5 Films to Watch Out for at This Year’s Fantasia Film Festival

Fantasia Film Festival 2020

Fantasia Film Festival has been one of the premiere genre film festivals in North America, but “thanks” to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, cinephiles won’t be able to travel to Montréal for this year’s event. Thankfully, Fantasia is going virtual this year, allowing everyone around the world to take part in this event. We’re excited as you are to dive deep into all of the films in this year’s festival. However, if you’re lost and can’t decide on what film to watch, we’re here to help. Here are five films (and a few honorable mentions) to help make your decision easier.

Before we get to our list, here’s a list of some honorable mentions to check out:

Bring Me Home

14-years after her iconic role in Park Chan-Wook’s Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Yeong-ae Lee returns to the big screen in another haunting thriller. South Korean cinema has been on a tear lately (see: Parasite), so we’re looking forward to seeing what Bring Me Home has to offer.

Synopsis: Jung-yeon is a respected nurse who dedicates all her time to searching for her son Yoon-su, who’s been missing for six years now. Even though she’s racked with guilt, she hasn’t given up hope of finding her child, and has been wandering around the surrounding towns with her husband. When her husband dies in an accident while following a false trail, her despair does not affect her determination to find Yoon-su. Meanwhile, in a fishing co-operative run by extremely suspicious people, a mute child works like a slave and gets beaten in broad daylight without anyone reacting. A young police officer notices a clear resemblance between the boy and the picture on the wanted poster for Yoon-su. Faced with the hostility of his violent and corrupt superior, he makes an anonymous call to Jung-yeon, who immediately rushes to the coastal village, unaware of the horrors she’ll discover there, and the dangers she’ll have to face.

Crazy Samurai Musashi

A must-see for fans of incredibly violent jidaigeki (period drama) films like Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins. Yet the biggest draw comes from the film’s 77-minute single-shot swordplay battle between Miyamoto Musashi and 588 enemies. Oh, and the lead actor is none other than Tak Sakaguchi. If you’ve ever seen his classic Versus, then you know how adept Sakaguchi is with a sword. It’s a combination that’s too good to pass up.

Synopsis: A clan’s future hangs in the balance. A boy of noble birth waits by a temple. The dishonor of his father and the death of his brother must be avenged. The boy is merely bait, there to draw out the enemy who has brought shame upon the Yoshioka school of swordfighting. In the surrounding woods, hundreds of Yoshioka retainers lurk, weapons at the ready, in anticipation of the solitary swordsman’s arrival. This will not be a fair fight. Not fair at all.

I WeirDo

There’s something uniquely heartwarming about quirky romantic comedies. Films such as My Sassy Girl and The Big Sick immediately come to mind. Yet, I WeirDo is weirdly relevant to what we’re currently experiencing in the world. It’s hard to date in this pandemic world. From the trailer, maybe I WeirDo will fill that void in our lives and entertain ourselves along the way.

Synopsis: Intensely obsessive-compulsive and highly phobic of germs as well, Po-Ching lives a very precisely scheduled life, taking every precaution and leaving his apartment as rarely as he can. He’s alarmed when the grocery he habitually visits is closed, forcing a change in routine. As a result, though, he encounters Chen Ching, a young woman whose condition is comparable to his own. With an immense degree of awkwardness and anxiety, the two are drawn to each other. They complement each other professionally, match each other’s quirks and characteristics, challenge each other to get the most out of life. Things seem as perfect as an imperfect pair could hope for, but then something to dismay them occurs – falling in love has neutralized Po-Ching’s OCD, the very thing that binds them to one another.

A Witness Out of the Blue

Hong Kong crime dramas are just different compared to anywhere else in the world. It’s one of the more exciting genres to come from the country thanks to its intense and visceral action and thrills. If you’ve ever seen Infernal Affairs or SPL, then you know what I’m talking about. Fung Chih-Chiang’s A Witness Out of the Blue seems to be in that same vein as other Hong Kong crime dramas and is a must-see for fans of the genre.

Synopsis: A notorious criminal, a detective and a talking parrot collide after a botched robbery! Three months later, the mastermind Wong is on the run, the prime suspect for murdering one of his own teammates. In his attempt to clear his name, he finds himself in a complex web involving corrupt cops, survivors of the robbery, the missing loot, betrayals, and collateral damage. Close on his tail is the animal-loving detective Lam. With his boss constantly on his back, Lam must piece together this puzzle with a talking parrot as his only witness!

You Cannot Kill David Arquette

If you were a fan of the second golden age of pro wrestling, then you may remember the time when David Arquette won the WCW world heavyweight title when he pinned Eric Bischoff on Monday Night Nitro. Ever since then, Arquette has been the laughingstock of the wrestling community and has since tried to prove to them that he truly does love the sport. You Cannot Kill David Arquette tells the story of his journey in the professional wrestling circuit. His career has taken an interesting turn since Ready to Rumble, so it’ll be interesting to see David Arquette’s journey.

Synopsis: At the age of 48 and recovering from a heart attack, David Arquette decides it’s time to face up to the one thing that’s truly haunted him: His professional wrestling career. While you may know him for his role in the SCREAM series and as part of the famed Arquette acting family (sisters Rosanna, Patricia, the late Alexis; dad Lewis), to millions of wrestling fans he’s the Hollywood actor who undeservedly “won” the WCW title in 2000 to promote the wrestling comedy READY TO RUMBLE. But David Arquette wasn’t acting; he truly loves professional wrestling and is determined to prove that he’s the real deal. So he sets off on a journey more bizarre than any movie, taking him to matches in backyards, Mexico and a bloody bout opposite Nick Gage in Hollywood. Crazy? Sure. Wild? Yup! Dangerous? Undoubtedly. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. You cannot kill David Arquette – only David Arquette can do that.

For a full list of films, be sure to check out Fantasia Festival’s official website.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1598 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.