Action in 3….2….1
It’s been 12 years since the Toronto After Dark Film Festival first attempted to gather a group of genre fans interested in some big screen thrills and chills nestled around the Halloween season. And like a fine wine, the Festival continues to get better and better with age.
This year’s edition kicked off at the Scotiabank Theatre last night in Toronto with a sold out performance of Marc Meyer’s My Friend Dahmer.
With ticket registration, unorganized line mobs and un-airconditioned theatres clearly in the rearview mirror for organizers, the Festival launched at 7:00PM Thursday night. But the anticipation began long before volunteers began ushering patrons. I popped into the theatre on Richmond just before 4:00PM and already a steady gathering of ticket and passholders began lining the hallways. The faces were familiar and the excitement of the gathering horde resembled that of a group of puppies when their favorite food is poured into the feeding tray.
To be clear, the assembled audience for Toronto After Dark Film Festival(TADFF) is not the same garden varity as the more prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) that closed its 2017 doors in September. Nope. Not even close. Lineups for TIFF are generally populated with both film fans and those people who just want to be part of a city event that catapults the eyes of the entertainment industry upon our streets. Toronto After Dark’s audience is more……animated. More authentic. At TIFF you could wait in line for an hour for a film with just your thoughts to keep you company. At TADFF, the politely lined-up audiences are quick to engage in conversation about their favorite genre films and their passion for the to-be-screened projects. Your quiet thoughts with the TADFF crowd ultimately become discussion.
This year’s line-up of festival films will only further fuel the genre dialogue. Last night’s double feature of My Friend Dahmer and Sixty Minutes to Midnight were the perfect balance of counter programming. And if the opening night adrenaline rushes are a precursor of things to come, we are in for a wild ride of independent and hidden gem scheduled films.
This year’s slate has a little bit of everything. Friday night continues the madness with the fourth in the Hatchet series in Victor Crowley followed by the highly anticipated sequel in the continued Child’s Play filmography with Cult of Chucky. Silkwood inspired showers after this double feature will be a prerequisite.
As the week progresses, highly anticipated films such as The Villainess, Dead Shack, Mayhem and The Endless will be part of the experience that brings many Canadian and North American premieres to the big screen.
Fans can expect an abundance of cast and crew interactions as well. Cult of Chucky director Don Mancini, Skyline director Liam O’Donnell and Dead Shack’s Peter Ricq headline a guest list that includes many cast and crew from the feature and shorts that will ooze to appreciating audiences through October 20th.
Some tickets are still available through the box office and all films come with our strongest recommendation. For a complete list of showtimes and film information go to http://torontoafterdark.com/2017/schedule-and-tix/.