The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) continues the 2017 film festival season in style! And with tons of horror movies!
Honestly, it’s not a surprise that TIFF has much more horror than the other festivals. TIFF has always been a little more…risky than some of the more prestigious festivals. Not that TIFF isn’t prestigious–it regularly attracts top-level talent and Oscar contenders. It’s just that TIFF is a little more daring. A little more willing to recognize the worth and artistic accomplishments of genre films.
As Vox put it, “Cannes films often skew toward more rarefied and international films, while at Toronto…you can find bigger crowdpleasers that might also find more money at the box office and wind up bigger awards-season contenders…TIFF sets the pace for the year’s awards chatter.”
And just to underscore the point, TIFF regularly hits homeruns, especially in horror. TIFF has debuted such horror films as Dario Argento’s Opera in 1989, Peter Jackson’s Braindead in 1992, The Grudge in 2002, Hostel in 2005, Inside (À l’intérieur) in 2007, 2008’s The Loved Ones, Black Swan in 2009, The Lords of Salem in 2012, Emilie in 2015, and Raw in 2016, where multiple people passed out during the screening.
Thus, without further adieu, let’s get to TIFF 2017’s horror movies!
Gala Presentations – Movie stars. Red-carpet premieres. Major audience interest.
**not really horror, but damn if I don’t ADORE Mary Shelley. Deal with it.**
“Elle Fanning stars in this scintillating biopic of the Frankenstein author, chronicling her tempestuous marriage to dissolute poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and the fateful night at a Swiss chateau that inspired her most famous creation.”
Midnight Madness – “The wild side: midnight screenings of the best in action, horror, shock and fantasy cinema.”
Stranded at the side of the road after a tire blowout, a group of friends become targets for an enigmatic sniper, in this wickedly entertaining bloodbath from Midnight Madness regular Ryuhei Kitamura (Versus).
A woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial, in Robin Comisar’s horror-comedy that won Best Short at the Overlook Film Festival.
Let the Corpses Tan
Absconding with a truckload of stolen gold, a gang of thieves engages in a desperate, day-long firefight with pursuing cops through the ruins of a remote Mediterranean hamlet, in this deliriously stylish thriller from Vanguard veterans Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani (The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears).
Mom and Dad
Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair star in this pitch-black horror-comedy about a worldwide mass hysteria where, for 24 brutal hours, parents turn violently against their own children.
Never take your mistress on an annual guys’ getaway, especially one devoted to hunting — a violent lesson for three wealthy married men, in writer-director Coralie Fargeat’s feature debut.
The trio behind 2012’s fever dream–like Lowlife return with a hallucinatory story focused on a woman and her child enveloped by an eerie atmosphere and creeping dread upon retreating to a remote coastal estate.
Venturing into the wilderness of the Swedish highlands to perform a remembrance for a dearly departed friend, four men are subjected to a night of terror when they unwisely take refuge in a derelict house.
Japanese director and master makeup artist Soichi Umezawa gives life to a plasticine demon that subsequently devours the denizens of a rural art school.
Contemporary World Cinema – “Compelling stories, global perspectives”
A frustrated girl attempts an occult ritual in order to kill her mother, but awakens something sinister in the woods instead, in the latest from director Adam MacDonald (Backcountry)
A remote village in Quebec is terrorized by a flesh-eating plague, in the latest from Robin Aubert.
The carefully balanced (albeit deranged) life of a freelance, black-market pet euthanizer begins to come apart at the seams in this loopy exploitation-movie throwback from Finland, which evokes the brazen psychological insights and aesthetic brio of such grungy genre classics as Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter and Larry Cohen’s God Told Me To.
In director Vicente Amorim’s wild and weird allegorical thriller, a gang of young dirt-bikers on a ride across an isolated region of Brazil find themselves being hunted by a machete-wielding band of motorcyclists intent on killing them all.
Set in rural Ireland in 1920, this Gothic chiller evokes the spooky stories of Shirley Jackson and Oscar Wilde in its tale of teenage twins living in a haunted manor under the shadow of a family curse.
Inspired by real events that transpired in Madrid in 1991, the nerve-rattling new feature from Spanish director Paco Plaza (co-creator of the hugely successful [REC] series) chronicles a teenage girl’s descent into terror following her naïve attempt to communicate with her dead father.
Special Presentations – “High-profile premieres and the world’s leading filmmakers.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer star in Darren Aronofsky’s highly anticipated psychological thriller about a couple threatened by the arrival of uninvited guests to their tranquil home.
Recently moved to Oslo to attend school, a young woman falls in love and discovers that she possesses terrifying powers, in this supernatural thriller from acclaimed director Joachim Trier (Louder Than Bombs).
Four siblings seek refuge in an old home after the death of their mother, only to discover that the house has another, more sinister, inhabitant, in this haunting directorial debut from Sergio G. Sánchez, screenwriter of The Orphanage and The Impossib
Ellen Page stars in this gloriously terrifying yet thought-provoking horror thriller about the fraught process of reintegrating formerly infected flesh-eaters into society in the aftermath of a zombie plague.
The Shape of Water
At the height of the Cold War, circa 1962, two workers in a high-tech US government laboratory (Sally Hawkins and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer) discover a terrifying secret experiment, in this otherworldly fairytale from Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth).
Discovery – “Directors to watch. The future of world cinema.”
Valley of Shadows
A young boy ventures into the forest in search of mysterious creatures that eat sheep, in this delightfully creepy Scandinavian Gothic fable from Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen.