Fantasia Festival is an absolute must for fans of genre cinema. Last year’s Fantasia Festival was my first, and it did not disappoint. The international film festival has been held in Montreal since 1996, showcasing the best in horror, science fiction, and thrillers from across the globe. This year’s Fantasia looks to be absolutely full of can’t-miss cinema; from short films and feature lengths to cutting edge animation and documentaries.
This year’s Fantasia Festival features spotlights on Queer Genre Cinema, Korean Animation, and House of Psychotic Women 10th Anniversary. I’m certainly looking forward to checking out selections from each of these spotlights, but mostly I’m looking forward to checking out the following films; a selection of Asian crime thrillers, science fiction, and horror.
From South Korea, Special Delivery will make its North American Premiere on Fantasia’s opening day, July 14th. Special Delivery stars So-dam Park (Parasite), a driver tasked with a precarious mission to deliver some very precious human cargo, all while avoiding murderous henchmen and keeping her delivery safe. Special Delivery promises non-stop action and thrills in the style of films like Drive and Baby Driver; I can’t wait to catch this one.
Detectives vs Sleuths is another film making its North American premiere that looks like it will deliver on the non-stop action. This thriller from Hong Kong, directed by Wai Ka-Fai, is about a group of vigilantes who call themselves “The Chosen Sleuths”. Set in a dark and gritty city, a retired and disgraced detective is tasked with stopping the Sleuths — and solving cold cases. If you’re a fan of crime thrillers like I am, chances are you’re looking forward to this one too.
With a team from Belgium, France, and Lithuania, Vesper will also be making its North American premiere at Fantasia this summer. Vesper follows a young girl through the strange wasteland our planet Earth has become, as she has to use all her skills and wits to survive and keep herself and her paralyzed father safe. Starring Rafiella Chapman and Eddie Marsen, Vesper looks to be full of mystery and strange fantasy. This sci-fi thriller shows a beautiful, if destroyed, landscape, and a terrifying dystopian vision of the future.
Hailing from the US and making its international premiere, Next Exit is a story of inventive speculative fiction. When a doctor discovers that deceased people can be tracked after their deaths, she recruits volunteers to help in her research. Katie Parker (The Haunting of Hill House) and Rahul Kohli (Midnight Mass) are two such volunteers; strangers who embark on a road trip together to meet their fates and head on to the afterlife. Strange premise for a buddy comedy, this feature-length debut from Mali Elfman looks like a compelling emotional science fiction that will be difficult to forget.
Bodies, Bodies, Bodies; chances are, you’ve heard of this one, and you’re looking forward to it too. Looking like it will be Gen-Z’s Spring Breakers (another one from A24), Bodies Bodies Bodies looks like the sort of dark horror-comedy that only comes around once every few years. A group of seven wealthy twenty-somethings (including Pete Davidson and Rachel Sennot) get together to hang out in a mansion and play some games (such as the titular Bodies Bodies Bodies); little do they know that an actual body count will ensue. A slasher-film for the internet generation. I’m a millennial, but sign me up.
The above mentioned are just a few of the dozens of the fantastic titles showing at Fantasia Festival this year. The festival takes place this summer in Montreal from July 14th – August 3rd, 2022; you can view the full lineup of films here.
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