Huge announcement of films for 2015 Fantasia festival


Three weeks of movie madness will be unleashed at the 2015 Fantasia festival in Montreal, and a large chunk of it is ready to be announced. Read on for info on dozens of the movies to be screened.

Presented by Ubisoft and Anchor Bay, Fantasia runs this year from July 14-August 4. The first wave of titles was revealed here, and the complete schedule of programming and special events will be unveiled July 7. But the lineup below is already pretty damn impressive:


International Premiere: Takeshi Kitano’s RYUZO AND THE SEVEN HENCHMEN
Coming immediately after his OUTRAGE saga, Takeshi Kitano’s hilarious crime story stars screen legend Tatsuya Fuji (IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES) as a retired yakuza who realizes that the only way to break the monotony of his daily life by reuniting with his old gang. This is a funny and heartfelt meditation on growing old that only the master of Japanese cinema could deliver.


Special Screening: Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s DARK PLACES
Fantasia will be presenting a special screening of Paquet-Brenner’s stylish adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s mystery thriller DARK PLACES, which reunites Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult following their appearance together in a certain innocuous Australian road movie. The film’s impressive cast also features Christina Hendricks, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Tye Sheridan.


World Premiere: Sonny Mallhi’s ANGUISH
The directorial debut of Mallhi, producer of such singular horror works as THE STRANGERS and AT THE DEVIL’S DOOR, ANGUISH is a frightening and emotionally resonant film that offers supernatural explanations for debilitating adolescent mental illness, featuring a powerhouse lead performance by Ryan Simpkins (SURVEILLANCE).


World Premiere: David Keating’s CHERRY TREE
Keating burst onto the international genre cinema scene with his chilling 2010 occult horror film WAKE WOOD. Now, he’s returned, reteaming with screenwriter Brendan McCarthy (who, as a producer, was also behind LET US PREY and this year’s Sundance hit THE HALLOW) to deliver a demonic tale of desperate good intentions gone horribly, horribly bad.


Centerpiece Presentation: Ringo Lam’s WILD CITY
It’s been a long wait, but the dark god of hard-edged Hong Kong cinema is back. Alongside John Woo and Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam was key in defining the spirit of HK film in the late ’80s. Now, after a near-decade hiatus from feature filmmaking, he’s ready to show the world once again what happens when high-octane action and a hard-knock social conscience collide. Canadian Premiere.


World Premiere: Jacob Gentry’s SYNCHRONICITY
The long-awaited solo feature debut from Jacob Gentry, co-director of THE SIGNAL, SYNCHRONICITY is, in a word, brilliant. Chad Mcknight, AJ Bowen, Brianne Davis and Michael Ironside star in this individualistic and astonishing sci-fi noir about a physicist who folds time, traveling into the past to prevent the theft of his invention.


International Premiere: TRADERS
A freshly unemployed worker from an asset management firm creates a website on the dark web, designed to appeal specifically to the financially obliterated. “Better than suicide,” it promises. “Trading.” One of the most blackly subversive social satires to antagonize the screen in years, TRADERS is smart, violent, empathetic and angry. The feature debut of Irish filmmaking team Rachael Moriarty and Peter Murphy, starring Killian Scott (CALVARY), John Bradley (GAME OF THRONES), Nika McGuigan (PHILOMENA) and Barry Keoghan (’71).


International Premiere: THE SHAMER’S DAUGHTER
A captivating medieval fantasy from Denmark, directed by Kenneth Kainz (PARTERAPI) and scripted by the great Anders Thomas Jensen (ADAM’S APPLES, BROTHERS, AFTER THE WEDDING), THE SHAMER’S DAUGHTER tells the tale of a young girl who has inherited her mother’s supernatural ability to make people ashamed of themselves by staring into their souls.


World Premiere: SLUMLORD
Directed by newcomer Victor Zarcoff and produced by the team behind the acclaimed FUNERAL KINGS (Fantasia 2010), this study in terror brings REAR WINDOW to the digital era. A young couple slowly fall apart, unbeknownst that their creepy landlord is scrupulously watching them through hidden surveillance cameras. Wonderfully acted by a cast straight out of a Tobe Hooper film, this domestic nightmare builds suffocating tension by exposing the fragility of our intimacy in today’s world.


World Premiere: BITE
Chad Archibald and the talented team behind such Canadian horror breakouts at THE DROWNSMAN, ANTISOCIAL, SEPTIC MAN and EJECTA are back with a brand new monster, a lot of flair, and a heck of a strong cringe factor. Join us for the world premiere of this thrilling new film from some of Canada’s most striking new genre talent.


World Premiere: EXTINCTION
Fantasia is proud to be showcasing the world premiere of KIDNAPPED director Miguel Ángel Vivas’ English-language debut EXTINCTION, an atmospheric and visceral postapocalyptic monster movie that will blow audiences through the back of the theatre. EXTINCTION is co-scripted by Vivas and Alberto Marini (SLEEP TIGHT) and stars Matthew Fox, Jeffrey Donovan, Quinn McColgan—and some of the most astonishing prosthetic creature makeups the screen has seen in years.

In addition, Fantasia will screen the following Spanish productions:


MARSHLAND (Dir: Alberto Rodriguez)
A riveting period neo-noir police-procedural thriller from the director of UNIT 7, winner of no fewer than 10 Goya Awards this year, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor. Quebec Premiere.


Spain’s cult superspy-parody comic book explodes into life as a big-budget blitzkrieg of slapstick 3D animation that won Goya Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Adapted Screenplay. North American Premiere.


SHREW’S NEST (Dir: Esteban Roel and Juan Fernando Andrés; review)
Macarena Gómez gives a riveting performance in this horrific and haunting psychodrama produced by Álex de la Iglesia that’s deservedly become a major hit on the international festival circuit. Quebec Premiere.


The completely insane fifth entry in Segura’s blockbuster franchise, TORRENTE: MISSION EUROVEGAS co-stars Alex Baldwin and had the largest Spanish theatrical opening in all of 2014 when it was released last October. An excruciatingly funny film, packed with absurd setpieces and a rogues’ gallery of familiar faces. North American Premiere.

Fantasia Underground’s Year Two lineup will include:


One day, as Haruko is zapping, her television unexpectedly transforms into a beautiful, shirtless, TV-headed stud! Welcome to HARUKO’S PARANORMAL LABORATORY, a personal and inventive vision signaling Takeba as Japan’s new Queen of Quirk. Official Selection: Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Yubari. Canadian Premiere.


HOSTILE (France; dir: Nathan Ambrosioni)
One of the most talked-about horror works at the Cannes Film Market this year, HOSTILE marks the impressive debut of 14-year-old director Nathan Ambrosioni. A TV-show host answers the call of a mother terrified of her two adopted daughters. What starts with the familiar slowly builds into a poignant horror tale. International Premiere.


OJUJU (Nigeria; dir: C.J. “Fiery” Obasi)
OJUJU is a fascinating and well-staged transposition of the flesheating-zombie film, bringing the living dead to Nigeria’s slums following what initially appears to be rabid river blindness due to a contaminated water supply. Winner for Best Nigerian film at the Africa International Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.


MEATHEAD GOES HOG WILD (U.S.; dir: Kevin Cline, Zach Harris and Sean Pierce)
Don’t let the quirky title fool you, this is a visceral, heartfelt and violently confrontational slice of urban hell and personal apocalypse, detailing a young man’s breakdown over the course of a single terrible night in one of America’s most segregated cities. Think a socially conscious FALLING DOWN by way of COMBAT SHOCK. World Premiere.


Special Event: Intro to Wakaliwood—DIY Commando Cinema from Unganda
“Wakaliwood” is the nickname for Wakaliga, the slum on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda, where Nabwana IGG and his self-taught DIY team make wild, action-packed movies with home-made equipment and the commando spirit. Totally off the grid, Wakaliwood is the last true cinematic Wild West and has taken the Internet by storm. Fantasia proudly presents the first ever Wakaliwood festival screening, including the film sensation WHO KILLED CAPTAIN ALEX? UGANDA’S FIRST ACTION MOVIE plus a fully loaded arsenal of Wakaliwood trailers, clips from never-before-seen new films and a live Skype to Uganda with prolific DIY director/writer/editor/producer IGG and his superstar crew of kung-fu masters, cannibals and supa commandos!

Other films:

AVA’S POSSESSIONS (U.S.; dir: Jordan Galland)
Ava is recovering from demonic possession. With no memory of the past month, she is forced to attend a Spirit Possession Anonymous support group. Ava’s life was hijacked by a demon, now it’s time to get it back in this horror farce from the creator of Fantasia favorite ALTER EGOS. Official Selection: SXSW. Canadian Premiere.

BØRNING (Norway; dir: Hallvard Bræin)
Roy is mad about cars and is soon challenged to an illegal race across the length of Norway. Fasten your seatbelts (well, it’s the law!) for an old-fashioned action-packed car-race flick, faster than CANNONBALL RUN and funnier than SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT! North American Premiere.

BRIDGEND (Denmark; dir: Jeppe Rønde)
Teenage Sara arrives with her single father to a small village in the Welsh valley of Bridgend County, which is haunted by suicides amongst its young inhabitants. She falls dangerously in love with one of the troubled boys while her dad, as the new town policeman, tries to solve the mystery. This powerful, shattering film (a recent Tribeca Film Festival award-winner) is based on true events. Canadian Premiere.

BUNNY THE KILLER THING (Finland; dir: Joonas Makkonen)
You’ve surely seen the jaw-dropping trailer by now, or at the least, heard a breathless account of it. Nothing can prepare for the lunacy of the actual film. Oh, Finland. North American Premiere.

COP CAR (U.S.; dir: Jon Watts)
A pair of kids stumble across an unoccupied cop car, hop in and take it on a joyride across town, setting in motion a tense game of cat and mouse between them and a particularly corrupt and distinctly homicidal police officer (Kevin Bacon). Official Selection: Sundance, Edinburgh International Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.

CRIMSON WHALE (South Korea; dir: Park Hye-mi)
A tough, empathic little marvel of science-fantasy without illusions, simple yet satisfyingly solid in its design and execution, CRIMSON WHALE marks Park Hye-mi as an important new talent in Korean animation. Canadian premiere.

CRUEL (France; dir: Eric Cherrière)
For years, timid Pierre Tardieu has been brutally slaughtering men and women without ever getting caught. The time to obtain his long-due recognition has come. Crime novelist Eric Cherrière takes us on a dark journey into the disturbed mind of a serial killer. Canadian Premiere.

THE DARK BELOW (U.S.; dir: Douglas Schulze)
In this visually stunning, dialogue-free, experimental thriller set on Michigan’s wintry frozen Great Lakes, a brutish serial killer imprisons his still-living latest victim in the watery depths. Thus begins a uniquely chilling story of survival and shocking revelation. This accomplished experiment in narrative storytelling tears every convention apart. You haven’t seen anything like it. Co-starring Veronica Cartwright. World Premiere.

A new lesson in cinephilia eccentricity brought to you by the team behind ROOM 237 and THE NIGHTMARE. While recording a commentary track, the director and screenwriter of a forgotten—but authentic—Frankenstein movie recall a tragedy that occurred on set, a brutal crime that continues to terrify its witnesses decades after the fact. International Premiere.

GERMAN ANGST (Germany; dir: Jörg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowski and Andreas Marschall)
Three of German cinema’s most ferocious underground talents have united to assault the screen with a deathly triptych of tales set against the evolving backdrop of Berlin. Featuring Jörg Buttgereit’s return to narrative filmmaking after a 22-year hiatus. Official Selection: Rotterdam International Film Festival. North American Premiere.

H. (U.S./Argentina; dir: Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia)
Two women sharing the same name see their lives change for the worse when a strange occurrence seems to affect a small city. Both disturbing and poetic, H. is an imaginative tour de force that left a strong impression at Sundance and Berlin this year. Canadian Premiere.

THE HALLOW (UK; dir: Corin Hardy; review)
A family who move into a remote millhouse in Ireland unwittingly enter a fight for survival with pale-skinned demonic entities living in the foreboding woods. Superb practical monster FX buoy this intensely scary film, perhaps the best creature feature out of the UK since THE DESCENT. Official Selection: Sundance, Seattle International Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.

HE NEVER DIED (pictured at top; Canada; dir: Jason Krawczyk; review)
Punk icon/author/spoken-word master Henry Rollins stars as a mild-mannered reluctant cannibal who tries to keep to himself yet ends up targeted by the mob. Co-starring Kate Greenhouse (a Fantasia award-winner for THE DARK HOURS). Official Selection: SXSW. International Premiere.

THE INVITATION (U.S.; dir: Karyn Kusama)
One of the smartest, scariest and most engrossing genre films in recent years, THE INVITATION is a masterpiece of ingeniously calculated, character-driven horror storytelling. Karyn Kusama is back, and she’s never been better. Official Selection: SXSW. Canadian Premiere.

JU-ON: THE FINAL CURSE (Japan; dir: Masayuki Ochiai)
Directly following last year’s JU-ON: THE BEGINNING OF THE END, this harrowing conclusion of director Masayuki Ochiai’s reboot of J-horror’s most beloved franchise generously brings all the goodies expected by fans. Prepare to squirm, screech and shudder, because Toshio and Kayoko are determined to finish business with panache. International Premiere.

Two mismatched brothers tour Hollywood’s notorious Charles Manson murder sites. One is a devoted family man and the other is devoted to the Family (yeah, that one!). When the bickering duo take an eventful road trip, get ready for a hilarious (and kinda creepy!) “ODD COUPLE meets HELTER SKELTER” movie, produced by indie faves the Duplass Brothers. Official Selection: SXSW. Canadian Premiere.

THE MASTER PLAN (Sweden; dir: Alain Darborg)
In this action/heist/revenge comedy, Charles Ingvar Jönsson (a character popular in Swedish films since the early ’80s) gathers three seemingly incompatible criminals to take vengeance upon the slippery creeps who killed his beloved uncle. North American Premiere.

MONTY PYTHON: THE MEANING OF LIVE (UK; dir: Roger Graef and James Rogan)
This love letter to Python fans goes behind the scenes of last summer’s record-setting live reunion and final tour of the Beatles of Comedy. Interviews all the surviving Pythons and special friends, plus charts the group’s history on stage. Dead parrot included! Official Selection: Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs. Quebec Premiere.

THE NUTCRACKER 3D (Japan; dir: Sebastian Masuda)
Sanrio’s 1979 stop-motion holiday movie, remixed, revamped, and rebooted by Sebastian Masuda, Harajuku’s “Godfather of kawaii.” A deliciously psychedelic pop-art phantasmagoria of super-sweet, candy-colored cool. North American premiere.

ON THE WHITE PLANET (South Korea; dir: Hur Bum-wook)
A brooding existential nightmare unfolding within a densely detailed landscape of surreal biological monstrosity, animator Hur Bum-wook’s award-winning debut feature is an intense and troubling tale of violence and vulnerability, hope and despair. Canadian premiere.

Turkey in the 1960s-70s churned out more movies than possibly any other country, often without a single page of original material! Get ready for bizarro Turkish knockoffs of E.T., DRACULA, THE WIZARD OF OZ, THE EXORCIST, RAMBO, SUPERMAN, STAR TREK and more, informatively chronicled in this thorough and uproarious documentary. Official Selection: Locarno Film Festival. North American Premiere.

THE ROYAL TAILOR (South Korea; dir: Lee Won-suk)
A potent period drama embroidered with wit and wise insights, THE ROYAL TAILOR has its high-spirited mirth and heartbreaking tragedy sewn together masterfully. A great script, a great cast—and a truly wondrous array of magnificent garments! Official Selection: Udine, NYAFF. Canadian Premiere.

SCHERZO DIABOLICO (Mexico/U.S.; dir: Adrián García Bogliano; review)
The director of LATE PHASES, HERE COMES THE DEVIL and COLD SWEAT is back, reteaming with Francisco Barreiro to deliver a savage black comedy/thriller that will leave audiences breathless. Official Selection: Tribeca Film Festival, Stanley Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.

SOCIALPHOBIA (South Korea; dir: Hong Seok-jae)
Social media has scary consequences for two police-tech students and an Internet troll in this masterfully executed first feature film by Hong Seok-jae. Filled with stunning twists and keenly constructed characters, SOCIALPHOBIA ranks among the best independent Korean films in recent years. Winner of the NETPAC and DGK Awards at the Busan Film Festival. Quebec Premiere.

SOME KIND OF HATE (U.S.; dir: Adam Egypt Mortimer; review)
Ronen Rubinstein, Grace Phipps, Sierra McCormick and Noah Segan star in a bloody tale of a bullied teen sentenced to a juvenile delinquent camp that happens to be haunted by the murderous spirit of a victim of bullying. Official Selection: Stanley Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.

SHE WHO MUST BURN (Canada; dir: Larry Kent)
Director Larry Kent (THE BITTER ASH, HIGH, THE HAMSTER CAGE), Canada’s first underground filmmaker, has been making uncompromising works for 52 years. Now, he has made his first full-on horror film, a harrowing tale of organizers of a Planned Parenthood clinic under violent attack by fanatical evangelists. World Premiere.

THE TAKING (UK; dir: Dominic Brunt)
Two financially struggling independent businesswomen fall prey to a brutal money-lender in this hard-hitting, vicious and socially conscious thriller that balances gripping drama and ferocious shock value to powerful effect. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Official Selection: Leeds Film Festival. International Premiere.

THERAPY FOR A VAMPIRE (Austria; dir: David Rühm)
In 1930s Vienna, an infamous vampire count turns to none other than noted psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud to help him deal with various romantic entanglements. This delightful and sumptuously produced horror/comedy evokes the Hammer Gothics of yore and Polanski’s classic FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS. A must for old-school fangbangers! Official Selection: Zurich Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.

WE ARE STILL HERE (U.S.; dir: Ted Geoghegan; review)
Ted Geoghegan’s super-acclaimed directorial debut is finally coming to Canada. WE ARE STILL HERE stars Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden and Lisa Marie, features stunning visuals by Karim Hussain and is infused with the spirit of ’80s Lucio Fulci. What’s not to love? Official Selection: SXSW. Canadian Premiere.

WONDERFUL WORLD END (Japan; dir: Daigo Matsui)
With films like SWEET POOLSIDE, director Daigo Matsui proved himself a leading voice in coming-of-age films with lucid and accurate portrayals of Japanese youth and a taste for bizarre creativity. So when he steers his gaze to social media’s impact on two serial bloggers, expect to be disturbed, moved and amazed. Selected in Generation 14+ Section at Berlinale. Canadian Premiere.

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About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.
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