Five films we’re looking forward to at Fantasia International Film Festival 2024!

As the best festival is arriving we take a look at five films we’re looking forward to checking out at this years Fantasia International Film Festival!

1) THE UMBRELLA FAIRY- All things possess spirits capable of transforming into fairies, which carry the owners’ desires. One single piece of jade is used to create both an umbrella and a sword, but from the very beginning, the fairies Qingdai and Wanggui are destined for different missions. A brand-new, top-tier work of Chinese animation, THE UMBRELLA FAIRY marks the feature-length directorial debut of Shen Jie, art director on MR. MIAO (2020). Incorporating numerous elements of traditional Chinese arts and culture to achieve a distinctive charm and vitality, the film offers its audience a visual feast of rare richness to complement its engaging fantasy fable.

2) DEANER ‘89- your favorite headbanger is back in DEANER ‘89! It’s 1989 and Paul Spence (FUBAR and FUBAR 2) brings us his legendary character Dean Murdoch as a teenager growing up in suburban Manitoba. Captain of the hockey team, with a pretty girlfriend and a great adoptive family – he’s got it all until a gnarly trunk of his recently deceased birth father’s belongings arrives. Deaner’s life changes when he learns about his heritage and identity in one fell swoop. Dean’s contagious energy of lives on in DEANER ‘89, featuring an outstanding cast that includes Spence, Will Sasso (CBS’ Young Sheldon, THE THROWBACK), comedy legend Mary Walsh (THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES), and a cameo from Kids in the Hall’s Kevin McDonald. You’ll laugh your ass off with this charming, hilarious origin story!

3) A LEGEND- After one hundred films, Jackie Chan shows no signs of stopping in this lavish kung fu epic filled with high production values and a massive cast. Chan reunites here with his frequent collaborator Stanley Tong to create a follow-up to their 2005 classic THE MYTH. The two most famously worked together on the iconic action classics POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP and RUMBLE IN THE BRONX, both of which became massive breakout hits for Chan in North America. In A LEGEND, Chan portrays a professor whose dreams of his past life as soldier in old China are haunting him, causing complications in the present day as he rediscovers more of his colorful past

4) CHAINSAWS WERE SINGING- A true DIY passion project from Estonian filmmaker Sander Maran, CHAINSAWS WERE SINGING is a zany, blood-soaked musical about lovers split up by a chainsaw-wielding killer. Over a decade in the making, Saran not only directed but wrote, scored, shot, and edited this colorful murder-fest that’s part gory horror movie and part ridiculous musical. The camerawork is inventive, the editing slapstick, and the tone truly absurdist. Most importantly, though, the songs are incredibly catchy, with Sander clearly deeply indebted to Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL and Frank Oz’s LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.

5) THE G- After decades as a prolific character actor in film and television, winning numerous awards in the process, Dale Dickey (WINTER’S BONE, HELL OR HIGH WATER) takes center stage in THE G. Here, she plays Ann, a harsh-tongued, tough-as-nails septuagenarian who finds herself with no husband, no money, and no home other than the miserable facility she’s been locked up in after being betrayed by her corrupt legal guardian. But as her tormentors are about to find out, someone who’s had everything taken away from them is someone with nothing left to lose. Director Karl R. Hearne has crafted a gritty revenge thriller laced with shards of bitter humor and anchors it with an unconventional, yet entirely convincing, protagonist – a different shade of noir, with a touch of grey and a ton of earned rage. Co-starring Romane Denis, Bruce Ramsay, and Roc LaFortune. Official selection: Tallinn Black Nights 2023, Glasgow Film Festival 2024

Honorable mentions

1) THE CHAPEL- The stunning sophomore feature from award-winning director Carlota Pereda (PIGGY), THE CHAPEL marks the fantastic return of atmospheric, character-driven supernatural Spanish horror. Emma (Maia Zaitegi) wants to learn how to communicate with the spirit of a little girl who has spent centuries trapped inside a chapel. She tries to convince Carol (THE ORPHANAGE’s Belen Rueda), a cynical and fake medium, to help her in the hopes that contacting the spirit may help her to remain close to her dying mother after she passes. What Carol doesn’t suspect is that Emma really does have “the gift” and, if she keeps on trying to use it without her guidance, she will be putting her young life at terrifying risk. Winner: Best Actress, Belen Rueda, Cinefantasy 2023

2) CUCKOO- A seventeen-year-old girl (Hunter Schafer, HBO’s Euphoria) is forced to move with her family to a resort where things are not what they seem in this astonishing mix of mix of domestic tension, body horror, and perverse science from the gifted director of LUZ. Co-starring Dan Stevens, Jessica Henwick, Marton Csókás, and Jan Bluthardt. Official selection: Berlin International Film Festival 2024, SXSW 2024. Winner of the Silver Raven Award at the 2024 Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film

3) TIMESTALKER- Alice Lowe (PREVENGE) returns with an ingenious, Python-esque time-jumping/reincarnation anti-rom-com unlike anything audiences have ever seen, wherein a woman continuously seeks out the presumed love of her life across time. Co-starring Jacob Anderson (HBO’s Game of Thrones), Nick Frost (SHAUN OF THE DEAD, THE WORLD’S END), and Aneurin Barnard (DUNKIRK), this bloody brilliant – and brilliantly bloody – film impales the heart of the romantic comedy on the sharpest sword imaginable, proving some lessons are just too hard to learn in one lifetime. Official Selection: SXSW 2024.