Six Under-The-Radar Science Fiction And Horror Films Coming To TIFF

The Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness program caters to horror and sci-fi fans with a killer annual selection of films that have festival-goers staying out past 2 am for a 10 days straight to see. And while it’s easy to get your genre movie fix from just this one program, there’s also an awesome group of movies that you might miss if you don’t carefully comb through the hundreds of films TIFF screens each festival.

Who has that kind of time, you ask? We do. Which is why we’ve scanned the entire lineup to make sure you don’t miss these titles:


The Cured

Just when you thought there was no new way to look at the zombie apocalypse (especially after last year’s TIFF debut of The Girl with All the Gifts), along comes first-time feature director David Freyne with The Cured. Starring Ellen Page, the film explores the idea of a zombie antidote—and how to treat those people that used to want to eat your brain.


The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, Dogtooth), an expert in the art of being subtly creepy, ups the ante this year with a supernatural thriller that stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, and Alicia Silverstone. Farrell plays a surgeon who welcomes a teen outcast into his family—only to be given cause to seriously regret his decision.



Thelma director Joachim Trier grew up watching both his father and grandfather’s successful filmmaking careers before entering the world himself. His previous TIFF selection, Oslo, August 31 was a drama with more than it’s share of tense, high-stakes personal moments. With Thelma, Trier takes that tension into science fiction territory with a story about a girl whose psychic “gifts” put both herself and others in danger.



In Veronica, [REC] franchise director and co-creator Paco Plaza plays with the Ouija Board trope, giving one to a trio of teenagers who use it to try to communicate with a girl’s dead father. Said to be “inspired by real events that transpired in Madrid in 1991”, the teens get far more than they’d planned on when something uses the board as a gateway and begins to shadow one of the girls.


The Lodgers

Last year, Osgood Perkins put his spin on a Shirley Jackson-esque tale with I am the Pretty Thing That Live in the House. This year, it’s Irish director Brian O’Malley’s turn with The Lodgers. Set in early 20th-century Ireland, this creepy period piece follows fraternal twins, orphaned, cursed, and trapped in their decaying family home, forced to hold the rest of civilization at arm’s length—or else. Serious cinematic bonus? The film was shot inside of a notorious haunted house.


Valley of Shadows

Scandinavia does horror right—especially when there’s a kid at the centre (see: Let The Right One In). In Valley of Shadows, a little boy becomes fixated on finding out just what kind of monster could be lurking in the woods near his home, emerging at night to disembowel sheep. While the adults around him have a perfectly logical explanation for the slaughter-fest, the boy seems to know more. And see more.