Fantasia Fest 2015: Antisocial 2 (2015) & What Doesn’t Kill You (Short 2014)

Back to back Black Fawn Films! Yay!

I’m going to level with you on this one.  Antisocial 2 was one that I was pretty much debating to see.  Mostly because the time was bad like I would need to see if I could arrange work schedules and what not.  But, I did manage after a few later nights at work.  Antisocial wasn’t exactly a mindblowing experience.  You can see my review HERE!  But while some may not have liked it much, I thought it was decent plus the ending was absolutely great.  The sequel had the possibility of being amazing.   I was a little baffled why Antisocial 2 would have their world premiere in Fantasia because it does kind of limit your audience.  But still, I was there 🙂

Before the movie started, it was opened with a short called What Doesn’t Kill You.

What Doesn't Kill You

After dying in a horrific car crash, two bullied teens reappear completely healed and must decide the fate of their paralyzed friend.-IMDB

This was a really good short.  The young actors here are quite familiar although I can’t pinpoint where I saw them initially, and they are very good.  The story was great and the whole premise of it was intriguing.

Now for the main feature…

Antisocial 2 (2015)

World premiere

Antisocial 2

Director: Cody Calahan

Cast: Michelle Mylette, Josette Halpert, Stephen Bogaert, Samuel Faraci, Jake Michaels, Kassandra Santos, Kristina Nicoll

A few months after the Redroom virus takes over the world, Sam is on the run and pregnant.  After meeting a lady, she gives birth and her baby is taken away from her.  Three years later (I think), she is trying to track down where her child is while trying to avoid being killed by the infected and now the normal people who regard people who had done the surgery early on to stop the virus as Defects and also want to get rid of them. When she runs into a little girl called Bean, her father orders the return and captures and tortures her in hopes of finding a cure through her believing that she is special.  All this however has a time limit. The Redroom Virus is having an update and Sam must escape as the facility hopes to find the cure before it reaches 100%.

Antisocial 2

I needed these few days to kind of put Antisocial 2 into perspective.  So let’s start from the beginning.  Expectations…you really shouldn’t have those going into movies.  What I expected from Antisocial 2 was a zombie apocalypse movie.  What I got was a drama/virus apocalypse movie with a little bit of zombies and a lot of talking.  I mean, I like talking.  I love movies that get all talky and psychological and crazy and all that stuff.  I gobble that stuff up.  I guess what bothers me is that Antisocial 2 didn’t feel like a horror.  Or like its  generously 50% horror. The first act had a few very effective jump scares and there was a decent amount of zombies.  They were done well. The second act of Antisocial 2 is where it drags out a bit.  It goes into this facility, trying to find a cure, knowing the Redroom virus a little more. Its a lot of talk between Bean’s dad, Max and Sam and these ominous scenes in the background while torture and whatnot goes on.  It gets a little dramatic more than scary even if the Redroom virus is slowly getting more revealed and the whole reasoning of threats and what makes Sam so special. The third act is when things amp up a  little more.  While its not exactly in the horror zone, there is more blood and it picks up the intensity for the final scene that adds a little twist to things and makes you contemplate what that ending was about.  The movie ended at 7pm but I think I made sense of it when I was in line waiting to get in for Dark Places later that night.

Antisocial 2

Is Antisocial 2 a bad movie? No. Its not.  It may be decently average. Its a little disappointing because of the direction it took.  In its defense, I get the approach to let us use another angle to tackle this movie, not what the expectations would be and let us get to know the virus and build a story with it.  The story works for the most part but the middle was just so slow that it was a little boring.  The story was good.  It was really the execution of it that I questioned a little.  Even the atmosphere works well for the most part making it mysterious and setting up questions. Especially related to the scene below 😉

Antisocial 2

Antisocial 2 does have pros despite looking like I’m ragging on it a lot.  The characters and the cast.  Michelle Mylett is fantastic resuming her role as Sam.  She is a complete badass just like we left her at the end of Antisocial.  Bean, played by Josette Halpert is also a nice young character that steps in and she brings in a nice dynamic to the story.  While our obvious bad guy is Bean’s dad, Max (played by Stephen Bogaert) is despicably villainous and you just can’t help to hate this character (as you are meant to).  I wanted to punch Max in the face a lot. His intentions were noble (I guess) because he really just wants to protect the few “normal” people still alive in the world and find the cure but the means and the ethics behind his decisions are horrible. This cast is simply awesome.  Mostly because of them, the story is carried well.

 Overall, Antisocial 2 didn’t quite go in the direction of my expectations and the second act does fall flat because it gets a little wordy and drags out but the opening and finale is done well.  It has some nice jump scares and the cast is very great at bringing the characters alive and carry the story.  Although I didn’t dive into a lot of detail, there are some very well done scenes that kept Antisocial 2 going.  If the ending suggests a third one, I do wonder what direction it will take.  I would look forward to it with an open mind.  My suggestion: if you did enjoy Antisocial, is to give this a go but toss out those expectations and let Cody Calahan take you on a very different approach to the sequel 😉

Fantasia Film Festival Line-up! :)

It’s the time of year again! Fantasia Film Festival hits Montreal starting the coming Tuesday (July 14th)!

After waiting for the site to get updated and the schedule to go up on Tuesday, I sat down for 2 hours looking at trailers, reading descriptions, seeing what fit in my schedule.  It sure took longer than I expected.  But then, last year probably took the same amount of time.  With work rush in the way, I have to make some choices that I didn’t really want to.  Some movies I wanted to see only  had time slots where I couldn’t go or it clashed with something I wanted to see more.

One movie, I did end up not choosing (because the chances of me getting tickets were also slim) was advanced screening of Ant-Man.  I’ll still go check it out in theatres if its still around after the festival but its okay.  There are a lot of great choices and some amazing hosts for certain movies.  With that said, I was a little nervous that I couldn’t get tickets for some of the movies.  Here is what the final line-up is!

Just a note: I don’t have particular preferences but I do usually go for less dramas and romance and more horror and thrillers.  I always choose one Hong Kong (China) production and try to dive into Canadian movies also.  Other ones, I try to keep an eye out for is Quebec production and animations that peak my interest but not necessarily included.

July 15

Kung Fu Killer (Quebec Premiere)

The Hallow (Canadian Premiere)

July 17

Cooties (Canadian Premiere)

July 19

We Are Still Here (Canadian Premiere)

Observance (World Premiere)

July 21

Anguish (World Premiere)

July 24

Tales of Halloween (World Premiere)

July 28

Cop Car (Canadian Premiere)

July 29

Bite (World Premiere)

July 30

Antisocial 2 (World Premiere)

Dark Places

That’s the line-up for now! 🙂 11 movies! That’s the same as last year.  I’m pretty happy that I managed to get all of what I wanted even though I hesitated a little during ticket checkout for Tales of Halloween and Antisocial 2. Those are kind of my wild card right there but after looking at the San Diego Comic Con trailer for Tales of Halloween.  It does make me a good bit more optimistic.  I haven’t ever dived into the world of horror anthology movies so this will be a fresh experience.  As for Antisocial 2, my review for Antisocial will go up some time next week, tell me that it doesn’t give you a creeping feeling of Resident Evil BUT I’m a huge fan of Resident Evil, seeing as its my guilty pleasure and all, that I’m willing to give this one a chance.

This year, the fiance is coming with me to see the Sunday two movies back to back night with We Are Still Here and Observance. And one of my good friends are going with me to see Cop Car.  I always love company in these things since everyone else seems to have company.  Not that I mind too much since I’m usually pretty hyped up about these events.

 

Moving along, there were a few movies I couldn’t see because of time constraints but these two were the ones that I felt like I will miss out the most:

Cruel

Cub

While there are movies that I considered and the trailers were rather intriguing but upon a second look at the trailers and discussing with my fiance for weekend showings, we decided to not choose those.  Whatever the reason, I do only have a certain budget so sadly, among a pool of potentially good movies, I had to make choices and hope that it would work out for the better. However, please take a look.  Maybe you can shed some light on some of these that I wasn’t aware of and I’ll add it to my viewing list.

Ludo (India)

Synchronicity (USA)

Momentum (South Africa)

Cherry Tree (Ireland)

Synopsis- via Fantasia Festival

Traders (Ireland) 

Synopsis – via Fantasia Festival

And there you go! My final line-up, potential candidates that didn’t make it (but your opinion and suggestions may change that) and movies that had scheduling conflicts.  As for one of the movies, I actually chose because I wanted to see it and then work my schedule around it.  But then, I really hope I’m sacrificing for the right movie… Either way, I need to be confident in what I’ve chosen. I really do like the looks of it all.  I think I’ll need to round up a ton of comedies to ease the amount of horrors sitting in this list.  If you had to choose one horror to get creeped out of, Anguish gave me chills and the first time, I didn’t even finish the trailer on my own.  My fiance claims I’ll stay up all night.  Lets hope that won’t happen. As for hosts, Tales of Halloween will have a ton including Neil Marshall.  I’d lie if I didn’t choose to see that movie because I wanted to see what he had to say about it. Then there’s Cop Car where Kevin Bacon will host along with the director.  Just a little highlight from what I can remember.

Yay! Festival season! 🙂 Its a huge reason why I feel so lucky to be living in Montreal!

Anyone going to be here for the Fantasia Festival? What are you seeing? Anything catch your eye out of this selection? What peaks your interest from this list?