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Ankle Biters

Canada 2021
produced by
Michael Flax, Bennet De Brabandere, Sean Sansom (executive), François Dagenais (executive) for Flax Films
directed by Bennet De Brabandere
starring Zion Forrest Lee, Marianthi Evans, Doru Bandol, Evert Houston, Matia Jackett, Colin Mochrie, Rosalee Reid, Lily Gail Reid, Violet Reid, Dahlia Reid, Jani Lauzon, Michael Copeman, Jordan Mills, Gareth Moyse, Heidi von Palleske, Alex Gordon, Maria Sant'Angelo, Ryan Long, Sergio Rocha, Tracey Beltrano, Sean Fisher, Liam Siebolt, Dave Bubba Lewis, Brendan J. Rowland, Dimitri Athanasiou, Peter Schoelier
screenplay by Bennet De Brabandere, music by Maurizio Guarini

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Back when, Sean (Zion Forrest Lee) was a hockey superstar, but he had anger issues, and after he beat another player (Dimitri Athanasiou) to a pulp unprovoked he got barred from the sport. But he has since turned a new leaf thanks to his new girlfriend Laura (Marianthi Evans), and the two are madly in love, and not even the fact that she has four kids (Rosalee, Lily Gail, Violet and Dahlia Reid) from a previous relationship can deter him to want to marry her. So he has the lot of them move into his house by the lake in his hometown, and tries to be the best husband-to-be to his wife, and best surrogate father to the girls. Now he succeeds in the former, but not so much in the latter - and it's not him, he really makes an effort, but at the same time has little experience with children and can't "read" them. And they have decided early on to not like him, and it's hard to come up against such a resolution. But what's more, Laura shows bruises every now and again since she's with Sean, and that Sean has a bag hidden away containing ropes, handcuffs and tape doesn't really warm the girls up to him. Also, they see a video on his phone that shows him handle Laura roughly, which doesn't work in his favour either. Of course, it totally goes beyond the girls heads that Sean and Laura are both into (very consensual) kinky sex that sometimes involuntarily leaves marks. But the girls are set to get Sean out of their lives - and thus kill their babysitter (Matia Jackett), tie her up with Sean's tape and throw her in the lake next to their house. Of course, the babysitter's body is found before long, and of course suspicion soon falls upon Sean, and soon the town who so far celebrated him as their local hero turns against him, and only Laura remains in his corner - to the girls' dismay, who soon look for harsher measures to get rid of Sean ...


A deliciously dark comedy, Ankle Biters is something like the other side of the coin of wholesome family movies, and actually has a streak of nihilism to it (also in its surprise shock ending), but has set out to above all entertain - which it does thanks to a script full of twists and surprises, a direction that keeps flowing at a steady pace, and a very competent relatable ensemble cast. And hats off to the girls of course, as cute as they might look, they do come across as genuinely creepy.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD