Seven Psychopaths

The top 10 movies to watch at TIFF 2012

Don't believe the hype? That's fine. Neither did Public Enemy and they did just great. Who's recommendations for the Toronto International Film Festival should you listen to then? Mine of course! Below is my own personal must see list, broken down by category for your hasty consumption and convenience. Below are the films in alphabetical order.

ABCs of Death
Want to see what over two dozen of the world's top horror directors would do with twenty-six alphabetically-inspired ways to die? Hell son, you're in luck with this one. Featuring cult directors like Jason Eisener (Hobo With a Shotgun), Xavier Gens (The Divide), Adam Wingard (Pop Skull), Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police), Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), and Ben Wheatley (Down Terrace) to name just a few of my favourites.
[ Add this to your schedule if: You want all the horror you can take ]

John Dies at the End
Don Coscarelli, director of cult classics like Bubba Ho-Tep and Phantasm, brings us on a Cronenberg-like hallucinatory trip based on a hit novel by David Wong. The trailer for this one leaked over a long time ago and I've been desperate to see it since then. Featuring ancient evils, monsters, insect people, and other freaks like Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown.
[ Add this to your schedule if: You enjoy the truly bizarre ]

Me And You
Italian master Bernardo Bertolucci's first feature in almost ten years brings him back to the story of troubled youth, which he last explored in the sexy and very controversial film, The Dreamers. Bertolucci has always made risky choices in cinema, and thankfully he doesn't care what the majority of filmgoers want. Don't bring a first date (wink).
[ Add this to your schedule if: You want an intelligent challenge ]

Scarface director Brian De Palma rarely disappoints. This time he turns up the heat with an erotic revenge flick, a remake of Alain Corneau's elegant thriller Crime d'amour, which TIFF presented in 2010. Starring the very sexy Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes) and Noomi Rapace (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).
[ Add this to your schedule if: You want sexy suspense ]

Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk, creator of one of my all-time favourite dramatic masterpieces (3-Iron), brings us a brutal tale of violence, redemption, and tragic secrets. Hired by moneylenders, a man lives as a loan shark, brutally threatening people for any payback he can get, until his dark past changes his path suddenly.
[ Add this to your schedule if: You love secrets ]

This is the best remake I've seen in a long time. Nicolas Winding Refn's (Drive) brilliant Pusher crime series is modernized in this English version with tight edits and great cast, including the return of Zlatko Buric who played Milo in the original film as well. Best of all, this film has my vote for best original soundtrack, from the group Orbital.
[ Add this to your schedule if: You need to hear the best soundtrack of the fest ]

Room 237
Obsessive conspiracy theorist talk about the secret messages hidden in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. The film may be over 30 years old but it still continues to inspire a lot of debate. Bring someone with whom you can have an intelligent conversation, or at least an entertaining argument.
[ Add this to your schedule if: You love conspiracies ]

The Sapphires
If this movie doesn't make you want to dance, as well as choke you up, you're probably already dead inside. A sweet and funny film with a lot of heart about four talented young "Aboriginal" girls who leave Australia for Vietnam to entertain the troops in the late 60's. Includes one of my favourite funny men, Chris O'Dowd (The IT Crowd), who really makes the film.
[ Add this to your schedule if: You want the feel good movie of the fest ]

Seven Psychopaths
If you need more motivation to see a film than it's cast including Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits, and Harry Dean Stanton, then I'd have to mention this film is by writer-director Martin McDonagh, who created In Bruges, the best comedy thriller you'll find out there. Did I mention it's about dog-nappers? 'Nuff said.
[ Add this to your schedule if: You want a wacky thrill ride ]

A "gleefully gory laugh riot" from director Ben Wheatley, who's film Kill List was an overwhelming audience favourite last year at Midnight Madness. If this guy shot a movie about grass growing, I'd watch it just to see how it ends. Probably in ritualized violence.
[ Add this to your schedule if: You love macabre comedy ]


Cult film provocateur Harmony Korine provides a tequila-fuelled ride on the "bad choices express", for a bunch of sexy would be criminals. If you weren't scarred by Kids, or put off by Gummo, give one of best fringe directors another go and screwing you up.
[ Add this to your schedule if: You can't get enough booze, drugs and violence ]

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6-16.

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