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Fantasia 2019 Review: In 1BR, Apartment Hunting Can Be Murder

There is nothing fun about finding a place to live, especially in a new city where you have no friends or relatives to help you. Sarah (Nicole Bloom) has just arrived in Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a costume...

Fantasia 2019 Review: SWALLOW is a Gorgeously Composed Film About Pica and Personal Empowerment

We are introduced to young house-wife, Hunter, in a pastel Christian Dior outfit. Surveying the picturesque Hudson River in Upstate New York, from the raised terrace of her expensive home, she is the kept woman of a wealthy family and...

Fantasia Review 2019: ODE TO NOTHING Tells a Curious Ghost Story of Death and Minimalism

In deep focus photography and an olive-pewter colour palette that is nearly monochrome comes a crafted and curious film out of the Philippines.   We first meet Sonya winding up the innards of a cassette tape so she can keep...

Review: LUZ, A Stylish Experiment in Seduction and Possession

A demon or some kind of evil entity travels from a Chilean boarding school to a German Police station to ensnare the woman it desires to possess. The simplicity of this basic story kernel belies the stylish and convoluted manner...

Fantasia 2019 Review: Kimo Staboel's DREADOUT, Yet Another Solid Solo Debut From The Former Mo Brothers

In an amazing coincidence that I presume will become more and more common as time goes along, Fantasia 2019 boasts not just one, but two films that utilize people entering buildings wherein deadly tragedies have occurred as a method of...

Review: SWEET PAIN, Near-Silent Giallo is a Rare Find

In his first feature in more than 10 years, Gonzalo López modernizes the true and salacious story of 16th Century composer Carlo Gesualdo, whose music and life is inexorably linked to the shocking murder of his wife and her lover...

Fantasia 2019 Review: BLOOD & FLESH: THE REEL LIFE AND GHASTLY DEATH OF AL ADAMSON Examines A Hollywood B-Movie Mystery

Al Adamson wasn't what you'd call a superstar filmmaker. Toiling in the world of super low budget B- and C-grade drive-in fare from the early '60s through the early '80s, Adamson was responsible for inflicting more than thirty films upon...

Fantasia 2019 Shorts Review: LILI Provides A Quick Punch

Reviewing a short can be a difficult endeavour, especially one which is only nine minutes long. At that length, it's hard to tell people what a film is about without spoiling it almost entirely. So rest assured I will keep...

Fantasia 2019 Review: MYSTERY OF THE NIGHT, A Woman's Scorn Awakens A Dark Spirit In The Phillipine Forest

Played out against a backdrop of political strife and religious domination, director Adolfo Alix, Jr.'s Mystery of the Night is a gripping tale of love and loss in the early 20th century Spanish-occupied Phillippines. An island nation under the thumb...

Review: THE LION KING Returns, Without Spoilers

Jon Faverau's photo-realistic remake stars Donald Glover, Beyonce, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogan and more.

Fantasia 2019 Review: DREAMLAND Plays Free Jazz With Genre Conventions

In Dreamland, the ubiquitous Stephen McHattie plays a weary, nameless, assassin, who does the dirty work for a mid level gangster named Hercules. Disgusted to find out that his boss is getting into the human trafficking of young children involving...

Notes on Streaming: Repellent KIDNAPPING STELLA Removes Reason for Existence

Max von der Groeben, Jella Haase and Clemens Schick star in Thomas Sieben's repugnant, would-be thriller.

Fantasia 2019 Review: CHIWAWA Warms Up An Old Formula With Mediocre Results

A tale as old as time, director Ninomiya Ken attempts to revitalize the story of a woman driven into the arms of madness in the search for acceptance in Chiwawa, his follow up to the festival hit, The Limit of...

Fantasia 2019 Review: COME TO DADDY Delights in Putting Elijah Wood Through The Ringer

I am drawn to father-son stories like a moth to flame. The difficult communication barriers, awkward processing of emotion. The silence and the rage. In the movies, these stories often culminate in the father expressing a deep pride or love...

Fantasia 2019 Review: CRITTERS ATTACK!, Among The Most Fun Franchise Rejuvenations In Years

The Crites are back at Fantasia 2019 with the world premiere of the fifth feature in the Critters franchise, Critters Attack!, from the writer/director of the 2016 festival hit The Cleanse (AKA The Master Cleanse), Bobby Miller. One of the...

Fantasia 2019 Review: JESUS SHOWS YOU THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY Will Smash Your Brain To Pieces

Truly original artistic voices are few and far between. When it comes to contemporary genre cinema, a few innovators come to mind when one thinks about the 21st century. Filmmakers like Khavn from the Phillippines, Q from India, Sono Sion...

Fantasia 2019 Review: VIVARIUM Is An Abstract Suburban Gothic

“The strawberries have no taste.” This might be my favourite line of dialogue from this high-concept science fiction satire, an Irish-Danish-Belgian co-production that has a go at the American dream. For decades now, the gargantuan frankenberries are picked and shipped...

Fantasia 2019 Review: THE DEEPER YOU DIG Is A Fascinating Micro-Budget Psychological Horror With A Great Origin Story

A mother, Ivy (Toby Poser) and her daughter Echo (Zelda Adams) live alone out in the country. They seem to share an unusually close relationship, despite the fact that Echo is of the age where a young girl would be...

Notes on Streaming: POINT BLANK Shoots Straight

Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie and Marcia Gay Harden star in Joe Lynch's terrific adaptation.

Fantasia 2019 Review: THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE Is A Comedic Swiss Watch

Casey is a quiet, nebbish, accountant who lives by himself. He has no friends except his impossibly cute Dachshund. He is introduced sitting quietly and nervously in a cafe, attempting to learn French. The line he is practicing is "I...