And so, another great year of the Fantasia Film Festival is in the books. Overall, it was another awesome year, filled with jam-packed, crazy screenings with ultra-enthusiastic audiences, laid back celebrity guests, and plenty of late-night drinking at the Irish Embassy in Montreal. At twenty-days, Fantasia ranks among one of the longest film festivals I’ve ever heard of, but start-to-finish it was an absolute blast. Special props go to Fantasia programmer Mitch Davis for another year packed with great finds from all over the globe, and King Wei-Chu, who hooked us up with several photographs for our coverage and interviews with the CURSE OF CHUCKY gang.
The following a few of my favorite flicks from the fest, followed by links to all of reviews. Peruse at your leisure.
Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado’s Israeli comedy-thriller BIG BAD WOLVES was the movie Fantasia Festival programmer Mitch Davis assured me was the “must-see” of the festival, and he was damn right. I loved every minute of it, and it won the well-deserved festival jury prize. This one is so good; there’s been talk that it might be Israel’s official Academy Award entry for the year. It deserves it.
Edgar Wright’s THREE FLAVORS: CORNETTO trilogy comes to a brilliant end with THE WORLD’S END. The best way to go into this one is not knowing anything about it, and I’m not going to play the spoiler. Suffice to say, I had a blast with it, although perhaps slightly less of a blast than I did with SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and HOT FUZZ. If those were a 10 and a 9, this one’s a strong 8.
This one is like TAXI DRIVER for nerds. Anyone who’s ever gotten passionate about a franchise, a genre, a game, a comic, etc., will find a lot to recognize in this not-always flattering look at fanboy culture. When Nerdist Industries puts this out in the fall, expect this to be very controversial in some circles.
James Wan’s THE CONJURING has become the sleeper horror hit of the summer, and to those of us that have yearned for a return to classy, Grade-A horror movies, that’s good news indeed. THE CONJURING was a brilliant, high-profile way to kick-off the fest, and if Wan is serious about turning the adventures of Earl and Lorraine Warren into a franchise, you can count me in!
Patrick Read Johnson’s affectionate coming-of-age nod to the year leading up to the original STAR WARS is like a geek ALMOST FAMOUS. To me, that’s high praise indeed. Johnson still needs a good deal of cash to finish the movie, as what I saw is a work-in-progress. Hopefully he’ll get the chance.
OTHER FANTASIA 2012 FILMS REVIEWED