We find it very fitting that during the spookiest week of the year the film studios have gotten together and made sure to release their scariest films, the ones sure to bring fear and revulsion to all who dare to pay for a ticket and take a chance in a dark theatre.
By far the most terrifying film to reach cinemas this week? Well it has to be Filth and Wisdom, because it’s was directed by, and steel yourselves, poor readers… Madonna! Yes, not only was she intent to stink up our screens with her odious acting, she had to go one further! It gets worse, though, because she roped Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hutz into playing a role sure to drive anyone to madness—the wacky foreign person who sounds a bit like Borat yet will reveal to you hidden truths about life and stuff and things! In order to investigate this eerie concept more we headed to the nearest arcane library, where we found an eldritch tome, the Toronto Star, where the ghoulish Peter Howell shrieked of the film’s “astounding banality.”
Once we had stumbled out into the street, retching in disgust, a ghostly poster caught our eyes, causing us to drop to our knees in lamentation—”Egad,” we cried, “Kevin Smith has made another film! Will the evil never end?” Well, we’ve known about Zack and Miri Make A Porno a bit longer than that—it did play TIFF—but we haven’t really been any happier about it. Kevin Smith has managed to destroy every bit of goodwill he’s ever had, and Seth Rogen is working hard at it, as we’re sure eventually he won’t be able to get away with playing yet another mid-twenties slobby stoner who enjoys hilarious hijinks and then learns hidden truths about life and stuff and things. Local professor of cinematic demon aura Jason Anderson cut to the heart of the matter in the supernatural journal Eye Weekly by deploring the film’s “gooey sentimentality,” one of Smith’s recent hallmarks.
Ahem. If you want an legitimately scary film, however, you can do far worse than Let the Right One In, pictured above. Already very highly reviewed when it played the After Dark Film Festival, it’s nice (er, I mean, eerie) to see it play the Scotiabank. Infamous disciple of Shub-Niggurath, Barrett Hooper, referred to the film in the cult’s most recent issue of NOW Magazine, screeching of a “strange, stunning and surprisingly sweet” film.
Also on release this week: the shambling corpse of Wong Kar-Wai’s Ashes of Time has clawed its way out of the grave to feast upon the innocent as Ashes of Time: Redux, macabre documentary Made in Jamaica, and you’ll be screaming What Just Happened? when the film rips your head off with an otherworldly ferocity.
Festivals? The International Diaspora Film Festival, Moving Image Film Festival, Regent Park Film Festival, Toronto International Latin Film Festival, and Toronto Palestine Film Festival all stalk the streets looking for fresh victims, while Cinematheque Ontario (which we’ve amply previewed) may kill again with loathsome gusto thanks to films like Cruel Story of Youth, playing tonight at 7 p.m.