Here it is, folks. The second wave of Fantasia International Film Festival has just dropped THE DARK AND THE WICKED…VERY DARK AND VERY WICKED! Writer/director Bryan Bertino (THE STRANGERS) takes rural terror up another notch in this incredibly scary shocker, previously slated to launch at the Tribeca Film Festival. On a secluded farm in a nondescript rural town, a man is slowly dying. His family gathers to mourn, and soon a darkness grows, marked by waking nightmares and a growing sense that something evil is taking over the household. THE DARK AND THE WICKED stars Marin Ireland ( Sneaky Pete), Michael Abbott Jr. and an uber-creepy Xander Berkeley (CANDYMAN, The Walking Dead). International Premiere. FROM ANIME TO (ALMOST) REALITY The storage facility for giant cartoon robot Mazinger Z is among the most recognized sites in anime; impressive, yet impossible… or is it? In 2003 a quirky crew at the Japanese engineering firm Maeda Corporation decided to draft blueprints for the iconic hangar as it would exist in the real world. Funny, fascinating, and frankly inspiring, Tsutomu Hanabusa’s PROJECT DREAMS – HOW TO BUILD MAZINGER Z’S HANGAR tells their tale and takes it to the next stage of (im)possibility! International Premiere. YOU WON’T BE ALONE IN THESE WOODS A cold-blooded killer stalks a fleeing widow through the wilderness in ALONE, a blistering remake of the acclaimed 2012 Swedish thriller GONE. Starring Ozark’s Marc Menchaca and Bloodline’s Jules Wilcox, the thriller – from UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING director John Hyams – transports the story to the Pacific Northwest, amplifying it with riveting performances and an inspired use of locations to create an air of realistic suspense that pushes the viewer to nearly unbearable extremes. International Premiere. PREPARE TO FALL IN LOVE WITH A MERMAID IN PARIS Following his animation hit JACK AND THE CUCKOO-CLOCK HEART, French music superstar Mathias Malzieu brings his extraordinary and heartwarming world to life in his live-action musical debut A MERMAID IN PARIS (Une sirène à Paris). One of France’s most anticipated cinematic events of the year, released in its homeland by Sony Pictures, this visually dazzling fantastical love story stars Nicolas Duvauchelle (SPELLBOUND), Marilyn Lima (BANG GANG), Rossy de Palma (WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN), and Tchéky Karyo (NIKITA). North American Premiere. NON-STOP ACTION AWAITS IN CRAZY SAMURAI MUSASHI! Martial artist Tak Sakaguchi (VERSUS, WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL, YAKUZA WEAPON) is back in the spotlight with CRAZY SAMURAI MUSASHI – a long-in-the-making, unique take on swordsman Musashi Miyamoto’s most fabled battle, shot here as a single 77-minute action sequence by director Yûji Shimomura (DEATH TRANCE, RE:BORN). It’s Tak, 588 foes, and no room for error! Canadian Premiere. LISTEN IN THE NIGHT FOR THE BLOCK ISLAND SOUND A mysterious force lurks off the coast of Block Island, curiously influencing the surrounding town and wildlife in this chilling new creation from Fantasia favourites Kevin and Matthew McManus ( American Vandal, FUNERAL KINGS). A frightening, character-driven work of horror steeped in atmosphere and dread, THE BLOCK ISLAND SOUND features a remarkable cast that includes Michaela McManus (THE VILLAGE), Chris Sheffield (THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT), Jim Cummings (THUNDER ROAD), and Jeremy Holm (THE RANGER, Mr. Robot). World Premiere. ME AND ME BEGS TO ASK THE QUESTION – ARE YOU REALLY YOU? A police detective investigating a tragedy in a small town wakes up one morning to find he’s no longer who he thought he was – or so the locals lead him to believe. Is it epic gaslighting, genuine madness, or a supernatural twist? After decades in front of the camera, actor Jung Jin-young (THE KING AND THE CLOWN and many more) steps behind it for his directorial debut, ME AND ME, a unique and distinctive blend of suspense, anxious intrigue, and existential mystery! North American Premiere. STEP WITHIN THE WALLS OF THE OAK ROOM During a raging snowstorm, a drifter ( Breaking Bad’s RJ Mitte) returns home to the blue-collar bar located in the remote Canadian town where he was born. When he offers to settle an old debt with a grizzled bartender by telling him a story, the night’s events quickly spin into a dark tale of mistaken identities, double-crosses, and shocking violence. Atmospheric and gripping, THE OAK ROOM is the fourth feature from Canadian filmmaker Cody Calahan (ANTISOCIAL, LET HER OUT), and produced by BITE director Chad Archibald’s maverick Black Fawn team. Also features Peter Outerbridge ( Orphan Black), Nicholas Campbell (NAKED LUNCH) and Ari Millen (RUPTURE). World Premiere. A T THIS SCHOOL, DETENTION CAN BE PERMANENT… In 1962, Taiwan is in the grip of Martial Law, a period known as the “White Terror”. Fang, a high schooler, falls in love with Zhang, a counseling teacher who introduces her to the books banned by the regime. However, when he disappears, she finds the school gradually slipping into a terrifying realm of ghosts and spirits… Adapted from the popular video game of the same name, John Hsu’s feature film debut, DETENTION, is a powerful, allegorical film about the horrors of repression and authoritarianism. A hit on the festival circuit (Busan, Rotterdam, Fantasporto), the film was nominated for twelve prizes at the 56th Golden Horse Awards, where it won five, including Best New Director. Canadian Premiere CONFLICTING EMOTIONS RUN RAMPANT IN MINOR PREMISE Fueled by the desire to surpass his father’s legacy a reclusive Indian American neuroscientist becomes physically entangled in his own radical experiments, resulting in his consciousness inexplicably becoming fragmented into ten separate and conflicting forces. Now he must face off against the darker sides of his psyche to solve an enigma that lies buried within his subconscious – before it’s too late. The striking feature debut from Eric Schultz, co-producer on such works as JAMES WHITE and KATIE SAYS GOODBYE, MINOR PREMISE is a brilliantly constructed science-fiction drama that confronts ideas of the self in a pensive and emotionally thrilling cinematic puzzle. World Premiere. THE COLUMNIST TAKES INTERNET BULLIES DOWN… TO THE MORGUE Columnist and author Femke Boot ( Westworld’s Katja Herbers) is endlessly taunted with abusive posts and death threats via social media. Becoming obsessed by these hateful messages from strangers, she spends every moment checking her Twitter feed… until one day, she steps back from her keyboard to take brutal, in-the-flesh action. A savage, horrific black comedy for our times by Dutch filmmaker Ivo van Aart (AMUSE), THE COLUMNIST tackles the toxicity of cyberbullying with ferocity and wit. North American Premiere. THE STAKES ARE HIGH IN A GAME OF FEUDAL-ERA FAKE NEWS! With THE GRAND HEIST (2012), South Korean writer/director Kim Joo-ho proved his knack for Joseon-era comedy-thrillers, chock full of mechanical ingenuity complicated enough to match his devilishly clever plots. He does the deed again this year with JESTERS: THE GAME CHANGERS, following the fortunes of a crew of traveling street entertainers who double as rumour-spreaders for hire – “fake news” of the finest vintage. But now the tyrannical King Sejo wants his murderous reputation rehabilitated… and this game is no longer in jest! North American Premiere. YOU’LL HAVE TO WATCH YOUR WAIST IN THESE KILLER SLAXX A possessed pair of jeans comes to life and terrorizes the staff of a trendy, vapid clothing boutique in SLAXX, the third feature from Montreal filmmaker Elza Kephart (GRAVEYARD ALIVE, GO IN THE UNIVERSE). Shipped to the company’s flagship store, Slaxx proceeds to wreak havoc on the staff, locked in overnight to set up the new collection. The horror-comedy boasts an impressive cast, including Romane Denis (CHARLOTTE HAS FUN), Sehar Bhojani ( The Handmaid’s Tale), Brett Donahue (RADIUS), and Kenny Wong ( Transplant). World Premiere ALLOWEEN BRINGS MORE THAN TRICKS AND TREATS IN FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS An innocent nurse, a tortured maniac, and a suspicious hostage face off against a wave of violent intruders on Halloween night in the Canadian nail-biter FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS, starring Lora Burke (LIFECHANGER), Colin Paradine (KINGDOM COME), and Nick Smyth (COVENANT). Filmmakers Gabriel Carrer (THE DEMOLISHER) and Reese Eveneshen (DEFECTIVE) have combined their directorial prowess to create this blissfully brutal powerhouse, shot in only fifteen days, loaded with practical FX and featuring rousing stunts performed by the actors themselves. World Premiere. . VERTIGO TAKES ROMANTIC MELODRAMA TO THE TOP FLOOR Seo-Young (Chun Woo-hee of HAN GONG-JU and THE WAILING) has climbed high up the company ladder, but her life is more precarious than it seems and her anxieties begin manifesting as intense vertigo. Her exact opposite, working-class window-cleaner Kwon-woo, literally dangles into her life. From writer/director Jeon Gye-soo (2012’s LOVE FICTION), VERTIGO is a romantic melodrama posing sharp questions about class and gender in South Korean corporate culture. Canadian Premiere. TWO DROPS OF THRILLS, ONE DROP OF TERROR: THE PERFECT DOSE FOR YOUR NEXT NIGHTMARE Marcos is a night shift nurse at a palliative care ward in the Argentinian psychological thriller LA DOSIS. Stationed at the doors of life and death, Marcos is the self-appointed gatekeeper, and euthanasia is his preferred practice. While the newly arrived nurse Gabriel threatens to uncover his deadly routine, he may also be hiding sinister motives of his own. Filmmaker Martin Kraut focuses his debut feature on a complex, fascinating duo that you won’t soon forget. North American Premiere. I WeirDo, A PRE-PANDEMIC ROM-COM, CLEANS UP Two OCD lovebirds, both obsessed with perpetual cleanliness, experience the trials of first love and the harsh reality of leaving their safety bubbles in I WeirDo, a quirky rom-com from first time Taiwanese director Liao Ming-Yi. Winner of two awards at the 2020 Udine Far East Film Festival and filmed entirely on an iPhone XS, you’ll want to prepare your mask, HazMat suit, and hand sanitizers for this one. Canadian Premiere. A VIVID FEMINIST WESTERN EXPLODES ACROSS THE SCREEN IN SAVAGE STATE A family of French settlers must abandon their Missouri home and flee back to Paris when the American Civil War breaks out in David Perrault’s potent feminist Western, SAVAGE STATE (L’état sauvage), an official selection at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam. A stylish co-production between France, Canada, and Belgium, the film stars Alice Isaaz (ELLE), Déborah François (POPULAIRE), Kevin Janssens (REVENGE), Constance Dollé (LES REVENANTS), and Kate Moran (KNIFE+HEART). . North American Premiere BEAUTY IS SKIN DEEP, BUT BODY HORROR CHILLS TO THE BONE IN FANTASIA AXIS SELECTION BEAUTY WATER In a society as obsessed with physical appearance as modern South Korea, ugliness is a fate worse than death. For overweight, unsightly Yaeji, though, a fast but suspicious solution to her woes may soon make her wish she were dead. Director Cho Kyung-hun’s animated shocker BEAUTY WATER puts a very high price on prettiness. North American Premiere.
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