Kat Armstrong: Celebritease


Date Night: Toronto After Dark Festival

TAD summer screenings rock!

So many dates lately! The mister and I were lucky enough to get passes for the Toronto After Dark Film Festival's summer screenings this year, and were able to check out a double feature of Joseph Khan's Detention and V/H/S, a multi-director found footage fright fest. Needless to say, I was super excited about Detention, and Matt was thrilled to see V/H/S (there are currently no distributors for this movie so we may have been the only Canadian audience to be able to see it in theatre). 

Detention is an awesome little "indie" described as "Scott Pilgrim meets Scream." Basically, a movie for pop-culture junkies like me with lots of laughs. It stars Josh Hucherson (he of The Hunger Games) and features a bevvy of great young actors and Dane Cook, who I normally loathe, but found exceptionally funny. This movie had lots of funny little pops, great dialogue, amazing cultural references and so many 90s throwbacks, I just about died. Just really great fun. (Favourite line from the movie, "Did you know Oasis is the #1 Beatles cover band kids at Grizzly High were conceived to?")

V/H/S is more of a horror-gross out (compared to Detention) film made up of 5 vignettes. It's centered around 5 guys who are being paid to go into a house and find a specific VHS tape for an unnamed person/group. The guys (thuggy vandals) go into the house and start watching some of the tapes the find. Each tape is a mini-horror directed by a different curernt-day indie horror director. Every aspect of this movie was filmed with hand-held and I am STILL nauseated. 12 hours after the fact. Some of the stories were great, others were so-so, but for me, the shaky cam made the movie unbearable. We may have been the only in-theatre audience to be able to check this movie out, but that may not have been a bad thing, either. I think this would probably be better on the small screen....especially for those of us who get motion sickness. Here's the trailer (I'm linking instead of embedding because there are lots of boobs and gore and it's definitely not SFW or kiddie eyes). 

The great thing about these summer screenings is that it's gotten Matt and me really hyped for this year's After Dark festival. Some of the best Sci-Fi, Horror, and other "nerd" genre movies we've seen in the last few years have been screened at this fest, and the newly renovated Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is the perfect location. 

The festival is about 3 months away, and they will be announcing the programing during this year's Festival of Fear at the end of August. If you are into sci-fi, horror, action or any other of those types of films, or if either of the movies we saw last night suit your fancy, it may be worth while to buy tickets to a few of the screenings....or send the kids to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a week! 

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival Runs October 18-26.