Fantasia International Film Festival review: ‘The Night Eats The World’ breathes new life into the zombie genre.

The morning after a party, a young man wakes up to find Paris invaded by zombies.

The Night Eats The World is all about isolation. Sam is alone in his ex’s apartment, walls splattered with blood, and the other floors are not much better. Realizing the outside is even less safe, he begins to use his wits by gathering what he can find, little by little, staying organized but perhaps not sane. Actor Anders Danielsen Lie is in every single scene of the film. His performance is so engrossing that I almost missed his complete physical transformation along the way. He must remain as calm as possible, which is pretty difficult considering the circumstances. Director Dominique Rocher has given us quite the gem here. The Night Eats the World easily sets itself apart from the average zombie film. The film delves into the complexity of human intimacy. This is explored through a relationship with an undead individual trapped inside an elevator (played magnificently by Denis Lavant), an encounter with a fellow survivor, and a cat. An added element of interest that propels the plot is the fact that Sam is a musician. This becomes both an advantage and a misstep along the way. We’ve all watched The Walking Dead for years now but off the top of my head, I’m not sure I would be as methodic in my solitary survival as Sam. While we don’t get any information about the outbreak specifically, it never stopped me from enjoying the film, rooting for Sam to stay alive. Sometimes you don’t need it all spelled out for you, sometimes great storytelling is more than enough.

The Night Eats The World made is Canadian Premiere at this year’s Fantasia International Film festival. The 2018 fest came to a close last night, but we’ll keep you updated on the release dates. As for The Night Eats The World, you can catch it in theaters now and on VOD platforms like Amazon, Google Play, and YouTube.

Tribeca Film Festival Review: Audience Award winner, ‘HERE ALONE’ wrenches a mother’s instinct.

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Being a new mom has had it’s toll on my brain. I’ve forgotten to eat. I’ve put the milk carton in the oven. I’ve gone days without showering or changing into socially acceptable attire. Being alone with an almost 4 month old baby all day makes your mind do/think weird things. Stir-craziness is very real. Isolation can ravage the senses. One the up side, this also means I have “a lot of time” (I know, I laughed as I typed that, too) to watch, or at least play films in the background. As a horror buff, I was excited about one film’s description in particular from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival Midnight Section, even if the plot sounded similar to ones that have cone before it. Like The Walking Dead, Rod Blackhurst‘s Tribeca World premiere HERE ALONE, is not about “zombies” but more about the people left behind.

After a terrible virus ravages human civilization, Ann finds herself living alone in a forest, foraging for supplies, and accompanied only by a radio that broadcasts a single transmission in French. Few animals even remain; the only survivors seem to be the roving hordes of infected creatures with a taste for human flesh. One fateful day, Ann crosses paths with two more survivors, Chris and Olivia. But after surviving on her own for so long, she struggles to relate to them and and their desire to settle down and start a new community.

here alone still chris and annAlmost entirely shot in the woods, our lead character Ann has only her vehicle and two small camps on a lake. Screenwriter David Ebeltoft’s immensely effective script, utilizes intermittent flashbacks to show us how Ann came to be on her own. Once traveling with her husband and infant daughter, the audience must allow themselves to be with Ann in the present in order to feel emotionally connected. She is smart and resilient. She has learned that practicality is the only way to survive. Her newly gained skills sometimes fumble, adding to the realism factor. The minute she allows her emotions to control her path, things are bound to go awry. When Ann stumbles upon Chris and his step-daughter Olivia, her motherly instinct may be her undoing. Two mindsets are at play; Stay put or keep moving. Which would you choose? Blackhurst’s use of nudity is never without purpose. There is no glamour factor here, which is much appreciated in the genre in general. Lucy Walters‘ lead performance is breathtaking. It’s not until the very end that we discover what happened to Ann’s daughter. That particular scene, which we know from the very beginning we’ve been building up to, is one of the most gut-wrenching I’ve seen on film. Maybe it’s the new Mommy hormones, maybe it’s Ebeltoft specifically crafted script, or maybe it’s the perfect storm of the two. I don’t think I have ever wept while watching a horror film until now. In a “what would you do?” scenario from hell, HERE ALONE tears your heart out and challenges how you think you’d react in a doomsday situation. When you’re down to your last bullet, it’s life or death.

HERE ALONE is one to catch. It may not necessarily be a new idea, but it is told from a fresh perspective. (Mothers be warned.)

Review: ‘COOTIES’ is infectiously delicious.

Cooties poster“Circle, Circle, Dot, Dot, Now you have your cootie shot!” Let’s be real. We’ve all had our cootie shot at some point in elementary school. It was necessary  to survive the playground territory wars and/or avoid a horrible disease ridden classmate. Oh wait, that’s not what it was used for back then. The disease ridden classmate part, I mean. That’s the premise of the new horror-comedy COOTIES. Well, sort of.Cooties_image

Quick run down. Kid eats infected chicken nugget and becomes a cannibalistic zombie, infects other children, trapping a band of misfit teachers inside the school. Cooties‘ cast in kind of unreal. Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Leigh Whannell, Nasim Pedrad, Ian Brennan and Jorgé Garcia. Wood plays Clint, a summer school teacher and aspiring writer of horror (from a fanboy’s influence). Wilson plays testosterone, jockhead gym teacher and I have to say, kinda of a badass. Pill is the ultra upbeat, former classmate of Clint and present 4th grade teacher. Pedrad kills it as the faculty bitch with a cutting sense of humor and lack of filter. Garcia, while we don’t see a whole lot of him, his presence always make me smile. He lights up the screen. McBrayer, plays a “confused” teacher with a gentle heart and a scaredy cat head. Brennan is Vice Principal Simms, a lovable weirdo. Finally, Leigh Whannnell, is what I can only assume is a science teacher, due to his lack of social skills and knowledge of things that you just have to accept as cannon as the plot rolls along. Totally forgiven as it adds to the absurdity of the storyline. Great casting choices… Mayhaps a sequel is in order? Please?Cooties 2nd image

The dialogue is hilarious and I am betting that at least 50%  of some of the best lines were improvised. I am really looking forward to a DVD release already, in hopes that there is a huge outtake reel. The practical effects are downright disgusting, even for a horror fan such as myself. Bravo for grossing me out. Even the opening title sequence shows the actual creation of a nugget from chicken to child’s mouth. It’s pretty vomit inducing, so you’re already set up for what is about to play out. The editing, both in picture and in sound are top notch. This film is wrought with catch phrases that I will admittedly be stealing. Besides all of these factors, Cooties makes some great statements about what we’re feeding our kids in school and at home. But even greater is the comment on parenting, or  lack there of. Once again, as a former teacher, kids these days can be real dicks. Sorry, but it’s true. Cooties calls out what’s wrong with our youth and throws it into our faces while being completely gross and damn funny all at once. If you’re already a fan of films like Shaun of the Dead, then you’ll love this flick. Cooties is hands down laugh out loud funny start to finish. Go see this film, but just a little advice, maybe don’t eat right beforehand.

COOTIES will be one of the debut releases of the newly-launched Lionsgate Premiere label, which will release the film on September 18th in select theaters and on demand.

First Trailer for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Zombie Drama ‘Maggie’ Released

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Lionsgate has released the first trailer for the upcoming zombie drama Maggie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin and you can view it below!

The film, directed by Henry Hobson, centers around a teenage girl named Maggie (Breslin), who becomes infected by an outbreak of a disease that slowly turns the infected into cannibalistic zombies. During her transformation, her loving father Wade (Schwarzenegger) tries to come to terms with her affliction and stand by her in her final days.

The film is set to premiere April 22nd at the Tribeca Film Festival and open wide on May 8, 2015