With the second day of the 2012 Toronto After Dark Film Festival behind me, I’ve learned a valuable lesson. Sleeping for more than three hours is a wonderful thing. This is a sacrifice that I choose to make as a fan and reviewer. I find it impossible to balance both, so I just do each one to the maximum amount. The film fan in me must watch every movie and spend each evening chatting with other fans and filmmakers at the pub. It’s a wonderful time and I suggest every person attending the festival take at least one evening and head over there. The reviewer in me must make sure to cover each film in a timely manner. That means instead of sleeping in like every good fan should be doing, I’m stumbling downstairs at an unhealthy hour to get my work done.
Day two provided some great laughs and an excessive amount of blood and gore. Opening this evening’s films was Crave. Directed by Charles de Lauzirika, the film follows crime scene photographer Aiden (Josh Lawson) who begins to lose his grip on reality while contemplating the idea of being a vigilante. It was a fantastic film that featured some very dark and twisted moments, but also had some of the best laughs of the day. Another successful film for the TADFF lineup. Of course, you can’t just sit around inside all night, so it was back outside and in the line for the next film.
This was the moment that the fear took over.
Opening night left me completely soaked. My jacket still wasn’t dry the next day and my shoes still don’t feel the same. I was better prepared, but still wasn’t sure if another 30 minutes in the rain was something I could handle. Thankfully it was a beautiful evening. For now. I passed by the Soska twins on the way out of the theatre, but still missed my chance to get a picture as they closed the doors behind me. That’s fine though, I was getting ready for the next film, Inbred. Someone outside gave the best explanation of the film. It’s basically Two Thousand Maniacs but in England. That’s pretty much dead on. This film serves only one purpose, and that’s to showcase some of the most disgusting kill scenes around. That certainly satisfies the crowds of TADFF, but when it takes 30 minutes to get to the first real kill, you’ve lost me attention. Instead, I found something more entertaining.
There were three girls in front of me, and I believe they had brought their own homemade alcohol into the theatre. For anybody who hasn’t been to the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema lately, you can now get a beer. This frightens me, but that’s another story. So the girls in front of me are drinking a very pink liquid out of water bottles and giggling hysterically. The film has almost no gore during the first half hour and it’s incredibly ridiculous. The girls are enjoying themselves and quickly finishing off their drinks. Once the gore kicked in, the girls didn’t seem to be enjoying the film as much. With each progressively disgusting scene, one girl would leave and come back five or ten minutes later. Towards the end, one character is strapped to a chair when they take a septic tank pump and stick it in his mouth. The villains begin filling him up with waste until he explodes. It was this point that the girl in front of me got up and never came back. Ten minutes later, her friends followed, missing the last fifteen minutes of the movie.
There’s something funny and exciting about watching people walk out on a movie. The rest of the evening was very mild. It was obvious that the crowds were preparing themselves for a late night on Saturday. At least, that’s what I kept telling everybody when I left at 1:30 am. I’m just glad that I got more than three hours sleep, because zombie Saturday is going to be insane.