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Film

TIFF 2013, Days 1 & 2

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Cheerleaders!

Machete girls

Machete girls

All Cheerleaders Die

When you first hear the title of this film, you think: formulaic and simplistic slasher flick.  That’s about the only thing that this film isn’t.

When Maddy’s friend Lexi dies in a horrific cheerleader accident, she vows to infiltrate the cheerleader clique to exact revenge.  Then you think: ahhh, revenge film.  But no.  As this film morphs from one genre to the next (I won’t reveal exactly which genres so as not to spoil anything), you begin to realize that this plot has some meat to it.  Add to that some solid performances by Caitlin Stasey and Tom Williamson and you’ve got a fun and unexpected story.

However, it’s not without its flaws.  There were several confusing edits, and the amateurish colour correction left everyone’s faces overexposed.  The special effects were unspectacular (but sufficient).  7/10

Directors Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson

Directors Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson

Brooke Butler, Caitlin Stasey, Amanda Grace Cooper, and Tom Williamson

Brooke Butler, Caitlin Stasey, Amanda Grace Cooper, and Tom Williamson

Sianoa Smit-McPhee

Sianoa Smit-McPhee

Horns

After being accused of murdering his girlfriend, a man begins to grow horns on his forehead, and people around him begin to reveal their darkest secrets.  As he uses his new found powers to investigate the murder, the town’s secrets are laid bare.  Based on the novel of the same name, this wildly creative premise strips the mask of civility from our social norms, and reminds us that even the devil was once a good guy.  Superb execution with outstanding performances from Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple.  The only thing that bothered me was how the devil kept getting his ass kicked (you’ll know what I mean when you see it).  9/10

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Director Alexandre Aja

Writer Joe Hill and producer Cathy Shulman

Writer Joe Hill and producer Cathy Shulman

Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple

Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple

The Station (Blutgletscher)

A retreating glacier at a science research station releases a mutagenic pathogen.  Plot holes (which is really hard to do with such a simple plot), crappy creature effects, no character depth.  An inferior version of John Carpenter’s The Thing.  This film has no reason to exist.  3/10

Director Marvin Kren

Director Marvin Kren

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