TIFF 2017: ‘High Fantasy’ Review

high fantasy movie still jenna bass


The hedonistic era of filmmaking has had a much needed boost over the past few years, ones that gave off vibes of undoubtable realism. Jenna Bass’s High Fantasy is a movie that manages to keep that realization at hand with a twist to it. Here, a group of South African teens recoil a camping trip in which their bodies have swapped places, causing distinct moral implications as well as social. It’s an idea told with weight, and executed with great ideals.

Never trying to be anything it knows it can’t achieve, the medium at which the movie operates has a safe barrier between its fantasy concept and the real world. The situation is continually believable and its landscape in which it’s set proves for some appropriately character tension. This is also thanks to some fantastic performances by four leads. Each prove to carry the film, and create interesting dynamics whilst inside one another’s body. Their voices stay within their origin body, but each actors is able to convincingly mimic the others.

For everything admirable about High Fantasy, the few things it stumbles with are big enough to where it would’ve been better off changing. It’s pacing is quite drawn out, most notably due to the fact that it’s central plot doesn’t come in until a solid 35 minutes or so. But, as a misdirect, the twist is cool.

This certainly isn’t the most game changing film you’re likely going to see anytime soon, but it’s ballsy enough that it is worth watching. There’s a lot of discussion to be found in the material here, which proves that even obscure pieces like this have genuine writing and not some blatant, passable agenda. High Fantasy captures a humane, intellectual story that holds even more creative merit than Neil Blomkamp’s latest South African efforts have tried.

Rating: 7/10

Public Screenings: Sept 8 10 pm, Sept 10 5 pm, Sept 16 9:30 pm

Find all of our TIFF 2017 reviews and coverage here.

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