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TIFF Report: The Girl In The Photographs

Who’s in it: Claudia Lee, Kenny Wormald, Kal Penn (of Harold and Kumar fame).

Who’s behind it: Director Nick Simon and screenwriters Robert Morast and Osgood Perkins. Perkins directed his own feature for the Festival, February, which stars Kiernan Shipka and Emma Roberts. Late horror impresario Wes Craven produced the film.

Who’ll love it: Fans of Craven who’d like to see the final film he produced before his death last August and anyone interested in the how the new wave of horror directors are reshaping the genre. Also: people who don’t like Terry Richardson.

What’s it about: Nobody writes letters anymore but, according to The Girl In The Photographs, people do send disturbing photos of tortured and murdered young women to other, unsuspecting small town women. Off-putting to the recipient, but inspiring the fashion world’s hottest photographers, one of whom packs up his favourite ironic t-shirts and best child predator glasses to high-tail it to said town in search of his grisly muse.

What the director says about working with genre great Wes Craven: “I remember my hands were literally shaking as I went up to knock on the door,” Simon said of a mentorship program that delivered him to Craven’s house for dinner one night. “Honestly by the end of that first dinner I felt like I knew him for a long time.”

What Wes Craven said about Simon’s movie: “Sometimes you read a script and you just know. From first draft to final cut, Nick has told a unique story that will leave you wondering: is it always good to be noticed?”

Why you should see it: Okay, so this is another horror movie about a couple of white dudes mutilating and murdering a bunch of white chicks (and one ethnically ambiguous woman) but if you like that kind of thing (that kind of thing being slasher movies) then The Girl In The Photographs does bring some fresh ideas to the table. Considering our current obsession with selfies, likes, and social media in general, the movie is an interesting study of someone who’d rather not be noticed—and for good reason. Bonus: no dog deaths.

When you can see it: The movie had its world premiere at TIFF on Monday. Catch additional screenings Wednesday September 16 at 5pm and Friday September 18 at 9:15pm. Both screenings take place at Scotiabank Theatre.