Wake Up

Directed by Anouk Whissell, François Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissell

Hosted by Directors François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell


Official selection

Fantastic Fest 2023


Whissell Anouk, Simard Francois, Yoann-Karl Whissell


Laurent Baudens, Gaël Nouaille


Benny O. Arthur, Turlough Convery, Tom Gould, Jacqueline Moré


Blue Fox Entertainment

Canada, France 2023 83 mins OV English Subtitles : French
Genre HorrorAction

“The team of François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell have branched out in yet another direction and managed to make it as exciting as their other titles”
– Kat Hughes, THN

“Taps into societal rage… Feels like a slasher of yesteryear with modern sensibilities, like a welcome injection of adrenaline made for and by horror fans”

After recording a cell-phone-camera message warning, “The world is changing,” a group of young people enter the expansive House Idea store, hiding until it closes for the night. Their goal is to use spray paint and butcher-shop blood to vandalize the place as a protest against its exploitation of the Amazon rainforest’s flora and fauna. The minimal security doesn’t concern them—but they don’t know that Kevin (Turlough Convery) is on duty. He’s a mountain of a man with a fragile, dangerous mental state whose hobby of choice is “primitive hunting.” Once he gets wind of the intruders on his turf, these environmental activists find themselves becoming an endangered species.

RKSS, the Fantasia-favourite filmmaking collective consisting of Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell and François Simard (TURBO KID, SUMMER OF 84, WE ARE ZOMBIES), returns to the fest with their first slasher film. This is no typical killer-vs.-kids flick, though; with a savage, uncompromising screenplay by Alberto Marini (SLEEP TIGHT), it puts Gen Z through a violent reckoning. The sextet of wannabe reformers wear animal masks as part of their protest of House Idea’s crimes against nature, before Kevin turns these adopted protective identities against them, targeting them in his own personal hunt. The youths mean to show House Idea that corporate actions have consequences, without ever considering the repercussions their own activities might bring down on them. Beyond WAKE UP’s ideological interest, the filmmakers make fine, tense and frequently bloody use of the labyrinthine store setting and the many potential weapons found on its shelves—with one especially impressive sequence involving UV paint. – Michael Gingold