CinebitsEvent Coverage

Brandon’s 10 Must-See Films at Fantasia 2019

Fantasia International Film Festival is back for its 23rd year and the offerings this year are looking absolutely delectable. The Festival has made a name for itself as the festival destination for lovers of genre filmmaking. Whether its horror, fantasy, science fiction or just plain bonkers genre-benders, Fantasia always has great debuts.

If you can’t make it all the way to Montreal for this year’s Fantasia, don’t worry. We at Cinemast have been keeping close tabs on films set to show at the festival. Here are the Top 10 movies that I’m most looking forward to seeing from this year’s Fantasia Film Festival and some movies that you should keep an eye out for in the coming months post-festival:

Honorable Mention: Knives and Skin

After the disappearance of a young girl rocks a rural town in Illinois, the town must come to grips with their personal failures as the local inexperienced sheriff investigates. Knives and Skin debuted at Tribeca Film Festival to some solid acclaim and with its premiere at Fantasia, Montreal audiences will get to experience the film as well. Knives and Skin combines coming of age, mystery, film noir and…musical into a genre-bender that is sure to be unlike anything we’ve seen before.

10. Harpoon

After accusing them of sleeping together, rich boy Christian invites his girlfriend Sarah and best friend Jonah on his private yacht as an apology. But as the waves rock the boat, so too do the suspicions and mistrust begin to rock the relationships on board. When the boat’s motor dies, the yacht’s passengers find themselves in a struggle for their lives — not against the open waters, however, but against each other. Sound like an intense thriller? Now imagine this as a dark comedy and you have Harpoon, directed by Rob Grant, which promises to deliver silly suspense and suspicion on the seven seas.

9. Freaks

I love movies like Freaks — movies full of mystery where you don’t know who is telling the truth, who is right, who is wrong, who is crazy and who you should be cheering for until the very end. Writing/directing team Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein have put together a film that will have you guessing, second-guessing those guesses and next thing you know you have no idea what is going on. Freaks is the story of seven-year-old Chloe who has never seen the outside of the house due to her overprotective father (Emile Hirsch), but the idea of leaving the house to finally reach the ice cream truck (driven by Bruce Dern) that circles her block is just appealing enough to get her to cross her safe haven’s threshold. Or is it…?

8. Little Monsters

The first of two zombie comedies on my list, Little Monsters finds Lupita N’yongo as a kindergarten teacher who finds herself and her students in the heart of a zombie outbreak while out on a field trip. Little Monsters debuted to much fanfare at Sundance and its Fantasia debut is expected to deliver similar results. Besides, what is better than watching N’yongo (who I would watch in pretty much anything) kill zombies alongside Josh Gad and kindergartners while pretending that it’s all just part of the fun? Well, she’s definitely right about one thing. Little Monsters is guaranteed to be a ton of fun and the type of movie I look forward to checking out as soon as I get the chance.

7. Vivarium

Vivarium is such a question mark to me, but I know that I want to see it. Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg alone are enough to get me in a seat (you can catch these two in The Art of Self-Defense — also showing at Fantasia), but the premise of the two main characters finding themselves in a housing development that they can’t escape out of just sounds so deliciously Twilight Zone that I absolutely cannot miss this film.

6. The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale

Ever since Train to Busan, the words “Korean zombie movie” have been my love language and Korean zombie comedy is the next level of that love language. This directorial debut from Korean filmmaker Lee Min-jae looks absolutely promising and in the same vein as the classic Shaun of the Dead. Zombie movies have been beaten to death in the western hemisphere, but after seeing what South Korea was able to put out with Busan, I’m excited to see what more visions the East has to offer in regards to the living dead, comedy or otherwise.

5. Ready or Not

It’s the timeless love story. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy, boy and girl fall in love, boy proposes to girl, girl meets family, family tries to murder girl in order to fulfill some kind of ritual. Right? Ready or Not looks like if You’re Next was more on the nose from the very beginning, but it’s the kind of movie that I am HERE FOR! Honestly, this pick might be a little bit of a cheat since Ready or Not is getting a wide release in late August, but watching this bride-to-be work her way through a giant mansion while a bunch of rich white people accidentally kill each other out of incompetence is just great cinema.

4. Sator

A personal and gorgeous-looking film, Sator is the work of writer/director/producer/editor Jordan Graham. This slow burn of a horror film, based on Graham’s personal experiences, is the story of Adam, whose grandmother, Nani, has been the conduit of a spirit named Sator for decades. While Nani believes that Sator has used these years to teach her to be a better person and guide her through life, Adam soon learns that Sator’s intentions are far more sinister than any of them could have imagined. Deeply atmospheric, Sator looks like the kind of slow-burn horror that I live for.

3. The Incredible Shrinking Wknd

While I love the movie Groundhog Day, I have this fear that the idea itself of reliving the same day over and over again is too good and because it is so good, it’s too easy to simply duplicate. However, I will say that films like The Incredible Shrinking Wknd give me hope for taking older ideas in film and finding a way to make them feel inventive and fresh. Wknd asks: What happens when you are living the same weekend over and over, but each time you relive it the weekend gets a little bit shorter? And what happens when the time finally runs out and there’s no more weekend left to relive? The Incredible Shrinking Wknd looks stunning and the type of film that Fantasia really deserves.

2. 1BR

There are few experiences as nerve-wracking as apartment hunting. I mean, I absolutely despise it. The fear of not getting a great place to live could only be topped by the idea that the perfect place to live is actually not what it seems to be. 1BR is the story of Sarah, who, after finding a great one-bedroom apartment in L.A. starts to experience bizarre circumstances in her new domicile and starts to question everything around her. Was it her that found the perfect apartment, or did the apartment find the perfect person to live in it? Check out the clip above and you’ll see that 1BR is a horror film that simply cannot be missed.

1. The Wretched

For my money, the horror holy trinity is great makeup effects, great characters, and a chilling atmosphere. The Wretched looks like it delivers on all three of these, and in buckets. As teenage Ben is struggling to cope with his parents’ oncoming divorce, an evil force in penetrating the small town near the forest and residing in the bodies of his neighbors. The Wretched looks like it might be the creepiest film out of the whole offering at Fantasia and offer a potentially game-changing horror film from directors Brett and Drew Pierce.

Comments are closed.


The Cinemast Podcast Logo (Transparent)