Spoilers will get off here.

One of the best things about this festival is what I call the “Fantasia Shuffle” (that’s mine, don’t steal it). It’s where you have a ticket for a movie, become intrigued by the movie that is playing in the same time slot in the theatre across the way and get out of the line to exchange the ticket (you can do this in Fantasia, it has a cost but it’s not the whole ticket) for one for the other movie so you switch lines. I will give you extra points if you can do this while both lines are moving.

NEXT EXIT (2022) is written and directed by Mali Elfman. A major breakthrough has occurred that allows science to track people in the afterlife. Volunteers called participants are signing up to have their lives clinically terminated and tracked beyond their deaths. Willing to put their pasts behind them, Rose (Katie Parker) and Teddy (Rahul Kohli) find themselves forced by circumstance to share a ride as they embark on a trip across the US on their way to California. There awaits Dr. Stevensen (Karen Gilliam) while facing backlash and criticism for the controversial experiments.

This movie has horror and science fiction elements against a road trip background buddy dramedy film. It’s all that as our two main leads slowly uncover each other’s demons. I resist to call it a romantic comedy because at its core we have two characters dealing with trauma in their lives they must overcome. The movie rests on the shoulders of Parker’s and Kohli’s amazing performances as Rose and Teddy. Playing against type, Rose is the more jaded and bitter one while it’s up to Teddy to be funny and more willing to open up. Comedy and drama are more incidental and occur in an organic fashion rather than a setup. There’s a lot to say about human contact here more than paranormal one.

Very strongly recommended. This one is better with your expectations set on low, since trying to categorize it won’t do it justice. I’d settle for one of those funny but dramatic films where the important thing is the human experience more than the romantic aspect. The performances are the driving force of the film, but it has the mettle to creep up on you just a little bit, although it’s far from being a full fledged horror or sci-fi film. Definitely worth your time for more than a single watch.

That will do for now.