Thursday, November 03, 2011

Toronto After Dark Film Festival reviews, part 2

While I'd wanted to finish all eight remaining movie reviews but I'm still very tired and was up early for denosumab today so I only wrote four reviews. I'll have the remaining four for you tomorrow.

Monday, October 24
This film was funded entirely through Kickstarter, a site that provides brings together people who need money for a project with small investors who are willing to contribute money towards projects. It's a great idea that made a great dramatic, well-paced, well-acted, and well-told film.

In this film, a woman whose husband disappeared seven years ago is about to declare her husband dead in absentia. Her drug-addict sister has come to provide moral support and discovers that there's something weird about the nearby tunnel. There's some creepy stuff here - or is it just a drug-induced hallucination? Either way, this is a great story. I found the film less frightening and more unsettling with a few climactic scenes.

I highly recommend this film if you're interested in creepy films involving ordinary people.

A Lonely Place to Die
I loved this film; it was one of my favourites from the whole festival. In it, a group of mountain-climbing friends discover a young girl who is being held captive. They immediately shelve their plans to go climbing to move to get the girl down to the nearest village... all while being hunted by the girl's captors.

Sure, this is mostly a chase movie, but it's a GOOD chase game. It helps that the scenery in Scotland is gorgeous and the action is quite realistic. One of the directors was there for the Q&A and apparently they'd wanted to make a mountain-climbing movie so they learned to do rock-climbing. They taught everyone in the cast how to climb and did some of the stunts, too.

If you like action films or mountain-climbing, this film is for you. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, October 25
The Divide
This film was my other favourite from the festival. It's about what happens to a group of people trapped in a bunker after a nuclear holocaust. The conflicts between the characters and the actions they take are very realistic and sometimes horrifying. This film portrays the kind of dark, realistic, post-apocalyptic scenario I love to watch because it makes me think about people and the things they're capable of doing once there's no civilization or society to constrain their actions.

The director and some of the actors were there for the Q&A after the movie and apparently the movie was shot in chronological order over 31 days and the characters were put on a severely reduced diet for that entire time. The film's timeline was basically scripted but all of the actors were able to give suggestions for their characters. Apparently tensions were quite high off-set because everyone was starving and not everyone got along and all of that made it into the film. I hadn't known all of this before watching the film and now that I do know it, I want to watch the film again.

This is not a film for the squeamish or faint of heart. If you want to see how people would behave if they were trapped underground with a lack of food, this is the film to watch. It's an intense experience and one that I enjoyed very much; I highly recommend it.

Ian was really looking forward to seeing this film while I wasn't quite so excited about it. It was made in the style of an 80s VHS movie with all those crazy special effects, bad dialogue, and unusual story. It ended up being a funny, lighthearted movie with lots of good stop-motion animation. If you like this type of movie, this is the one for you.

As an aside, the director was there and apparently this film was made for a very small budget (and it shows). The director was also responsible for Father's Day so clearly he's got more interests than just cheesy movies.

1 comment:

embroid6000 said...

Very very interesting post. The theme of film was attractive. Chantelle you did a good job and obviously you enjoyed this. I'm sure that the ordinary should enjoy the film.