7 Films to See at Montreal’s Requiem Fear Fest

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This year, Montreal is getting its very first true horror convention, the Requiem Fear Fest. Running through the weekend of October 29th and 30th at the Alt Hotel in Montreal, the Requiem Fear Fest will feature horror vendors, special guests, panels, and a horror film festival.

If you check out their guest list, you’ll notice a bit of a pattern: they’ve got Richard DeManincor, as well as Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker and Theresa Tilly, otherwise known as the Ladies of the Evil Dead. Why the theme? Cause the event will be celebrating the 35th anniversary of Sam Raimi’s original cult classic masterpiece, The Evil Dead. The actors will be on hand to sign autographs and participate on an Evil Dead panel and Q&A.

As for the film festival, it’ll showcase both short and feature-length films by local and international indie artists. In fact, I was lucky enough to see a few of the films being featured, so here’re some that stood out for me:

 

The Stylist

Short Films Block 2 – Saturday, October 29, 9:30am

A beautifully shot and genuinely unnerving little gem about a young hair stylist and her painful search for something better. A gorgeous blend of tension, horror and sadness.

 

Idyll

Feature – Saturday, October 29, 2:15pm

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was such an influential film that it essentially spawned its own horror sub-subgenre. Just as Die Hard has become a sort of short-hand for a certain type of action movie (Under Siege is Die Hard on a boat, Speed is Die Hard on a bus, etc), TCM can be used to describe a specific type of horror film. Well, here we go with Idyll, which is essentially TCM in Slovenia (just as Harpoon was TCM in Iceland and Macabre was TCM in Indonesia). Honestly, that should tell you all you need to know, but I’ll add Idyll is a solid little indie film and that the Slovenian setting, much of it in the mountains, is absolutely stunning.

 

Night of the Slasher

Short Films Block 5 – Saturday, October 29, 4:00pm

A clever, witty little thing, shot in a single take, in which a young woman commits all of the standard “horror movie sins” in an effort to draw out a killer.

 

The Bridge Partner

Short Films Block 5 – Saturday, October 29, 4:00pm

Expertly shot and acted, this little psychological thriller plays out like a game of cat and mouse—or dog and sheep—though much is left, deliciously, to the imagination.

 

Mizbrük

Short Films Block 6 – Saturday, October 29, 7:00pm

A Québec production, Mizbrük is a technically assured, supremely well-acted short that acts both as a joyous celebration of 80s kid-horror (Poltergeist, Invaders from Mars, and the likes) and a heart-breaking story of sibling love.

 

Nocturne

Feature – Saturday, October 29, 8:00pm

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Okay, honestly, I hate this description of mine, but I can’t think of a better way to put it: this is a Millennial version of Night of the Demons, full of angst and secrets and fears for what comes next, sprinkled with a healthy dose of mind-and-time-bending supernatural goings-on. Though the pace is a little off, Nocturne is well shot, well-acted and features some impressive—though often subtle—special effects.

 

Peelers

Feature – Sunday, October 30, 4:00pm

A fun blend of From Dusk Till Dawn and Dawn of the Dead, a disparate group of employees and patrons are trapped in a stripclub when a zombie-like infection breaks out. It’s uneven and sometimes takes itself a bit too seriously, but Peelers is an enjoyable romp and boasts a surprisingly likeable cast of characters.

 

Any one of these films is well worth your time and money and, honestly, this is just a sampling. I saw plenty of other great films screening throughout the weekend.

So, if you need something to do this Halloween weekend—and if you’ve already got plans, g’head and cancel ’em—and get your tickets for the Requiem Fear Fest!

Check out the festival trailer below:

 

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