Fantasia’s annual showcase of cutting-edge international genre shorts returns with nine uncompromising visions of the fantastic from eight countries that will haunt your nightmares.
Australia’s Gemma Lee brings the startling BEDTIME (International Premiere), the story of a single mother trying to isolate the source of mysterious bruises appearing on her son’s body.
Netherlands filmmaker Nico van den Brink (SWEET TOOTH) returns to Fantasia with the occult nightmare THE BURDEN (World Premiere), a film so striking it’s already been licensed by James Wan and Sam Raimi for a major feature adaptation.
A man (PEAKY BLINDERS’ Paul Bullion) and his dog have an unexpected encounter in the woods in British filmmaker Chris Cronin’s white-knuckle frightening OSCAR’S BELL (Quebec Premiere), a paralyzing award-winner across the circuit.
From the USA, a self-described “hospice worker” who euthanizes the terminally ill with friends for uniquely personal reasons finds herself struggling with her choices in Leland Montgomery’s melancholic and beguiling BLACK CAT IN A DARK ROOM (Canadian Premiere).
A biohazard remediation expert who mostly cleans up after suicides and murders finds herself in an uncomfortable place when her new hire shows a little too much of a taste for the job in Ryan Oksenberg’s grotesquely unsettling TOGETHER (North American Premiere), his return to Fantasia following last year’s DAMAGE CONTROL.
Estonia brings the strange in Oskar Lehemaa’s outlandish body horror creation BAD HAIR (International Premiere), the story of a mid-30’s man who has an especially terrible evening after massaging an experimental hair growth solution into his scalp.
From Ireland, Ian Hunt Duffy’s atmospheric and disturbing LOW TIDE (North American Premiere) is a different stripe of coming-of-age tale, one that brims with salt water and transformative fear. Duffy has a project at Frontieres, and this film is a testament to his distinctive storytelling talents.
Belgium delivers Jasper Vrancken’s MUIL (Canadian Premiere), the kink-charged story of a male resting home nurse who submits to an all-consuming vore fetish with distinctly Barker-esque consequences. Winner of 10 awards (and counting!) on the international festival circuit.
Finally, France brings us Geordy Couturiau’s intimately haunting LUCIENNE EATS A CAR (Canadian Premiere) in which a young woman consumed with grief takes to devouring the car that her father appeared to love more than her. A compellingly vivid psychodrama that takes place somewhere between the anguished universes of Cronenberg and de Van. – Mitch Davis