Toronto After Dark Film Festival wraps Friday

Oct 23, 2015 | Arts

 The Toronto After Dark Film Festival featuring horror, sci-fi, action, and cult films ends tonight.

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival featuring horror, sci-fi, action, and cult films ends tonight. (Photo/Matthew Pariselli)

Matthew Pariselli

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival closes its casket for the year with its final night of fright scheduled for Friday.

The festival, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, got off to a screaming start with last week’s Tales of Halloween and has been breaking records since.

In an exclusive interview with Humber News, festival director and founder Adam Lopez said there will have been 23 screenings by the time the last credits roll tonight. Of those screenings, 14 have been sell-outs.

The number of feature-length filmmakers on hand to present their films also breaks a record. Of the 19 features screened this year, 14 have been introduced by their directors.

“That’s a fantastic number,” Lopez said.

Toronto After Dark Film Festival director and founder is thrilled with this year's success.

Toronto After Dark Film Festival director and founder Adam Lopez is thrilled with this year’s success. (Photo/Matthew Pariselli)

Friday’s closing film, Deathgasm, contributes to the record smashing year. No director has travelled from as great a distance in the festival’s history as Deathgasm’s Jason Lei Howden, who hails from New Zealand and will introduce his project tonight.

Lei Howden tweeted this on Thursday:

The thrill ride that the festival has been taking audience members on took a twisty turn with Thursday night’s Tag, a Japanese film by Sion Sono.

Tag is an interesting pick for us, because on one level it’s an ultra-violent, horror, action chase movie. But on another level, it’s a reflection of Japan, young women, and how they’re epitomized in society, video games, and popular culture,” Lopez said.

“There are all sorts of layers to Tag that make it really difficult to encapsulate in a few short sentences. I just think it’s a really cool movie. It’s beautiful, it’s visual, and it certainly makes you think about things. At the end, you’re left emotionally drained by the experience.”

Critics are tagging it as a favourite. The Chicago Film Festival tweeted this on Thursday: 

Tag was also highly anticipated in Toronto.

One horror hungry fan tweeted this:

Before Thursday’s screening, fans expressed their elation while standing in line at the Scotiabank theatre.

One such fan was Hugo Lam, a fourth year film production student at York. Lam has seen six films at the festival this week and said Sono’s background made him excited to see Tag.

Nicole Orlans, a production assistant, has attended Toronto After Dark for three years. Although she didn’t know the plot details of Tag before the screening, she said she was just happy to support the festival.

“I’m huge into horror and I want to be a horror director myself, so I think Toronto After Dark is incredibly important,” Orlans said. “I know other filmmakers that have shown their work here and had great success because of it, so it’s super significant,”

Lopez echoed Orlans’ view.

“It’s just nice to see visionary, iconic filmmakers making films that defy genre boundaries. Toronto After Dark has always been about blurring the boundaries between horror, sci-fi, action, and cult, which crosses over into everything.”