Ready for Fantasia Film Festival 2023? We got our Top 20 Epic Picks!

There’s lots to see and thrill to at Fantasia Film Festival 2023, and we got our choice picks on what fans of animation, horror and fantasy to see!

Fantasia Film Festival 2023 DatesThe best genre movie gala in Canada is almost here, and Fantasia Film Festival 2023  has a lot to offer! Over the three weeks, fans of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, drama and animation have a lot to pick from, and we got our list. Just how much one can take in per day depends on how much sleep and culture from this city one wants to take in (and how deep our pockets are to partake in everything). Montreal, Quebec is a mecca for all things classical and noveau.

As this celebration is back to being an in-person festival, so must the digital side disappear. That’s alright, since watching a film must also include the experience of sharing your joy with fellow movie-goers. This year’s spotlight includes a focus on Korean cinema, honouring Nicholas Cage with a career achievement award. (Update: Due to the writer’s strike, all celebrity guests cannot attend). He stars in SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL (playing July 22nd at the Auditorium des diplômés de la SGWU). Just when fans thought he was over the top in Renfield, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

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It’s a Wild and Wacky Renfield World (Even Though It’s Canadian Release Got Delayed).

Taking a bite at the home video release of Renfield is bloody delicious! The bonus material helps make this film all the more fun.

Renfield Blu-ray Slipcase
Available to purchase on Amazon USA

Release Date in Canada:
July 11, 2023.

Although the staggered streaming and home video release of Renfield is unusual, I’m just Vlad this movie is finally available in Canada. Now that is out of my system, I can take a bite at what makes this horror comedy the fun romp that it is. Although I knew this film would be over the top, what the featurettes offered in explaining the making of the film helped me appreciate it more. That’s because I’ve looked at other interpretations of this character in other media; although they took on a more serious tone in interpreting the adage, “The blood is the life!” this film goes down a different route.

From comic book to novella to this film, the gambit is well covered to explain why the title character loves eating bugs. It gives him power. In the opening narration, Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) has a mix of daddy issues and an identity problem. But there’s more! He can’t break free from the chains that the Lord of the Darkness has around him. It makes for a lightning in a bottle waiting to blow up, and when he gets mad, mortals better beware.

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[Fantasia 2021] I Want to Break Free! Prisoners of Ghostland

Instead of storming the fort, this champion better live up to the label of “Hero” in Prisoners of the Ghostland.

Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021)Playing
Aug 20, 9:45 PM
Cinéma Impérial
Montreal, Quebec
Tickets available to purchase online here.

Online Screening on 
Aug 23, 2021, 7:00 PM
Geolocked to Canada and tickets can be bought here.

Also coming to theatres and VOD Sept 17, 2021

Nick Cage will always be Nick Cage. He’s quite the “national treasure” in that regard. He’s a very versatile actor and I really have to wonder if he’s ever declined a role. These days, we’ve seen him as a butcher, baker, and candlestick mak—ok, perhaps not. The films of 2021 have made him a chef–and he’s an onary one in Pig–and Willy’s Wonderland. It’s amazing in how he carries this film without really speaking a lot.

In his latest, Prisoners of Ghostland, he’s a bank robber turned soft. He gets caught, and Cage’s character is given a chance at freedom if he can locate Bernice (Sofia Boutella). She ran away from her tormentor, The Governor (Bill Moseley) who rules Samurai Town. She went into hiding the neighbouring territory, Ghostland. This wasteland is where many refugees like to hide.

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The Passion is in the “Pig”

Robin has nothing to lose as he ventures back into civilization to find his beloved pet truffle pig.

PigBy Ed Sum 
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at select theatres in Canada beginning July 16, 2021

Edmonton, Metro Cinema
Vancouver, Rio Theatre
Waterloo, Princess Twin
Hamilton, Playhouse Cinema
Ottawa,  Mayfair Theatre
Saskatoon, Roxy Theatre
Regina, Rainbow Golden Mile
Montréal, Cinema Du Parc

I can’t help but think of the song “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” by Pink Floyd after watching the film Pig. The passing similarities in what the narrative arc means between the concept album and the movie are almost similar.

Nicolas Cage played many types of characters over the years and not all of them are as multi-faceted as Robin, a once famous chef in the Portland food scene, but now some hermit. There’s no easy way to categorize him but as a B-Movie God (credit to No Film School for giving him this title). His latest work has a bit of connective tissue with past works he’s starred in, namely Mandy and Colour Out of Space. The only difference is that we don’t see him go John Wick on the person who kidnaps his beloved swine and nor do we witness his sanity going down the pits. Plus, the small bits of unintentional humour is a sweet touch.

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Evolution is in Trouble with The Croods: A New Age

Add in how one hominid family differs from another, and if the advances in technology (ala Gilligan’s Island) are good, I would say making a new Netflix series should have been considered instead.

PigBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Available on VOD
For outlets, please visit

A DNA sequence must be missing to make The Croods sequel, New Age stand out. One problem is the time it took to make this animated film. Seven years, not including the Netflix prequel, is quite the long time. One issue is because of Universal Pictures’ acquiring the DreamWorks Animation and the uncertainty which resulted. The other is handing over the directorial reigns to story artist, Joel Crawford.

This franchise created by Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco is good. Who doesn’t love a Flintstones like family trying to make sense of a changing world? The duo had ideas. Whoever said their story required the help of The Hageman Brothers, Paul Fisher, and Bob Logan to fine tune needs a rock tossed at him.

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