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A Complete List of Coverage of the Fantasia International Film Festival


The Fantasia International Film Festival is one of the largest genre film festivals in North America, typically drawing more than 100,000 viewers each year. Fantasia plays movies from around the world, across any number of genres: fantasy, science-fiction, horror, crime, western, and many more. Matthew David Surridge has covered the festival for us each year from 2014 on. Below is a list of Black Gate’s reviews from Fantasia:



Fantasia 2020

Fantasia 2020

Introduction and Preview for Fantasia 2020
Clapboard Jungle, a documentary about the finances behind making a movie
Special Actors, a comedy about actors trying to expose a cult
The Undertaker’s Home, a ghostly horror story
PVT Chat, a sexually frank noir set among poor bohemian artists
The Jesters: The Game Changers, a historical fantasy-adventure set in Joseon Dynasty Korea
The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw, an occult horror movie
Detention, an excellent adaptation of a horror video-game
Labyrinth of Cinema, a surreal movie about movies
Climate of the Hunter, an attempt to merge domestic melodrama and 70s vampire movies
The International Science-Fiction Short Film Showcase 2020
Tezuka’s Barbara, an adaptation of the occult-influenced erotic manga by Osamu Tezuka
Crazy Samurai Musashi, an action movie about the great samurai Miyamoto Musashi in combat with hundreds of enemies
Hunted, a stylised action movie in the vein of “The Most Dangerous Game”
Kakegurui, a manga adaptation about a high school for gambling
Me And Me, a metaphysical detective story
Feels Good Man, a documentary about Pepe the Frog
A Mermaid In Paris, a whimsical romance
The Wapikoni Showcase, a collection of short genre movies by Indigenous filmmakers
Cosmic Candy, a buddy tragicomedy about a young girl and convenience-store clerk
SPL: Kill Zone, an action-movie classic
The Block Island Sound, a horror movie set in a small coastal town
The Dark And The Wicked, a horror movie about evil on a Texas farm
Milocrorze – A Love Story, a surreal farce
The Born of Woman 2020 Showcase, featuring short genre films by women
Sanzaru, a ghost story
Kriya, a horror film revolving around Hindu ritual
2011, a surreal film with elements of thriller and metafiction
Unearth, a horror movie about fracking
Undergods, a literary science-fictional satire
Come True, a science-fiction horror movie
Minor Premise, a science-fiction film about neurochemistry and the human psyche
Savage State, a western about a French family fleeing the US Civil War
The Oak Room, a narratively intricate rural noir



Fantasia 2019

Fantasia 2019

The Deeper You Dig, a family-made horror movie
Little Monsters, a lowbrow comedy with zombies
Vivarium, a metaphorical science-fiction tale
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy, a well-directed period kung fu movie
Away, a dialogue-free animated adventure story
The Wonderland, an anime about a girl chosen to save a magical otherworld
Astronaut, a film about an old man who wins a trip to space
Paradise Hills, a science-fiction thriller about young women trying to escape a malevolent island prison
Mystery of the Night, a mythic parable about colonialism and horror
Shadow, a visually powerful wuxia movie
Bruce McDonald’s Dreamland, a surreal noir with horror elements
The Prey, a clever modern-day take on “The World’s Most Dangerous Game”
Look What’s Happened to Rosemary’s Baby, the 1976 TV-movie sequel to the well-known horror film Rosemary’s Baby
SHe, an experimental work of stop-motion animation about a female in a male world
A report on the launch of a book of SF movie posters, Ad Astra, and on four surreal experimental short films by Nao Yoshigai
Blood & Flesh – The Reel Life and Ghastly Death of Al Adamson, a documentary about the exploitation filmmaker, with a review of a restoration of Adamson’s notorious film Dracula vs. Frankenstein
Maggie, a gently surreal film about young people in Seoul
Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway, an imaginative genre-blending experimental movie influenced by Philip K. Dick
Knives and Skin, a movie about secrets in a small town that come to light after one girl’s death
It Comes, a colourful Japanese horror film
J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the Subgenius, a documentary about the parody religion
Ride Your Wave, an animated movie about a young woman’s coming of age after a brush with tragedy and then the supernatural
The Born of Woman 2019 Short Film Showcase, featuring short horror films by women
The Incredible Shrinking Wknd, about a young woman trapped in a time loop
8, a period horror film with elements of tragedy and dark fantasy
Cencoroll Connect, an anime about the battles of young people bonded to extradimensional giant monsters
The Boxer’s Omen, a classic horror-exploitation film from the Shaw Brothers studio
Ode to Nothing, a quiet horror film
Things That Go Bump In the East, a showcase of animated short films from Asia
Fly Me To the Saitama, a surreal comedy and satire
Bliss, a punk vampire movie
Extra Ordinary, a comedy about a retired paranormal investigator who can see ghosts
Koko-di Koko-da, a bleak story about a couple trapped in a time loop
Culture Shock, a horror film about a woman struggling to get into the United States
Night God, a Kafkaesque film about a man trying to survive in a strange run-down city
Human Lost, a science-fiction anime adapting a twentieth-century novel a self-destructive painter to a cyberpunk future
White Snake, an animated fantasy of Tang China
The Relative Worlds, an animated film about a parallel reality that attacks the Earth
Kingdom, a historical swashbuckler set in ancient China
Why Don’t You Just Die!, an action-comedy largely set in one apartment
Les Particules, a slice-of-life teen drama with some science-fictional ideas
Gintama 2: Rules Are Made to Be Broken, sequel to the science-fiction comedy based on a long-running manga
The Moon in the Hidden Woods, a fantasy adventure with steampunk elements
Full Contact, Ringo Lam’s classic action-revenge movie
Depraved, a modern-day retelling of Frankenstein
“A Japanese Boy Who Draws,” an experimental short about an aspiring manga creator, and Twilight, a realist anime romance
Son of the White Mare, a surreal folkloric animated film
Jessica Forever, a fusion of arthouse drama and action film
Garo — Under the Moonbow, a special-effects-heavy fantasy-adventure for younger viewers
The International Science Fiction Short Film Showcase 2019, a collection of genre shorts
The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea, a drama with elements of crime and mystery stories
The Divine Fury, an attempt at mixing action movie and horror story

A look back at Fantasia 2019



Fantasia 2018

Five Fingers of Death, the Shaw Brothers kung fu classic
Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms, a wondrous high-fantasy anime; and Unity of Heroes, a historical kung fu film
Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana, a documentary about an American comics artist put on trial for obscenity
Destiny: The Tale of Kamakura, a whimsical urban fantasy; and Aragne: Sign of Vermillion, a horror anime
Cold Skin, a period horror-suspense film; and L’Inferno, a 1911 adaptation of Dante’s Inferno screened with a musical accompaniment by Goblin’s Maurizio Guarini
The Scythian, a medieval Russian sword-and-sorcery film
Neomanila, a bleak neorealist neo-noir
Mega Time Squad, a time-travel comedy; and I Have a Date With Spring, a surreal metafiction with aspects of horror
Room Laundering, a comedy-drama ghost story
Cam, a thriller about the world of webcams
The Fortress, a character-focussed historical war movie about Korea’s Joseon dynasty fighting against an invasion from Qing China
Under the Silver Lake, a surreal and intricate mystery-satire; and Laplace’s Witch, a science-fiction film with mystery elements
A Rough Draft, a blockbuster adaptation of Sergey Lukyanenko’s novel of hidden alternate worlds; and The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, a meditative film with occasional action elements
The Travelling Cat Chronicles, a ruthless tearjerker; and Da Hu Fa, an animated martial-arts fantasy
The 2018 Born of Woman showcase of short genre films by women
Fireworks, an animated time-twisting romance; and Lôi Báo, a low-key super-hero story
Wilderness (parts one and two), a near-future boxing epic; and Parallel, a science-fictional suspense thriller with elements of social satire
The Dark, a graphic horror story with fairy-tale aspects
I Am a Hero, a zombie-apocalypse manga adaptation; Bleach, a blockbuster supernatural-action manga adaptation; and Inuyashiki, a super-hero thriller manga adaptation
Comments from Shinsuke Sato, director of the three films above
Violence Voyager, an ironic animated horror story
The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion, a super-hero suspense film; and Blue My Mind, a film mixing realism and body horror
Blood and Black Lace, Mario Bava’s classic surreal giallo horror thriller
The Witch in the Window, a classic and humanistic haunted-house tale; and Ajin: Demi-Human, a violent super-hero action film
Laughing Under the Clouds, a historical fantasy manga adaptation; and the Afromentum showcase, presenting short films of the fantastic by Black filmmakers
Punk Samurai Slash Down, a surreal and occasionally metafictional historical satire
Penguin Highway, an anime feature about a boy investigating the appearance of penguins in his small town; and the International Science Fiction Short Film Showcase 2018
One Cut of the Dead, a surprisingly uplifting comedy about moviemaking, with horror elements
Reviews of short animated films from the My First Fantasia showcase, by Eva May Surridge, age 8
Buffalo Boys, an Indonesian martial-arts Western; Luz, an experimental horror film; and Crisis Jung, a transgressive animated webserial
Cinderella the Cat, an animated reworking of a fairy tale into a crime-sf story
Pourquoi l’étrange Monsieur Zolock s’intéressait-il tant à la bande dessinée?, a 1983 documentary about European comics; and Tokyo Vampire Hotel, a frenetic action-horror film
Mandy, a psychedelic revenge-horror movie
The Brink, a Hong Kong action movie; and The Outlaws, a Korean crime film based on a true story
Tigers Are Not Afraid, an urban fairy-tale of the Mexican drug war
Heavy Trip, a comedy about metal music; and Madeline’s Madeline, an experimental film about a talented teen struggling with mental illness and controlling adults
Five Fingers For Marseilles, a twenty-first century Western set in South Africa
The Vanished, a Korean mystery-thriller based on a Spanish original
Lifechanger, a character-oriented horror film
Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings, a special-effects blockbuster set in Tang China
Lords of Chaos, a darkly comic biographical drama about the pioneering black metal band Mayhem

A look back at Fantasia 2018




Fantasia 2017

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, a live-action SF-adventure manga adaptation
Atomic Blonde, an action-espionage movie
Tilt, an arthouse suspense film; A Ghost Story, a quiet film about death and what’s beyond; and Museum, a live-action adaptation of the crime-thriller manga
SpectrumFest, a collection of short films by young filmmakers on the autism spectrum; and the International Science Fiction Short Film Showcase 2017
Mohawk, a historical action-horror film
Final Master, a historical kung fu film; and Tokyo Ghoul, a live-action adventure-horror manga adaptation
The Honor Farm, a coming-of-age horror film; Shock Wave, an action movie; and Free and Easy, an ironic small-scale crime film
Animals, a German horror-suspense film; Wu Kong, a blockbuster based on the classic Chinese character; and House of the Disappeared, a Korean remake of a Venezuelan magical realist film
The Laplace’s Demon, an Italian horror film in a classic style
Napping Princess, a near-future fairy-tale anime; and Welcome to Wacken, a VR documentary
Born of Woman, a showcase of short genre films by women; and A Day, a time-loop thriller movie
The H-Man, a classic Japanese science-fiction film; Bastard Swordsman, a Shaw Brothers adaptation of a wuxia novel; and Gintama, a live-action comedic SF-historical manga adaptation
An interview with Grady Hendrix, who presented his book Paperbacks From Hell, examining the horror paperback boom of the 1970 and 1980s, at Fantasia
Junk Head, a visionary stop-motion horror-SF film
Death Note: Light Up the New World, a Japanese live-action manga adaptation
78/52, a documentary about the shower scene in Hitchcock’s Psycho
November, a folklore-rich historical fantasy from Estonia; and Tokyo Idols, a documentary about fandom and Japanese pop singers
Town in a Lake, a surreal crime film; and Let There Be Light, a documentary about nuclear fusion
Fritz Lang, a historical crime film; and The Crazies, George Romero’s classic horror film
Attraction, a science-fiction epic; and three animated short films from three different Asian countries, “Valley of White Birds,” “Scarecrow Island,” and “Cocolors”
Geek Girls, a documentary about women in fandom
Mumon, a Japanese historical action-comedy about ninjas; Bushwick, about a mysterious invasion of a Brooklyn neighborhood; and S.U.M.1, a SF-suspense film
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl, an animated adaptation of a novel about Japanese university students; Deliver Us, a documentary about exorcism in modern Italy; and Blade of the Immortal, a live-action adaptation of the historical-fantasy manga
Lu Over the Wall, an animated children’s fantasy; Spoor, a drama with elements of mystery; and Nomad, a post-apocalypse fable
Indiana, a surreal story of ghosts and family; Fashionista, a surreal suspense film; and Suspiria, a classic giallo horror fairy-tale
Japanese Girls Never Die, an adaptation of a satirical novel; Broken Sword Hero, a Thai historical martial-arts film; and God of War, a Chinese historical epic

A look back at Fantasia 2017




Fantasia 2016

Outlaws and Angels, a gritty western
Report on a master class by Guillermo del Toro; Dark Side of the Moon, a suspense film; Creature Designers — The Frankenstein Complex, a documentary about Hollywood monster makers; and Rupture, a SF suspense film
Parasyte Parts One and Two, a live-action horror-SF manga adaptation; La Rage du Démon, a documentary-style horror film; For the Love of Spock, a documentary about Leonard Nimoy; and Terrarformars, a live-action SF-action manga adaptation
Beware the Slenderman, a documentary about two child killers; In a Valley of Violence, a revenge western; and The Unseen, a SF-horror film about a man slowly becoming invisible
The Love Witch, an ironic film about witchcraft and murder; and The Wailing, a powerful Korean horror movie
The Throne, a historical drama; and The Lure, a fairy-tale horror musical
Momotaro, Sacred Sailors, an animated WWII-era Japanese propaganda film; The Alchemist Cookbook, an independent horror movie; and Library Wars: The Final Mission, the second part of an action-SF light novel adaptation
Psychonauts, the Forgotten Children, a haunting surreal animated film; and Harmony, a SF anime
Shelley, a suspense film; The Inerasable, a Japanese horror film; and Seoul Station, an animated zombie movie
Assassination Classroom: Graduation, the second part of a comedic SF manga adaptation; Revoltoso, a stop-motion animated film set during the Mexican Civil War; Nova Seed, an animated film recalling classic Saturday morning cartoons; and short films at the Samsung Virtual Reality Experience
The first Born of Woman showcase, presenting short genre films by women; Realive, a SF film about cryogenics; and Tank 432, a SF-horror movie
Flame of the Martial World, a Shaw Brothers Studio extravaganza; and the Fragments of Asia 2016 short film showcase
If Cats Disappeared From the World, a Japanese film about death, diabolic bargains, and changed timelines; and Superpowerless, a meditation on heroes, superheroes, relationships, and aging
We Go On, an upbeat horror film; Aloys, a quiet private eye film; and Therapy, an exuberant horror film
Lace Crater, an American horror-comedy; and Under the Shadow, an Iranian horror movie
Collective Invention, a Korean social satire; and Too Young to Die!, a teen comedy about getting out of hell
Battledream Chronicles, an animated YA dystopia from Martinique; the 2016 International Science Fiction Short Film Showcase; and The Dwarvenaut, a documentary about Stefan Pokorny, an old-school D&D miniature maker
Train to Busan, a zombie action film; and Operation: Avalanche, a satirical movie about filmmakers faking the moon landing
Before I Wake, a fable-like horror film; and The Top Secret: Murder in Mind, a sf manga adaptation
Embers, a post-apocalypse film that plays like literary SF; L’Élan, a comedy about an alien in a small French town; and We Are the Flesh, a graphic horror-fantasy
The Arbalest, a dreamlike alternate-history story; and The Piper, a horrific Korean retelling of the Pied Piper story
Judge Archer, an ambitious kung fu film; If There’s a Hell Below, a suspense movie; and On The Silver Globe, a Polish science-fiction classic

A look back at Fantasia 2016




Fantasia 2015

Miss Hokusai, an anime historical fiction, and Ant-Man, from the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Un homme idéal, a suspense thriller; Kung Fu Killer, a Donnie Yen action movie; and Wonderful World End, a drama about would-be social media stars in Japan
Therapy For A Vampire, a horror-comedy; Bridgend, a gritty teen drama with horror overtones; Assassination Classroom, a manga-based SF screwball comedy; Ludo, a horror film; and Who Killed Captain Alex?, billed as Uganda’s first action movie
Teana: 10000 Years Later, a SF-Fantasy epic; Crimson Whale, an animated near-future adventure-drama; and The Shamer’s Daughter, a high-fantasy YA film
The Arti: The Adventure Begins, a puppet wuxia film; Director’s Commentary: Terror of Frankenstein, a witty postmodern horror film; (T)ERROR, a documentary about FBI informants; and I Am Thor, about 80s Canadian metal singer Jon Mikl Thor
International Science-Fiction Short Film Showcase 2015, a collection of brief SF films; and Meathead Goes Hog Wild, an indie comedy
Buddha’s Palm, a strange Shaw Brothers Studio wuxia film; Ojuju, a Nigerian zombie movie; The Reflecting Skin, a classic film about strangeness in a small town; and Haruko’s Paranormal Laboratory, a surreal fantasy-comedy
Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, a documentary about boys who remade their favourite movie; 100 Yen Love, a comedy-drama; The Royal Tailor, a historical drama
On the White Planet, a grim animated film; and The Blue Hour, a romance with supernatural overtones
Nowhere Girl, a surreal mystery-adventure by the director of the original Ghost in the Shell; and Princess Jellyfish, a manga-adapted screwball romantic comedy
Monty Python: The Meaning of Live, a documentary about the comedy troupe mounting a live show; and He Never Died, an action film starring Henry Rollins as a violent immortal
The Visit, a documentary about how the nations of the world are prepared for an alien visitor; and The Demolisher, a giallo-like violent suspense film
Synchronicity, a science-fiction film about time travel; The Dark Below, a nearly dialogue-free suspense film; Traders, a satirical black comedy; and Méliès et magie, a show that collected several shorts by the creator of fantasy film
Ava’s Possessions, an urban fantasy film; The Golden Cane Warrior, an Indonesian wuxia movie; H., a surreal film about extraterrestrials in Troy, New York; and Turbo Kid, a post-apocalypse movie, 1980s style
Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal, a mythic fantasy film; Remix, Remake, Ripoff, a documentary about Turkish pop cinema; Orion, an artistically-ambitious post-apocalypse film; and Socialphobia, a Korean social drama
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, an animated adaptation; Outer Limits of Animation 2015, a collection of shorts; Experimenter, a cerebral bio-pic about psychologist Stanley Milgram; Ninja the Monster, a historical adventure-horror film; and Strayer’s Chronicle, a film about powerful teenagers fighting to protect a world that hates and fears them
Crumbs, a surreal post-apocalypse film; Marshland, a period crime drama; The Invitation, a suspense mystery; and Cosmodrama, a philosophical SF comedy
Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, a steampunk-adventure manga adaptation; Assassination, a period historical thriller; and Attack on Titan: Part 1, a science-fictional manga adaptation
Poison Berry in My Brain, a manga adaptation about a woman whose internal moods are personified as individual characters; Anima State, a social satire; and The Interior, a suspense thriller
They Look Like People, a drama with horror overtones; Nina Forever, a black horror-comedy; and Hostile, a horror film

A look back at Fantasia 2015




Fantasia 2014

Ghost in the Shell, the classic cyberpunk anime
Kite, an edgy near-future live-action anime adaptation, and Open Windows, a suspense thriller seen through the screen of a computer
The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow, a Korean animated feature; Demon of the Lute, a Shaw Brothers extravaganza; and Patch Town, a dieselpunk fantasy.
The harrowing story of a Korean schoolgirl, Han Gong-ju, and the dreamlike story of a violent rural love triangle, Thou Wast Mild and Lovely
The Zero Theorem, by Terry Gilliam
Jellyfish Eyes, a children’s fantasy; In the Land of the Head Hunters, a 1914 silent film set among and starring the Kwakwaka’wakw people of what is now British Columbia; and The Reconstruction of William Zero, a science-fiction suspense film.
Guardians of the Galaxy, from the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Faults, a semi-comic suspense film about cult brainwashing, and Predestination, an adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s story “‘—All You Zombies—'”
The Infinite Man, a time-travel comedy, and Closer to God, a suspense thriller about cloning
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai, a martial-arts period piece, and Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, a French 3D animated film
Hal, a near-future anime, and Giovanni’s Island, an anime about boys on a small Japanese island at the end of WWII
To Be Takei, a documentary about George Takei, and The Creeping Garden, a surprising documentary about garden mold
Cybernatural (later renamed Unfriended), a horror film shown by way of a computer screen; The House At the End of Time, a magic-realist horror story; and Time Lapse, a time-travel suspense story
The Fake, a realist animated film, and the Thermae Romae films, time-travel comedies
Real, a science-fictional suspense film based on a novel; Black Butler, a live-action anime adaptation; and The One I Love, a low-key supernatural comedy
When Animals Dream, an experimental horror film; Space Station 76, a science-fiction pastiche comedy; and Welcome to New York, a political satire
Kundo: Age of the Rampant, a Korean historical adventure film; and The Midnight Swim, a meditative tale of the supernatural

A look back at Fantasia 2014

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