Those who go to Fantasia know why seeing a Fantasia film really needs to be done in person.
It’s definitely the meowing before the film starts, the enthusiasm of the audiences, the diversity of the offerings that fall within parameters of being genre film. There are always gems and sleeper hits, the return of favorites, new directors to watch, as well as enough gore, horror, suspense, action, and drama to meet one’s cinematic unreality quota for the year.
The festival started a few weeks ago, but the main programming is now. Not surprising, the festival is hybrid, with offerings both online and at Cinema Imperial (1430 Bleury).
For those who like a good vampire film that skirts the genre, All the Moons looks promising. A girl escapes from a bombed orphanage in 19th century, only to find she must avoid daylight forever after. Forever, literally, as she has joined the ranks of the undead. The loneliness of eternal life and separateness from humanity lies at the heart of this film, just as it has for other beloved vampire films, Nosferatu and Let the Right One In. Showing August 19 at Cinema Imperial and August 21 virtually. For those of you who prefer zombies to vampires, for fans of violence, or um… ultraviolence… Taiwanese film The Sadness is being shown August 21. It comes with trigger warnings, which is not typical of Fantasia films.
Remember the Blair Witch Project? A group of kids with a camera get in over their heads. Well, in 2021, two urbex YouTubers get in over their heads in The Deep House. While scuba diving to the bottom of an artificial lake they find a haunted house. The film was shot in a 33-day underwater shoot… so not for those with aquaphobia. Playing August 22 at 9 p.m. at Cinema Imperial.
Animation kings, Masashi Ando (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) and Masayuki Miyaji (Attack On Titan) come together to offer epic anime fantasy The Deer King, based on the work of Nahoko Uehashi. The plot can’t be covered in a mere sentence or two, but suffice to say there’s a war, a plague, a bounty hunter, and a man with command over animals. Showing August 21 at 1 p.m. at Cinema Imperial.
Takashi Miike is back. And he’s back with a follow up to The Great Yokai War with The Great Yokai War — Guardians. Tokyo is under threat and young Kei, descendant of a legendary fighter, must fulfill his destiny. This international premiere is the closing film for Fantasia #25. Showing 7 p.m. on August 25 at Cinema Imperial.
Fantasia continues until August 25 with both online screenings and in person screenings. For information on the Festival and to get tickets, head to the site HERE.