Fantasia Film Festival 2020: A Treasure Trove Of Horrors Awaits

Fantasia Film Festival is North America’s largest genre festival and this year’s festival is shaping up to be a brilliant one for horror fans with a multitude of freaky frights and creepy delights being featured within its impressive slate of titles.

The festival is being held from August 20th to September 2nd, 2020 and will take place virtually for the first time in its history as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but this is by no means a bad thing as the festival is more accessible than it’s ever been!

We’ll be covering the festival when it starts, but for now we thought we’d take a look at some of the horror films that are on offer at this year’s Fantasia Festival to whet your appetities!

The Reckoning

Acclaimed film and television director Neil Marshall’s latest offering is a horror film set during the great plague of 1655. Starring Charlotte Kirk is a the tough-as-nails female lead, Steven Waddington and Sean Pertwee, Marshall brings us a dark and angry, image-laden, take on the witch-hunts as Kirk’s Grave Haverstock is subject to a number of torments and tragedies before eventually being accused of witch-craft.

The Reckoning is opening this year’s Fantasia Fest, marking only the second time the same director has done so twice at the festival, the only other to do so being Takashi Miike.

Unearth

Horror films are often topical, commenting on everyday societal issues and Unearth is certainly one of those as John C. Lyons and Dorota Swies’ film brings us a meditation on the dangers of fracking.

Adrienne Barbeau and Marc Blucas play two neighbours plunged into a fight for survival after Blucas’ George Lomack, in desperation to save his family from economic ruin, turns towards an oil company and unwittingly unleashes a horror that could be his families literal ruin.

Slaxx

Not too long after the atmospheric killer dress horror film In Fabric Fantasia Film Festival and fest-favourite Elza Kephart, bring us a killer trouser horror film, Slaxx, an obviously nutty horror comedy with an underlying social consciousness.

Slaxx takes aim at trendy and ethical clothing as new-hire Libby, played by Romane Denis, begins a shift at Canadian Cotton Clothiers on the eve of the release of a new range of ‘Super Shaper Jeans’ but unfortunately for her one pair of these jeans has a mind of its own and begins a rampage!

Sanzaru

Sanzaru is an American Gothic ghost story that blends American family traditions and Filipino culture together as two families are trapped in what appears to be a haunted house.

Xia Magnus’ debut is a deeply atmospheric look at generational trauma, family secrets and the consequences of turning a blind eye starring Aina Dumlao as Evelyn, a live-in carer responsible for helping Jain Taini’s Dena deal with her rapidly deteriorating dementia as both women start to question what’s real and what isn’t.

The Columnist

Ivo Van Aart’s The Columnist is a black-comedy that explores the question – what would happen if we were able to get violent and bloody revenge against the internet trolls who make our lives hell?

The answer is that dutch columnist Femke Boot, played by Westworld’s Katja Herber, begins a slow descent from decent working mum to vengeful serial killer as she proves that actions have consequences and as a result we get a fun, socially conscious film!

Clapboard Jungle/Hail To The Deadites

If horror films aren’t enough for you then Fantasia Festival also has two standout horror documentaries on offer!

The first, Clapboard Jungle, is an intimate look at Lifechanger director Justin McConnell’s attempt to make independent films as both an educational piece on the trials and tribulations of the industry, but also an introspective look at his own struggles with his drive to succeed.

The second, Hail To The Deadites, is a celebration of the Evil Dead franchise and an exploration as to why these films have had an enduring amount of popularity!

The Rest!

Whilst the above are initial highlights that look like a lot of fun that most certainly isn’t it! Fantasia has many, many more horror films playing at the festival, listed below.

  • 12 Hour Shift – Bea Grant
  • Anything For Jackson – Justin Dyck
  • Bleed With Me – Amelia Moses
  • The Block Island Sound – Kevin McManus, Matthew McManus
  • Climate Of The Hunter – Mickey Reece
  • Come True – Anthony Scott Burns
  • The Curse Of Audrey Earnshaw – Thomas Lee
  • The Dark And The Wicked – Bryan Bertino
  • Detention – John Hsu
  • Kriya – Sidharth Srinivasan
  • Lucky – Natasha Kermani
  • The Mortuary Collection – Ryan Spindell
  • The Undertaker’s Home – Mauro Ivan Ojeda
  • Yummy – Lars Damoiseaux

When the festival kicks off we’ll be bringing you reviews of as many of these horror films as possible, as well as some non-horror reviews just to add a little bit of variety to the mix.

You can check out the full Fantasia Festival 2020 program here

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