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Intriguing Teaser for 'The Artifice Girl' Sci-Fi Film About a Fake A.I. Girl

The Artifice Girl Trailer

"It's because she's not real. She's not a real human being…" A festival teaser trailer has debuted for an indie sci-fi film titled The Artifice Girl, from director Franklin Ritch making his feature debut. It's premiering at the 2022 Fantasia Film Festival this month - they explain: "The Artifice Girl delivers a tense and morally cryptic experience that will leave a microchip-shaped imprint on your brain." When an internet vigilante develops a revolutionary new computer program to combat online predators, its rapid advancement leads to serious questions of autonomy, oppression, and what it really means to be human. The film is a tech thriller about A.I. and how far it can go. "While this is a wildly ambitious science fiction, it was important for us to ground the story in technical veracity and thoughtful characters. It becomes a compelling mystery that will hopefully incite ethical and philosophical discussion." Starring David Girard, Lance Henrikson, Tatum Matthews, Sinda Nichols, & Franklin Ritch. This is a slick teaser that makes me curious to see more.

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 Posted on July 11 in Fantasia, Indies, Sci-Fi, To Watch, Trailer | 1 Comment

Festival Trailer for 'Cult Hero' - A Canadian Action Horror Comedy

Cult Hero Trailer

"When drinking the Kool-Aid, remember to Live, Laugh, Love." An early promo trailer has debuted for an indie film premiering soon at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, titled Cult Hero. This action-packed horror comedy is the latest from the director of Monster Brawl, The Hexecutioners, and Deadsight. Control freak Kallie Jones attempts to rescue her husband from a "wellness center" with the help of a washed-up expert Cult Buster. This cult comedy is about a woman who hires this "Cult Buster" to free her man from a suspected "husband" cult run by Master Jagori, played by Tony Burgess, who has a sinister plan they did not expect. Fantasia describes it as: "With countless gags, lots of gore, and outrageous performances from Barrett and Collins as unlikely partners in cult-busting, Cult Hero bursts off the screen with absurdly nutso energy." Starring Liv Collins, Ry Barrett, Justin Bott, Jessica Vano, and Burgess. This looks wacky and crazy and wild! Exactly the kind of indie comedy perfect for genre fests like Fantasia and Fantastic Fest.

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 Posted on July 11 in Fantasia, Indies, To Watch, Trailer | 1 Comment

Fantasia 2020: Natasha Kermani's 'Lucky' is a Dark, Chilling Thriller

Lucky Review

Screened as a selection of the virtual 2020 Fantasia Film Festival. It seems as if one of the common themes in many films this year is stalking. Back in February, we got to see Elisabeth Moss fighting the "Invisible Man". This heinous act, appearing more and more in TV & film, relates to many people on a personal level, especially women. We can see similar themes (and more) in Lucky, the spine-chilling thriller directed by Natasha Kermani (her third film following Shattered, Imitation Girl) and written by actress / filmmaker Brea Grant (director of this year's 12 Hours Shift), who also stars as May, the main character of the film. What makes Lucky unusual is its post-reflection consideration that lingers long after finishing the thriller.

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 Posted on September 25 in Fantasia, Review | 1 Comment

Fantasia 2020: 'Unearth' is a Chilling Eco-Horror Film About Farmers

Unearth Review

Screened as a selection of the virtual 2020 Fantasia Film Festival. When nature is one of the key elements of a film, it usually touches on humanity's relentless power of destruction. This theme is a major part of the newest eco-horror feature, Unearth, co-directed by John C. Lyons (Schism, There Are No Goodbyes) and Dorota Swies (Schism), from a script written by Lyons and Kelsey Goldberg. This self-described "fracking horror story" captivates audiences with its intense storytelling and, most importantly, the lessons hidden within. Next to phenomenal directing, its cast, especially Allison McAtee, deliver gratifying performances.

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 Posted on September 25 in Fantasia, Horror, Review | 1 Comment

Fantasia 2020: 'The Oak Room' Engages with Enigmatic Storytelling

The Oak Room Review

Screened as a selection of the virtual 2020 Fantasia Film Festival. Many stories begin with, "a man walks into a bar." They are often light jokes, but some involve bone-chilling circumstances and plot twists that we would never expect to follow. The latter transpires in The Oak Room, a suspenseful thriller from Canadian filmmaker Cody Calahan (Let Her Out) and written by Peter Genoway (Masks). The creators set the story during a frosty storm in a small, dim-lit bar. What captures our attention right away is the filmmakers' ability to generate anxiety around a variety of storylines and surprise us with sudden twists and turns in the film. Calahan also highlights the tremendous value and significance of well-crafted, enigmatic storytelling.

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 Posted on August 26 in Fantasia, Review | Comments

Fantasia 2020: '12 Hour Shift' is Chaotic with an Edgy Sense of Humor

12 Hour Shift Review

Screened as a selection of the virtual 2020 Fantasia Film Festival. Working is generally exhausting. Even if you love your job, it can still be draining. Every one of us has had a bad day at work, and it can be because of many different factors. However, I guarantee that you haven't had as horrible of a day at work as Mandy (Angela Bettis) in the film 12 Hour Shift. The second feature written & directed by actress Brea Grant (Best Friends Forever), is deeply entertaining and bloody. While engaging audiences with its sick sense of humor, 12 Hour Shift explores the world of a nurse going through the worst night of her life. With extreme edginess and wicked characters, this is my second favorite watch so far of this year’s Fantasia Film Festival.

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 Posted on August 25 in Fantasia, Horror, Review | 1 Comment

Fantasia 2020: 'The Columnist' Showcases the Toxicity of Social Media

The Columnist Review

Screened as a selection of the virtual 2020 Fantasia Film Festival. Shortly after watching The Columnist, I noticed that Twitter enabled a very interesting feature – you can now control who can reply to your tweets. It would be a highly valuable benefit for Femke Boot (played by Dutch actress Katja Herbers), the titular columnist of a local newspaper, and author of an upcoming book. The film, directed by Ivo van Aart (of Quantum Zeno) and written by Daan Windhorst, is a powerful revenge comedy horror and a cautionary tale that perfectly connects to contemporary culture, teaching us an important lesson. Plus, it's bloody good fun.

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 Posted on August 14 in Fantasia, Review | 3 Comments

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