanua.
Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, Indonesia World Premiere
The indomitable Iko Uwais (The Raid) stars in this fast and furious actioner as an amnesiac whose mysterious past as a killing machine comes to the fore when he takes on the henchmen of a vengeful drug lord.
Morgan Spurlock, USA World Premiere
Inspired by Robert Sullivan’s New York Times bestselling book, Rats is a horror documentary that plunges into the darkest depths to expose human kind’s most insidious parasite. Thriving in every corner of the globe, rats are harbingers of disease, death, and psychological trauma. In this film, exterminators, farmers, scientists, and even chefs bring us face-to-face with this complicated creature.
Julia Ducournau, France/Belgium International Premiere
Everyone in Justine’s family is a vet. And a vegetarian. At 16, she’s a brilliant and promising student. When she starts at veterinary school, she enters a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world. During the first week of hazing rituals, desperate to fit in whatever the cost, she strays from her family principles when she eats raw meat for the first time. Justine will soon face the terrible and unexpected consequences of her actions as her true self begins to emerge…
*Midnight Madness Closing Night Film*
Sadako vs. Kayako
Kōji Shiraishi, Japan International Premiere
After viewing a legendary cursed videotape, Natsumi discovers she has only two days before she will be killed by the demonic entity known as Sadako. The only solution: pitting the demon Sadako against Kayako, an accursed spirit possessing a haunted house where everyone who enters disappears.
The Toronto International Film Festival also announced today its Vanguard programme featuring dark and edgy films that twist genre and art house conventions together in a new way. Vanguard is generously sponsored by AXE.
Films screening as part of the Vanguard programme include:
The Bad Batch
Ana Lily Amirpour, USA North American Premiere
A savage dystopian cannibal fairy tale set in a Texas wasteland where society’s rejects are just trying to make ends meat. Starring Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Giovanni Ribisi, Yolonda Ross, Jayda Fink, Cory Roberts, Louie Lopez, Keanu Reeves, and Jim Carrey.
Nacho Vigalondo, Canada World Premiere
Gloria is an ordinary woman who, after losing her job and being kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend, is forced to leave her life in New York and move back to her hometown. When news reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, South Korea, Gloria gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this far-off phenomenon. As events begin to spin out of control, Gloria must determine why her seemingly insignificant existence has such a colossal effect on the fate of the world. Starring Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, and Tim Blake Nelson.
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
Osgood Perkins, Canada/USA World Premiere
I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a modern and minimalist ghost story, set in an 1800s farmhouse in rural Massachusetts. Lily, a hospice nurse, retells the story of how she moved into the house to care for an ailing horror writer in the last few months of her life…and never left.
Dain Iskandar Said, Malaysia/Indonesia North American Premiere
A hard-nosed cop and a forensics photographer confront their darkest selves as a macabre murder investigation leads them to the realm of superstitions, shamans and the supernatural.