THE ABSENCE OF EDDY TABLE
Love and leeches are the results of a wrong turn in a creepy forest in this immaculate animated misadventure penned by famed cartoonist Dave Cooper, creator of the titular cult character.
Dean Norris portrays a sitcom showrunner whose incessant and indulgent laughter on set masks his darker disposition in this slick satirical slow-burn that builds to a devastating punchline.
Dir. Maxwell McCabe-Lokos
A startling and sardonic satire of post-consumerist enlightenment that at one point features the voice of David Cronenberg narrating the life cycle of Jellyfish. The less you know, the better.
Impressively dilated performances and a keen command of tone ground an increasingly absurdist argument between two young women, which eventually curdles into an unsettling psychological breakdown.
Dir. Michelle Garza Cervera
A bite from a rabid dog condemns a woman to a claustrophobic cabin in this deftly directed dark drama that begins with beautiful charcoal animation before slipping into eerie live action. As her husband hunts the animal and its savage brethren, the woman grows to resent her imposed seclusion and becomes desperate to escape.
Fantastic prosthetics and hilarious performances complement this improbable parable about the choice a preppy young man makes after his girlfriend is struck with a debilitating condition as a result of not adhering to his country club’s guidelines.
Precariously perched on the slope of a smooth monolithic structure that recedes into a horrifying abyss, a woman strives to escape sliding to her doom; a nightmare expertly sustained and expressed through visceral visuals and a haptic soundscape.
DAWN OF THE DEAF
Sporting a novel conceit that breathes new life into an oversaturated sub-genre, this network narrative of hearing-impaired protagonists unravels moments before the world gets a bad case of the undead.
A heavy metal guitarist shreds sick licks on an axe spawned from Satan with gleefully silly splatstick results.
Dir. Aleksander Nordaas, Hallvard Holmen
After a prepubescent cyclist informs a man that his neighbor has killed his dog, he impulsively resolves to get all John Wick on him in this amusingly austere pitch-black satire.
DON’T ACT DUMB
This finely tuned cringe-comedy effectively modulates bursts of genuine suspense as it plays out an adolescent nightmare, wherein an intimidating police officer interrupts the backseat hanky-panky between two inexperienced teenagers.
A ghostly transmission implores the help of an occult-savvy pizza delivery girl in this krautrock ghost story that packs its chilling trajectory with charming character beats and compelling supernatural mythology.
A petulant teen conducts an ancient ritual to enact petty revenge on those who she believes have wronged her in this slick Austin-shot spook’em-up.
HELP ME FIRST!
Three pursuers of the paranormal make the bold choice to go with a blue night vision filter over a green one, and the terrible decision to investigate an abandoned asylum with a notoriously spooky history.
I WANT YOU INSIDE ME
An introverted teenager loses her virginity and her boyfriend in one fell orgasm; a sensitive portrait of adolescence that builds to one helluva FX gag that’s both funny and frightening.
I AM COMING TO PARIS TO KILL YOU
Deliciously stylized neo-noir tropes get steeped in ethereal surrealist flourishes as a woman desperately vies to rescue a loved one. Bookended with an unreleased murder ballad from Timber Timbre and featuring some truly inspired experimental visual effects.
Dir. Milos Mitrovic, Fabian Velasco
Introverted superfan Arnold undergoes plastic surgery to look like his pop idol Austin Kelsey (Astron-6`s Conor Sweeney). It does not go well, but it does go hilariously, and with an infectious earworm of a soundtrack to boot… or since it’s Canadian should I say “aboot” (*programmer pelted with tomatoes*).
Dir. Chris Mitchell, Yoav Lester
A transfixing character portrait that compellingly blurs documentary and drama with a shade of comic book mythos as it poetically captures the mix of emotions a young wrestler experiences on fight night.