TIFF16: Midnight Madness Highlights

This morning saw the announcement of this year’s Midnight Madness line-up and the Toronto International Film Festival. This year’s line-up not only features the return of some notable alumni, but also a few films that aim to relaunch horror franchises of the past. Without further ado, I will go through some of the highlights of this year’s Midnight Madness line-up.

Opening and Closing Films

Sadako vs. Kayako, Kōji Shiraishi, Japan (International Premiere) – Closing Film
I’m actually listing this one first, since it is one of the films in this year’s Midnight Madness line-up that quite intrigues me. Sadako vs. Kayako brings together the villains of Ringu and Ju-On together in a J-Horror monster brawl. It is quite ironic that this film is arriving around the same time as Rings, a new North American reboot of The Ring. I do have to say that this film interests me a lot more than that one.

Free Fire, Ben Wheatley, United Kingdom (World Premiere) – Opening Film
Ben Wheatley is no stranger to Midnight Madness, having had played Kill List as part of the programme a number of years ago. Free Fire is probably most notable for its star-studded cast, which includes Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, and Sharlto Copley.

Other Highlights

Blair Witch, Adam Wingard, USA (World Premiere)
For the last few months, it has being hyped that director Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest) was coming out with a found footage film named The Woods. It was just a few weeks ago at the San Diego ComicCon when the cat was let out of the bag that The Woods was actually a secret sequel to The Blair Witch Project. With the franchise seemingly dead in the water after 2000’s Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, it will be interesting to see if Blair Witch can breathe new life into the found footage genre it created.
Dog Eat Dog, Paul Schrader, USA (North American Premiere)
A crime thriller with Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe. ‘Nuff said.
The Girl With All the Gifts, Colm McCarthy, United Kingdom (North American Premiere)
I like me some good science fiction, especially one featuring the likes of Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, and Glenn Close.
Rats, Morgan Spurlock, USA (World Premiere)
If you told me yesterday that the director of Super Size Me would have a film as part of Midnight Madness, I would probably laugh. Indeed Morgan Spurlock’s latest documentary will play at part of the late-night line-up, which is enough to make me intrigued.
Raw (Grave), Julia Ducournau, France/Belgium (International Premiere)
The plot description of this film makes it sound a bit like vegan propaganda.

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).