Sunday, July 7

Fantasia International Film Festival 2024

 Fantasia International Film Festival

Cue the fireworks! The Fantasia International Film Festival is here!

This July 18 - August 4, Fantasia will celebrate genre films with a jam-packed program of screenings, workshops, and launch events.

There are so many intriguing films to view this year, and I plan to see as many as I can and share capsule reviews with you here on Coda.

For now, I’ve narrowed it down to five films I’m most excited to watch!



I’ve missed brooding Kit Harrington and look forward to seeing him again in what sounds like an intriguing family drama tinged with superstitious folklore.


Kit Harington is a father with a secret that he is desperately trying to keep under control. His mysterious excursions at night leave his ailing daughter (Caoilinn Springall) plagued with questions. As she investigates her father’s bizarre and dark behavior, a monstrous figure emerges from the shadows, terrorizing those who encounter it. Supported by her grandfather (James Cosmo) she attempts to unravel the mysteries of the creature, and the revelations that she discovers will rock her family and leave her forever changed.



Carlota Pereda is back! I feel head over heels for PIGGY and can’t wait to see what unfolds in her ghost story, THE CHAPEL.


Carol Peralta (Belen Rueda) doesn't believe in ghosts. But bills must be paid and she knows how these things work so she's become a medium. When Carol receives word that her mother has died, it brings the opportunity to leave the small village she was raised in behind forever. However, her mother's passing coincides with the village's annual fall festival commemorating the opening of a sealed chapel said to be haunted by the spirit of a young girl whose ghost must be appeased with gifts for five days before the chapel is sealed up again. Into this unwanted distraction comes Emma (Maia Zaitegi), a little girl whose belief in the afterlife and a need to reach the chapel's inhabitant carries with it a possible redemption—or damnation—for them all.



The film INSIDE still haunts me and this time, directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, have opted to tell a mystery with a dark supernatural element, including an ending that Michael Gingold states, “the true, tragic scope of the horror is revealed.”


A pair of quite different investigators arrive in Roquenoir, a town in the French mountains, and wind up approaching the same case from two different directions. Commander Elisabeth Guardiano (Virginie Ledoyen) has been sent to look into a married couple’s grisly murder, and Captain of the Gendarmerie Franck De Rolan (Paul Hamy), from the “department of alarming disappearances,” intends to track down a group of missing children. Their missions turn out to be linked, and one of the elements tying them together is “The Soul Eater,” a local bogeyman legend intended to encourage kids not to wander off into the woods. This creature may not be a myth after all, and as strange details about that double killing come to light and more bizarre deaths occur, Guardiano and De Rolan are drawn toward discovering a shocking truth.



As an adult, I’ve grown to love cryptoids; although I’m sure I’d pee my pants running into one in real life. But I digress. Kourtney Roy’s feature KRYPTIC sounds like a fun adventure I’m willing to take second hand.


Clad in a pink windbreaker and hiking boots, Kay Hall (Chloe Pirrie) joins a group of women on a nature hike to Krypto Peak. The area is known for cryptids and is also where renowned cryptozoologist Barbara Valentine went missing three years prior, while she searched for a mysterious creature. When Kay strays from the group and has a disturbingly viscous encounter with the beast, she forgets who she is and becomes obsessed with finding Barb Valentine. The deeper Kay goes into the woods, the more she learns about Barb, and the deeper she delves into her psyche, the closer she gets to the truth.



I can’t turn away from the chilling mannequin in the photo promo for this film (above) and after reading about this film, I need to know how far down the horror rabbit hole director Damian McCarthy is going to take us.


Darcy (Carolyn Bracken) is a blind medium blessed with genuine occult abilities. She runs an antique shop, secretly collecting haunted and cursed items. Through a chance encounter, Darcy begins to decipher terrible secrets about her twin sister’s unsolved murder. A murder once presumed to have been perpetrated by a patient from a nearby mental-health institution, who was soon afterwards found dead, his head crushed to pieces with only a glass eye remaining unscathed. With the otherworldly help of a nightmarish wooden mannequin, Darcy embarks on a fact-finding mission of supernatural retribution, opening doorways into pure horror.

Bonus Film


I have one more film I can’t wait to watch but full disclosure, I know the director, executive producer, and am good friends with the producer, Monte Yazzie.

So of course, I am going to support this awesome group, but you should too! If you are an avid listener of the Colors of The Dark podcast, THE DEAD THING is Elric Kane’s directorial debut, with Dr. Rebekah McKendry as executive producer.


Alex (Blu Hunt) is trapped in a downward spiral of shallow hookups and tepid connections, but she is caught off guard when her dating app swipes lead her into the arms of a mysterious, charming young man Kyle (Ben Smith-Petersen). Despite their passionate night, when the sun rises, the mystery man is nowhere to be found. Alex then sets out to find the one person who made her feel alive. Through her investigation, she reconnects with Kyle, but also digs up a ghastly supernatural secret. The pair quickly descend into a whirlwind of obsession, dependence, lust, and infatuation that has grave consequences.

Don't forget to stay tuned for capsule reviews from Fantasia International Film Festival starting July 18!

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