Toronto After Dark 2017: Our Selections From The International Short Film Showcase

Posted in Festival Coverage, Toronto After Dark 2017 by - October 15, 2017
Toronto After Dark 2017: Our Selections From The International Short Film Showcase

VOYAGER
Dir. Kjersti Helen Rasmussen
A shooting star falls down over the arctic island of Svalbard and The Global Seed Vault gets an unexpected visitor.

A man sneaks in and starts eating from the seed vault. It appears he cannot understand or speak English. The two security guards onsite try to figure out what or who this person is. Out of nowhere, another man sneaks into this place. Security guard split up to investigate; male guard finds another man who looks like an exact clone of the other man. The female guard is sort of ‘attacked’ by the first unknown man. The question is: is it one single being or two different ones?

Perhaps the point here is about hunger; how the visitor sneaks into the seed vault out of pure hunger. The concept is curious but not enough to grasp its entire meaning. The film is visually interesting with good camera work and editing.

Rating 2.5/5

THE PLAGUE (LA PESTE)
Dir. Guillermo Carbonell
Rosa’s father escapes from a nursing home and comes back to his former house, but he is not quite himself.

Rosa tries to settle her father when a group of men barge through the door with guns looking for the old man. In their pursuit, they hurt Rosa. The group of men struggle with the old man until he is shot and killed… but is he really dead?

Interesting and effective take on a familiar story. The film is set in the 1970s with a very retro look and feel.  Not necessarily original but reminiscent of 70s films like The Omega Man. Overall, an engaging film from start to finish. Good production overall.

Rating 3/5

STAY
Dir. David Mikalson
A cult of women summon a demon, but one rogue member, Carol, gets in the way of their plans.

The cult seems to keep failing at getting the attention of this one demon. Without even trying, Carol and the demon start a peculiar relationship. He comes back until she utters a ‘scary phrase’, and he never comes back. Carol  offers many sacrifices but still no demon. Towards the climax, we see that maybe the story is not all as it seems.

Not sure if the film is about the difficulties relationships go through, making connections, or just about a really mean demon. The story feels slightly cliche for my taste, but the film is certainly not boring. Decent production value, and also long enough to keep the audience attentive.

Rating 2.5/5

TASTE
Dir. Adrian Selkowitz
An ambitious young woman’s impressive dinner party gets derailed by an uninvited and otherworldly guest, whose presence leads to a freakish, final course.

Set in what appears to be Hollywood, two couples meet for dinner. As the hostess hopes to woo her way into a TV with this elaborate dinner, the uninvited guest makes other plans for the hostess. It is clear the uninvited and the hostess are not they appear to be. Neither of them will stop at nothing until she gets what she wants. The result is one bloody dinner party.

Another story that comes from other similar premises, but done well. Really liked the women as leads, and the overall look of the film. Watch out next time someone invites you to a  fancy dinner!

Rating 3/5

BUZZCUT
Dir. Jon Rhoads
Nothing will stop Jane from getting her haircut, not even the apocalypse.

If Jane does not get her buzzcut, she may never have sex again! Unfortunately the impending apocalypse that is causing people into zombies or spontaneously combust, clearly is not making things any easier. In the course of the day, Jane finally  finds ‘salvation’ in a bar where she can get the yellow pages to find a barber that ain’t dead yet. All she needs is the address, but she must kill a demon first.

The premise of the film is actually kind of amusing and funny. It is fast paced, which works well in creating the sort of tension needed in this short story. The film is also entertaining with good length, and to the point. Really liked the lead character in this film as well.

Rating 3/5

 

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Heidy has a love of fine art history, films, books, world issues, music and science, leading her to share her adventures on her website (www.hyemusings.ca) , and as a contributor at other outlets. She loves sharing the many happenings in Toronto and hopes people will go out and support the arts in any fashion possible.