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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Fantasia ’21 Review: ‘Raging Fire’ is a throwback to 90s action in the best way possible

Raging Fire

Action movies were different in the 90s. They were more bombastic, more melodramatic, and the plots were often paper-thin –even when they seemed complicated. Of course, we’ve come a long way since then, but let’s get one thing clear: 90s action movies kick butt.

Raging Fire, the latest Donnie Yen film out of Hong Kong, is a throwback to this type of filmmaking, and I mean that in the best way possible. This movie kicks butt.

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Review: ‘Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched’ is a fascinating look at the history of folk horror

Woodlands Dark And Days Bewitched

Folk Horror has a storied history in cinema, creating some of the most unsettling imagery and tapping into some of our most visceral latent fears. Whether you’re watching a classic like The Wicker Man or The Blood on Satan’s Claw or something more modern like Midsommar to The Witch, the stories harken back to times gone by and often posit that perhaps they aren’t as “gone by” as we think –or hope– they are.

Such an important history has to have an important telling, and that’s exactly what director Kier-La Janisse has created with Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror.

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Fantasia ’21 Review: ‘King Knight’ is a bore

King Knight / Fantasia

I don’t even know where to begin, so let’s start at the beginning. King Knight is the latest film by Richard Bates Jr. It follows Thorn (Matthew Gray Gubler), the leader of a coven of witches, and he goes on a journey to his high school reunion. Thorn has a secret, though, and that secret is that he was popular in high school and not bullied or put upon like the rest of his cohort.

It sounds on paper, but the resulting film is boring and unfunny, which sucks.

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Fantasia ’21 Review: ‘Agnes’ isn’t the horror movie it claims to be, but is compelling nonetheless

Agnes / Fantasia

Agnes beings in a convent, with a young nun standing up at a dinner table and proclaiming all of her sisters whores, among other things. Naturally, the assumption is that she is possessed, and the church dispatches a disillusioned older priest with a young, idealistic (almost) priest to keep an eye on him. If this sounds like the setup for a million other possessed nun stories, that’s because it is, right down to how fast it becomes clear that the priests are in over their heads. This isn’t a million other possessed nun stories, though.

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Heads Up: Fantasia Festival 2021 is coming next week!

Fantasia Festival 2021

Good news, everyone! Montreal’s Fantasia Festival is back for its 25th year. This year will be a hybrid of in-person and online screenings, which means we’ll be covering the festival from our headquarters in Vancouver.

The festival runs from August 5th to 25th and features a ton of genre films from around the world. The online portion of the festival will be available to audiences across Canada, which means you can enjoy it from home, too.

You can check out the entire catalogue online now at the 2021 Festival Website. Watch for coverage here on Awesome Friday starting on the 5th.


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