2020 Fantasia Film Festival Reviews Slaxx

Usually, the genre-heavy Fantasia International Film Festival is held annually in Montreal, but with things the way they are this year (terrible), the festival has gone virtual. This year, Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato are covering Fantasia for /Film, firing off dispatches featuring capsule reviews of the titles we’ve watched from the safety of our own homes, all while dreaming of poutine.

In this edition: killer jeans, pioneer horror, blood, and more.

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fantasia 12 hour shift

Usually, the genre-heavy Fantasia International Film Festival is held annually in Montreal, but with things the way they are this year (terrible), the festival has gone virtual. This year, Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato are covering Fantasia for /Film, firing off dispatches featuring capsule reviews of the titles we’ve watched from the safety of our own homes, all while dreaming of poutine.

In this edition: a documentary about a deadly theme park, a horror-comedy about organ harvesting, an unconventional vampire tale, and more.

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The Fantasia International Film Festival is now on-going – virtually. Usually, this genre-heavy fest is held in Montreal, but with things the way they are this year (terrible), the festival has gone virtual. This year, Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato are covering Fantasia for /Film from the safety of their homes, firing off dispatches featuring capsule reviews of the titles we’ve watched from the safety of our own homes, all while dreaming of poutine.

In this edition: a clever horror anthology, a wild ode to kaiju cinema, a bizarre police training satire, and much more.

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In the new horror film Host, a group of friends convene over Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic to participate in an online seance. Evil forces are contacted. Things go wrong. Lots of screaming and terror ensues. Naturally, this meant the /Film crew had to do one thing: we had to meet up with the director, writers, and cast of Host for a real online seance. And record the whole thing so you could join in.

So now that you’ve had a chance to watch the cinematic version of an online seance gone wrong, join us as we team up with Los Angeles-based exorcist R.H. Stavis to light some candles, open our minds, and try to contact the dead over the internet. Spoiler alert: no one dies. At least not yet.

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(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: This week’s “Now Scream This” is a special request, echoed by all our readers who don’t have a Shudder subscription. Or any niche streaming services for that matter (but if you’re a horror fan, splurge for Shudder). By request, Chris and I are keeping this edition to only Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. The O.G. streamers before Peacock and Disney+ or any of these new services you can’t convince me truthfully exist. Stop making up services. This many can’t possibly compete.

Chris: Yep. Read what Matt said above. I’ve got nothing this week, folks. Bar’s closed. 

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The Pool review

(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: It’s getting to the point where I don’t know how many times I can reword the same introduction in this space. Viral cases are still on the rise, we should all still be staying home when possible, and horror movies are more enjoyable than ever. How else to reword things? Lock your door, turn out the lights, and yell at characters in scary movies from the safety of your couch because it’ll momentarily fill the void left by social isolation. It’s the “Now Scream This” way.

Chris: Every other week, Matt and I try to come up with a clever theme for Now Scream This. We try to tie the theme into current events, or current releases. But current events these days are just endlessly hopeless, and there aren’t really any current releases to piggy-back off of. So to hell with it, we’re going with a grab bag of titles this week. Please clap. 

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the mandalorian disney

Ah, yes. Another major awards show, another chance to pick apart the nominations! The 2020 Emmy Nominations were announced this morning and, as usual, there were a number of surprises (some positive, some negative). And of course, there were plenty of folks who were left out of the party.

So let’s dispense with the pleasantries and wade into the muck of it all. Let’s break down the biggest 2020 Emmy surprises and snubs, from The Mandalorian to Watchmen to What We Do in the Shadows to Reese Witherspoon and more.

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(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: According to the calendar, holidays are still a thing? Happy whatever, America! Now let’s all celebrate like I had to for my lockdown birthday…by doing nothing. Stay home. Cook some hot dogs over a flaming pile of dollar bills while blasting that Team America song or whatever you do on the 4th Of July. Just, pretty please, keep the current situation in mind? Pandemics don’t respect nationwide vacation days. Watch some Americana-themed horror movies from your couch and ensure social distancing. Chris and I have some streaming recommendations that should resonate awful loudly right about now.

Chris: It feels extra strange to celebrate America right now, because of, well…everything. But hey, it’s the 4th of July weekend, baby! And that means it’s an excuse to drink booze, eat grilled food, and watch horror movies (not that I need an extra excuse to do aunt of those things). And since America can be such a nightmare, Matt and I decided to highlight some good old American horror stories (and no, I’m not talking about the show that everyone hates but keeps watching anyway). 

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(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: This week on Now Scream This, we honor fatherhood. Specifically, Horror Daddies. Those nurturing and protective characters whose intentions are hopefully pure, but not always. In any case, this is their holiday, and we’re surely not trying to ignore anyone. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, but especially those dads who let us stay up after midnight to catch horror flicks mom never knew existed. If that was your experience. My father and I will never share a love of horror, but that’s alright because we’ll always have The Replacements.

Chris: Ah, Father’s Day! The holiday where we are encouraged to buy power tools or neckties with golf balls on them for dear old dad, even if he doesn’t give a shit about those things. But here at Now Scream This, we’re taking a different approach. This one goes out to all the dads out there, baby! All the horror dads, that is. The dads who are either very good at fatherhood, or absolute monsters – sometimes literally. As Father’s Day approaches, let us pay tribute to the big daddies of horror. 

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: A few days ago, Chris and I decided this week’s theme should be “feel good” horror movies because we can all use some hope and empowerment. Simpler times when our US government’s only failure was 2020’s pandemic response. At this very moment? I’m writing about horror movie recommendations while America is literally burning to the ground. “Now Scream This” feels especially trivial in the grand scheme, currently. Why watch a scary movie when the purest representation of horror is an unfit, tyrannical president posting on social media about killing protesters? Do you want to feel terrorized? Scroll through Twitter for about five minutes. Need a brief smile to combat, well, *gestures around*, all this? If only for a few blinks? We’ll do our best.

Chris: Things are bad, kids. I won’t go off into a rant about how utterly screwed-up everything seems right now, but if you haven’t realized that for yourself by now, you’re in denial. But we here at Now Scream This have a job to do, damn it, and we’re going to do it. Horror can often be therapeutic in times of distress – there are actually studies about this – and while the horror genre can often be bleak, it can also be hopeful. Or make you laugh. Or at the very least distract you from all of this *motions at literally everything*. 

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