I know the 25th edition of Montreal’s International Film Festival is happening now in less than a month, making me feel like a little kid in a candy store. With monsters. Adding to the surprises, we got a banger of an international premiere to close the show. Fantasia will host the international premiere of Takashi Miike’s new film THE GREAT YOKAI WAR – GUARDIANS. This is a sequel to Fantasia 2006’s opening film, THE GREAT YOKAI WAR. We’re going into Japanese demon territory, but don’t worry they’re friendly. We hope.
Here’s some of the highlights! I must confess I could just keep adding more. This year is packed with goodies. This is just your free sample. You could hit a rock and watch your new favorite film from this kind of selection.
BULL is directed by Paul Andrew Williams. A mob henchman goes after the people he once worked for. Described as “brutal and subversive”, this feature also “plays out like a horror film”. You got yourself a sale. I’m there.
GLASSHOUSE is the debut of South African filmmaker Kelsey Egan. An airborne agent erases your memory. The only safe place is an airtight glasshouse, where a family tries to preserve their past. A mix of science fiction and folk horror described as “sensual and savage”. I’ll bite.
FOLLOW THE LIGHT is the work of director Yoichi Narita. In the rural landscape of the Japanese countryside, newcomer Akira is intrigued by Maki, a lonely girl obsessed with a crop circle. A sci-fi coming of age story is just what I needed.
THE NIGHT HOUSE is a creation of director David Bruckner. A recent widow in mourning starts seeing visions in her deceased husband’s lakeside house and starts uncovering secrets “both strange and disturbing”. My kind of vacation house. Okey, not really but I’m watching this either way.
THE SADNESS is a nightmare from filmmaker Rob Jabbaz. That picture there is a promise of gore and violence and this means we got an early candidate for an audience favorite right here. The release describes it as, “a return to the no-holds-barred shock sensibilities of ’90s Hong Kong Category III films” and I’m not missing it.
GRAND BLUE DREAMING is a manga adaptation of the series by Tsutomu Hanabusa. OMG that picture there is another promise of mayhem of a hilarious sort! Described as “fast-paced and loaded with politically incorrect humour” but also containing “calmness with beautiful and relaxing underwater shots” as well as references to a time-travel loop? Are we going for everything in one? Yeah, I’m there.
MIDNIGHT is a South Korean horror debut feature by filmmaker Kwon Oh-seung. A deaf woman will become the next target of a serial killer. From the description I got caught by three words: “hallucinatory sound design”. Hope I survive this one.
CATCH THE FAIR ONE is a creation of director Josef Kubota Wladika and the lead star and co-writer Kali “KO Mequinonoag” Reis. In search of her missing sister, an Indigenous former boxer is about to break into the dangerous underground world of sex trafficking. It’s a revenge thriller tackling the true crime of missing Indigenous women ending up murdered. I think this is going to hit hard in more ways than one.
This is by no means my favorite list. I have way too many movies to pick from the ones remaining. Visit the Fantasia official site and ready yourself! The 25th Montreal Fantasia International Film Festival starts August 5. I’m covering it, of course. Expect random reviews popping up all throughout the month.
That will do for now.