The Fantasia International Film Festival has announced the third and final wave of its programming for the upcoming 25th edition. The festival will again be a virtual event, and will run from August 5-25th of this year. As always, it will include scheduled screenings and premieres, panels, and workshops, with films once again hosted on the leading-edge platform created by Festival Scope and Shift72. As the summer approaches, Fantasia organizers will be following advice from local health authorities in Montreal with respect to the possibility of adding a limited range of physical events as well.
In celebration of the key role that Japan’s culture has played across Fantasia’s history, the festival’s 25th edition will be featuring an enhanced focus on Japanese cinema. While the international festival always boasts huge, excellent titles, this year’s selections have three of the most anticipated genre titles this year. Here are five titles you can’t miss in Fantasia’s final wave!
Midnight (dir: Kwon Oh-seung, Canadian Premiere)
Some of the best thrillers of the era have come out of South Korea from auteurs like Kim Jee-woon, Park Chan-wook, and Bong Joon-ho. Midnight follows in that tradition, following a deaf woman who becomes the target of a dangerous and mysterious killer in the middle of a wave of murders. Pay attention to the innovative and tension-inducing sound design, and don’t miss it.
Don’t Say It’s Name (dir: Rueben Martell, World Premiere)
As indigenous filmmaking is increasingly rising in prominence, we’re lucky to see the rise of some exceptional works of genre cinema from talented indigenous filmmakers (seriously; queue up Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum and Toa Fraser’s The Dead Lands on Shudder, you won’t regret it). Don’t Say It’s Name is another stunning film in that tradition, focusing on an environmental activist who accidentally awakens a dangerous ancient spirit.
The Deep House (dir: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, North American Premiere)
The writer-directors of Inside and Kandisha are at it again with a fantastic tale about a pair of adventure-seeking Youtubers who explore abandoned urban buildings. They find more than they bargain for upon discovering a strange house at the bottom of a deep lake. It’s an immersive and claustrophobic found footage film from filmmakers who know exactly how to get under your skin. Check it out.
The Night House (dir: David Bruckner, Canadian Premiere)
With Southbound and The Ritual David Bruckner established himself as a visionary genre director, and The Night House proves once again that he’s at the top of his game. Rebecca Hall stars in the film as Beth, a woman dealing with her husband’s mysterious suicide in an isolated lakeside cabin he built for her. She starts to experience disturbing visions, and in exploring his belongings she discovers things are very, very different than they seem. It’s a high concept scarefest with some gorgeous cinematography, an absolute must-see.
The Great Yokai War – Guardians (dir: Takashi Miike, International Premiere)
Takashi Miike brought his considerable talents to monster cinema in 2005’s The Great Yokai War, based on the creatures from Japanese mythology and loosely remaking 1968’s great and underseen Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare. 16 years later he returns with a sequel, brings his signature high-energy magical chaos once more to a fantastical story full of creatures beyond imagination. This marks the international premiere.
There’s a ton more that you shouldn’t miss, and you can find out more here.