Luz: The Flower of Evil (2020)

Luz: The Flower of Evil (2020)

In Juan Diego Escobar Alzate’s feature debut, Luz: The Flower of Evil, there’s a focus on man corrupting nature and corrupting everything he touches. This man is a preacher called El Señor (Conrado Osorio) who leads a small commune in the mountains. One day, he brings back a child he calls Jesús (Johan Camacho) who will be the new Messiah. Coinciding with this, his “daughters” Uma (Yuri Vargas), Zion (Sharon Guzman) and Laila (Andrea Esquivel), who is his only birth daughter, are coming-of-age and begin to challenge his teachings.   This aspect of the film challenging him is fascinating, especially when Laila finds a music player in the woods and El Señor claims that this is “the devil’s music.” There’s a lovely discussion by the three “sisters” as they discuss what she found and discuss a music box given to them by their mother, the titular Luz. Luz’s presence is felt throughout the film, as some members of the commune believe her death has brought bad luck to the small commune as the tree where El Señor buried her has not yet bloomed.

Fantasia 2020 – Anything for Jackson (2020)

Fantasia 2020 – Anything for Jackson (2020)

I knew very little about Anything for Jackson going into the film and did not know that this was an exorcism film. Well, it’s actually a reverse exorcism. Basically, this scenario is born out of the idea of there being someone you would do absolutely anything to see again. For Audrey (Sheila McCarthy) and husband Henry (Julian Richings), that’s their two-year-old grandson Jackson. They need to find a host for Jackson to bring him back, and luckily Henry works as an obstetrician and they grab a woman named Shannon Becker (Konstantina Mantelos), a soon-to-be mother.

Fantasia 2020 – Free Country (2020)

Fantasia 2020 – Free Country (2020)

Directed by: Christian Alvart. Starring: Trystan Pütter, Felix Kramer, Nora von Waldstätten.  Runtime: 2h 7 min. Released: This film had its Canadian Premiere at Fantasia Film Festival on August 20, 2020. Detectives Patrick Stein (Trystan Pütter) and Markus Bach (Felix Kramer) are called to the small town of Lowitz in Eastern Germany to investigate the [...]

Fantasia 2020 – The Paper Tigers (2020)

Fantasia 2020 – The Paper Tigers (2020)

Middle age is a funny thing, something that writer/director Quoc Bao Tran understands well as it’s the main crux of his film The Paper Tigers. His main characters are former martial arts gurus who trained under the revered Sifu Cheung (Roger Yuan). 30 years removed from their glory days, the Three Tigers of Sifu Cheng – Danny (Alain Uy), Hing (Ron Yuan) and Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins) – are brought together by Cheung’s death, which they start to investigate.

Fantasia 2020 – Slaxx (2020)

Fantasia 2020 – Slaxx (2020)

Directed by: Elza Kephart. Starring: Romane Denis, Brett Donahue, Sehar Bhojani. Runtime: 1h 17 min. This film had its World Premiere on August 24 at the Fantasia International Film Fesitval.  (Minor spoilers follow.) Joining the likes of other killer inanimate objects like the killer tire in Rubber, Slaxx is about a retail company called Canadian [...]

Fantasia 2020 Coverage – 12 Hour Shift

Fantasia 2020 Coverage – 12 Hour Shift

Set in 1999 Arkansas, a junkie nurse, Mandy (Angela Bettis) starts a 12 Hour Shift at her hospital where, to get money for her addiction, she’s part of an organ harvesting scheme. When her irresponsible “cousin” Regina (Chloe Farnworth) forgets the organs, they have to try to get another kidney for their boss, and there are many suitable candidates inside the hospital. Read more.

The Honeymoon Phase (2020)

The Honeymoon Phase (2020)

Directed by: Phillip G. Carroll Jr. Starring: Chloe Carroll, Jim Schubin, François Chau. Runtime: 1h 29 min. Released: August 21, 2020. Blending psychological thriller, sci-fi and horror, The Honeymoon Phase is a commentary on marriage about an experiment attempting to learn why so many marriages don’t survive past that honeymoon phase. Ironically, Phillip G. Carroll [...]

Host (2020)

Host (2020)

Directed by: Rob Savage. Starring: Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb. Runtime: 57 min. Released: July 30, 2020. At the start of this 2020 pandemic, it seemed like teleconferencing platform Zoom came out of nowhere, usurping Skype. Now, I only use Skype to chat before going onto Zoom. Skype walked so Zoom could run, [...]