5 Fantasia 2023 Films Promising Horrific Delights

Fantasia Film Fest 2023

Fantasia Film Festival 2023 starts tomorrow and film lovers, especially horror film aficionados, are in for a treat. This year’s program is vast and does not disappoint, which makes it so hard to narrow down to favorites. But whether you enjoy vengeance flicks, anthologies, minimalist horror a la The Witch, or in-your-face gore and laughs, here’s a breakdown of some festival titles to check out. 


Emptiness

Fantasia Film Festival Selection: Emptiness

Emptiness sounds like a psychological horror but has paranormal potential. Suzanne (Stephanie Breton) is at a house in the woods, wondering about her absent husband. At first, it seems like he may be having an affair. But two women, Linda (Julie Trépanier) and Nicole (Anana Rydvald) are watching her. And there seem to be rules – Suzanne cannot leave the house and, above all, the barn. Its description brings to mind A Tale of Two Sisters. Keep it in mind. 


Femme

Fantasia Film Festival selection: Femme

Femme is an LGBTQIA2S+ vengeance flick starring Nathan Stewart-Jarrett from Candyman as Jules, also known by their drag queen name, Aphrodite Banks. After performing at a show, homophobes attack Jules and he withdraws. Then, he sees his attacker, Preston (George MacKay), in a sauna. Jules dates closeted Preston, infiltrating his friend group with his sights set on revenge. I love an excellent vengeance film that doesn’t take it too far but doesn’t it play it safe either. Femme looks like a taut thriller that might have some surprises in store for viewers.


We Are Zombies

Fantasia Film Festival selection: We Are Zombies

If you like horror comedies, We Are Zombies sounds hilarious. In this film, zombies live in society as the “living-impaired” and don’t eat people. Coleman Corporation offers retirement plans and promises to research them, but three friends decide to sell the zombies themselves. Someone kidnaps their grandmother, and the ransom has them doing dangerous jobs to get her back. This world sounds fascinating, with plenty of room to twist, elevate the ridiculousness, and skewer some societal structures. Plus the screengrabs used to promote the film gives Shaun of the Dead vibes. Fingers crossed for side-splitting laughs. 


Pett Kata Shaw

Fantasia Film Festival selection: Pett Kata Shaw

Look no further than Pett Kata Shaw for a collection of horror delights. To top it off, it’s from Nuhash Humayun, the creator of the fantastic and award-winning short film Moshari. Bangladeshi oral tales lay the groundwork for these four chilling shorts. People who love ghost stories and other legends shared around campfires rejoice. But it’s not just ghosts; there are disappearances and other forces, all of which could fuel your nightmares even if it satiates your need for a frightening horror anthology. This is my top film to watch for Fantasia!


ROMI

Conversations around AI permeate almost every industry. There’s still the Skynet Terminator terror from the real threat that AI will replace people at work, thereby widening the gap between the wealthy and poor. But Fantasia won’t let us forget about smart homes. Enter ROMI, a film about when homes attack. When her politician mom sends her to a safe house to avoid arrest (and thereby complicate said mother’s plans), Maddie (Alexa Barajas) finds herself in a house that comes with state-of-the-art AI technology called Romi. Isolated and lonely, Maddie starts to worry ROMI is not as safe. Survival horrors in such a claustrophobic setting are terrifying. After all, how do you escape when the AI will not let you leave? The more top-tier the home, the greater the threat for Maddie. Give this a watch if AI has got you stressed out. 

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