Midnight Madness Blog

- 2008
- 2007

Excitement is building for the screenings of this year's Midnight Madness selection and I asked Brad Miska, editor of the ghastly website Bloody-Disgusting, what his top picks are.

Being an avid horror fan, TIFF’s Midnight Madness has become THE place to check out the best upcoming independent/foreign horror films on the market. Every year I find new gems and never feel let down or disappointed. Midnight Madness can be credited with the revival of French horror cinema after blasting audiences with the world premiere of Alex Aja’s Haute Tension back in 2003 and bringing heavy attention to the film, which would later be released by Lionsgate in the States. In 2004 audiences were treated to Fabrice Du Welz’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre inspired Calvaire.  (who is back to the Festival this year in the Visions programme with his latest shocker, Vinyan - Colin). Last year, I was blown away with Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s Inside, while also being treated to Xavier Gens’ classic horror homage, Frontier (s).

With that being said, this year’s Madness is guaranteed to give you that bang for your buck with Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs, the fest’s latest French entry. We’ve already had a chance to see the film at Bloody-Disgusting, but to get the full experience we need to see this fierce beast of a film not only on the big screen, but also with 1,000 screaming gore hounds. Even though I have already seen the film, Martyrs is still my most anticipated film of the 2008 festival.

Midnight Madness isn’t just about foreign horror, as there have been plenty of discoveries over the past few years. One of the biggest genre moments came in 2006 when the Weinstein Company spent an entire night negotiating for the rights to Jonathan Levine’s incredible teen-slasher, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. This little indie film won the hearts of the audience and Bloody-Disgusting alike, showing just how good independent cinema can be. I think that Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel’s Deadgirl is going to be this year’s Mandy Lane and will be one of the most talked about MM titles in years. I’m quite excited to see what happens in the film, which is teased as a coming-of-age horror story (aren’t they all?).

Also, back in 2006, Midnight Madness held the world premiere of J.T. Petty’s S&Man, which has become a popular underground cult film in the horror-verse. This year, Petty returns with his first studio feature, The Burrowers, which will be released via Lionsgate sometime next year. I become a Petty fan a few years back and came across the screenplay for this film. The Burrowers is a horror-Western, which features underground monsters feasting on unsuspecting travelers. I personally have been dying to see a good horror-Western and have high hopes that Petty will deliver…

All will soon be revealed when we take a trip to Toronto this September.