The most wonderful time of the year 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY RICH GLASS/RICHGLASSPHOTO.COM - Come here The Tooth Fairy, Heavy Hitting HorrorFest. The festival is back Oct. 30.
  • Photo by Rich Glass/
  • Come here The Tooth Fairy, Heavy Hitting HorrorFest. The festival is back Oct. 30.

Late summer in the mountains and that chill hangs in the morning air like the bony hands of death creeping under the blankets. The days are noticeably shorter now as the mist creeps out over the lakes and Whistler starts gearing up for the horrors of autumn.

Top of the list is, as always, our very own homegrown Heavy Hitting HorrorFest, back at the Fairmont for the lucky 13th time on Devil's Night, Thursday, Oct. 30.

But Hollywood also contributes to the lurking doom atmosphere of autumn. As Above So Below, the first horror of the season and also harbinger to the end of Summer Blockbuster season, opens Thursday at the Whistler Village 8.

Positioned as a Lara-Croft-meets-the-girl-next-door, British newcomer Perdita Weeks stars as Scarlet, a brainy ass-kicking archeologist on a mission to discover the great secret her dead father couldn't. This time she's nosing around "the Catacombs" (real-life ancient tunnels and tombs buried deep beneath the streets of Paris) and the deeper she descends into the Earth, and her own inner demons, the closer Scarlet gets to hell.

There were no pre-screenings available (as it should be with a horror movie) and As Above So Below is directed by John Erick Dowdie and co-written by his brother Drew.

These guys are the team behind Quarantine and they carry that faux-docu-news style of camerawork down the hole with them this time, mixing it with the stifling claustrophobia of their last flick, Devil, to deliver what looks like a pretty decent time-space-psyche mindbender. The title hints at deep metaphysical analysis and slow brooding but more likely we can expect super-fast pacing/editing and lots of jump-scares. We'll see if the Dowdie's POV/docu-style camerawork can hold up to the expansive subterranean creep-factor of The Descent but as the start of two months of horror flicks, As Above So Below certainly seems worth taking the plunge.

Other important horror flicks to watch for this autumn include Annabel, the origin story of that creepy-ass doll from The Conjuring, which was one of last year's freakiest flicks. Producer James Wan (Saw) is a master of horror conventions so expect old standards like pasty dead chicks in bloodstained robes, unnerving music-box/nursery rhyme music and babies constantly at risk. Annabel will be fun, look for it October 3.

Also, Kevin Smith (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Red State) is back making films and it kinda looks like he's tossing his hat into the "torture porn" arena with Tusk, a flick where Justin Long (Strange Wilderness, Dodgeball) stars as the victim of a crazed Canadian with a walrus fetish. It opens September 19 and reminds me of Misery.

There's also an R-rated mummy flick (The Pyramid — December 5) coming down the pipe and a movie called Ouija about, you guessed it... that one drops October 24 and has decent horror filmmaking pedigree (and more creepy dolls) but it's also PG-13 so don't hold your breath.

The other opening this week at the Village 8 is the stupidly titled November Man, which stars a former James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) as a retired James Bond-type who teams up with a former Bond girl (Olga Kurylenko) as they both get chased around by the old dude's protégé/former employer while the rest of us count the days until the next real Bond film.

No thanks November Man, we're talking autumn here not winter., I think I'll go see Scarlett Johansson in Lucy instead.


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