Many of us, at one time or another, have made our escape plans should a zombie apocalypse suddenly breakout. It’s perfectly normal behaviour. There have been so many films and TV series about an undead dystopia it’s hard to keep up but as any good scientist knows you need to track down the source of the outbreak in order to stop it. Sometimes the origin can be traced back to black magic, or an alien influence, but more often than not the blame can be apportioned to corporate greed. In the case of Brain Freeze, it’s golf.
All André (Iani Bédard) want to do is just go to school, but someone has to look after his baby sister given his mother’s (Anne-Élisabeth Bossé) obsession with work and staying healthy. Dan (Roy Dupuis) is a community security guard and amateur survival ‘expert’ whose life is just ticking over, living vicariously through his adult daughter Patricia (Marianne Fortier) who works at an exclusive golf course. When a new experimental fertiliser is applied to the fairways to allow all-year play, it doesn’t quite go to plan.
While Brain Freeze may contain many of the tropes and cliches you’d expect from the sub-genre, they’re approached with a knowing nod and a wink. Indeed, what makes Julien Knafo’s film so much fun is the perfect combination of comedy and horror. The writing and pacing are spot-on, mixing dark humour with lively action sequences, and the two leads have a natural rapport. Beautifully shot and edited, there a vibrancy and freshness to Brain Freeze which makes it so much fun. Easily better than a round of golf.
Brain Freeze screens at Fantasia International Film Festival.