Fear in the North: Not to be Missed Horror Events in Canada

The Fall is fast approaching and with it comes a wide variety of events to keep horror fans busy. Those who live in Ontario, Canada and surrounding area are especially spoiled with a non-stop list of events in the days leading up to Halloween and beyond. Let Maniacs and Monsters take you on a tour of some of the most notable film festivals, conventions, and special events that will warm the blood of horror aficionados in the cool autumn days ahead.

In the first stop of the tour we look at upcoming festival within a festival: tiff’s Midnight Madness.

tiff: Midnight Madness 2019

Since its founding in 1976, the Toronto International Film Festival (AKA tiff), has grown to become one of world’s largest and most influential festivals. In addition to the many Oscar bound films that debut here each year, the festival has carved out some space for horror and cult films through the Midnight Madness programme.

It will be hard to top last year’s event which saw the world premiere of Halloween (2018) and a Q&A with Jamie Lee Curtis, cast and crew. Organizers have announced a diverse slate of ten films from seven countries for Midnight Madness 2019.

Nicolas Cage stars in Color Out of Space which will have its world premiere at Midnight Madness.

The lineup includes the much anticipated Color Out of Space, based on the H. P. Lovecraft story. Directed by Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil) and starring Nicolas Cage, the film tells the story of a family contending with a uniquely colourful alien presence.

Another film set to debut at Midnight Madness is Canadian zombie flick Blood Quantum, directed by Jeff Barnaby. The film is set on a remote reserve where the inhabitants seem to be the only people immune from the zombie plague that surrounds them.

Canadian Zombie film Blood Quantum.

The Platform (El Hoyo), a Spanish-made film directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, is also having its world debut at Midnight Madness. Set in a grim future world, The Platform tells the story of the inhabitants of stacked cells who depend on food lowered from above for their survival.

Spanish film The Platform (El Hoyo) will have its world debut at Midnight Madness.

The Vigil, directed by Keith Thomas, is an American-made supernatural story based on Jewish folklore. Thomas’ directorial debut tells the story of a man who encounters an evil presence when he is tasked with looking after a deceased member of his community overnight.

The Vigil, based on Jewish folklore, is set to debut at Midnight Madness.

Other Midnight Madness entries range from the Ugandan-made Crazy World, about a team of pint size Kung Fu masters that are kidnapped, and the Indonesian film Gundala which centers on a superhero who does battle with a squad of orphan assassins. (I sense a trend here). Based on this eclectic lineup, I think it’s safe to say there is something for everyone’s taste at Midnight Madness this year.

Aside from the wide selection of films, horror and otherwise, that you can experience at TIFF, the other benefit of attending is the potential of bumping into the many celebrities in attendance to promote their films on a worldwide stage. Last year’s event was attended by Steve Carell, Julia Roberts, Ryan Gosling and Nicole Kidman, to name a few. Toronto is always abuzz when tiff is on with non stop screenings, receptions and Q&A’s. If you can make it to The Six for even part of this event, it’s worth the effort.

tiff 2019 runs from September 5th-15th at various venues in Toronto. For the full Midnight Madness schedule and ticket information visit tiff.net.

Look for the next stop on our tour, Toronto After Dark, coming soon!

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