International Shorts After Dark – Toronto After Dark Film Festival

Not enough people pay attention to short films, and not enough people tend to go out of their way to watch them during a film festival on the simple basis of there are so many features and so little time. However, shorts usually are better than most of the middle of the road features anyways because the programmers program the cream of the crop for their festival, and the programmers at Toronto After Dark absolutely did that. The international shorts this year are incredible.

While it would be too much to break down each short, the pro’s the con’s and all, I thought it would be better to highlight some of the titles in the International Shorts After Dark selection. I must say this is the tightest selection of shorts I’ve seen all year, everything is great, but the following shorts are the standouts from the selection.

Shiny Bright New World

If you told me I was going to watch a short that was a job training video and I would crack a rib laughing, I wouldn’t have believed you. However, this pitch black comedy about a clean up service for demons that strictly comes off as an instruction guide for a job is nothing short of brilliant. It’s hilarious, chalked full of surprises, and one hell of a cleaner, Shiny Bright New World is an excellent short sure to make you spill your guts out!

The Tenant

Paranoia, leg paid, general aches, all things we live with on a daily basis is a fair statement. What’s worse is when the pain is in-explainable and you cannot figure out what is going on or how to fix it. This dark, terrifying journey is what our protagonist is going through throughout the entirety of this short until we get a taste of true horror. A must see, a must scare, and a tense story throughout!

Henchmen

Finally, a movie (short in this instance) that shows the nameless henchmen’s role in protecting their boss that the protagonist is always after to kill. Throughout cinematic history the protagonist constantly goes through unnamed henchmen, one by one and takes out these obstacles as he wants to kill their boss. However this is told from the totally opposite perspective, from the Henchmen, realizing they’re about to get killed and doing everything they can to escape their deaths before he comes for them. This is silly, filled with action, and absolute gore.

Slurp

This is three minutes. It is the most insane three minutes I’ve ever seen. It’s a conversation between a man and a woman while he eats instant noodles and as the short goes on, the mystery seriously develops into the darkest of dark, and provides a very uneasy realization.

The international shorts at Toronto After Dark Film Festival are truly exceptional. There are eleven shorts in total, and the aforementioned shorts are just some of the highlights of this program. It is a great mix of science fiction, comedy, and horror, anything and everything all genre fans could possibly ask for. Strap yourselves in for the adventure of a lifetime.

Crave Factor – 8.5

My earliest movie memory, outside of my home theatre in my basement, was going to the local Video 99 and wanting to rent ET only to be told by the shop owner it was playing down the street in theatres. My love for cinema has been alive for as long as I can honestly remember. I would frequent the cinema minutes down from my house daily. It was a second home. Movies are an escape from the everyday world, a window into the soul, a distant friend. If I’m not watching a movie, I’m probably watching a tv show, if I’m doing neither I’m asleep.

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