With the gala hangovers and celluloid-induced eye strain from the 2013 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival just beginning to fade away, film addicts who are already starting to feel the itch have another movie extravaganza to check out: the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Now in its eighth year, TAD is a celebration of everything frightening, disturbing, challenging, and gloriously bloody. While the primary focus of the fest is on horror films, there will also be generous offerings of speculative fiction, unusual action movies, and cult flicks.
The nine-night fest will take over the Scotiabank Theatre, on Richmond Street West. More than just an opportunity to see a bevy of grotesque, gory, and wickedly entertaining films, TAD is also a chance for horror fans to meet and socialize. Following each evening of screenings, Pub After Dark socials will be held at the nearby Office Pub, where attendees can mingle and discuss the films.
There will be plenty of international features from places as diverse the United States, the U.K., Ireland, Germany, and Israel. But TAD will also have several homegrown horror offerings, some of them featuring Toronto talent. For instance, Septic Man (October 20, 7:30 p.m.), written by Tony Burgess (of Pontypool fame), about “a sewage worker undergoing a hideous transformation.” There’s also Solo (October 21, 9:30 p.m.), a thriller starring Degrassi: The Next Generation‘s Annie Clark. Evil Feed (October 23, 9:30 p.m.) will screen as part of the festival’s infamous “gory night.” It’s the brainchild of Canadian makeup artist Ryan Nicholson (whose work has been seen on The X-Files and Stargate SG:1).
With Halloween just around the corner, now’s the perfect time for creeping dread, challenging phycological horror, or good old-fashioned splatter gore. At TAD, all of that is on the menu.