4 Reasons We’re Excited About The 14th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival

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For a film festival preoccupied with horror, 13 years is a very special anniversary. Since its inaugural edition in 2006, the Toronto After Dark Film Festival has served as an ideal showcase for horror, sci-fi, and action movies that have made the strongest impression on the international festival circuit—and the 14th edition is no exception. In light of yesterday’s announcement of this year’s first 10 selections, here are the films we’re most excited about at the 14th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

Paradise Hills

Working from a script co-written by filmmaker Nacho Vagalondo (Timecrimes, Colossal), Spain’s Alice Waddington makes her feature directorial debut with this story of a mysterious reform school for girls. Toronto After Dark draws comparisons to recent dystopian TV series like The Handmaid’s Tale and Westworld, while also acknowledging the unique appeal of Waddington’s cast (Milla Jovovich, Emma Roberts, Awkwafina) and her “hypnotically beautiful, suspenseful” sensibility.

Come to Daddy

After making a strong impression at Toronto After Dark with a pair of producing efforts (Deathgasm, Housebound), New Zealand filmmaker Ant Timpson returns with his feature directorial debut, Come to Daddy. Drawing upon the talents of genre favourites Elijah Wood and Canada’s own Stephen McHattie (Pontypool), Timpson delivers a “crowdpleaser“ about an estranged father and son sharing “an increasingly bizarre weekend at a remote cabin by the woods.”

Blood Machines

If you’ve seen the four-minute Turbo Killer, you have a pretty good idea what to expect from Blood Machines. In fact, that viral short from 2016 (a kind of prequel from director Seth Ickerman) will screen before Blood Machines, which Toronto After Dark describes as a “stunning new space epic about a bounty hunter in pursuit of a mysterious spaceship run by an artificial intelligence that has the ability to take on human form.” If you consider yourself a sci-fi fan (and we certainly hope you do), the festival promises you are in for “a glorious treat.”

The Furies

There are many ways a kidnapping can go wrong and Australian director Tony D’Aquino explores a bunch of them in The Furies. Described as a “terrifying blend of The Hunger Games and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” this film revolves around a competition that pits female kidnapping victims against masked killers. Fortunately, you don’t have to participate to experience the excitement, but the festival predicts this film “will have your heart racing as though you’re one of the contestants.”

The 14th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs from October 17-25 at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.