Several Films to Check Out at Fantasia Film Festival 2022

Fantasia Film Festival 2022

We’re only a few days away from the fantastic Fantasia Film Festival 2022. Now, if you’re looking at the festival schedule and deciding on films to watch, let us help you fill out your list.

Fantasia Film Festival 2022 - Shin Ultraman

Shin Ultraman

Shin Ultraman is a modern update of the beloved ’60s Japanese TV character. After the critical and financial success of Shin Godzilla, Toho convinced filmmakers Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi to re-team again and update the Ultraman character for modern times. Also, you can see Ultraman fight some classic villains, including Gabora, Neronga, and an evil robot. Get tickets here.

Synopsis: Giant, unearthly monsters are appearing in Japan, and the government has created the S-Class Species Suppression Protocol, an elite agency dedicated to confronting and defeating this invasion by extraterrestrial lifeforms. But when an invisible electrical monster attacks the countryside, a giant, silvery alien being lands on Earth. The titanic superhero, soon to be codenamed Ultraman, destroys the deadly beast quickly enough—but accidentally kills SSSP officer Shinji Kaminaga during the battle. Secretly assuming Kaminaga’s appearance, Ultraman joins the SSSP to help defend humanity, but as more menacing monsters from space arrive, the cosmic conflict can only become more confounding!

Sadako DX

The Ring/Ringu franchise has hit a bit of a rough patch as of late. It’s come to the point where it’s starting to feel like the slasher franchises of old. However, Sadako DX is described as a “horrific comedy that’s not afraid to laugh a little at the flaws of the franchise it emerges from.” Despite the scary nature of the trailer, it’ll be interesting to see how a horror-comedy version of The Ring will play out. Get tickets here.

Synopsis: On a flea-market app, the rumor has resurfaced, and those who found the video all died 24 hours after viewing it. Ayaka, a gifted graduate with a high IQ, as well as a popular TV commentator, does not believe the supernatural angle. For her, there is a scientific explanation for the phenomenon. During a live debate, the exuberant shaman Kenshin suffers the young woman’s devastating skepticism, but hands her a copy and challenges her to watch the cryptic film. Unfortunately, her younger sister does so before she does and significantly beats the deadline, forcing Ayaka to dive into the collective delirium. It seems that Sadako isn’t the same as in the urban legend. She appears in the form of a relative or friend, with the usual black hair and soiled white dress. All indications are that the curse has mutated, spreading at great speed via the internet, and there are only a few hours left to debunk this puzzle.

Fantasia Film Festival 2022 - The Roundup

The Roundup

Don Lee (Eternals) returns as Detective Ma in The Roundup. Completely separate from The Outlaw, this new action crime flick shows that the large-and-agile Don Lee is quickly becoming a modern-day version of Sammo Hung. If the Fantasia Film Festival 2022’s description of “best action film of the year” is to be believed, then we’re in for a real treat. Get tickets here.

Synopsis: Legendary officer Ma Seok-do, the man who violently grinds up criminals first and worries about procedures too late for his superiors’ liking, is about to export his indelicate techniques to Vietnam. Indeed, many expatriate thugs are defrauding Korean tourists and investors. One of the main suspects has contacted them to turn himself in for immediate repatriation. Ma and Captain Jong, supposedly an interpreter yet hiding the fact that he is about as bilingual as kimchi, meet the accused in Ho Chi Minh City and discover that a deranged gangster using cruel and gruesome methods is terrorizing even his fellow thugs. The unstoppable lawman Ma sets out to pursue this mysterious psychopath, despite the reluctance of his superior and the interdictions of the local authorities. To say that subtlety is not his strength would be an understatement, so hang on. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

One for the Road

A Wong Kar-Wai drama is always an extraordinary thing to watch. Seeing a Wong Kar-Wai inspired-drama produced by Wong Kar-Wai himself looks to be just as good. So, if you’re looking for a “mix of heart-tugging melodrama and nostalgia,” look no further at Fantasia Film Festival 2022. Get tickets here.

Synopsis: Boss (Thanapob Leeratanakajorn), quite the ladies’ man, has found great success as a meticulous bartender in New York City. However, when he gets a call from long-time friend Aood (Natara Nopparatayapon), still in Bangkok, the endless party comes to an end. As his estranged friend announces to him that he is dying of cancer, the two hatch a plan to reunite, make amends, and take a farewell trip across Thailand to return sentimental items to Aood’s exes. It’s a shaky, potentially disastrous plan as it is, bound to expose painful memories and previous romantic entanglements in all their ugliness. A plan that is only made worse by the fact Aood is holding something back… A secret that no boozy bucket-list trip can solve.

Fantasia Film Festival 2022 - Red Shoes

Red Shoes

Japan is a country not entirely known to be a boxing powerhouse. Yet, the metaphor of fighting in the ring and life is a universal theme. So the idea (on paper) of a down-on-her-luck mom fighting for her daughter is an emotional one-two punch. Sports dramas always tend to pull on the heartstrings, and this looks like it’s no different. Get tickets here.

Synopsis: As a child, Manami attended her father Takuma’s boxing matches and marveled at the scarlet shoes he wore. Unfortunately, he and his wife died in a terrible accident while he was preparing for the long-awaited championship. Now a single mother of a daughter she adores, Emi, Manami has decided to follow her father’s footsteps and is back in the ring after her husband died of a long illness. However, her mind and body are not there and she is humiliated. Sinking into poverty, barely able to feed Emi and losing every job she has, her mother-in-law gains custody of her daughter. Overwhelmed by grief and anger, unable to catch her breath, she falls to her lowest point. However, her coach comes to pick her up from the Fukuoka Red Light and promises to make a champion of her so she can reconnect with Emi.

Hansan: Rising Dragon

When I think of the war between Japan and Korea during the Joseon era, I immediately gravitate towards the excellent Netflix series, Kingdom. However, seeing the trailer for Hansan has piqued my interest in the real-life, non-zombie tales from this era. Of course, having the trailer also reminds me of 300 helps as well. Get tickets here.

Synopsis: Down through the centuries since 1592, historians of naval warfare have whistled with admiration when they utter the name of Admiral Yi Sun-sin. The Joseon-era military leader’s balance of sagacity and audacity saw him undefeated through almost two dozen battles, turning certain doom into stunning victory more than once in the Korean kingdom’s campaigns against Japanese invaders. The most famous of his exploits was the Battle of Myeongnyang, where his tiny fleet repelled an enemy tenfold or more in number.

Fantasia Film Festival 2022 - Inu-oh


Now, even as an avid watcher of Asian movies, never in my life have I seen an Asian musical film before. That is, until last year when I viewed the charming Love, Life and Goldfish. Well, to my surprise Fantasia Film Festival 2022 is premiering another Japanese musical to their lineup. Inu-oh is a rock opera anime set during samurai times. Now, if that doesn’t catch your attention, then the mere fact that the film is reminiscent of Samurai Champloo‘s animation style should definitely pique your interest. Get tickets here.

Synopsis: Two centuries after the legendary conflict between the Heike and Genji clans, a fisherman’s young son passes his days as a diver, scouring the lake’s bottom for relics of the tragic final battle. A mission for shogunate retainers leaves the boy blinded and his father dead. At that same moment, a monstrous, misshapen son is born to a family of respected Noh theatre performers. The blind boy grows up to be a humble yet talented travelling musician, seeking the hidden villages of the Heike’s descendants to gather their stories. The deformed and despised boy skulks and capers at the margins of society, his hideous face hidden behind a mask, all the while secretly mastering the craft of stage performance. When their paths cross, amazing events are set in motion, sending shockwaves through medieval Japanese society.

Demigod: The Legend Begins

The ancient tradition of budaixi is a Chinese opera by way of glove puppetry. You may have seen it in a myriad of wuxia films, but the idea of an epic wuxia film done with glove puppets is an intriguing concept. Judging by the trailer above, the puppetry work set in a large fantasy world is a must-see for wuxia fans everywhere. Get tickets here.

Synopsis: The martial artist Su Hua-Jen has risked his life clambering to the summit of one of the five sacred mountains of Wu Lin, only to come across two monstrous beings in battle. His timely intervention turns the tide of the fight, and unbeknownst to him, sets in motion a series of monumentally consequential events. Back in the city, Su has a more mundane problem to face—an enormous debt with the local book lender. To pay this off, he must peddle his remarkable skills as a physician. While Su would prefer to steer clear of the affairs of the martial arts world, a request from the Lord of Globe Castle is financially promising—and might gain him access to the Fantastic Academy, where he can feast his eyes on the Limitless Celestial Book. But treachery is afoot, and Su is soon drawn into a crisis that will rock the foundations of Heaven and Earth.

Of course, these are just some of the films we’re looking forward to. If you want to check out the complete list of films at Fantasia Film Festival 2022, check them out here.

Fantasia Film Festival 2022 runs from July 14th to August 3rd.

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