I would get so much more writing done if they stopped having film festivals…

… on the other hand, if that happened, I wouldn’t be in a position to recommend The Devil’s Chair, a dandy little screamer by Brit director Adam Mason that had its premier at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness stream.

Riffing on everything from The Haunting to Hellraiser – with a thick dollop of Session 9 and a chunky bit of drool from Trainspotting – it’s a clever gore-fest that manages to wag its finger at we bloodthirsty audience-members at the same time as it indulges our every sick whim. We are bad little gore-hounds, and Mr. Mason is not above pointing it out.

Whether this tactic will result in wide release or not remains to be seen – TIFF is a place where distribution deals are struck, not always announced – but even if it goes straight to video, which these things often do (can you say Dagon?), check it out.

There. You’ve been told.

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