The Fantasia Film Festival just ended and there were lots of great films to choose from. In honor of its twenty-fifth anniversary, the event paid tribute to the genre cinema of Asia. That being said, there were films from all around the world. This included shorts, comedies, science fiction, and, of course, horror. We look at some of our favorite films from one of the most fun fests of year.
The International Science Fiction Short Film Showcase had a lot of great offerings. A number of the short films in this selection dealt with themes of bodily autonomy, and what that might look like in our changing future under capitalism. FREYA explores the commodification and mandate of reproduction; monitored by a Google-Home-like device called FREYA.
Midnight was one of the films I was looking forward to most during Fantasia, and it did not disappoint. It’s a South Korean thriller about a hearing impaired woman trying to escape from one of the most conniving murderers I’ve seen on screen. It’s a crime drama with a lot of heart and a lot of excellent chases.
#Blue_Whale follows in the footsteps of movies like Unfriended and Searching; this Russian “screenlife” film follows a teenager as she tries to find out more about the game her older sister participated in, which lead to her death. It’s fast-paced, stressful, and has a pretty good twist. It’s a welcome addition to the genre that I think people will enjoy.
Remain in Twilight
I really didn’t know what to expect going into Remain in Twilight, but this film left an impression. A group of five friends manage to reunite for a wedding, which is pretty amazing considering one of the five is dead. Based on a stage play, Daigo Matsui’s story about friends, grief, and karaoke is touching and unforgettable.
Directed by Shinji Hamasaki, this fast- paced family comedy is about a daughter who must save her father even though she keeps singing songs about his death. It’s funny and charming and puts an entertaining spin on some classic Shakespearean tropes. Not Quite Dead shows how there can be a lot of heart in death metal and dysfunctional relationships.
Ilja Rautsi’s Night of the Living Dicks is a short film out of Finland. It’s a very clever and funny satire that takes on unsolicited dick pics, internalized misogyny, and incel culture. With nods to Night of The Living Dead and They Live, Rautsi’s film is a brilliant exploration of perceived gender roles and identity.
There have been plenty of comedies, but none are as outrageous as this one. A great tone in which nothing is played as a joke makes it that much easier to get into the story. The great cast that includes horror icon Barbara Crampton makes this a must see.
This horror film is more than just another atmospheric period piece. It deals with the familiar themes of religion, forgiveness, and sin, but does so in a way that will stay with the audience long after the final credits. The film adds a mystery element that adds to the tension.
A zombie movie with little plot and paper thin characters is not a recipe for success. That is just one of the many rules this bloody export from Taiwan breaks. The movie is surprisingly topical and the frights go beyond the surface level. Probably the most disgusting COVID-19 movie we will ever see.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!