The dog days of summer are in full swing. What better time to grab a seat in a dark, cool theater and take in something scary? For lucky attendees of the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, a number of exciting genre films await discovery. In the coming days, Modern Horrors will be covering a number of these movies in depth. Here’s a quick look at some of the films that are making our collective pulse quicken.
Harold Holscher’s feature debut 8 will be making its world premiere at Fantasia. Filmed in South Africa, 8 tells the tale of William, who returns to the farm he inherited from his estranged father. Lazarus, an old farmhand, strikes up a fatherly relationship with William’s adopted daughter Mary. Lazarus’s life was punctuated by tragedy, having lost both his wife and his own daughter. The film has been noted for its atmosphere and mysticism, and has been likened to Richard Stanley’s unforgettable Dust Devil.
Dachra, a Tunisian film from director Abdelhamid Bouchnak, has been wracking up a number of festival wreaths. A group of university students travel to interview a mysterious woman in a government facility. Twenty-five years ago, the woman was found in a desolate area with her throat slit. Despite her wounds, she lived—only to be accused of witchcraft and black magic. Dachra is Tunisia’s first genre film, and is said be be particularly chilling.
The Deeper You Dig
The Deeper You Dig is a DIY family affair that will be making its world premier at Fantasia. The husband and wife team of John Adams and Toby Poser, in addition to their daughter Zelda, covered almost all aspects of production. In addition to starring in and shooting the film, they also composed the music. The Deeper You Dig is a supernatural thriller documenting the aftermath of a roadside accident. It was filmed in the Catskill Mountains, and has been called a hauntingly personal antidote to today’s mainstream film landscape.
The Father’s Shadow
The Father’s Shadow is a Brazilian film making its North American premiere at Fantasia. Director Gabriela Amaral Almeida’s sophomore feature grew out of a short film. It is said to be inspired by both the films of George A Romero and Victor Erice, as well as the social challenges faced by Brazil. The Father’s Shadow blends autobiographical details with a tale of sorcery, necromancy, and demons.
Fantasia serves as the North American premiere for director Hideo Nakata’s return to the Ring franchise. Nakata’s film adaptation of Koji Suzuki’s novel was one of the most frightening films of the 1990s and helped usher in a global interest in Japanese horror. Despite some missteps along the way, the mythology of Sadako and the Ring universe still retains some potent frights. This film is said to pack surprises for fans of the franchise, and features a soundtrack reminiscent of Goblin’s iconic score to Suspiria.
Another world premiere, Sator is the second feature from writer, director, producer, and editor Jordan Graham, who also designed the film’s credits by hand. Sator took five years to complete, and shifts between widescreen color and flashbacks shot in black-and-white. Michael Gingold said the film “freezes your blood with freakish visitations and moments of unflinching violence.”
In addition to these exciting films, there are so many more movies waiting to be discovered at Fantasia 2019. We will be sharing our thoughts on many of these offerings in the coming days. For more information on Fantasia International Film Festival 2019, visit their website here.