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TIFF 2013 Unleashes Midnight Madness Lineup, Docs, and Vanguard:

We are a little over a month away from opening night at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, the Toronto International Film Festival. Last week was a treat as the first 75 films were announced, including galas and special presentations. Now, it’s fair to say that the films presented last week were are a little more serious and dramatic, those hoping to generate Oscar buzz and compete for the “people’s choice award.” The films announced last night however, are much more easygoing.

Around midnight (fitting), TIFF unveiled its lineup for what is quickly becoming the festivals most notable, fun, and bizarre sub-competition, Midnight Madness! Which hosts films ranging from horror, thriller, dark comedies, and oh so much more. This yearly tradition celebrates filmmaking that stretches the human psyche, tests the viewers tolerance level, and essentially weeds out the weak cinephiles from the tough. This will be the 25th anniversary of Midnight Madness and this year’s line-up is an outstanding gift to the public. Check out the all the Midnight Madness films here. Below you’ll find what I believe to be the highlights!

“The Green Inferno” (2013, Eli Roth).

Horror maestro Eli Roth (Hostel) returns to the director’s chair for this gruesome homage to the notorious Italian cannibal movies of the late seventies and early eighties.

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“Rigor Mortis” (2013, Juno Mak).

A public-housing tenement is plunged into a dark storm of supernatural chaos, in this loving tribute to the cult classic Hong Kong horror-comedy series Mr. Vampire.

Next up, is Vanguard! Described as “Provocative, sexy… possibly dangerous. This is what’s next.” You can check out all the films announced for Vanguard here. Below you’ll once again find what I believe to be the highlights of this section.

“The Sacrament” (2013, Ti West).

Inspired by the infamous mass suicide of Peoples Temple cultists at Jonesetown, Guyana, the latest film from indie genre icon Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) sends frequent collaborators AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg and Kentucker Audley on a harrowing journey into madness and messianic bloodshed.

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“Horns” (2013, Alexander Aja).

Blamed for the brutal murder of his longtime girlfriend (Juno Temple), a small-town guy (Daniel Radcliffe) awakens one morning to find a pair of horns growing from his head, in this offbeat supernatural thriller from horror ace Alexandre Aja (Haute tensionPiranha 3D).

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FInally, for those of you interested, you can find all the Documentaries premiering at TIFF here. It isn’t my cup of tea so I’m not really sure what the highlights are. If you happen to be a documentary enthusiast, be sure to let me know what you think of the selection in the comments section below.

Okay all, that’ll do it for this announcement. I didn’t think it was possible for me to become more enthusiastic and aching with anticipation after the first set of announcements, but I’ve been proven wrong. The horror crop looks terrific at TIFF this year and I’m really looking forward to checking them all out at the festival. Remember, The Cinema Monster is your number 1 source for TIFF news and reviews!  Be sure to follow me on Twitter @cinema_monster or on Facebook here for up to the minute news. Please comment below on the selection for the festival already presented and let me know which films you are most excited to see. Have a great week!

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Infernal Affairs (2002)

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Full of gut wrenching tension and mind boggling turns, Infernal Affairs is an action packed roller coaster bursting with intelligence. The film that Martin Scorsese modelled his Academy Award winning picture The Departed after, Infernal Affairs is just as obscure and witty. With a tremendous script bearing the weight of the films foundation, the architecture is left to its cast who perform the film in its complexity in perfect synchronization. Directed by Wai-keung Lau and Alan Mak, their ability to control and distribute the films oddities and delicate situations is masterful. Starring Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, and Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Infernal Affairs is a non stop choke hold that will leave you frantically begging for air with a grin on your face.

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Chan Wing Yan (Tony Leung), a young police officer is sent undercover to be a mole in the mafia. At roughly the same time, Lau Kin Ming (Andy Lau), a young mafia member infiltrates the same police force. In the years following, Lau and Chan’s boss’s respectively begin to search for the mole in their ranks.

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Scorsese may have cut and edited the script to give it more balance and weaving plot lines, but there is no denying the original, Infernal Affairs. Being able to pay attention to the intricate emotions that come with being a mole, as well as an outcast, with no shortage of action packed sequences to even out any irregularities is outstanding. The wholeheartedness of the deception and earnest sacrifices each rat makes in full awareness of the consequences is believable. The soundtrack gives an extra shot of adrenaline to an already rapidly paced heart beat at the centre of Infernal Affairs. Filmed in a consistent grey darkness, both directors use shadiness to mirror the characters deceit and hammer their script home. Infernal Affairs is outlandish, profound, tricky, and sincere picture and it must be viewed by any fans of Scorsese’s remake.

Infernal Affairs: 8 out of 10.