05-15 November 2020

Festivals & Events

HIFF Blog

October 31, 2019

HIFF39 Takes It To The Extreme

If you aren't over the Halloween season yet, HIFF39 has just the films for you. Programming intern Adrian Alarilla goes through this year's HIFF EXTREME, filled with tales of death and mortality, thrills and chills from around the world. From wintery horrors to bloody thrillers to indigenous visions of the apocalypse, HIFF is taking it to the extreme.

BLOOD MACHINES is a science fiction fantasy about two intergalactic hunters who witness a mystical phenomenon--a literal “ghost in the machine”--with what looks like the soul of a young woman emerging out of hardware. This acid mind trip in space is complete sensory overload with some of the most amazing visual effects and art design you’ll see this year that needs to be seen on the big screen.

This film will play with a short film, THE HAUNTED SWORDSMAN, a beautifully handcrafted puppet film set in a world of demons and ghosts, where a lone samurai and his odd companion, a cursed severed head, seek vengeance in a haunted world.

Wednesday, November 13, 9:00pm, Regal Dole Cannery 15

Thursday, November 14, 8:45pm, Regal Dole Cannery 15

Following in the footsteps of cult classics such as BATTLE ROYALE, SIGNAL 100 (シグナル 100) is a gorgeously gory midnight romp featuring high school students who fall under a hypnotic spell by their evil teacher. Suddenly, commonplace behavior like arriving late to class, using cell phones, and shedding tears become fatal suicide triggers. With 100 “signals” in all, the only clues to breaking the spell is learning what NOT to do. As the carnage mounts, panic and survival instincts take over in a blood-curdling “death game.” Can the rapidly-dwindling student body keep their sanity together long enough to find a way to break the hypnotic spell, or will mad panic and futility turn them against each other to be the last one standing?

Friday, November 15, 9:00 pm, Regal Dole Cannery 14     

Saturday, November 16, 9:00 pm, Regal Dole Cannery 13

THE LODGE is a bone-chilling (literally) new nightmare that follows a family who retreat to their remote winter cabin over the holidays. When the father is forced to abruptly depart for work, he leaves his children, Aidan and Mia in the care of his new girlfriend, and future stepmom Grace. Isolated and alone, a blizzard traps them inside the lodge as terrifying events summon specters from Grace’s dark past. What follows is a relentless, mind-bending, wintery psychological nightmare in which the threat of demons from one’s past are always lurking.

Friday, November 8, 9:00 pm, Regal Dole Cannery 15     

Sunday, November 10, 8:45 pm, Regal Dole Cannery 15

The film I’m looking most forward to is BLOOD QUANTUM, an indigenous take on the zombie movie. The term "blood quantum" refers to a highly controversial measurement of the amount of "Indian blood" you have. It can affect your identity, your relationships and whether or not you — or your children — may become a citizen of your tribe. As the main story point, it is an innovative take on the tried-and-true zombie genre — the film grimly depicts an apocalyptic scenario where in an isolated Mi'gmaq community discover they are the only humans immune to a zombie plague. As the citizens of surrounding cities flee to the Mi'gmaq reserve in search of refuge from the outbreak, the community must determine whether to let the outsiders in (i.e. white people) — and thus risk not just the extinction of their tribe but of humanity, period.

Socio-cultural commentary aside, BLOOD QUANTUM is a wild, bloody affair — The undead are ceremoniously and gruesomely dispatched via samurai swords, chainsaws, shotguns, and makeshift axes. It fully delivers on the gore, but at the forefront, it’s a film that explores racism, colonialism, and the very threat of indigenous cultural extinction faced for generations.

Saturday, November 9, 9:00 pm, Regal Dole Cannery 15     

Wednesday, November 13, 8:30 pm, Regal Dole Cannery 1     

Saturday, November 23, 8:00 pm, The Palace Theater

View the entire HIFF Extreme section


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