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Antisocial

World Premiere
  • Canada
  • 2013
  • 90 mins
  • DCP
  • English

Five university friends gather on New Year’s Eve for what promises to be an intimate, fun party between close friends. Exchanging invites and photos over social media, however, they quickly learn that an epidemic outbreak of violence has taken over most of the world. Confined to the house, with the news and their many electronic devices acting as their sole window on the outside world, the atmosphere quickly turns sour, and paranoia grows rampant as symptoms — nosebleeds — become apparent. How quickly will this “infection” spread? Who can they trust? More importantly, is anything even real? Advised to stay inside, the group starts hallucinating, the outside world descends into further chaos at a maddening speed, and the cause of the outbreak is revealed to be far bleaker in implication than any of them — or any of us, who have been served this familiar scenario time and time again — could have conceived.

Canadian writer/producer/director Cody Calahan and co-writer/co-producer Chad Archibald, involved in such Fantasia crowd-pleasers as NEVERLOST (2010) and MONSTER BRAWL (2011), are back with another devilishly smart film, which, if initially familiar, grows to become one the most surprising Canadian horror films seen in a while. Conceptually rich, economically but effectively put together, ANTISOCIAL, part sociological science fiction and part good-old-fashioned gory house-bound horror, is heavy on toe-curling atmosphere, constantly hitting you with surprises at every turn, despite being confined to five performers and a modest budget.

Indeed, revealing too much about this next-gen huis-clos would be a huge disservice, as much ANTISOCIAL’s pleasures derive from its abundance of great, fresh ideas — toying with genre expectations, adapting familiar concepts to the new, heavily mediated paradigm we live today in. Calahan and Archibald provide a biting, twisty revisionist horror yarn for the 2.0 generation that is bound to keep you guessing until the very end, yet never losing steam as its mysteries are revealed. Delightfully surprising as it is effective and inventive, ANTISOCIAL might be the Canadian sleeper hit of the year, a film that is bound to keep you up thinking about its implications; a concept hitting far too close to home to let you forget it, and one that is bound to be explored again in the future.

Fantasia 2013 - Antisocial from Fantasia Film Festival on Vimeo.

— Ariel Esteban Cayer

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