The annual Canadian horror fest has expanded. Here are seven standout films playing this year
BLOOD IN THE SNOW FILM FESTIVAL at the Royal (608 College). November 22-27. bloodinthesnow.ca.
Blood In The Snow is back again, and it wants you to be very, very nervous.
The film festival dedicated to Canadian horror, genre and underground cinema has added a couple of days to its run – this year it’s from Thursday (November 22) to Tuesday (November 27) – to really gear up the anxiety and dread. So we thought we’d make a list of all the things you have to worry about.
Friday offers a double bill of medical discomfort: At 7 pm, Adnan Ahmed’s Altered Skin stars Sanctuary’s Robin Dunne as an American who discovers a sinister conspiracy around a zombie virus spreading in Karachi and at 9:30 pm Rob Grant’s Alive spins a messy mystery around two severely injured people (Thomas Cocquerel, Camille Stopps) who wake up in a filthy hospital under the care of a physician (Angus Macfadyen) who’s just a little too attentive.
The members of a fading rock band take a restorative canoe trip that turns nasty in Nick Szostakiwskyj’s Hammer Of The Gods (Saturday, 4:30 pm), thanks to a combination of psychedelics and a menacing presence that lurks in the woods. Seriously, guys: never go in the woods.
Seriously, you can’t – it’s all edited and recontextualized to create a narrative that bears only a glancing relationship to reality. In The Hoard (Sunday, 7 pm), directors Jesse Thomas Cook and Matt Wiele and co-writer Tony Burgess take that a couple of steps further, presenting the pilot for a scrapped show called Extremely Haunted Hoarders, in which a team of house cleaners and ghostbusters comes up against an awfully entrenched case of hoarding. This one’s a little on the silly side, but that’s okay. Reality TV is pretty silly to begin with.
Monday night’s program focuses on domestic distress. Tomas Street’s Fugue (Monday, 7 pm) revolves around an amnesiac (Jack Foley, the former Fashion Santa) trying to figure out if his wife (Laura Tremblay) is really his wife – and what it means if she isn’t – while Rob Heydon’s Isabelle (Monday, 9:30 pm) casts Silicon Valley’s Amanda Crew and The O.C.’s Adam Brody as a nice suburban couple whose attempts to have a baby go very, very badly.
Danishka Esterhazy’s Level 16, which closes the festival Tuesday at 7 pm, takes place in an underground facility where young women are trained to be docile, obedient and respectful of men – and are punished for any transgression. Is this a Handmaid’s Tale prequel, or something even worse? Two friends (Mary Kills People’s Katie Douglas and Adventures In Public School’s Celina Martin) are determined to find out.