Toronto After Dark Film Festival People dressed up

Don’t be surprised if you see something or someone very frightening hanging out in the Annex neighbourhood of Toronto this week… be it a zombie, a vampire or worse!  Dressing up is all part of the horrifyingly good times to be had at this year’s After Dark Film Festival hosted by The Bloor Cinema.

Now in its fourth year, the After Dark Festival showcases short and feature length, well-known and not-so-well-known films in the Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Action, Animated and Cult Film genres.  Often, actors, writers and directors are on-hand for Q&A sessions after screenings.  There are

several ways to secure tickets to this festival: 1-Buy an all-access pass (only 200 available), 2- Buy tickets online before the day of your selected film ($12 each), or 3-Risk the Rush line or same-day purchase ($12 per ticket, half price at some films if you are dressed up as the featured ghoul, like a zombie, for example). We attended the Toronto Premiere screening of “The Revenant” and opted for choice number 3.  This choice, of course, was not really a choice but rather our only option because we were too late to purchase tickets via choices 1 or 2.  We got to the theatre two and a half hours early to secure tickets, just in time to see what the Rush line for “Dead Snow” was like--imagine a full city block’s worth of people lining up in an effort to buy last minute tickets to a Scandanavian zombie flick… many of which are dressed up in full zombie attire and makeup! 

Toronto After Dark Film Festival Bloor Cinema
The Bloor Cinema is a bit of an institution here in Toronto. If you have never been, definitely check it out. Their versions of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' (shown on the screen, AND acted in person at the same time) are great.

You can always check out their Burlesque show if you are feeling a little naughty. (Well naughty by the 1820's definition)

A simple note for those who buy single film tickets versus the all-access pass:  You will have to line up behind the all-access pass holders prior to entering the theatre.  Yes, not only does an all-access pass grant you access to all of the screenings at the festival, but it also grants VIP status! Yet, though I was a bit anxious about how fast the theatre would fill up and what distant, back-corner seats would be left after all of these “VIPs” were seated, there truly was a comfy seat for everyone.  With the theatre full-up, the host of the evening introduced a few veritable VIPs, notably the writers of both the opening short film “Bad Roommate” (James Gangl and Kevin Whalen) and Kerry Prior of the feature film “The Revenant.” We truly enjoyed the genuine characters and original writing that the actors brought to life in “The Revenant.” Though not a scary film about the undead, it was truly creative, goofy yet thoughtful, and incredibly funny.  Check out the synopsis HERE. Writer-Director Kerry Prior answered some questions from audience members after the film and was the guest of honour at a Pub Night across the street at Paupers Pub (a local hot spot in The Annex!)

The films range in their level of guts and gore but all films in the Festival are rated “R” by Ontario standards. After screening parties and pub nights are also for those who are 19 and over. So, plan on a babysitter (for younger siblings or offspring) if you are brave enough to attend the Festival! These films are not for the weak-in-the-stomach kind of person. Be duly prepared for guts, gore, zombies, vampires and other ghouls! 

For more information:

Toronto After Dark Film Festival

The Bloor Cinema

If you like horror, you might also be interested in:

Zomebie Walk
Festival of Fear
Toronto After Dark film Festival

Toronto After Dark Film Festival presentation
I always try to be sensitive as to where I should bring a camera and where its not appropriate... BUT I always end up kicking myself that I don't have one when I need it.

At 'The Reverent' they gave a talk before and after the movie that included the director. I would have loved a picture, but only had my cell phone camera. From now on I'm bringing my camera EVERYWHERE! (For the other 2 pictures I borrowed my friends Nikon, which I didn't know how to use properly...but again we didn't bring it into the theatre)