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Fantasia Film Festival 2019: Ricky D’s Most Anticipated Films

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The Fantasia Film Festival is just around the corner and we can’t be any more excited, especially since almost our entire film staff will be present this year to cover the event. For the unfamiliar, our crew has been covering Fantasia since 2007, starting at our former website (Sound on Sight) before transitioning here. This marks my 24th year attending the fest – and if there is one thing that hasn’t changed, it is how difficult it is to decide what to watch. The Fantasia Film Festival is by far, the biggest genre film festival in the world, usually lasting three and a half weeks and showcasing hundreds of fantastic films from across the globe. This year’s wave of films includes fresh entries from returning favorites and a whole slate of new talent waiting to dazzle us with new perspectives and angles. Part of the joy of Fantasia, of any film festival really, is being surprised, by having a movie that was barely on your radar turn out to be one of your favorite films of the year. Sometimes, a lack of anticipation can make for far more rewarding and surprising experiences and every year, Fantasia proves time and time again, that they put together one of the best lineups of movies to see. The problem, however, is that more often than not, you’ll have to choose between two or three films that screen at the same time. There is a lot to choose from and so our film staff has each compiled a short list of movies they are most looking forward to watching. Below is a list of the five films I am most excited to see this year at Fantasia.

Also, be sure to check out:

Fantasia Film Festival 2019: Patrick’s 5 Most-Anticipated Films

Fantasia Film Festival 2019: Edgar’s 5 Most Anticipated Films

Fantasia Film Festival 2019: Thomas O’Connor’s Most Anticipated Films

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Extra Ordinary

Extra Ordinary, which premiered at SXSW in March, is the debut feature from co-directors Mike Ahern & Enda Loughman, whose prior work has encompassed shorts, music videos, and commercials. The film which currently holds a %100 fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, stars Irish comedian, podcaster and author Maeve Higgins, who plays an exorcist whose supernatural gift is put to the test when aging rock star Christian Winter (Will Forte) rolls into town, looking for a sacrificial victim to renew his Satanic pact in order to make a comeback. Yes, this is a movie about an occult sacrifice but don’t expect it to be scary. From what I’ve read, Extra Ordinary is instead a hilarious offbeat comedy that is totally bizarre but utterly engrossing. I expect this to be the sort of film that works well with the Fantasia audience thanks to the unassuming, self-mocking brand of dark comedy Higgins is known for.

Dachra

Dachra, which follows three journalism students investigating a suspected case of witchcraft in a Tunisian cannibal village, is the second film on this list which also currently holds a %100 fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. It also closed the Venice Critics Week which should be a good sign since the Venice Film Festival is known for choosing the cream of the crop when it comes to horror films. But the real reason Dachra makes the cut is simply that it is Tunisia’s first horror film. You see, there are many reasons why I love Fantasia, but the best thing about attending the festival is watching foreign films that sometimes take months, if not years, to be released stateside. I don’t expect North American audiences to get the chance to see Dachra any other time soon, so why not take advantage of this opportunity and watch it on the big screen.

Idol

Fantasia just wouldn’t be the same without checking out at least on South Korean psychological thriller and judging by the line up this year, Idol is your safest bet. Not only is it directed by Lee Su-jin who also directed Han Gong-Ju, a film which won several top prizes at various film festivals in 2013, but Idol also boasts one of the best movie trailers for any South Korean film screening this year at Fantasia. And while trailers can be deceiving, I’ve been told that Idol is a non-stop thrill ride that boasts solid performances and gorgeous cinematography. Recommended for fans of film noir, thrillers, and crime stories with plenty of twists.

The Lodge

The Lodge is the English-language debut of Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, whose previous film Goodnight Mommy made our list of one the best films of 2015. Shot on film by accomplished cinematographer Thimios Bakatakis (The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer), The Lodge has been described as having a striking visual style reminiscent of the Italian giallos from the late 60s and early 70s. And like Goodnight Mommy, The Lodge centers on a young woman and her suspiciously dangerous children who find themselves isolated in the family’s remote winter cabin, locked away to dredge up the mysteries of their dark past. Financed by legendary horror house Hammer, the trailer frequently recalls the atmospheric, slow burn of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and from what I’ve read, the deliberate pacing, and dollhouse imagery also brings to mind Ari Aster’s Hereditary. That said, The Lodge was also one of the most divisive movies of Sundance 2019, drawing raves and pans in equal measure so I can’t guarantee you’ll like it, but of all the films screening this year at the Fantasia Film Festival, The Lodge is still my most anticipated.

The Wretched

I searched online all night and I can’t find any information about The Wretched which to be fair, shouldn’t come as a surprise since the film is making its World Premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival this month. So why is it on my list? Well for starters, I recommend watching the trailer which I’ve embedded below — but if that isn’t enough to win you over, read the description written by Mitch Davis that was posted on the Fantasia website.

 

 

Some people take my heart, others take my shoes, and some take me home. I write, I blog, I podcast, I edit, and I design websites. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Goomba Stomp and Tilt Magazine. Host of the NXpress Nintendo Podcast and the Sordid Cinema Podcast. Former Editor-In-Chief of Sound on Sight. Former host of several other podcasts including the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead shows, as well as Sound On Sight. There is nothing I like more than basketball, travelling, and animals. You can find me online writing about anime, TV, movies, games and so much more.

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