Heads up Canada: the 2021 Whistler Film Festival is coming!

2021 Whistler Film Festival Festival_Header

Good news, everyone: the 2021 Whistler Film Festival is about to start! One of the last festivals on the Canadian circuit returns for its 21st year with a five day run (December 1st through 5th, 2021) in cinemas starting in Whistler BC and a month-long run online (December 1st through 31st). The films online are available Canada-wide, and the festival has a ton of Canadian films for you to enjoy.

You can follow along with my coverage using the WFF-2021 tag right here on AwesomeFriday.ca.

You can see –and purchase tickets for– the full lineup of 30+ feature films and 35 shorts on the festival website.

2021 Whistler Film Festival Coverage Banner

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Blood in the Snow Review: ‘The Family’ is a worthy entry in the folk-horror genre

The Family

Religion and folk horror go together like peas and carrots. So much folk horror is about oppression and belief that religion is the most natural place to go. Dan Slater’s The Family, a new Canadian entry in the genre, explores how religions can be weaponized against someone and explore how much abuse people can take before their breaking point.

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Review: ‘The Humans’ uses horror tropes to heighten family drama despite not being a horror movie

The Humans

While a family dinner can be a daunting prospect, I don’t know that I would call it a horror story. Of course, there is always drama and expertly deployed guilt and passive aggression, but it’s not like a demon is going to crawl out of the walls and eat everyone. The Humans, directed and adapted by Stephen Karam from his own Tony Award-winning play of the same, uses that feeling, that spectre of something waiting to cause harm, to heighten and enhance the drama around family dinner, and it works to great effect.

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Review: ‘The Unforgivable’ is at odds with itself but still works

There is no question that prison is hard on a person, especially in countries like the United States, where the system is set up to be punitive rather than rehabilitative. A long stint can leave a person a shell of their former self unless they have something on the outside to hold on to. In The Unforgivable, that something is a younger sister that the main character isn’t allowed to see. In this circumstance, how do you go on?

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Review: ‘Hawkeye’ premiere episodes are lighthearted fun

Hawkeye

The main complaint about Clint Barton’s Hawkeye as a character, at least when it comes to the MCU version, is that he’s boring. I’ve never quite thought that myself, but it’s easy to see where it comes from: he’s a spy that shoots good, and in most of the films, that’s kind of all he is.

What the new Disney+ series Hawkeye proposes is: what if that’s ok?

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Home Video: Four Great Films by Ghostbusters: Afterlife director Jason Reitman and Where to Buy, Rent, or Stream Them

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Jason Reitman, son of famed director Ivan Reitman, has had mixed results lately with his films, but he started his career with four great films in a row. Each of them is unique, and each of them has a human, comedic touch; here are Jason Reitman’s first four films and where to buy, rent, or stream them.

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Review: ‘Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City’ is probably exactly what some people want in a Resident Evil movie

Resident Evil

The bar for movies adapted from video games is pretty low. While there’s often a great well of source material to draw from in any given franchise, it is often either adapted too literally or too much is lost in translation, or in some cases, the filmmakers take a giant swing.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is not one of these third films, but it does do one thing that many video-game movies don’t: it knows exactly what it is, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s a good movie, that still ain’t nothin’.

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Blood in the Snow Review: ‘The Chamber of Terror’ is proof you can’t make a good bad movie on purpose

Chamber of Terror

There is a fine art to making an excellent bad movie. The kind of movie that never gets a lot of mainstream play but is fodder for young film nerds (like myself) surfing late-night channels looking for some new shock to discover. The Chamber of Terror wants to be one of those films, and it doubles down on most of its reasoning for doing so. The problem is that you can’t make a good bad movie on purpose, which is what these filmmakers must have been trying to do.

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Blood in the Snow Review: ‘Peppergrass’ is a mixed bag

Peppergrass

In what has quickly become the go-to scenario for indie horror filmmakers, Peppergrass is set amid a pandemic. Characters wear masks, are wary of strangers, and lament the slow collapse of their societies. It’s hard to blame them; the last two years have provided ample inspiration. In this version, a restauranteur and a bar owner go on a road trip to the middle of nowhere on a mission to steal some priceless truffles, a plan that sounds simple enough but will, of course, go awry.

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Blood in the Snow Review: ‘Vicious Fun’ is Vicious and Fun

Vicious Fun

Of all the ingredients that go into the recipe of a good slasher movie, a compelling and menacing killer is the most important. Freddy Kruger, Jason, Michael Myers, Ghostface all have their own je ne sais quois. With b-movies, you need a premise that will hook the audience early and keep them invested. With Vicious Fun, director Cody Calahan drops an 80s kid into a room with half a dozen archetypal killers having a support group meeting.

I’d say that qualifies as both.

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