The Toronto International Film Fest has become possibly the most genre-friendly major film festival, with many major international genre movies getting their North American debut. Last year at TIFF North American audiences got their first look at Inside, Frontiers and Takeski Miike's latest, Sukiyaki Western Django.
This year there's an equally strong international genre presence at TIFF. Here's a few film that might be worth a blip on your radar.
The latest grab by the French at the horror crown, Martyrs already has reviewers falling all over themselves in an effort to compare it to last year's Inside. It looks like a revenge movie in the I Spit on Your Grave mold. Time will tell if it lives up to the praise or if it's just more hype.
The Good The Bad The Weird
I'm so psyched about this movie I managed to awkwardly wedge it into my review of the True Blood pilot. Excuse the fanboy drool, but this is an early contender for my most anticipated movie of whenever-it-comes-out (sadly, most likely straight-to-DVD in the States). TGTBTW is said to be the most expensive film to come out of Korea, but it looks way... well, weirder, than any US blockbuster. Directed by Kim Ji-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters) and starring Song Kang-ho (The Host), Jung Woo-sung (Musa) and Lee Byung-hun (JSA as well as the upcoming G.I. Joe movie... as Storm Shadow!) the film looks to be an Indiana Jones-style comedic Action Western set in 1930's Manchuria. Tell me that isn't a movie you never knew that you always wanted to see.
Continuing the Western theme is The Burrowers, which takes place in 1879 Dakota Territories and deals with a rescue party trying to protect a dying woman from underground-dwelling beasties. Sounds somewhere between Tremors and Feast, neither of which is a bad thing for me.
I don't know what to make of this. It looks like a video game cutscene if you turn your TV's hue control all the way to blue. There's something to do with a tree and monsters and a mysterious organization. Yawn.
The trailer for Vinyan looks more than a little J-Horror-y, but director Fabrice Du Welz claims his inspiration came from 70's Spanish underground classic Who Can Kill a Child?. Du Welz's previous film Calvaire is often cited as one of the forerunners of the current wave of French horror movies (even though technically it's Belgian). I found Calvaire a little pretentious and boring, but still interesting enough for me to give Vinyan the benefit of the doubt.
Coming Soon: Finnish Steambath Horror, 21st Century Eurosleaze, Aussie Blackmail Mishaps, the Latest Asian Kung Fu Sensation and Jean Claude Van Damme as... Jean Claude Van Damme?