Toronto After Dark is just days away, and That Shelf is here to give you a rundown of the 6ix’s creepiest festival.
The 14th annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival (TADFF) takes place from October 17th—25th at Scotiabank Theatre and celebrates horror, sci-fi, and action movies. If you love gory slasher flicks, seedy crime movies, and existential sci-fi pictures, TAD has something for you.
Last week, That Shelf’s horror aficionado @Rachel_is_here shared her list of five films to watch at TADFF – and Rachel’s list offered readers a sneak peek at five gleefully twisted delights. Today we’re giving you the details on all the movies screening at the festival so that a single film won’t slip past you. So without further adieu, here’s everything you need to know about TAD 2019.
TORONTO AFTER DARK 2019: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17 – OPENING NIGHT!
7.00 PM: EXTRA ORDINARY (IRELAND) – OPENING GALA FILM
Toronto Premiere. Director – Mike Ahern & Enda Loughman.
Join us for this award-winning supernatural comedy about ghostly hijinks in smalltown Ireland! When Martin, a frazzled single dad enlists the help of Rose a part-time mystic to find out why he’s being haunted, all hell breaks loose! It’s not long before the pair find themselves attracting the attention of another occultist (played by SNL star Will Forte) who has more sinister plans. Full of charming Irish humour and spooky shenanigans, EXTRA ORDINARY lives up to its name!
Screens with short film We Three Queens by Chris Agoston.
9.30 PM: WITCHES IN THE WOODS (CANADA)
North American Premiere. Director – Jordan Barker.
In this chilling new horror flick, a bunch of students take a Winter roadtrip to the remotest woods they can find looking for the perfect untouched snow for a fun snowboarding adventure. As they enter Stoughton Valley, home to a series of historic Witch Trials even more infamous than Salem, their SUV mysteriously breaks down. Soon the group realize they must not only avoid the deadly cold, but something far more terrifying in the woods: a sinister supernatural spirit, trying to possess them and lead them to their deaths!
Screens with short film Eyes Open by Jawed J.S.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18 – SCI-FI NIGHT!
7.00 PM: BLOOD MACHINES (FRANCE, UNITED STATES)
Toronto Premiere. Director – Seth Ickerman.
Sci-fi fans are in for a glorious treat with this stunning new space epic about a bounty hunter in pursuit of a mysterious spaceship operated by a beautiful alien intelligence. Drawing on vintage sci-fi art for its incredible visuals, and featuring an 80s inspired synth score from acclaimed synth wave maestro Carpenter Brut, your eyes and ears will delight with BLOOD MACHINE’s retro-future, cyberpunk vibe! As a bonus treat we will screen a few extra sci-fi shorts before the feature, including TURBO KILLER, the viral sensation that inspired the film!
Screens with short films Far Horizon by Sara Martins, Furnace of The Birds by Arsen Arzumanyan, Flip by Jessica Grace Smith and Turbo Killer by Seth Ickerman.
9.30 PM: JAMES VS HIS FUTURE SELF (CANADA)
Toronto Premiere. Director – Jeremy LaLonde
In this hysterical new sci-fi comedy, a young scientist James (Jonas Chernick) finds his life turned upside down when he’s visited by his crotchety future self (HOME ALONE’s Daniel Stern) who tries to talk him out of creating time travel. When younger James won’t go along with future James’ plan, they begin a wicked battle of man versus himself! A terrific script plus a fantastic cast that includes SIX FEET UNDER’s Frances Conroy equals a total crowdpleaser!
Screens with short film Make Me a Sandwich by Denman Hatch
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19 – ZOMBIE NIGHT
3.30 PM: INTERNATIONAL SHORTS AFTER DARK
A collection of 8 incredible International horror, sci-fi, action and cult short films will screen this year as part of our popular global short film showcase: MAGGIE MAY Directed by Mia’kate Russell, PUZZLE by Vincenzo Alello, EJECT by David Yorke, LA NORIA by Carlos Baena, YOUR LAST DAY ON EARTH by Marc Martinez Jordon, BAR FIGHT by Benjamin R. Mood, PLACE by Jason Gudasz, and THE HAUNTED SWORDSMAN by Kevin McTurk.
6.15 PM: THE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALE (SOUTH KOREA)
Toronto Premiere. Director – Lee Min-jae.
Following in the footsteps of TRAIN TO BUSAN comes the latest Korean zombie crowdpleaser, except this time it’s an outrageous undead comedy! Oblivious to the the upcoming zombie apocalypse, the eccentric Park family decide to adopt an undead stray and try to put the brain muncher to practical use in their rural town. As funny as it is quirky, full of bloody mayhem and silly hijinks, THE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALE is an absolute delight for zombie fans, not to be missed!
Screens with short film Ocimokw!! (Go Away!!) by Mattis Ottawa.
9.00 PM: MUTANT BLAST (PORTUGAL)
Toronto Premiere. Director – Fernando Alle.
In this hysterical zombie action comedy, after a nuclear strike wipes out most of the city, a group of survivors find themselves in an epic bloody fight for their lives. Leading the heroic warriors is a fearless young soldier Maria and her super serum enhanced sidekick. Unfortunately, they’re up against an impossibly massive horde of zombies and just as terrifying, some mutated humans that are taking on animalistic properties! Packed with awesome zombie kills, fantastic practical effects, great one-liners, and a fantastic 80s-inspired synth score, MUTANT BLAST is a Saturday night crowdpleaser not to be missed!
Screens with short film Grave Sight by Angus Swantee.
11.30 PM: EXTRA ORDINARY (IRELAND) – SECOND SCREENING!
**2ND & FINAL SCREENING OF OPENING GALA FILM ADDED DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND! EXPECTED TO SELL OUT SOON!**
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20
1.30 PM: FILMMAKERS AFTER DARK RECEPTION
Join us as we celebrate the filmmakers at this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival with a relaxed Sunday afternoon social from 1.30pm – 3.30pm at The Office Pub, 117 John Street, just 5 mins walk from the movie theatre. All members of the extended local film community welcome, especially those involved in horror, sci-fi, and action filmmaking and distribution. This event is FREE, but to give us an idea of numbers, Please RSVP by clicking Interested or Going at the Reception’s Facebook Event Page.
4.15 PM: CANADIAN SHORTS AFTER DARK
A collection of 7 amazing Canadian horror, sci-fi, action and cult short films will screen this year as part of our popular homegrown shorts showcase: IMAGINE A WORLD Directed by Joanna Tsanis, PLAINSONG by Alexis Fortier Gauthier, ZOMBIES AND INDIANS by Keith Lawrence, MOMENT by Geoffrey Uloth, ALASKA by Chris Wilson, Brianna Templeton & Gwynne Phillips, NO ONE WILL EVER BELIEVE YOU by Frederic Chalte, and BEST FRIENDS FOREVER by Emily Gagne, Joshua Korngut.
7.00 PM: THE FURIES (AUSTRALIA)
Special Presentation. Director – Tony D’Aquino.
Australian horror makes a bloody good return with festival circuit hit slasher killer thriller THE FURIES! In this terrifying blend of THE HUNGER GAMES and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, a group of kidnapped young women wake up in a strange woodland. Soon they realize they’re in a contest where they must fight for their lives against a group of masked psycho killers, each with their own signature method of killing. Full of twists and turns, shocks and incredible kills, THE FURIES will have your heart racing as though you’re one of its contestants!
Screens with short film Down the Rabbit Hole by Ali Froggatt.
9.30 PM: MAKING MONSTERS (CANADA)
Canadian Premiere. Director – Justin Harding & Rob Brunner
Toronto After Dark Award-Winning short filmmaker Justin Harding (LATCHED) supersizes the fear with his terrifying feature debut, MAKING MONSTERS! When a couple famed for their scare-prank video channel are invited to a friend’s house in the countryside for a weekend getaway, a series of creepy events unfold. Soon the duo find turn the tables turned on them, as their lives spiral into a horrifying living nightmare!
Screens with short film Hearth by Sophie B. Jaques.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 21
7.00 PM: PARADISE HILLS (SPAIN, USA)
Toronto Premiere. Director – Alice Waddington.
Alice Waddington’s stunning debut feature is an enticing dark sci-fi fairytale. Drawing on dystopian elements from THE HANDMAID’S TALE, in the near future, a group of unruly young women are sent to a paradise island where they are trained to be better versions of themselves for society. However, it’s not long before secrets at the island including its sinister conversion methods are revealed, and the group starts to think about escape. This hypnotically beautiful, suspenseful and mysterious film also benefits from its amazing cast that includes Emma Roberts, Awkwafina, and Milla Jovovich!
Screens with short film Barbara-Anne by Kat Webber.
9.30 PM: CONTRACTS (CANADA)
World Premiere. Director – Alex Chung
Fight choreographer Alex Chung channels JOHN WICK and JASON BOURNE with this hard-hitting action packed crime thriller about a jaded hitman who finds himself in a fight to the death with a group of vicious assassins. Packed with jaw-breaking fights, intense duels and dangerous stunts, CONTRACTS is a hardcore action movie fan’s delight!
Screens with short film The Lightsaber Maker by Jeremy Brown.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22
7.00 PM: 8 (SOUTH AFRICA)
Toronto Premiere. Director – Harold Holscher
In the creepy new South African ghost story “8”, a young family tries to start a new life on a remote rural farm. But soon they encounter the wrath of demonic forces that have existed on their property long since ancient times. Making full use of the stunning South African landscape, and packed with eerie moments, horror fans are in for a unique and haunting treat with “8”!
Screens with short film Kakatshat by Eve Ringuette.
9.30 PM: HOMEWRECKER (CANADA)
Toronto Premiere. Director – Zach Gayne
In this dark, biting horror comedy that evokes a twisted modern update to Stephen King’s MISERY, a young woman (STARRY EYES’s Alex Essoe) finds herself being held against her will by an eccentric lady (Precious Chong) whose been stalking her as a potential best friend. As the duel between captive and captor escalates hysterically, one minute you’ll find yourself laughing, the next minute you’ll scream!
Screens with short film A Noise That Carries by Guillermo de la Rosa.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23
7.00 PM: THE ASSENT (USA)
World Premiere. Director – Pearry Teo.
Join us for the World Premiere of possibly the scariest film at Toronto After Dark 2019. After a series of disturbing supernatural events in his home, Joel a young single father, comes to suspect that his young son may be possessed. He finds an exorcist to help rescue his son from the devil, but there is a darkness in the house that has other ideas. THE ASSENT delivers creepiness, scares, and a visions of a demonic hell that will leave your skin crawling with fear.
Screens with short film Schism by Andrew Todd and Johnny Hall.
9.30 PM: THE MORTUARY COLLECTION (USA)
International Premiere. Director – Ryan Spindell
An absolute delight for horror fans from the opening credits to the finish, THE MORTUARY COLLECTION sees the creepy mortician Montgomery Dark (played by fan favourite Clancy Brown) recount five terrifying tales of ghosts, monsters, slasher killers and more to a young woman applying for a job as his assistant. Filled with eye-popping practical effects, lots of scares and a good dose of creepy humour, it all adds up to an unmissable cinematic love letter to classic 1980s horror!
Screens with short film Peel by Cameron J. Kidd.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24
7.00 PM: WEREWOLF (POLAND)
Canadian Premiere. Director – Adrian Panek
During the closing days of World War II, a group of children escape from a concentration camp and seek refuge in an abandoned mansion in the forest. It is not long before they find their new home is being terrorized by a pack of ferocious wolves, as terrifying as their Nazi captors. An official selection of over 20 International Film Festivals including Austin’s Fantastic Fest and winner of over 7 Film Festival Best Picture Awards, WEREWOLF is an unforgettable, stunning, and intense survival horror thriller not to be missed!
Screens with short film Eilid and Damh by Neil Cavalier.
9.30 PM: ENHANCED (CANADA)
World Premiere. Director – James Mark
Packed with kick-ass action and super-powered throw downs, James Mark’s ENHANCED is a thrilling new sci-fi action flick set to delight fans. In the vein of X-MEN, when a sinister government organization declares them illegal, a group of ‘enhanced’ mutant outcasts including a young woman (CARDINAL’S Alanna Bale) go on the run. Soon, a super-enhanced serial killer emerges on the scene, and the dynamics between hunter and prey changes. Adding extra action to the cast is Canadian Olympic icon and martial artist Elvis Stojko!
Screens with short film Dark Before Dawn: Convoy by Brodie Spaull and Paul Krysinski.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 – CLOSING NIGHT!
7.00 PM: COME TO DADDY (NEW ZEALAND, CANADA & IRELAND)
While visiting his estranged father at a remote cabin by the woods, fan favourite Elijah Wood (LORD OF THE RINGS) gets caught up in all sorts of bloody trouble thanks to his dad’s criminal tendencies! Strap in for a fun crazy, terrifying, wild ride in this horror thriller, the latest crowdpleaser from the twisted mind of Ant Timpson who previously gave us festival hits DEATHGASM and HOUSEBOUND! Sadly no trailer, but trust us you won’t want to miss it. Check out some of the rave press quotes by clicking on the image above!
Screens with short film Patterns by B.J. Verot.
9.30 PM: THE WRETCHED (USA) CLOSING GALA FILM
Toronto Premiere. Director – Brett & Drew Pierce.
Join us for a scary fun time with THE WRETCHED, from horror filmmakers Brett and Drew Pierce who last delighted us with their zombie comedy DEADHEADS. After she brings a dead animal home form the woods, a young mom and her family become possessed by the spirit of an evil force. In the mould of FRIGHT NIGHT, only the teen boy next door notices and decides to fight the evil back! Alas all we can share is a teaser that doesn’t represent how awesome this film is. Trust us when we say there’s a reason Sam Raimi (THE EVIL DEAD) loves this film and calls it “Wicked Fun!”. It’s packed with scary fun moments and the perfect Toronto After Dark closing movie, don’t miss it!
Screens with short film The Changeling by David Hamelin & Neil Macdonald.
The 14th annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs from October 17th—25th at Scotiabank Theatre. For more information, click here.