WOMEN FILMMAKERS AT MONTREAL’S INTERNATIONAL FANTASIA FILM FEST – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas reports

Breaking with past bad habits, the presence of women-made movies at genre film festivals around the world is now becoming an assumed norm rather than a curious anomaly. The 2019 iteration of Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival is a case in point, a fiercely independent and originally programmed festival that defines ‘outside the box’ curatorial thinking to the point that it has earned a strong international reputation for taste-making and trend-setting on the global film genre scene.

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HEAD COUNT – Review by Liz Whittemore

This script by director Elle Callahan and Michael Nadar is something special. Right off the bat, I noticed nods to It Follows, one of the most unique genre films in a long time. But once Head Count’s weirdness takes full hold, you’ll find it’s completely its own creation. You will be just as spooked/confounded as the characters.

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HEAD COUNT – Review by Marina Antunes

On the surface Head Count looks like countless other horror movies: a group of college kids rent a house in the desert for the weekend and before the holidays are over, a bunch of them are dead. We’ve seen it before and we’ll certainly see it again but what makes writer/director Elle Callahan’s feature film debut interesting is that she’s far more interested in establishing a mood and tone while the scares feel almost secondary.

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THE CHILD REMAINS – Review by Liz Whittemore

An expectant couple’s intimate weekend turns to terror when they discover their secluded country inn is a haunted maternity home where unwanted infants and mothers were murdered. Inspired by the true story of the infamous ‘Butterbox Babies’, The Child Remains is a twisting supernatural thriller and homage to slow-burn vintage horror like The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby and Session 9.

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THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA – Review by Brandy McDonnell

A standalone entry in the growing “The Conjuring” horror universe – Tony Amendola makes a cameo as his priest character from the franchise’s 2014 installment “Annabelle,” but it’s not necessary to have actually seen any other movies in the series to follow this one – it is set in 1970s Los Angeles and follows Anna Garcia (the underrated Linda Cardellini), a social worker and widow struggling to raise two children.

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BODY AT BRIGHTON ROCK – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Coming to Body at Brighton Rock with an awareness of Benjamin’s background in horror makes it an even more intriguing watch, as it is not so much a ‘horror’ film as such but rather a thriller that employs the iconography, codes and conventions of horror to paint a compelling portrait of its desperate protagonist’s psychological terrain.

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