Fantasia 2018: Highlights of the Fest

Tomorrow marks the start of the 2018 Fantasia International Festival, which will be taking place from July 12 to August 1 in Montreal. After covering the festival remotely from Toronto last year, I will be returning to Montreal this year for the first time since the 2016 festival. During the the ten days I am in Montreal, I hope to cover as many of the film selections that I possibly can. However, with Fantasia running for three weeks in total, it is impossible for me to see everything, with there being some choice picks that screen after I return home to Toronto.

Here are some of the highlights of the Fantasia line-up this year, many of which I hope to see.

Tales from the Hood 2 (Darin Scott, Rusty Cundieff, USA) – World Premeire

It was 23 years ago when the original African American riff of Tales from the Crypt was first released in 1995. Even though I have yet to see the original, I would suppose the anthology format makes Tales from the Hood 2 a relatively stand alone film.

Summer of ’84 (Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell, Canada/USA) – International Premiere

The Montreal-based directorial trio RKSS follow-up their debut film Turbo Kid with this homage to 1980s slasher films. With the focus being on a group of teenage kids, Summer of ’84 has a vibe similar to that of the Netflix series Stranger Things. This is probably my most anticipated film at the festival and I’m hoping that Summer of ’84 delivers with the 1980s-style thrills and chills.

Profile (Timur Bekmambetov, USA/UK/Russia/Cyprus) – Canadian Premiere

The latest film from Timur Bekmambetov (Night WatchWanted) takes on a similar “Screenlife” as fellow Fantasia selections Unfriended: Dark Web and Searching. This film involves an investigative journalist creating a fake Fakebook profile to catfish an ISIS recruiter, which definitely suggests that this will be horror film that is very much grounded in reality.

Lifechanger (Justin McConnell, Canada) – World Premiere

Toronto based filmmaker Justin McConnell (Skull WorldBroken Mile) makes his debut at the Fantasia Film Festival with his latest film Lifechanger. Apparently it is best to know as little plot details about this film as possible, even though I do know that the plot of the film involves a shapeshifter.

The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot (Robert Krzykowski, USA) – World Premiere

This film wins the prize for “film at the festival that I’d see based on title alone.” However, the fact that The Man Who Killed Hitler and the The Bigfoot stars Sam Elliot in the titular role just solidifies that fact.

Mandy (Panos Cosmatos, Belgium/USA) – Canadian Premiere

While I will be unable to see this film at the festival, I thought that I would conclude my mentioning the Fantasia Closing Film, which is being hyped as the craziest Nicolas Cage film ever. That is a very bold statement and I will try very hard to see Mandy at some point, even if I don’t see it at Fantasia.