Thursday, May 23

Highlights from the 2023 Toronto After Dark Film Festival

The line-up and schedule have been announced for the 2023 Toronto After Dark Film Festival. The 17th edition of the festival will be taking place from October 18-22 at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto. Over these five days, ten feature films and 29 shorts will be screened. Here are some of the highlights from the festival.

My Top Five Picks of the 2023 Toronto After Dark Film Festival

Late Night with the Devil

Late Night with the Devil (Cameron Cairnes and Colin Cairnes, Australia) – Toronto Premiere

Tickets for the 2023 Toronto After Dark Film Festival Opening Gala Film Late Night with the Devil have ALREADY sold out. I’m not surprised; this is one of the most buzzed-about horror films of the year, which brought down the house when I caught the Canadian premiere last summer at the Fantasia Film Festival.

Here’s what I wrote about the film in my original review:

Late Night with the Devil is an incredibly entertaining found footage film that is the sum of its parts. This includes the lead performances by David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad) as Jack Deroy, Rhys Auteri as Jack’s increasingly worried sidekick Gus McConnell, and Ian Bliss (The Matrix Reloaded) as incredibly dislikeable James Randi-esque skeptic Carmichael Hunt. Playing off like a much more polished version of the infamous 1992 BBC film Ghostwatch, the tension of Late Night with the Devil slowly builds up, leading to one hell of a demonic climax.


Daniel’s Gotta Die (Jeremy LaLonde, Canada/USA) – Toronto Premiere

After previously screening his film James vs. His Future Self at the festival, Canadian filmmaker Jeremy LaLonde returns with Daniel’s Gotta Die. This dark comedy is notable for having quite a stacked cast that includes Joel David Moore (Avatar), musician Iggy Pop, and a posthumous performance by Bob Saget.

Founders Day

Founders Day (Erik Bloomquist, USA) – Canadian Premiere

This slasher film from co-writer and director Erik Bloomquist (She Came from the Woods) is probably most notable for the very striking image of its judge-robe-wearing killer. I don’t need to know any more!

suitable flesh

Suitable Flesh (Joe Lynch, USA) – Ontario Premiere

I was no longer in Montreal when this latest film from director Joe Lynch (Mayhem) had its Canadian premiere at Fantasia. As such, I am thrilled to see this H.P. Lovecraft adaptation at Toronto After Dark!

its a wonderful knife

It’s a Wonderful Knife (Tyler MacIntyre, USA) – Canadian Premiere

Director Tyler MacIntyre gets the Closing Night slot for the third time, following his previous Toronto After Dark selections Patchwork and Tragedy Girls. I don’t know much other than it’s a Christmas slasher film with a villain dressed as a snow angel, and I’m good at keeping it that way.

Other Notable Selections at the 2023 Toronto After Dark Film Festival

Restore Point

Restore Point (Robert Hloz, Czech Republic) – Toronto Premiere

Restore Point is notable for being the first science fiction film made in the Czech Republic in four decades. I caught the North American premiere of the film at Fantasia last summer, and here is what I said:

Restore Point is film quite reminiscent of the Phillip K. Dick stories that inspired films like Blade Runner and Minority Report. The film is a neo-noir story that exposes the dark secrets of a supposedly utopian technology. The film also has the very interesting twist of being a murder investigation with the detective being assisted by the victim himself, albeit suffering from six months worth of lost memories. While the ultimate outcome is somewhat predictable for those who know the genre, Restore Point is still a solid sci-if thriller.


Lonely, Dark, and Deep (Teresa Sutherland, USA) – Ontario Premiere

I had the World Premiere for Lonely, Dark, and Deep on my Fantasia shortlist, but as can sometimes be the case, I never ended up fitting it in. As such, I am happy to have a second chance to see the film at Toronto After Dark!

Rounding Out the 2023 Toronto After Dark Film Festival Line-Up

The remainder of the line-up for the 2023 Toronto After Dark Film Festival includes the North American premiere of the UK thriller The Last Exit, the Canadian premiere of the Swedish sci-fi film UFO Sweden, and the Canadian Premiere of the French horror film The Deep Dark. As always, each feature will be preceded by a Canadian short film and the Canadian and International Shorts After Dark Showcases. Tickets and Festival Passes are now on sale and expected to go fast!

Honouring Adam Lopez During the 2023 Toronto After Dark Film Festival

In honour of Toronto After Dark Founder Adam Lopezโ€™s continuing fight with Stage IV Cancer, we ask you to consider making a donation to the Sunnybrook Foundation

One final and significant note before wrapping up. As you may know, Toronto After Dark Film Festival Founder and Director Adam Lopez has been battling Stage IV Cancer for the past two years and has recently begun a new round of chemotherapy. As the festival has always supported me, taking me back every year as an accredited press member, I recently made a $112 donation, the equivalent of a Toronto After Dark All-Access Pass, to the Sunnybrook Foundation – Odette Cancer Centre.

To continue honouring him, the “Donate for Adam Lopez” image above will appear at the end of all my reviews for the 2023 Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Clicking on the image will direct you to the Sunnybrook Foundation Donation Page, where you can give your chosen gift. As such, I think the 2023 Toronto After Dark Film Festival will be unique when it begins on Wednesday, October 18 and runs through Sunday, October 22, 2023.

I will See You After Dark!

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This post was proofread by Grammarly