Run for your life and avoid anyone in a hockey mask, Midnight Madness just unleashed a truly terrifying lineup for the 41st Toronto International Festival®. This year’s slate includes everything from cerebral unrelenting thrillers, pulse pounding crime stories, gruesome visceral horrors and even a spine-chilling documentary that guarantee to whet audience’s thirst for the macabre and leave them terrified, shocked and learning to sleep with the lights on.

Midnight Madness sees the return of several alumni this year, including Adam Wingard, Ben Wheatley, and exciting rising stars and heavy hitters André Øvredal, Greg MacLean, Colm McCarthy, The Mo Brothers Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, and for the first time at Midnight – Paul Schrader and Morgan Spurlock.

“Midnight Madness is the destination for those who love to sink their teeth into excessive, unrelenting, weird and wild films,” said Colin Geddes, International Programmer for the Festival. “And this year we have the perfect fix for adrenaline junkies and blood thirsty fiends. Audiences can pick their poison from Paul Schrader’s frenzied crime capper starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe, Iko Uwais as an ultimate killing machine, the ruthlessly violent The Belko Experiment, late night autopsies, insatiable cannibalism served French-style, a zombie dystopian thriller, and the long-awaited return of Blair Witch. Midnight Madness has you covered!”

Midnight Madness has been known for some bloody good fights over the years and this year is no different – opening with Free Fire, Ben Wheatley’s hotly anticipated new film staring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer and Cillian Murphy. And the show will close with a showdown between two of Japan’s horror icons from The Ring and The Grudge in Sadako vs. Kayako.

Since it’s creation in 1988, Midnight Madness has happily indulged in the excess gore of extreme action and fantasy that have given careers to the likes of Eli Roth and given an early home to Peter Jackson. There truly is no limit to what we can expect next year with Midnight Madness continuing to push so many boundaries. And that is a truly exciting and terrifying notion.

The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 to 18, 2016.

 

The Autopsy of Jane Doe André Øvredal, USA                                          World Premiere

Tommy Tilden and his son Austin run a family-owned morgue and when the Sheriff brings in their next case – a ‘Jane Doe’, it seems like an open-and-shut case. But as the autopsy proceeds, Tommy and Austin are left reeling as each layer of their inspection brings frightening new revelations and an unnatural force takes hold of the crematorium.

The Belko Experiment Greg MacLean, USA                                               World Premiere

On what appears to be a normal day at Belko Industries’, Belko employees are horrified when they find out that they’ve become guinea pigs in a company-wide experiment which will lead them to either kill their fellow employees or be murdered themselves.  The experiment is masterminded by a mysterious voice which is controlling the loud-speaker and instructing the employees to slaughter each other by any means necessary.

Blair Witch Adam Wingard, USA                                                                  World Premiere

A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of James’ sister who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence.  Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.

Dog Eat Dog Paul Schrader, USA                                                    North American Premiere

Dog Eat Dog is a gritty contemporary crime thriller about a trio of ex-cons, deep in the underbelly of Cleveland, who are hired for a kidnapping. When the botched abduction goes awry and gets completely out of control, the cons find themselves on the run, vowing to stay out of prison at all costs.

Midnight Madness Opening Night Film.

Free Fire Ben Wheatley, UK                                                                          World Premiere

Justine (Brie Larson) has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley) and a gang led by Vernon (Sharlto Copley) and Ord (Armie Hammer) who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired in the handover, a heart stopping game of survival ensues.

The Girl with All the Gifts Colm McCarthy, UK/USA                      North American Premiere

A heart-stopping original Sci-Fi thriller, about hope, humanity and a young girl who wants to save the world.

Headshot Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, Indonesia                            World Premiere

The indomitable Iko Uwais (The Raid) stars in this fast and furious actioner as an amnesiac whose mysterious past as a killing machine comes to the fore when he takes on the henchmen of a vengeful drug lord.

Rats Morgan Spurlock, USA                                                                          World Premiere

Inspired by Robert Sullivan’s New York Times bestselling book, Rats is a horror documentary that plunges into the darkest depths to expose human kind’s most insidious parasite. Thriving in every corner of the globe, rats are harbingers of disease, death, and psychological trauma. In this film, exterminators, farmers, scientists, and even chefs bring us face-to-face with this complicated creature.

Raw Julia Ducournau, France/Belgium                                             International Premiere

Everyone in Justine’s family is a vet. And a vegetarian. At 16, she’s a brilliant and promising student. When she starts at veterinary school, she enters a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world. During the first week of hazing rituals, desperate to fit in whatever the cost, she strays from her family principles when she eats raw meat for the first time. Justine will soon face the terrible and unexpected consequences of her actions as her true self begins to emerge…

Midnight Madness Closing Night Film.

Sadako vs. Kayako Kôji Shiraishi, Japan                                         International Premiere

After viewing a legendary cursed videotape, Natsumi discovers she has only two days before she will be killed by the demonic entity known as Sadako. The only solution: pitting the demon Sadako against Kayako, an accursed spirit possessing a haunted house where everyone who enters disappears.