This year's Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal was a milestone: It was the 25th edition for what's become the largest genre film festival in North America, an event that survived a pandemic and went on to screen online when Montrealers and travelers from around the world couldn't gather in Montreal movie theaters.
To celebrate, Fantasia announced Fantasia en fête, a special screening series that will revisit "the most vital highlights from across the festival’s history... a retrospective series brings back the unforgettable experiences and award-winning, even paradigm-shifting cinematic moments that the festival is revered for."
One of, if not all of, the best parts of this announcement? It's all free, and the selections are perfect for Halloween in Montreal; they've got vampire flicks, kung fu movies, kaiju battles, straight-up horror, and more.
The series is happening in two waves: The first will happen this month on October 22, 23, 24, and 26 while the second will take place in December (no confirmation on whether or not the chosen films will have anything to do with Christmas). All screenings will take place at the historic Cinéma Impérial, where the festival was born in 1996.
Here's what they'll be screening, and when:
Friday Oct 22 at 6:45 p.m.
Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain (1983, Hong Kong, dir.: Tsui Hark) Celestial castles and bouncy battles, lasers and rainbows, Good and Evil battle it out in this Tsui Hark masterpiece.
Friday Oct 22 at 9:40 p.m.
Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (1971, Japan, dir.: Yoshimitsu Banno): Godzilla tackles post-war pollution in this psychedelic episode from the Shôwa-era series!
Saturday Oct 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Voice of Silence (2020, South Korea, dir.: Hong Eui-jeong): Merging auteurism and gripping suspense, this award-winner follows two men caught up in the gears of organized crime in the Korean countryside.
Saturday Oct 23 at 9:45 p.m.
[REC] (Spain, 2007, dir: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza): A landmark in Spanish horror cinema. The scariest found-footage film in history and the most intense zombie nightmare you’ll ever experience.
Sunday Oct 24 at 6:45 p.m.
Mind Game (2004, Japan, dir.: Masaaki Yuasa) This psychedelic, animated milkshake of twisted mysticism and streetwise thrills is possibly the most laureled film in Fantasia’s history.
Sunday Oct 24 at 9:45 p.m.
Let the Right One In (Sweden, 2008, dir.: Tomas Alfredson): The Swedish masterpiece, widely hailed as the greatest vampire film of the past quarter-century, returns to chill the big screen.
Tuesday Oct 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Last Night in Soho (2021, U.K., dir.: Edgar Wright): A Special advance screening of three-time Fantasia alumni Edgar Wright’s latest creation, fresh off its premieres at Venice, TIFF and BFI London.
More information can be found on the Fantasia International Film Festival's webpage for Fantasia en fête here.