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Recommendations from TIFF 2018: Filmmakers, critics and stars share their favorites

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Sep 17, 2018

The Toronto International Film Festival has come and gone once more, with a plethora of new and established filmmakers showcasing their movies across varying genres. Of course, here at SYFY FANGRRLS, we have a taste for all things sci-fi, horror and fantasy and there were plenty of options to choose from on the TIFF slate.

But we also took the opportunity to ask certain filmmakers and stars what they would recommend to our readers too, so mixed with our own recommendations are a few more from Susan Sarandon, Lea Seydoux, and director Nick Hamm.

RAW

KURSK STAR LEA SEYDOUX RECOMMENDS RAW

“I don’t really like horror films but you know this French film — have you seen Raw? It was last year and done by a young female director Julia Ducournau. She’s very talented.” - Lea Seydoux

Raw was one of the horror highlights of 2017 as it followed Garance Marillier’s young vegetarian veterinary student. After being coerced into tasting meat for the first time, she develops an unnatural craving for flesh. The film played at TIFF last year and according to some reports some audience members fainted and needed medical attention because of certain graphic scenes.

ASSASSINATION NATION

HANNA RECOMMENDS ASSASSINATION NATION

Assassination Nation is a feminist fist pump of a movie that challenges misogynistic gender roles, internet culture and the way women have been forced to see themselves for centuries.

Taking narrative cues from The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible, with a Spring Breakers aesthetic, Sam Levinson’s teen horror comedy center on the town of Salem after it becomes victim to a hacker leaking residents’ private messages, videos and pictures. This causes mass chaos and hysteria and after one girl and her three girlfriends’ are blamed for the leak they are forced to literally fight for their survival against a murderous mob of men. #GRRLPOWER.

Laurie Strode Halloween 2018

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN STAR SUSAN SARANDON RECOMMENDS HALLOWEEN

“I think there's some Japanese films, animes, that are really good but my son is in the new Halloween that hasn't come out yet so that sounds like it will be fun.” - Susan Sarandon

The new Halloween movie is a direct sequel to the original 1978 movie and sees the return of Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, the sole survivor of Michael Myer’s murderous rampage. Laurie has spent the last 40 years preparing mentally and physically for her sadistic tormentor's return and it just so happens he comes back with a vengeance on Halloween night once again. Teaming up with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), it’s the ultimate girl power throwdown.

high life

HANNA RECOMMENDS HIGH LIFE

Brilliant French filmmaker Claire Denis returned to TIFF with both her first English language film and sci-fi endeavor, High Life, which serves as a deep exploration of humanity in the far regions of space. The story centers on Robert Pattinson’s Monte, one of several criminals sent to space in order to find alternative energy, and the daughter he fathered against his will but soon grows to cherish.

The film is a slow-burning, melancholy ride stabbed with feral moments of humanity and violence. It won’t be for everyone, but High Life moved me and it might just move you too.

Suspiria Dance Scene

DRIVEN DIRECTOR NICK HAMM RECOMMENDS SUSPIRIA

“I used to do some horror films I did this movie called The Hole, which must have been fifteen years ago. I did a few of them and then I'd quite like to go back to them because they are quite fun. Suspiria is supposed to be amazing and everyone said it was incredible. it just looks extraordinarily wonderful I mean that, to me, it looks like an event.” - Nick Hamm

Suspiria is Luca Guadagnino’s remake of the classic 1977 horror from Dario Argento. In this version, Dakota Johnson takes the lead as American dancer Susie, who travels to Germany to enroll in a ballet school that is unlike any other. Susie and her friend Sara (Mia Goth) soon discover there is more than meets the eye as an increasing number of people disappear and dark secrets emerge.

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HANNA RECOMMENDS NEKROTRONIC

If you love dry Aussie humor and classic ‘80s-’90s action movies, then you will adore Nekrotronics. From Kiah Roache-Turner (writer-director) and Tristan Roache-Turner (writer-producer), this comedy horror follows two best pals who discover that one of them is actually part of an ancient magical sect committed to vanquishing demons. Monica Bellucci exudes BDE (Big Demon Energy) as the main villain who is using the internet and a Pokemon Go-type game to steal souls and it’s up to Howie (Ben O’Toole) and sisters Molly (Caroline Ford) and Torquel (Tess Haubrich) to stop her mission.

Yes, it’s a bit cheesy in places and some of the jokes could have been a bit slicker, but it’s the most fun I’ve had watching a supernatural horror comedy since Shaun of the Dead, so make sure you don’t sleep on this one.

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