Over the past few weeks we've been keeping you updated on the expanding lineup of titles being added to Montreal's Fantasia 2013, the largest genre film festival in North America. Now that the list is a lock and the curtain is set to rise tomorrow night, we thought we'd gather up our own list of the Fantasia screenings we're most curious about.
Some of the fest titles we've shared with you already, in some form or another: for example, we took a look at James Wan's The Conjuring, the grim Israeli killer flick Big Bad Wolves, Mike Mendez's monster bash Big Ass Spider! and E.L. Katz's mind-games thriller Cheap Thrills; some titles like V/H/S/2 and the psycho-thriller Magic Magic are seeing their theatrical, DVD and/or On Demand premieres this month, and Adam Wingard's You're Next screens at Comic-Con tonight. But there are still plenty of up-and-coming items on Fantasia's roster that we'd love to see pronto.
After a few missteps over the past few years, Ringu director Hideo Nakata shows some chilling promise once again with his new horror entry about a nursing student who moves into a creepy apartment building and soon receives a horrifying visit from her recently deceased neighbor.
Curse of Chucky
We've been getting some encouraging teases about the upcoming reanimation of the beloved Child's Play micro-villain, and while it's actually targeted at a DVD release in time for this Halloween, the long-awaited return of Chucky will make its world premiere on the big screen at Fantasia.
The Demon's Rook
This incredible-looking DIY horror/fantasy from James Sizemore blends the surreal imagery of Fulci and Argento with campy '80s-style monsters and buckets of gore for his tale of a man raised by demons who returns to the world of humanity with the secrets of the Beyond. Looks like a one-of-a-kind experience.
This giallo-style thriller is set in New York City's '70s club scene, and features a disturbed man who is driven to commit murder every time he hears a disco tune. That premise alone is enough to merit a look, plus the film is being compared to the works of John Carpenter and Brian De Palma at their prime, so what's not to love?
It's hard to resist a well-made horror tale in a gritty WWII setting, especially if it involves Nazi zombies... and it's looking like this flick might fit the bill. The pulpy scenario involves a lost battalion of Russian soldiers trapped behind enemy lines who stumble into a descendant of Dr. Frankenstein, who has been busily working on an army of undead steampunk super-soldiers.
Another promising horror comedy on the roster, this satirical spin on the demonic exorcism genre comes from the creators of Reno 911! and looks hella fun (no pun intended). Rob Corddry (Warm Bodies) and Leslie Bibb star as an expectant couple who hire a team of elite Vatican exorcists after discovering an evil presence in their New Orleans home.
Lesson of the Evil
It's been a while since acclaimed Japanese director Takashi Miike shocked audiences the way he once did with horror classics Audition and Ichi the Killer, not to mention his banned Masters of Horror episode “Imprint.” But this tale of a schoolteacher with homicidal tendencies suggests Miike's still got the chops to freak us out all over again.
This sublimely shocking French-Canadian entry from Éric Falardeau looks creepy as hell, and advance buzz has been very positive – not only for the grotesque body-horror imagery (courtesy of controversial FX artist Rémy Couture), but also for the film's intriguing subtext about body image and self-identity. If it's as chilling as this teaser, we're all in.
The World's End
Advance buzz has been positive for Edgar Wright's long-awaited reteaming with his Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost... and who doesn't love the thought of seeing these cracking geezers take on yet another apocalyptic scenario – this time featuring hordes of killer alien cyborgs!
This looks just way too over-the-top to miss: a slick-looking but otherwise totally '80s B-movie-inspired horror/action epic set in an apocalyptic wasteland in which a drug has transformed nearly the entire human population into zombies. The hard-drinking, muscle-car-driving title character joins forces with a group of survivors led by an ass-kicking priest, played by Machete man Danny Trejo.
Runners-up for this list include L'Autre Monde (The Otherworld), a surreal documentary from Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil); Bobcat Goldthwait's Bigfoot mock-doc Willow Creek; the campy horror comedy Bad Milo; Korean anthology Horror Stories; the sleaze-and-gore-fest Pinup Dolls on Ice; and the long-awaited Troma sequel Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1.