The juggernaut genre festival is back for its 26th anniversary and is celebrating by showcasing 3 week’s worth of international genre features, short films and special events in Montreal, Canada.
Hailed as the “most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent” by some guy called Quentin Tarantino (!!) the Fantasia International Film Festival is a bucket list festival for many horror fans including all of us here at The Scariest Things. This year the festival takes place July 14- August 3 at venues across Montreal and offers a veritable cornucopia of films to get excited about.
The mission of the festival is to explore “the diverse realms of genre cinema, creating bridges between the cutting edge and the mainstream,” so along with festival favorites from Sundance, SXSW and Cannes, Fantasia’s programming offers weird, wacky and wonderful new films and retrospective screenings- over 100 feature films! Here are just a few that I am really looking forward to checking out:
Coupez!- Directed by Michel Hazanavicius
The French remake of the beloved Japanese hit One Cut of the Dead just premiered at Cannes and will now be making its way to Canada. I am more curious than actually excited about this film…why did they remake it? Can lighting on a bottle be captured twice? Will it even be fun to watch knowing all the beats of the film already? I guess we’ll see!
Megalomaniac- Directed by Karim Ouelhaj
Megalomaniac is a film about the children of a notorious killer known as “The Skinner” who committed a series of grouse crimes in the 90’s. Its a French language film from Belgium about a serial killer! If you know me you know this is right up my alley and I can not wait to check it out.
Dark Glasses- Directed by Dario Argento
Dario Argento’s first film in a decade is the story of a high end sex worker who is blinded in a car accident and then stalked by the driver who is determined to finish her off. With the help of a young boy named Chin, the two work to track down the killer first. I’m a horror fan and this is Giallo by Argento…can’t miss.
Dark Nature- Directed by Berkley Brady
Dark Nature is a survival horror film about Joy, a domestic abuse survivor who joins a group of women hiking through the Rocky Mountains in an effort to face their trauma and move toward healing. But as the women discover discarded items from other hikers on the path and hear strange noises, Joy becomes convinced her ex is following them and their trauma may not be the only thing they have to escape.
Employee of the Month- Directed by Véronique Jadin
Horror and the workplace just go together (listen to our podcast episode for lots of examples) and this horror comedy about Inès an employee working in a sexist office with a huge pay equity gap sounds like it will be a great addition to the workplace horror cannon.
Sadako DX- Directed by Hisashi Kimura
The legend of Sadako is back! This time in a horror comedy where a video on an app is killing all who view it in 24 hours. Yes, please!
As I mentioned, Fantasia has a boatload of films to choose from! A few more I am eager to see are the Japanese thriller Missing, Dutch folk horror film Moloch, South Korean murder mystery Confession and Chinese vigilante thriller Detectives vs. Sleuths.
All of the films listed so far are new. A cool thing about this festival is the retrospective programing and the ability to see remastered ofter underseen films brought back to life. This year, one of the program tracts is the 10th anniversary of Kier-La Janisse’s book House of Psychotic Women, “an autobiographical topography of female neurosis in horror and exploitation films”. For the anniversary a new expanded edition will be released and the following films will be screened:
Giuseppe Patroni Griffi’s IDENTIKIT(1974) starring Elizabeth Taylor, Polish vampire film I LIKE BATS (1986), Brunello Rondi’s libidinous folk horror IL DEMONIO (1963), and Luigi Bazzoni’s amnesiac giallo FOOTPRINTS (1975). The Cinematheque Quebecoise will complement the series with a 35mm print from their archive of Marina de Van’s grotesquely transcendent IN MY SKIN (2002).
In case you need even more reasons to love this festival, here are some of the films showing at Fantasia that we’ve reported on: Speak No Evil, Swallowed, Resurrection, Piggy, Hypochondriac, Bodies Bodies Bodies, Sissy, Legions and Deadstream, so check out what we thought as you load us your festival schedule.
The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place July 14- August 3, 2022 and it is back in person. You can read about all the films, mark your favorites, buy tickets (which are very reasonable priced and available individually or in packs) and plan your schedule at the official festival website.