Antibirth As the Gods Will

Toronto After Dark 2016 Review Wrap-Up: Ranking the films from best to worst

October 23, 2016Ben MK

From buddy action-comedies to revenge-themed westerns, this year's Toronto After Dark film line-up was one of the most diverse in the festival's hard-earned, 11-year history. However, TADFF's bread and butter is and forever will be its awesome slate of niche horror, sci-fi and fantasy features. Here's a look back at some of this year's titles, some of which lived up to the hype, some of which didn't...

(The following is a best-to-worst ranking of the 6 films reviewed over the 9 nights of TADFF 2016)
(Click on the film titles to read the full reviews)

#1 — Train to Busan (Yeon Sang-ho)

A harrowing journey through blood-splattered zombie territory, Train to Busan also brings some much-needed depth to the genre. Not only does the movie incorporate allegories for class warfare into its narrative, it also imbues it with a great deal of emotional heft, thanks to the relatable plights of its core group of characters. (TADFF Review)

#2 — Antibirth (Danny Perez)

Antibirth loses a bit of its stride during its scattershot second act, but it comes back stronger than ever for its gut-busting, splatter-fest finale, which pays off all the build-up that has come thus far in a big, immensely crowd-pleasing way. Suffice to say, you'll never see this ending coming, as it hits you like a blast of placenta to the face. (TADFF Review)

#3 — Trash Fire (Richard Bates Jr.)

In many respects, Trash Fire is very much a character drama, as its dialogue-driven narrative doesn't immediately scream horror. But what the movie lacks in jump-out-of-your-seat scares it more than makes up for with its poison-tipped black humor and subversive tone, not to mention a pair of note-perfectly creepy performances. (TADFF Review)

#4 — As the Gods Will (Takashi Miike)

Adapted from the manga of the same name, As the Gods Will is the perfect fit for cult filmmaker Takashi Miike's devilish sensibilities. After all, this is the same director who brought us such twisted classics as Ichi the Killer and Visitor Q; and here he seizes the opportunity to take his trademark style to ridiculous new heights. (TADFF Review)

#5 — Kill Command (Steven Gomez)

Kill Command has its moments, but it's largely an exercise in mediocrity. Neither good enough to be great nor terrible enough to be considered "so bad it's good," it's the kind of generic-looking film that will show up in your Netflix recommendations queue if you've watched movies like Aliens, The Terminator or Starship Troopers. (TADFF Review)

#6 — From a House on Willow Street (Alastair Orr)

A movie about a kidnapping gone supernaturally wrong, From a House on Willow Street takes the concept of a siege picture and turns it into a battle for survival on the part of the attackers, not the would-be victim. But while the film may find its fans among the same demographic who enjoyed this past summer's Don't Breathe, most moviegoers will find this bland horror outing rather uninspired. (TADFF Review)

(See you next year!)

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