Thursday, October 22, 2015

PATCHWORK & THE HEXECUTIONERS: TAD 2015 - Capsule Reviews

by Aaron Allen


PATCHWORK (USA)
Directed by Tyler MacIntyre

*ADVANCE REVIEW*

This Friday, Tyler MacIntyre's Frankenstein-themed female revenge horror-comedy Patchwork will be making its Canadian premiere at the Toronto After Dark closing night gala. Tickets still remain but will likely sell out quickly, so don't wait to get yours. Patchwork is the perfect TAD film: funny, weird, gory, and out of its god damn mind.

Three women (Tory Stolper, Tracey Fairaway, Maria Blasucci) wake up to discover that their dead bodies have been surgically mutilated and stitched together into a single Frankenstein's monster. Now one body with three distinct and at-odds identities, they/she go on a darkly comedic rampage to find the men responsible and exact revenge.

Like its protagonist, Patchwork is a giddy mixture of horror, comedy, satire, action, and female drama with a wild side full of genuine twists and an irreverent sense of schizophrenic style. It might be a bit rough around the edges, but it's still a monstrous success. Patchwork will never be a mainstream hit, but it's the perfect film for Toronto After Dark's cult-loving audience of film fanatics and the most surprising film of the festival. Go see it this Friday night!

THE HEXECUTIONERS (CANADA)
Directed by Jesse Thomas Cook

Last night was the World Premiere of The Hexecutioners, a film so new that it was only finished 30 hours before it screened to a sold-out crowd at Toronto After Dark. Directed by Jesse Thomas Cook (Monster BrawlSeptic Man) and written by Tony Burgess (PontypoolSeptic Man, Hellmouth, Ejecta), The Hexecutioners is a spooky rural Gothic horror that is without a doubt the best film to come out of Foresight Features since Exit Humanity.

In the near future, human euthanasia is a legitimate (albeit shady) business. Malison (Liv Collins) is a new techie paired up with seasoned closer Olivia (Sarah Power) and sent out to end the life of Milos Sombarac:  a very wealthy client living in palliative care on a creepy rural estate. Sombarac wants to die in a very particular and unusual way, and he's willing to pay big money for the service. As Malison struggles to come to terms with her job as a sanctioned killer, she begins to experience a series of disturbing apparitions and hauntings connected to Sombarac's past as the participant in a tragic death cult.

The Hexecutioners is not particularly scary although it is interestingly creepy. Its Gothic mood is a testament to Cook's maturity as a director. The performances are topnotch and the script is a very satisfying mixture of conventional Gothic terror with Tony Burgess's trademark unhinged and envelope-pushing concepts and self-aware wit. While past ventures like Septic Man and Hellmouth may have been too insane and unbridled, The Hexecutioners is actually hindered by too much restraint and a dogged adherence to structure that makes its conclusion far less surprising than it should be. Over all, The Hexecutioners is a good old-fashioned haunted house movie with some exciting occult ideas, but the entire film could have used just a few drops more of Tony Burgess's mad genius in the mix.

Get advanced tickets to remaining screenings:  http://www.torontoafterdark.com


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