Savour some blood-curdling homegrown horror for Halloween with this spooky selection of genre films hitting the festival circuit this fall, which just might make you spill your maple syrup. Here are eight Canadian genre flicks that are rocking those fests as audiences scream in terror… while enjoying every moment of it!
1- Braden Croft’s True Fiction
- This third feature from the Canuck filmmaker made its European premiere at London’s FrightFest festival!
- Check out the trailer for this horror-meets-psychological-thriller as the mind games begin when a young librarian gets a gig assisting an author only to find she’s actually, the characters say, a “guinea pig” for a “controlled experiment in fear…”
2- Kurtis David Harder’s Spiral
- This thriller had its world premiere at London’s FrightFest this summer, and just made its U.S. premiere at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival.
- The Canadian director’s third feature takes place in the ’90s, when a couple with a teen daughter realize things are awry in their small town.
3- Cameron Macgowan’s Red Letter Day
- The feature debut has been hitting the festival circuit hard. After its world premiere at the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival in California, it screened at the Calgary Underground Film Festival, Sydney Underground Film Festival in Australia, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, FrightFest, and this October at ScreamFest in Hollywood.
- Part satire, part horror/thriller, the indie flick is about a mom and her teen girls who receive bizarre letters ordering them to kill, or else they themselves will be killed.
4- Zach Gayne’s Homewrecker
- After its world premiere in Montreal this summer at the Fantasia International Film Festival, this horror-slash-comedy headed to its international premiere at FantasticFest, then off to the director’s hometown to screen at the Toronto After Dark festival earlier this month!
- Obsession and friendship are on the creepy menu of this film starring Precious Chong and Alex Essoe. (Chong, Essoe, and Gayne all co-wrote the script!)
5- Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum
- After opening TIFF’s Midnight Madness, the zombie thriller was acquired for international distribution on the Shudder streaming service, with Canadian streaming rights held by Crave.
- A zombie plague is ravaging Canada, and only the indigenous inhabitants appear to be immune to it.
- Get your first look here.
And here’s a fun fact: Among the 11 Canadian films at London’s FrightFest this past summer, four came from Calgary (Alberta) which has become a hotspot for filmmakers who specialize in smart, low-budget horror. They are: True Fiction, Spiral, Red Letter Day, and Harpoon.
We gave you the scoop this summer about three other Canadian genre films to keep your eyes on, and since Halloween is the perfect time to get your cinematic creep on, here they are again!
6- Rob Grant’s Harpoon
- After its world premiere at the 47th Rotterdam Film Festival, Harpoon headed to Korea’s Bucheon Fantastic Festival, London’s FrightFest, and just this month screened at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain! It also won the audience award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2019 Calgary Underground Film Festival.
- The story? Stuck in the middle of the ocean, three friends must deal with tensions and secrets.
7- Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska’s Rabid
- Canadian filmmaking twins the Soska sisters crafted this anticipated remake of David Cronenberg’s 1977 film, which premiered at London’s FrightFest, before heading to Sitges.
- Laura Vandervoort (Smallville) plays Rose who gives a new stem cell treatment a try after a terrible accident. Watch the trailer here.
8- Jay Dahl’s Halloween Party
- Nominated for three ACTRA Maritimes Awards, this old-fashioned horror world premiered at FrightFest.
- Set in college, a Halloween computer meme unleashes vengeful entities into the world.