We’re all feeling a little down these days, but for me, today’s specific malaise is because I’m not in Montreal enjoying the Fantasia Film Festival. I’ve spent this week up there the past several years, and it’s never been less than an absolute blast of fantastic films and great people. This year’s edition is transitioning to an entirely online experience for understandable reasons, and while I’ll still miss seeing friends new and old in person it looks like they’re putting together one hell of a fest. It runs this year from August 20th through September 2nd, 2020, and they’ve just announced the second wave of feature titles.
Twenty-one titles were already announced early last month, and now they’ve released another twenty-nine feature titles that will be playing this year. The selection once again includes a bevy of world premieres from all around the globe, and while I’m looking forward to seeing as many of them as possible there are some I want to highlight here.
Action/thriller maestro John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, 2012; Skin Trade, 2014) returns with Alone. It’s a remake of 2012’s Swedish hit Gone and sees a woman on the run through the woods with a killer close behind. I’m a sucker for survival tales, and this one’s setting in the Pacific Northwest makes me all the more excited. Bryan Bertino (The Strangers, 2008) is back with another chiller called The Dark and the Wicked. The film features a family gathering to mourn the imminent passing of their patriarch, and spooky things follow.
One of the best animated films of the past decade that too many of you haven’t seen is Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (2013), and now filmmaker Mathias Malzieu is back with a live-action feature. A Mermaid in Paris is a period musical that promises a love story set against memorable tunes and gorgeous visuals, and I am stoked. Tak Sakaguchi returned to the action forefront with the epic Re:Born in 2016 after too long of a hiatus, and now he’s back again with Crazy Samurai Musashi. The film is “shot as a single 77-minute action sequence,” and that’s more than enough to get my ass in a seat.
“Home invasion” movies are my jam in part because, when done right, they’re both exhilarating and terrifying. It’s unclear if For the Sake of Vicious takes place in an actual home or not, but either way, it pits a woman against violent intruders and promises action and terror aplenty. While not quite a dying breed, Westerns remain a far too rare cinematic experience, so of course, I’m excited for Savage State. Described as a “feminist Western,” the film follows a family attempting to flee Missouri and the United States as the Civil War explodes across the fragile country.
The final bunch of titles will be announced on August 6th, but for now, the complete list (so far) of fifty feature films playing at Fantasia 2020 is below. Titles with a * are part of the newly announced second wave.
|12 Hour Shift||Brea Grant||USA||International|
|Beauty Water*||Cho Kyung-hun||South Korea||North American|
|Bleed With Me*||Amelia Moses||Canada||World|
|The Block Island Sound*||Kevin & Matthew McManus||USA||World|
|Class Action Park*||Seth Porges & Chris Charles Scott III||USA||International|
|Climate of the Hunter*||Mickey Reece||USA||Quebec|
|The Columnist*||Ivo van Aart||Netherlands||North American|
|Come True||Anthony Scott Burns||Canada||World|
|A Costume for Nicholas||Eduardo Rivero||Mexico||Canadian|
|Crazy Samurai Musashi*||Yûji Shimomura||Japan||Canadian|
|The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw||Thomas Robert Lee||Canada||World|
|The Dark and the Wicked*||Bryan Bertino||USA||International|
|La Dosis*||Martin Kraut||Argentina||North American|
|The Five Rules of Success*||Orson Oblowitz||USA||World|
|For the Sake of Vicious*||Gabriel Carrer & Reese Eveneshen||Canada||World|
|Fried Barry||Ryan Kruger||South Africa||Canadian|
|Fugitive Dreams*||Jason Neulander||USA||World|
|I WeirDo*||Liao Ming-Yi||Taiwan||Canadian|
|Jesters: The Game Changers*||Kim Joo-ho||South Korea||North American|
|Labyrinth of Cinema||Nobuhiko Obayashi||Japan||Canadian|
|Life: Untitled*||Kana Yamada||Japan||Canadian|
|Me and Me*||Jung Jin-young||South Korea||North American|
|A Mermaid in Paris*||Mathias Malzieu||France||North American|
|Minor Premise*||Eric Schultz||USA||World|
|My Punch-Drunk Boxer*||Jung Hyuk-ki||South Korea||North American|
|The Oak Room*||Cody Calahan||Canada||World|
|The Old Man Movie||Oskar Lehemaa & Mikk Magi||Estonia||North American|
|Project Dreams – How to Build Mazinger Z’s Hangar*||Tsutomu Hanabusa||Japan||International|
|The Prophet and the Space Aliens*||Yoav Shamir||Various||North American|
|PVT Chat*||Ben Hozie||USA||International|
|The Reckoning||Neil Marshall||UK||Special|
|Savage State*||David Perrault||Various||North American|
|Sleep||Michael Venus||Germany||North American|
|Special Actors||Shinichiro Ueda||Japan||Canadian|
|Tezuka’s Barbara||Macoto Tezuka||Japan||North American|
|Time of Moulting||Sabrina Mertens||Germany||North American|
|Tiny Tim: King for a Day||Henrik Von Sydow||Sweden||World|
|The Undertaker’s Home||Mauro Iván Ojeda||Argentina||World|
|Unearth||John C. Lyons and Dorota Swies||USA||World|
|Vertigo*||Jeon Gye-soo||South Korea||World|