Toronto After Dark 2013 - Day 8 (CLOSING NIGHT!)

By: Heather Seebach

The closing night of Toronto After Dark brought two features I'd heard a lot of great things about, plus two cool shorts. Sadly, I was not able to attend the closing night festivities at Pub After Dark as I had to be on a plane Saturday morning en route to Philly for a 24-hour horrorthon! I hear it's always a great time, though, so if you ever plan on attending TADFF, don't miss closing night! Now onto the reviews...

Short: Remember Me (d: Jean-Francois Asselin)

This French-language short from Canada could possibly be my favorite of the entire festival. Like Crank for the Facebook crowd, this short follows a man who will literally cease to exist unless someone is constantly thinking about him so he resorts to extreme acts to get attention. It's inventive, hilarious, and occasionally brutal.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Feature: Cheap Thrills (d: E.L. Katz)

We've seen plenty of films about what human beings will do for money, but Cheap Thrills still manages to flip expectations in this solid thriller. Craig (Pat Healy) is jobless, facing eviction, and has a baby at home. While drinking with an old friend Vince (Ethan Embry), he meets a rich couple (David Koechner; Sara Paxton) whose idea of a fun night is daring the men to do increasingly risky acts in exchange for cash. The film is darkly funny, nihilistic, and often surprising. Just when you think you know where it's going, the film proves it is more than some gross-out movie or torture porn. It also carries a lot of subtext about classism without feeling preachy. All the actors are great, especially Healy, who has been a consistently solid presence in the genre lately.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Short: Corvus (d: Darcy Van Poelgeest)

This black-and-white short plays like an old noir film, complete with the voice-over narration of a weary detective trying to piece together a murder. The dialogue is great and the visuals stunning, but it kind of felt more like a trailer than a complete short. Interestingly enough, the VFX were done by Sol Friedman, who directed another of the festival shorts, Beasts in the Real World.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Feature: Big Bad Wolves (d: Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado)

This Israeli film was directed by the duo behind 2010's acclaimed horror, Rabies. This one is about a child killer, and how a rogue police detective and a grieving father take justice into their own hands - only they may have the wrong man in custody. It's a disturbing, often gory little thriller with a lot of dark comedy. The film is beautifully-shot, with strong performance and a great score; however, I felt a little empty-handed by the end of it. Obviously, I can't go into my issues without heavily spoiling the film. I think a second viewing is in order for me. It's not 2013's greatest movie as Quentin Tarantino hails it, but Big Bad Wolves is still a good film worth your time, especially if you dig Park Chan-wook and the Coen Brothers.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

I had high hopes for Big Bad Wolves stealing Best Film of TADFF '13, but it wasn't even my favorite film of closing night! To find out what my favorite feature of the entire festival was, plus best short, best Q&A, etc., click here for my final Toronto After Dark wrap-up!

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