The Fantasia International Film Festival is continuing its cherished tradition of featuring emotionally and visually terrifying genre movies that will surely make viewers scream in horror – and delight – with its current slate. This summer’s 26th annual edition of the Montreal-based festival, which is presently running until Wednesday, August 3, is sure to leave audiences shrieking in both fear and excitement over such powerful films as ‘Polaris,’ ‘Where the Witch Lives,’ ‘Incredible But True,’ ‘The Harbinger’ and ‘Hypochondriac.’

The highly anticipated adventure thriller, ‘Polaris,’ served as the festival’s opening night feature when it had its world premiere in the festival’s Cheval Noir section this past Thursday, July 15. KC Carthew wrote and directed the movie, which stars an all-female cast that’s led by 13-year-old Canadian-Korean actress, Viva Lee in her breakthrough performance that had her speaking in a completely imagined language.

The post-apocalyptic eco-feminist fantasy adventure drama is set in 2144 against the harsh backdrop of a frozen wasteland. Sumi (Lee), a human child raised by Mama Polar Bear, narrowly escapes capture and stumbles across Frozen Girl. An unlikely friendship is forged and together they race ahead of the vindictive hunters who are pursuing them towards the only guiding light Sumi knows, the Polaris star.

For more information on ‘Polaris,’ visit its page on Fantasia’s official website.

The poster for writer-director-producer KC Carthew’s post-apocalyptic fantasy epic thriller, ‘Polaris.’

Another eagerly awaited film that’s play during this year’s Fantasia is the horror short, ‘Where the Witch Lives.’ The gothic family drama was penned and helmed by Mariel Sharp.

‘Where the Witch Lives,’ which was shot on location in a gothic mansion in rural Quebec, follows 12-year-old Cassie (Lake Delisle) as she moves into an old isolated house with her newly-single mother and her little sister. Cassie. The family begins to suspect that they’re being tormented by the spirit of a sadistic River Witch.

In addition to Delisle, the movie also stars Catherine Bérubé (‘Cold’), and features Margaux Vaillaincourt and Alex Rice (‘The Twilight Saga’).

‘Where the Witch Lives’ was presented with writer-director Berkley Brady’s feature film, ‘Dark Nature,’ as part of the Septentrion Shadows Program this past Monday, July 18.

For more information on ‘Where the Witch Lives,’ visit its page on Fantasia’s official website.

A scene from writer-director Mariel Sharp’s horror short, ‘Where the Witch Lives.’

Fantasia audiences will also surely be frightened by the fantasy comedy-drama, ‘Incredible But True.’ The French movie, which is subtitled in English, is set to have its North American premiere on Sunday, July 31.

The film follows a husband and wife as they move into the suburban house of their dreams. However, they soon discover that a mysterious secret is hidden in the basement, which may change their lives forever.

‘Incredible But True’ was scribed and directed by Quentin Dupieux. It stars Alain Chabat (‘The Science of Sleep,’ ‘Mood Indigo’), Léa Drucker (‘Custody,’ ‘The Man of My Life’), Benoît Magimel (‘The Piano Teacher,’ ‘Thieves’) and Anaïs Demoustier (‘Sweet Evil,’ ‘Alice and the Mayor’).

For more information on ‘Incredible But True,’ visit its page on Fantasia’s official website.

Actress Léa Drucker stars in writer-director Quentin Dupieux’s comedy-drama, ‘Incredible But True.’

Another anticipated movie that’s set to play this year’s Fantasia is the horror thriller, ‘The Harbinger.’ The film will have its World Premiere in the Cheval Noir section tonight, Wednesday, July 20, and will be shown again this Friday, July 22.

In ‘The Harbinger,’ which was written and helmed by Andy Mitton, when Monique (Gabby Beans) is summoned to her friend’s New York City apartment in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the last thing she expects to face is the titular contagious, plague-masked demon. She’s even more shocked when she discovers that The Harbinger is attempting to wipe her from reality.

For more information on ‘The Harbinger,’ visit its page on Fantasia’s official website.

Fantasia audiences will also surely be scared by scribe-director Addison Heimann’s horror thriller, ‘Hypochondriac.’ The feature, which will screen tomorrow night, Thursday, July 21, at the festival, is scheduled to be officially released in theaters on July 29 and On Demand on August 4 by XYZ Films.

‘Hypochondriac’ follows Will (Zach Villa), a young gay man haunted by the homicidal actions of his mother, who attempted to kill him as a child. Grateful to have escaped the mental anguish of his youth, Will begins receiving packages from his mother, who’s sending him spiraling down a dark path that he may not be able to escape.

For more information on ‘Hypochondriac,’ visit its page on Fantasia’s official website.

Actor Zach Villa (righ) stars in writer-director ‘s horror thriller, ‘Hypochondriac.’

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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