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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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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Blood in the Snow Review: ‘Motherly’ works as a cat and mouse thriller, despite a predictable ending

MOTHERLY

Kate and her daughter are in hiding. They live in a farmhouse, far from anyone and everyone, but mainly from Beth’s father, who was recently arrested for the murder of one of Beth’s young friends. They’re in the witness protection program, and while Kate is happy to be away, Beth is buckling under the weight of all the downtime.

One night, their past comes calling in the form of a home invasion. The cat and mouse game that ensues is mostly good, except that you will see the ending coming from a mile away.

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Heads Up: The 2021 Blood in the Snow Festival starts today!

2021 BitS Festival_Header

Good news, everyone! The 2021 Blood in the Snow Festival is happening once again. This Canadian festival of horror and genre films is taking place in two ways this year.

First up, from today (October 29th) to Sunday (October 31st), you can watch films on SuperChannel in Canada. Then, from November 18th to 23rd, there will be screenings in person at Toronto’s Royal Theatre.

You can follow along with all of our coverage using the BitS 2021 tag here on the site. In addition, we’ve already seen a few of the films at past festivals, so reviews are already there for you to read!

For full details on the line-up or to purchase tickets to the in-person screenings, check out the Blood in the Snow Website.

2021 Blood in the Snow

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VIFF ’21 Review: ‘Tin Can’ is a great example of doing a lot with limited resources

Tin Can

In the not too distant future, a global outbreak of a parasitic fungus is devastating humankind. Not content to merely kill you, it latches onto your body, sprouts growths and spores, and changes you into something else entirely. This is the world of Tin Can, one that is in many ways not unlike our own: a world with a raging pandemic, with some people who want to solve the problem and some content merely to avoid it.

As ever, the cinema of the age of COVID-19 speculates what a world might look like under similar circumstances to ours, and Tin Can takes a look at one of those dark futures.

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Fantasia ’21 Interview: Sera-Lys McArthur on her films ‘Kwêskosîw’ & ‘Don’t Say Its Name’

Sera-Lys McArthur

2021 is turning out to be a big year for Sera-Lys McArthur. The alum of series such as Arctic Air and Burden of Truth is starring in two films at Fantasia Fest this year, a short (which she also produced) called Kwêskosîw (She Whistles) and the feature film Don’t Say Its Name, a horror film which had its world premiere this week at the festival.

I sat down with Sera-Lys on zoom this week to discuss both films and the state of indigenous filmmaking in Canada. I hope you enjoy it.

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Fantasia ’21 Review: ‘Don’t Say Its Name’ lacks scares, but has two compelling lead performances

Don't Say Its Name

It begins with a hit and run. A young woman walking home alone at night, on the phone with her mother, is run down by a pickup truck. It growls like a wild animal as it races toward her, and it ends her life viciously. This is the opening scene to Don’t Say Its Name, the new film by director Rueben Martell, and the beginning of a story of blood and vengeance on a first nations reserve.

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Fantasia ’21 Review: ‘The Righteous’ brings together faith, guilt, and excellent performances

The Righteous

Grief and guilt are often intertwined but not necessarily in the ways we expect. In The Righteous, the first feature from Canadian actor and now writer and director Mark O’Brien, guilt is met with a crisis of faith, and the results are dire.

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