‘ALL YOU NEED IS DEATH’ (2024) delves into love, lust, and dark Irish lore

XYZ logoALL YOU NEED IS DEATH

All You need Is Death poster

In ALL YOU NEED IS DEATH, an ambitious couple discovers the all-consuming origin of an ancient folk song. Anna and Aleks search for a particular melody that might end in a big payday for particular collectors. They will learn that power is intoxicating, but curses come with rules.

All You Need Is Death still 2The script builds a vibrating anticipation. The audience has little information. Filmmaker Paul Duane slowly reveals our protagonists’ what, but the why remains a mystery. Based on dark Irish lore passed down through the maternal lineage and some ancient cursed story, the song drips with agony, even if the audience cannot initially understand a single word. All parties are consumed by its power the moment it is heard.

All You Need Is Death 2024Only one character appears to coherently recall the film’s secretive canon, but only to a point. Rita’s son reveals the unspoken, generational seriousness of their circumstances. The drastic measures he takes to protect the legend are shocking. He must find Anna and her cohorts.

These ancient songs act like spells or incantations. Themes of love, obsession, yearning, and control blur with each passing scene. Eoin McDonagh‘s intriguing editing includes flashes from the song’s origin, spliced with moments of Anna showing the interconnectedness of the women charged with the secret’s protection.

All You Need Is Death still- Olwen Fouere photo by Ishmael ClaxtonQuick visual and dialogue genre homages pop up from time to time. Horror fans will find a sly smirk spread across their lips while intently trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Cast members Simone Collins, Charlie Maher, Catherine Wiggins, and Nigel O’Neill are captivating. One performance in particular, while short-lived, is mesmerizing. Olwen Fouéré plays songstress Rita Concannon. Her presence is unmatched by anyone else in the film. It’s a chilling turn.

The makeup FX are wonderful. Both opening and closing credits lend to a disquieting feeling. The script has massive expansion potential. You cannot begin to predict what comes next. ALL YOU NEED IS DEATH boasts a disturbing finale. Paul Duane delivers an unsettling story that burrows into your brain and will leave your mouth agape in horror. 

The nightmarish Irish folktale arrives on VOD and in select U.S. cinemas on April 11th

 

ALL YOU NEED IS DEATH stars Olwen Fouéré (Mandy, Sally Hardesty from 2022’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Charlie Maher (Blue Lights), Simone Collins (The Last Duel), and Gary Whelan (The Contract). The film had its World Premiere at Beyond Fest in Los Angeles, followed by an Irish Premiere at Cork International Film Festival.

Not Rated
Color
91 Minutes
English Language



 About XYZ Films 
XYZ Films is an independent studio whose mission is to empower visionary storytellers from every corner of the planet. XYZ was founded in 2008 by Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer, and Aram Tertzakian and has expanded in recent years into documentary, talent management, and distribution. Some of the company’s classic titles include THE RAID franchise, 2017 Sundance winner I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE, and Panos Cosmatos’ psychedelic revenge thriller MANDY.

 

For more XYZ films, click here!

Shudder’s ‘BAGHEAD’ (2024) Chilling legacy and lore.

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BAGHEAD

Baghead poster

Based on a short film written by Lorcan Reilly, director Alberto Corredor expands the world of a creature called BAGHEAD. The Shudder exclusive follows Iris, a young woman who discovers she now owns a rundown pub previously run by her estranged father. Putting her name on the deed comes with a caveat: the care of a woman in the basement.

The plot of BAGHEAD is undeniably intriguing. As an ancient tortured entity, part trapped phantom, and part macabre vessel for lost souls, Baghead deals with deep unresolved trauma. Fueled by vengeance, she feeds on grief.

Baghead -  Photo Credit: Reiner Bajo/ShudderThe first official appearance of our titular character is startling. Anne Müller‘s is dazzling. Her jarring physical performance makes BAGHEAD relentlessly unsettling.

Peter Mullan is Iris’s estranged father, Owen. He mesmerizes, guiding Iris from beyond the grave via an instructional videotape. Jeremy Irvine is Nate, a wealthy man desperately seeking to speak with his recently deceased wife. He is perfectly dastardly.

Ruby Barker plays Katie, Iris’s moral support and former group home best mate. Her protective aura serves as a solid foil for Iris’s impulsive nature.

Jeremy Irvine as Neil, Ruby Barker as Katie, Freya Allan as Iris Lark - Baghead -  Photo Credit: Reiner Bajo/ShudderFreya Allan plays Iris with equal parts frailty and fearlessness. You cannot take your eyes off her. Someone, please write a film featuring her as a young version of Juliette Lewis because the resemblance is uncanny. Take my money now.

There is so much lore in Christina Pamies and Bruce McGuire‘s screenplay. All I can think of is miniseries and franchise potential. Echoes of The Shining are undeniable. Marc Bitz creates stunning production design, Cale Finot delivers breathtaking cinematography, and Suvi-Erva Äikäs‘ score burrows beneath your skin. BAGHEAD is right up Shudder subscriber’s alley. I’m already demanding a sequel.

SUPERNATURAL HORROR BAGHEAD, STARRING FREYA ALLAN (THE WITCHER) MAKES EXCLUSIVE DEBUT ON SHUDDER APRIL 5



The Film, Produced By STUDIOCANAL and The Picture Company, is Directed By Alberto Corredor and Also Stars Ruby Barker, Peter Mullan, Jeremy Irvine and Ned Dennehy



The supernatural horror BAGHEAD, from director Alberto Corredor, will make its exclusive debut Friday, April 5 on Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Produced by STUDIOCANAL and The Picture Company, BAGHEAD is a full-length feature adaptation of Corredor’s indie short of the same name and will debut as part of the streamer’s “Halfway to Halloween” annual, monthlong horror-thon lineup. The film will also be available to stream on AMC+.


Following the death of her estranged father (Peter Mullan), Iris (Freya Allan) learns she has inherited a run-down, centuries-old pub. She travels to Berlin to identify her father’s body and meet with The Solicitor (Ned Dennehy) to discuss the estate. Little does she know, when the deed is signed, she will become inextricably tied to an unspeakable entity that resides in the pub’s basement–Baghead–a shape-shifting creature that can transform into the dead. Two thousand in cash for two minutes with the creature is all it takes for desperate loved ones to ease their grief. Neil (Jeremy Irvine), who has lost his wife, is Iris’ first customer. Like her father, Iris is tempted to exploit the creature’s powers and help desperate people for a price. But she soon discovers breaking the two-minute rule can have terrifying consequences. Together with her best friend Katie (Ruby Barker), Iris must battle to keep control of Baghead and figure out how to destroy her, before she destroys them.


BAGHEAD was produced by STUDIOCANAL and The Picture Company’s Alex Heineman and Andrew Rona through their long-term deal with the European giant. Roy Lee and Jake Wagner are Executive Producers along with Alberto and Lorcan Reilly.



About Shudder

AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and Original Content is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Over the last few years, Shudder has introduced audiences to groundbreaking and critically acclaimed films including Rob Savage’s HOST, Jayro Bustamante’s LA LLORONA, Phil Tippett’s MAD GOD, Coralie Fargeat’s REVENGE, Joko Anwar’s SATAN’S SLAVES, Josh Ruben’s SCARE ME, Kyle Edward Ball’s SKINAMARINK, Christian Tafdrup’s SPEAK NO EVIL, Chloe Okuno’s WATCHER, Demián Rugna‘s WHEN EVIL LURKS, and the latest in the V/H/S film anthology franchise, as well as the fan favorite TV series THE BOULET BROTHERS’ DRAGULA, Greg Nicotero’s CREEPSHOW, and THE LAST DRIVE-IN WITH JOE BOB BRIGGS.



About AMC+

AMC+ is the company’s premium streaming bundle featuring an extensive lineup of popular and critically acclaimed original programming from AMC, BBC America, IFC, and SundanceTV and full access to targeted streaming services Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited, which feature content such as A Discovery of Witches, Creepshow, and Boyhood. The service features a continually refreshed library of commercial-free content, with iconic series from the AMC Networks portfolio including Mad Men, Halt & Catch Fire, Hell on Wheels, Turn: Washington’s Spies, Rectify, Portlandia, Orphan Black and series from The Walking Dead Universe, among many others. The service also offers a growing slate of original and exclusive series including Gangs of London, Dark Winds, and the first two series in a new Anne Rice universe, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches. With new movies released every Friday, AMC+ is the newest destination for exclusive film premieres direct from theaters all year long. AMC+ is available in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Spain and is available in the U.S. through AMCPlus.com, the AMC+ app, and a number of digital and cable partners.



About STUDIOCANAL (a CANAL+ Company)

STUDIOCANAL, a 100% affiliate of CANAL+ Group held by Vivendi, is Europe’s leader in production, distribution and international sales of feature films and series, operating in all nine major European markets – France, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Spain, Denmark and Benelux – as well as in Australia and New Zealand. It finances and produces around 30 films per year, distributes around 80 films per year. It owns the largest library in Europe and one of the most prestigious libraries in the world, boasting more than 8 000 titles from 60 countries, spanning 100 years of film history. 20 million euros has been invested into the restoration of 750 classic films over the past 5 years. In addition, STUDIOCANAL also produces almost 20 series each year and operates at an international level by globally distributing its scripted productions and CANAL+ Originals (2,000 hours of current and library content in distribution). All productions take place directly through STUDIOCANAL entities or with its award-winning network of 14 production companies in Europe and in the United States (STUDIOCANAL Series, LAILAPS FILMS, RED PRODUCTION COMPANY, URBAN MYTH FILMS, BAMBÚ PRODUCCIONES, STUDIOCANAL ORIGINAL, 2e BUREAU, SUNNYMARCH TV, SAM Productions, DINGIE, KINO SWIAT, BIRDIE PICTURES, STRONG FILM & TELEVISION, THE PICTURE COMPANY).


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SHUDDER CELEBRATES HALFWAY TO HALLOWEEN 2024 WITH A KILLER LINEUP

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SHUDDER CELEBRATES HALFWAY TO HALLOWEEN WITH A KILLER LINEUP OF NEW FILM PREMIERES INCLUDING RECORD-BREAKING HIT LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL, CREATURE FEATURE INFESTED AND SUPERNATURAL HORROR BAGHEAD

Programming Event Timed to Shudder TV Launch on AMC+ with LIVE

Viewing Parties for New Films, Marathons and All-New Episodes of Popular Series The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs
Shudder Halfway to Halloween 2024

NEW YORK, NY – April 1, 2024 – April showers scare up new horror films and series on Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, for its annual Halfway to Halloween horror-thon. Too much fun to celebrate just once a year, the streamer celebrates the halfway point to Halloween every April with a killer lineup of Shudder Original Film premieres, LIVE viewing parties for Shudder’s Original series The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, and more. The horror celebration is timed to Shudder TV’s launch on AMC+ with new events including marathons of signature series and LIVE watch parties for new film premieres.



Fans are invited to follow along on @shudder social for #HalfwaytoHalloween recommended films to watch all month long.



Shudder’s Halfway to Halloween highlights include:



Baghead (Shudder Exclusive Film)
New Film Premieres Friday, April 5

Following the death of her estranged father (Peter Mullan), Iris (Freya Allan) learns she has inherited a run-down, centuries-old pub. She travels to Berlin to identify her father’s body and meet with The Solicitor (Ned Dennehy) to discuss the estate. Little does she know, when the deed is signed, she will become inextricably tied to an unspeakable entity that resides in the pub’s basement–Baghead–a shape-shifting creature that can transform into the dead. Two thousand in cash for two minutes with the creature is all it takes for desperate loved ones to ease their grief. Neil (Jeremy Irvine), who has lost his wife, is Iris’ first customer. Like her father, Iris is tempted to exploit the creature’s powers and help desperate people for a price. But she soon discovers breaking the two-minute rule can have terrifying consequences. Together with her best friend Katie (Ruby Barker), Iris must battle to keep control of Baghead and figure out how to destroy her, before she destroys them.



The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs Season 6 (Shudder Original Series)
LIVE Watch Parties Continue Every Other Friday, April 12 and April 26, on Shudder TV and AMC+ TV

The supersized sixth season continues with all-new episodes rolling out biweekly on Shudder and AMC+.



Late Night with the Devil (Shudder Original Film)
New Film Premieres Friday, April 19; LIVE Watch Party at 9pm ET

October 31, 1977. Jack Delroy’s syndicated talk show ‘Night Owls’ has long been a trusted companion to insomniacs around the country, but a year on from the tragic death of Jack’s wife, ratings have plummeted. Desperate to turn his fortunes around, Jack plans a Halloween special like no other, unaware he is about to unleash evil into the living rooms of America. Starring David Dastmalchian (Oppenheimer) and Laura Gordon (Reckoning).



Infested (Shudder Original Film)
New Film Premieres Friday, April 26; LIVE Watch Party April 27 at 9pm ET

Director Sébastien Vanicek makes his feature film debut with a story that follows Kaleb, who is about to turn 30 and has never been lonelier. He’s fighting with his sister over a matter of inheritance and has cut ties with his best friend. Fascinated by exotic animals, he finds a venomous spider in a bazaar and brings it back to his flat. It only takes a moment for it to escape and reproduce, turning the whole place into a dreadful web trap. Starring Théo Christine (Suprêmes), Finnegan Oldfield (Final Cut), Jérôme Niel (Smoking Causes Coughing), Sofia Lesaffre (Les Misérables) and Lisa Nyarko.



Other Shudder TV Programming Stunts (all times are ET):
 The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula – All five seasons airing back-to-back beginning 6:00am on April 6 through April 9.

 101 Scariest Movie Moments of All Time – Back-to-back episodes airing 6:00am-9pm on April 13

 Creepshow – Seasons 1-4 airing back-to back beginning 6:30am on April 15 through April 16.

 Hell House LLC and V/H/S Franchises – All films from two iconic film franchises air back-to-back from 1:30pm-1:30am on April 17 and 1:45pm-1:30am on April 18.

 Nature Nightmares – Dig into the scary side of Mother Nature with nature-themed horror in honor of Earth Day beginning April 20 at 6:40am through April 22.

 The Last Drive-In Halloween Special Marathon – Check out all the tricks and treats with Joe Bob Halloween specials all day long beginning 5:30am on April 26, leading up to an all-new episode at 9pm ET.

 Halfway to “Halloween”– Celebrate the six-month countdown to our favorite holiday with two full days of Halloween-themed films beginning April 29 at 6:45am through April 30.



OTHER NEW ADDITIONS TO SHUDDER THIS MONTH



April 1



The Terror Season 2 – Full Series Binge

Set during World War II, the second season of The Terror centers on a series of bizarre deaths that haunt a Japanese American community, and a young man’s journey to understand and combat the malevolent entity responsible. Starring George Takei (Star Trek).



Mute Witness – Streaming Film Premiere

From director Anthony Waller (An American Werewolf in Paris), a mute makeup artist working on a slasher movie being shot in Moscow, is locked in the studio after house. While there, she witnesses a brutal murder and must escape capture.



The Gates – Streaming Film Premiere

A serial killer has been sentenced to death by electric chair in London in the 1890s, but in his final hours, he puts a curse on the prison he’s in, and all of those in it.



Drag Me to Hell

A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.



Ghost Stories (2017)

After receiving a file with details of three unexplained cases of apparitions, skeptical professor Phillip Goodman embarks on a terrifying trip.



THE RENTALThe Rental

Two couples rent a vacation home for what should be a celebratory weekend getaway.



At the Devil’s Door

A real estate agent finds herself caught up in something sinister when she has to sell a house with a dark past and meets the troubled teen who used to live there.



The Wind

A plainswoman faces the harshness and isolation of the untamed lad in the Western frontier of the late 1800s.



Summoning Sylvia.jpgSummoning Sylvia

A gay bachelor party turns spooky when sinister spirits are suddenly summoned.



Madman

A legendary psychopathic murderer stalks a summer camp.

*The Last Drive-In: Madman episode also available



Spookies

A wicked sorcerer tries to sacrifice a group of people inside his house with the intention of using their vitality to keep his wife alive.

*The Last Drive-In: Spookies episode also available



Creepshow (1982)

Five grisly tales from a kid’s comic book about a murdered father rising from his grave, a bizarre meteor, a vengeful husband, a mysterious crate’s occupant, and a plague of cockroaches.





April 4



Wake Wood

The parents of a girl who was killed by a savage dog are granted the opportunity to spend three days with their deceased daughter.



Emelie

A couple’s replacement babysitter turns out to be more than they bargained for when she subjects their kids to a series of twisted activities.

 



April 8



Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

Six friends in a theatrical troupe dig up a corpse on an abandoned island to use in a mock Satanic rite. It backfires with deadly consequences.



The Third Saturday in October

When a psycho goes on a murderous rampage after surviving a botched execution, only two survivors of his initial attack can stop him.



The Third Saturday in October Part V

Follow an implacable killer as he stalks and butchers the occupants of houses across the stretch of one lone country road while the residents prepare to watch a yearly college-football bout.





April 15



The Tunnel

An investigation into a government cover-up leads to a network of abandoned train tunnels deep beneath the heart of Sydney. As a journalist and her crew hunt for the story, it quickly becomes clear the story is hunting them.



The Tunnel: The Other Side of Darkness

On the 10th anniversary of the Australian found footage film The Tunnel, this documentary delves into the filmmakers endeavors to challenge how films are financed and distributed, and the lasting impact The Tunnel had internationally.





April 22



The House of the Devil (2009)

In 1983, financially struggling college student Samantha Hughes takes a strange babysitting job that coincides with a full lunar eclipse. She slowly realizes her clients harbor a terrifying secret, putting her life in mortal danger.

*The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Dinners of Death: The House of the Devil episode also available



The Innkeepers

During the final days at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, two employees determined to reveal the hotel’s haunted past begin to experience disturbing events as old guests check in for a stay.



The Changeling (1980)

After the death of his wife and daughter in a car crash, a music professor staying in a long-vacant Seattle mansion is dragged into a decades-old mystery by an inexplicable presence in the mansion’s attic.

*The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Dinners of Death: The Changeling episode also available



Final Cut (aka Death Games)

A reporter and his girlfriend follow around a famous actor/entrepreneur and discover some dirt on him to be made public.



13th Floor

As a child, a girl witnessed her father electrocute a young boy. When she grows into an adult, the ghost of the murdered boy appears to her, and together they set out to expose the crimes of her father.




About Shudder

AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and Original Content is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Over the last few years, Shudder has introduced audiences to groundbreaking and critically acclaimed films including Rob Savage’s HOST, Jayro Bustamante’s LA LLORONA, Phil Tippett’s MAD GOD, Coralie Fargeat’s REVENGE, Joko Anwar’s SATAN’S SLAVES, Josh Ruben’s SCARE ME, Kyle Edward Ball’s SKINAMARINK, Christian Tafdrup’s SPEAK NO EVIL, Chloe Okuno’s WATCHER, Demián Rugna‘s WHEN EVIL LURKS, and the latest in the V/H/S film anthology franchise, as well as the fan favorite TV series THE BOULET BROTHERS’ DRAGULA, Greg Nicotero’s CREEPSHOW, and THE LAST DRIVE-IN WITH JOE BOB BRIGGS.


For Shudder reviews, click here!

‘EXHUMA’ (2024) Let the dead stay buried.

well go usa logoEXHUMA

Exhuma-Poster-WellGoUSA-1382x2048 An ancient evil affects the firstborn children of a wealthy family with uncontrollable wailing in their dreams. Eager to cash in, a team of macabre experts takes on this new client. As they dig deeper into this unique case, the usually confident group discovers they are in over their heads. In EXHUMA, that’s only the beginning of this horrifying tale.

Exhuma-KHorror-WellGoUSA-1340x754-5Performances are magnificent across the board. This spectacular multi-generational ensemble cast delivers engrossing mystery and terror. The script unfolds in chapters, like a how-to guide dealing with the underworld. Descriptions of rituals and occupational titles come in narration from the team. This creative storytelling immerses the audience in what feels like an inevitable tragedy. Complicating things further are the secrets our wealthy family hides. Genre fans will have a field day with horror canon balanced with the slightest touch of humor and serious gore. It is beyond compelling.

Exhuma Well Go UsaMixing tradition and superstition combined with an ominous score makes the hairs on your arms stick straight up. It’s a multi-sensory watch. EXHUMA deserves your full attention from the very first frame. There is so much meat on the bone. Expanding this world almost certainly feels possible and welcome. At its current runtime of two-plus hours, viewers would eat up more stories from this team. Their chemistry is magic, and a franchise would delight fans. The twists and turns keep coming. EXHUMA is undeniably one of the most intriguing cinematic experiences of the year.


EXHUMA 

Opening in Los Angeles March 15 | In Theaters Across North America March 22

For more reviews of Well Go USA films, click here!

 

All things Horror, we’ve got you covered!


Exhuma-KHorror-WellGoUSA-1340x754-2 Visit the official film page: https://wellgousa.com/films/exhuma

When a renowned shaman (KIM Go-Eun) and her protégé (Lee Do-hyun) are hired by a wealthy, enigmatic family, they begin investigating the cause of a disturbing supernatural illness that affects only the first-born children of each generation. With the help of a knowledgeable mortician (YOO Hai-jin) and the country’s most revered geomancer (CHOI Min-sik), they soon trace the affliction’s origin to a long-hidden family grave located on sacred ground. Sensing an ominous aura surrounding the burial site, the team opts to exhume and relocate the ancestral remains immediately. But as something much darker emerges, they soon discover what befalls those who dare to mess with the wrong grave.

Directed by: Jang Jae-Hyun

Cast: Choi Min-Sik, Kim Go-Eun, Yoo Hai-Jin, and Lee Do-Hyun


Watch more Well Go USA films online: https://bit.ly/WellGoFilmsOnline

ABOUT WELL GO USA ENTERTAINMENT:

Well Go USA, the studio behind TRIPLE THREAT, TRAIN TO BUSAN, and the IP MAN franchise, brings the best in martial arts, action, genre, and independent films from the U.S. and around the world to North America.

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#Exhuma #JangJaeHyun #ChoiMinSik #KimGoEun #YooHaiJin #LeeDoHyun #trailer #horror #thriller #thrillermovies #movietrailer #comingsoon #newmovies #wellgousa #koreanfilm #kmovies


‘We Can Be Heroes’ (SXSW 2024) where fantasy is reality

SXSW 2024 color logo

WE CAN BE HEROESWe Can Be Heroes SXSW 2024

Filmmakers Carina Mia Wong and Alex Simmons bring SXSW 2024 audiences a joyous doc about a special camp in the Hudson Valley. WE CAN BE HEROES will conquer your heart.

These kids possess an infectious passion that spills off the screen. They have profound thoughts and feelings. They openly identify their fears, anxieties, heartaches, and powers. Their honesty is inspiring. For as much as they might feel like they do not fit into the popular crowd at home, Wayfinder allows them a chance to blossom and shine. Campers are free to express themselves and feel safe in their gender identity and neurodivergence.

The counselors are brilliant. Anything could happen within a game that encourages explosive imagination. They understand the volatility of swirling emotions and use improvisation and patience to create a fully immersive experience. The campers might not initially realize the individualized care and stealth emotional therapy they get in their final moments at Wayfinder.

The film includes footage from the previous summer, smartly delineated by a change in color. Including glorious overhead shots of battles, we experience the culmination of the week, The Adventure Game. It consists of Three distinct parts. In this summer’s story, six factions of faeries battle to save all the creatures left in their world. It is titled The Last Green. Camper Dexter epically narrates throughout the film. What starts as fun and games ends in collective catharsis.

Everyone is accepting. The film is another reminder that hate is taught and not inherent. WE CAN BE HEROES is pure magic. It is a study of humanity and one of the most relatable films, whether or not you are a part of the LARPing community. WE CAN BE HEROES reassures us that the younger generation will continue to fight. Hope is not lost.


Film Screenings

 
Mar 9, 2024
11:45am1:11pm
 
Mar 10, 2024
2:45pm4:11pm
 
Mar 10, 2024
3:15pm4:41pm
 
Mar 13, 2024
3:15pm4:41pm
 
Mar 13, 2024
3:45pm5:11pm
 
Directors:

Carina Mia Wong, Alex Simmons

Executive Producer:

Laurene Powell Jobs, Davis Guggenheim, Lizzie Fox, Casey Meurer, Nicole Stott, Jonathan Silberberg, Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster

Producer:

Jennifer Wood, Krista Manis, Carina Mia Wong, Alex Simmons

Cinematographer:

Peter Alton, Michael Lockridge, Madeleine Peters

Editor:

Alex Simmons, Rebecca Adorno Dávila

Sound Designer:

Catherine Hood, Tim Haber, Annie Medlin, Carl Welden

Music:

Dan Deacon

Principal Cast:

Dexter, Cloud, Abby, Miranda, Kate, Max, Luisa (formerly Alex), Eli, Adelaide, Judson

Additional Credits:

Field Producer: Katy Dierks, Production Coordinator: Tommy McCarthy, Production Assistant: Jesse Mico, Assistant Camera: Tim Haber, Garrett Hanson, Adam Marquez, Alexandra Roberts, Additional Photography: Cassandra Giraldo, Carina Mia Wong, Alex Simmons, Lead Assistant Editor: Lucas Bugbee, Co-Editor: Dan Crow, Music Editor: Chester Gwazda, Finishing Producer (Final Frame): Julia Sub, Finishing Assistant Editor: Claudia Ramirez

SXSW logo

For all things SXSW 2024, click here!

Review: ‘THE SEEDING’ is disturbing.

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THE SEEDING

The Seeding Poster

 A man comes upon a lost boy in the desert. In his efforts to assist, he becomes trapped alongside a woman held captive by a group of feral boys. The film opens with a disturbing image thrusting you into a slow-burn den of madness. Barnaby Clay‘s Tribeca 2023 film THE SEEDING is finally in theaters and on VOD today.

the-seeding-kate-lyn-sheilKate Lyn Sheil (She Dies Tomorrow) is spectacular as our mystery woman. Questions swirl about her complicity throughout the film, but Sheil is perfection, playing coy, never giving us answers until the end. She has a magnetic presence on screen and somehow manages not to age.

the-seeding-scott-hazeMy love for Scott Haze knows no bounds. From his breakout performance in Child of God to his work in Old Henry and What Josiah Saw, he is one of those actors who live in the skin of his characters. As Stone, his swings into toxic masculinity mirror the feral behavior of the boys above. He is undeniably compelling.

the_seeding_the_boysThe ominous score by Tristan Bechet sometimes grates in a way that makes you subconsciously cringe. The continuous low din instills pure fear. Stay through the entire end credits for more eerie ear candy. THE SEEDING has echoes of The Hills Have Eyes horror and Midsommer folklore. All said it is an upsetting watch, and that’s what genre fans show up for.

In theaters and on VOD nationwide January 26th!

 

Written and Directed by Barnaby Clay
Produced by Brian Etting
Starring Scott Haze and Kate Lyn Sheil

In THE SEEDING, a hiker lost in the desert takes refuge with a woman living alone, and soon discovers that she might not be there willingly. Directed by music video legend Barnaby Clay (SHOT! THE PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL MANTRA OF ROCK), the picture stars Scott Haze (VENOM, JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION) and Kate Lyn Sheil of the horror hits YOU’RE NEXT and V/H/S.

94 minutes
#TheSeeding 

Slamdance 2024 shorts: ‘LEGEND OF EL CUCUY’ & ‘DOSH’

slamdance 2024

Legend of El Cucuy legend of el cucuy short film

SYNOPSIS: Legend of El Cucuy is a cautionary tale. Laura and her
husband Carlos are permissive parents, and their choice to raise their
daughter Isabel without discipline has resulted in a very rude,
disobedient child. Carlos is having doubts about their behavioral
strategy, but Laura is determined to make different choices from their
parents. Against his better judgment, Carlos tells Laura about El
Cucuy’s origins, and that same night, El Cucuy pays the family a visit.

Filmmaker Cynthia Garcia Williams brings her short horror film Legend of El Cucuy to Slamdance 2024. This boogie-man-style folklore film boasts fantastic Special FX makeup. As a former teacher, Isabel’s mother and her permissive parenting style made me seethe, and our little leading lady is a terror. I recall El Cucuy referenced in films before, but I’ve never heard the history behind it. Essentially, it is an allegory for shitty parenting. While I wasn’t completely sold on the performances, I think the film is a solid pitch for a feature.

14 minutes) English/Spanish


DOSH

dosh - slamdance 2024

When her son’s life is put at risk at a family pre-wedding ritual, a hard-of-hearing mother must decide how to seek help for her husband in order to keep her family safe.

Filmmaker Radha Mehta, who shares screenplay credit with Noorah Al-Eidi, brings us the story of Karishma, a hard-of-hearing mother trapped in a traditional Indian marriage with a man who refuses to admit he has a mental illness. Cinematographer Isue Shin captures the balance between the lush colors of an Indian wedding ritual and the darkness of Karishma’s emotional state. Renu Razdan captivates as our leading lady. The camera loves her. Razdan owns every frame, moving from sadness, protection, grief, and joy like a star. This little drama about attaining peace is a cathartic sigh of relief.

Director: Radha Mehta
Story: Radha Mehta
Screenplay: Noorah Al-Eidi & Radha Mehta
Producer: Gabriel Gutierrez
Cinematographer: Isue Shin
Production Designer: Sandra Rodriguez
Editor: Joe Murphy



Slamdance 2024 will take place in person from January 19-25 and virtually from January 22-28.
 
For more Slamdance coverage, click here!

 

Huge Genre News: NIGHTSTREAM is back in new form!

Digital Genre Film Fest NIGHTSTREAM Relaunched Yesterday as Year Round Curated TVOD Platform, Ft. Exclusive Title SUMMONERS, Films from Distros Including Oscilloscope, Utopia, Dark Sky & More


Christine Nyland and Larry Fessenden from Nightstream Exclusive SUMMONERS


(Brooklyn, NY | October 31, 2023) The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, in association with the Boston Underground Film Festival and the Overlook Film Festival, announces today the re-launch of Nightstream. The former virtual film festival will re-launch as a transactional VOD platform that will showcase acclaimed genre films. Nightstream enables at-home audiences to have a one-stop-shop for their favorite (and new discovery) genre indies in lieu of scrolling through offerings buried in other more overarching platforms. Viewers can expect the lineup to continue to grow over time but always remain curated by the festival programmers.

Nightstream was initially launched in 2020 when film festivals were shuttered at the height of the pandemic. These major horror festivals joined forces to satiate their audiences’ appetites for new, exciting titles even while they were stuck at home. Despite the fact that the world is back in action, Nightstream will give genre fans the curated festival experience 24/7.

Terence Krey and Christine Nyland, the filmmaking team behind 2020’s indie gem An Unquiet Grave, unveil Summoners as the very first Nightstream Exclusive. The film made its world premiere at Brooklyn Horror Festival last year and debuts exclusively on the platform as a launch title. Co-starring indie icon Larry Fessenden, the film focuses on a former witch who is plunged back into a world of witchcraft far more dangerous than ever before after her childhood friend seeks her help in performing a dark spell.

Spearheading the relaunch is Justin Timms, Director of Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. “Finding a way to support new indie films along with keeping our collective festivals afloat during the pandemic was our priority and I’m thrilled that we can continue that for the long term,” says Timms. “Not only will we be sharing revenue with the films on the channel but a portion of the proceeds will also be split among the other founding festivals. We hope audiences around the country will see the value in supporting this effort and choose Nightstream when renting one of these standout titles.”

As of today’s Halloween launch day, the platform will feature over thirty titles, including those from indie distributors Oscilloscope, Dark Star, Dark Sky, Dekanalog, Utopia, Yellow Veil Pictures, and others. Titles include Jane Schoenbrun’s We’re All Going to World’s Fair (Utopia), Gaspar Noe’s Lux Aeterna (Yellow Veil), Joel PotrykusBuzzard (Oscilloscope), and much more. The full listing of film offerings is available at nightstream.org.

Prices will vary per title, and users will have the option to rent or buy most titles with a default pricing of $4.99 to rent and $12.99 to buy.

Full information is available at:
https://nightstream.org/

About Nightstream
In response to the many challenges impacting the film community amid the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing concerns of safety and security associated with physical exhibition and festivals in 2020 and 2021, the collaborative online event NIGHTSTREAM was launched by organizers of a number of American genre festivals across the country to present a dynamic and accessible virtual film festival.

NIGHTSTREAM will live on, continuing as a curated hub for genre films where audiences across the US will be able to rent, buy and discover the latest indie films.

About Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
Bringing the best of domestic and international genre cinema to New York City since 2016, the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival is a premier East Coast genre festival that embodies the eclectic spirit of its namesake.

Brooklyn Horror not only provides the nightmare fuel that audiences expect but also prides itself on challenging those expectations, spotlighting films that push the boundaries of what is normally deemed horror.

Taking place in venues throughout the borough every October, BHFF compliments its ambitious features and shorts programming with exciting and unique live events, crafting a must-attend festival experience for industry members and film fans alike.


 

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival short films: ‘MOSQUITO LADY’ & ‘ALICIA’

MOSQUITO LADY

Phillipino folklore Manananggal meets Catholic guilt in Kristine Gerolaga‘s short film, MOSQUITO LADY. When a young woman can no longer hide her pregnancy from her devout parents, she resorts to a legendary monster to assist her. The practical and Special FX are exquisitely gag-worthy. What a frightening jab at religious righteousness and an exploration of culture.


ALICIA

A little girl who lost her sight tries to convince her mother that an old woman haunts her. ALICIA is a standout short in story, production, and performance. The score is a perfect combination of high-intensity strings. The film hinges on the spectacular young lead, Naia Las Heras, as the titular character. There’s nothing more unsettling than experiencing the genuine fear of a child. Director Tony Morales and writer Cekis Casanova give us enough information to grow an entire franchise. I could see studios from Blumhouse to IFC Midnight snapping this up for development.


BHFF 2023

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2023 shorts: ‘RIDE BABY RIDE’ & ‘THE WYRM OF BWICH PEN BARRAS’

RIDE BABY RIDE

Feminist companion for CARRIE lovers, Sofie Somoroff‘s short RIDE BABY RIDE finds a female mechanic in the new ownership of a possessed car. As the vehicle attempts to incapacitate and sexually assault her, she must fight for her life. Celina Bernstein effortlessly commands the viewer with what may amount to all five lines of dialogue. She acts her ass off. She is “final girl” magic. This metaphor for toxic masculinity and misogyny is as cathartic as it is bloody.

The Wyrm of Bwlch Pen Barras


Craig Williams slowly unravels the tale of the return of something mysterious. The townsfolk seem surprised at its appearance so soon after the last. They speak in vagaries, but it is made clear. Whatever it is cannot be good. The men gather to protect the land by offering a sacrifice.

A string-heavy, throwback slasher score plays over long, meandering, and scenic takes. The genius of this short lies within what we don’t see. Our imagination is our worst enemy.


BHFF 2023

Review: Demian Rugna’s jaw-dropping ‘WHEN EVIL LURKS’ is extreme horror that will wreck you.

presents

When brothers Pedro (Ezequiel Rodríguez) and Jimmy (Demián Salomón) discover that a demonic infection has been festering in a nearby farmhouse — its very proximity poisoning the local livestock — they attempt to evict the victim from their land. Failing to adhere to the proper rites of exorcism, their reckless actions inadvertently trigger an epidemic of possessions across their rural community. Now they must outrun an encroaching evil as it corrupts and mutilates everyone it is exposed to, and enlist the aid of a wizened “cleaner,” who holds the only tools that can stop this supernatural plague.

A wildly original take on the possession film, When Evil Lurks is a shocking supernatural thriller from Argentine master of horror, writer-director Demián Rugna (Terrified).

Folk horror goes hard in this tale of possession and superstition. Writer-director Demian Rugna‘s WHEN EVIL LURKS pits fear and skepticism against an unrelenting demonic force. That’s only the beginning.

The script reveals itself in bits and pieces, with the plot having ties to some apocalyptic lore affecting entire towns. We learn of a set of rules that are cannon to this happening from generations preceding our main characters. Take David Robert Mitchell’s IT FOLLOWS, add a page out of Stephen King‘s IT, and you’ll begin to understand what you’re dealing with. Somehow, WHEN EVIL LURKS is nastier and even more shocking. The script also suggests that cities were targets first, but there is also an implication that class is somehow involved. There are also what amounts to slayers, a select group of people who confront the evil known as “Cleaners.” There is so much meat on the bone in this script that despite the urge to hide your eyes, it compels you to watch it unfold.

One standout performance comes from Emilio Vodanovich as Jari, Pedro’s autistic son. As a mother of a child on the spectrum, I genuinely believed they had cast an actor with autism. It is a startling performance. Demian Soloman gives Jimi an authentic heart. A lot is going on behind those eyes. Ezequiel Rodríguez has your heart in your throat from beginning to end. His portrayal of Pedro runs the emotional gambit. He nails it. Rugna gives Jimi and Pedro enough depth and trauma that Soloman and Rodríguez could pull off a sequel in a heartbeat.

Pablo Fuu‘s music is brilliantly disturbing, particularly in the repeated hard rock guitar riff. Holy Special FX, Batman! WHEN EVIL LURKS pulls no punches with the visual ick. Marcos Berta‘s work is gag-inducing and diabolical. It makes you angry and nauseous. The dialogue is often vile and biting but entirely hypnotizing as you discover more. The brutality grows from one scene to the next. WHEN EVIL LURKS is easily one of the most deranged films of the year. Rugna has broken all the rules. There is no coming back from this one.

IFC Films will release in theaters nationwide this Friday
Find a theater near you
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Available to stream on Shudder on October 27th




Director: Demián Rugna

Screenwriter: Demián Rugna

Starring: Ezequiel Rodríguez, Demián Salomón, Silvina Sabater, Virginia Garofalo, Paula Rubinsztein, Luis Dziembrowski

Producers: Fernando Diaz, Roxana Ramos

Executive Producers: Fernando Diaz, Roxana Ramos, Samuel Zimmerman, Emily Gotto

Cinematographer: Mariano Suarez

Editor: Lionel Cornistein

Composer: Pablo Fuu

Language: Spanish

Country of Origin: Argentina

Running Time: 99 minutes


About the Director

Born in Haedo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, director and screenwriter Demián Rugna specializes in fantasy and horror films. After making numerous short films in the horror genre and a large number of original scripts, he’s directed several feature films including The Last Gateway, Cursed Bastards! and You Don’t Know Who You’re Talking To. His fourth film, Terrified, was multi-awarded, sold to platforms all over the world, and was the most successful horror film at the box office in Argentina. Recently, he participated in an anthology film called Satanic Hispanics. His 5th feature film, When Evil Lurks, will premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival and be released this Fall.


 

Fantastic Fest 2023 review: ‘THE WAIT’ is a solid entry in the Western-horror subgenre.

THE WAIT (La Espera)

Eladio has been hired to watch over the hunting grounds of Don Francisco’s estate, somewhere in rural Spain. The estate is divided into ten hunting stands, spaced far enough apart to avoid incidents. After three years of service, Don Carlos — Don Francisco’s second in command — offers him a bribe to add an additional three stands to the property. Eladio initially hesitates, but his wife eventually convinces him to take the money. Eladio’s greed has unfortunate consequences that drag his entire family to perdition.

Opportunity, loyalty, guilt, and greed drive THE WAIT (La Espera) headlong into tragedy. F. Javier Gutierrez‘s 2023 Fantastic Fest film takes our protagonist on a torturous journey into madness. To save his flailing marriage, Eladio agrees to take cash under the table to break the rules. The consequences are deadly. When the drink takes over his existence, visions and strange occurrences send him on a wild goose chase for redemption and salvation.

Striking sun-baked cinematography juxtaposed with nightmare scenarios makes for a visually splendid treat for genre fans. The first third of the film lies firmly in the classic Western genre. The sudden flip into supernatural horror is jarring, but our leading man, Victor Clavijo, has you tied in knots on his emotional journey and the mystery at hand. One nightmarish torment scene boasts fantastic practical and Special FX makeup. The mystery grows steadily. The motive is a slow burn, though it does pay off. THE WAIT (La Espera) is a solid folk horror entry and an even more niche win for the Western horror subgenre.


 

The Wait (La Espera): 99 minutes / Spain

Spanish w/ English subtitles


 

Fantasia 2023 shorts program review: The biting brilliance in ‘BORN OF WOMAN’ wows again.

Fantasia Festival 2023 logo

BORN OF WOMAN

(2023 shorts program)

Born of Woman 2023 banner

Fantasia’s top-tier showcase of intimate auteur genre visions returns with eight works from six countries that will leave you shaken and amazed. 


Sayani

A crashed pilot seeks a way out of her unfamiliar and harsh surroundings. As her hopes of rescue fade, memories become her saving grace and doom. This beautifully lit short takes advantage of its pace. A final reveal shocks.


Se Dit D’un Cerf Qui Quitte Son (Said of a Deer That Sheds Its Antlers)

A black comedy version of The Lottery, this film kills off its eldest family members, and everyone is cool with it. This laugh-out-loud absurdist short had me grinning uncontrollably. Salomé Crickx has a real winner here.

Only Yourself To Blame

In a sharp look at rape trauma and its eternal demons, filmmaker Noomi Yates‘ 8-minute short creates a powerful statement that speaks volumes.

Sweet Tooth poster 2023Les Dents Du Bonheur (Sweet Tooth)

What begins as a bring your daughter to work story quickly spirals to a darkly absurdist commentary on class. The production design and cinematography have you believe this short is a timeless French narrative drama. Director Joséphibe Darcy Hopkins takes us down the rabbit hole of deranged power structure, revenge, and respect.

The Taster

A near-future scenario plays the backdrop for director Sophia Bierend‘s Fantasia short. A young woman becomes the official taster for a high-ranking general. Learning about the recent demise of her predecessor, her insight into the fearmongering of her new environment grows clearer. Mandy Peterat‘s production design is top-notch. THE TASTER is one hell of a treatment for a feature. It screams franchise development.

Madeline Brewer in PRUNING
PRUNING

Nian

Racism and folklore come together for a sweet tongue-in-cheek revenge tale from Michelle Krusiec. It is a satisfyingly smirk-inducing addition to the program.

Mancha

Writer-director Nicole Mejia‘s visual metaphor for generational trauma comes to life through a beautiful combination of Seth Macmillian’s camerawork, Alain Emile’s music, and performances. Its inevitability haunts you.


Fantasia 2023 review: ‘LOVELY, DARK, and DEEP’ is a fever dream of trauma

Fantasia Festival 2023 logoLOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP

lovely dark and deep poster

A thoroughly unsettling opening scene plunges us into Fantasia 2023 film LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP. Georgina Campbell plays Lennon, a newly hired park ranger with a personal agenda, solving a tragedy from her past. Writer-director Teresa Sutherland brings trauma and psychological terror to audiences with a twisted dive into memory and mystery.

Campbell is magnificent, carrying the film with the same ease as BARBARIAN. Her ability to hold your attention as the mostly sole individual on screen is unsurpassed. Lennon’s guilt, grief, and unresolved trauma seep from Campbell’s pores and tie you in knots.

The dizzying camerawork from cinematographer Rui Poças and ominous original music from Shida Shahabi raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Sharp sound design by Branko Neskov, which includes podcast audio, is a clever device. As a National Park After Dark fan, this was a slick addition to Sutherland’s narrative style. Editor Alexander Amick furthers Lennon’s isolation amid flashbacks and ghoulish visuals that muddy the lines of reality. It is the ultimate manipulation. All of these elements come together for an atmospheric stranglehold of fear. LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP holds you tightly, only momentarily loosening its grip for minutes at a time. With a script that keeps you guessing at every turn, Fantasia is a uniquely crafted atmospheric journey into psychological terror.


Tue July 25, 2023
4:15 PM

Vampires, Werewolves, Frankenstein, Time Travel, and Fever Dreams. Oh, is that all? Nope. What to Watch at Fantasia Festival 2023, coming this week!

Fantasia Festival 2023 logo

Fantasia 2023 is almost upon us, or as we like to say, “It’s Christmas in July, Motherf*ckers!” But, we usually keep that on the inside. Now that you have a taste of how demented we naturally are, here is a handful of films we are stoked to check out at this year’s fest. It’s the stuff we’ll undoubtedly be buzzing about for the remainder of the year. We have been lucky enough to have seen a few of the titles already making the rounds. You can catch our reviews for the following films:

With Love and a Major Organ

Suitable Flesh

Satan Wants You

Paiffe

Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls

Talk To Me

Molli and Max in the Future


Now, onto the films that we cannot wait to get our eyeballs on for the first time…

 

LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP

lovely dark and deep poster


LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP is the hotly anticipated directorial debut of Teresa Sutherland, screenwriter of THE WIND and a writer on MIDNIGHT MASS. Laced with stunning visuals, this ominously beautiful, deeply frightening nightmare is anchored by a captivating lead performance from BARBARIAN’s Georgina Campbell. Campbell plays a park ranger in an isolated forest outpost, the site of multiple mysterious disappearances, and she is plagued by visions blending the past and present with something even more sinister. This transfixing film oozes an immersive, fever-dream atmosphere. Also starring Nick Blood, Wai Ching Ho, and Edgar Morais. World Premiere. 

You had us at Georgina Campbell and the woods. Teresa Sutherland understands how to create atmospheric chaos, both physically and emotionally. We’re betting on this one.



APORIA

Sophie’s (Judy Greer, HALLOWEEN) life takes a sudden hard turn when either fate or a terrible chance of circumstance sees her husband Mal (Edi Gathegi, THE HARDER THEY FALL) killed in a drunk-driving accident. Left to parent her grief-torn teenaged daughter (Faithe Herman, SHAZAM!) on her own while trying to keep things together with an emotionally taxing nursing job, her breaking point might be coming up fast and it takes every bit of her remaining strength not to fall apart. One day, her husband’s best friend (Payman Maadi, A SEPARATION), a brilliant former physicist, approaches her with an experimental machine that he’s secretly been working on for years. One that’s capable of bending time in specific ways. A device that could — perhaps — bring a version of Sophie’s old life back to her. She understands that by taking a chance with this, the consequences will be entirely unforeseeable. It’s an impossible choice to make. And a lifeline that’s all but impossible to resist.

As a self-proclaimed Whovian, time-bending is my jam. Add in Judy Greer, whose career is a delicious buffet of eclectic tastes, and you’ve got my eyeballs for however long you want them.


STAY ONLINE

Stay Online poster

STAY ONLINE, the feature-film debut of Ukrainian filmmaker Eva Strelnikova, follows Katya (Liza Zaitseva), a volunteer from Kyiv who is fighting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While using a laptop donated to the resistance, she comes into contact with the original owner’s superhero-obsessed son, who is looking for his lost parents. In an effort to make a positive change in this boy’s life and pull herself out of a destructive cycle, Katya risks all that she holds dear to locate his parents.

If your heart isn’t pumping, palms sweating while watching this film, check your pulse. Told through the lens f a laptop screen, this political thriller set during the early days of the war in Ukraine will have you on edge from start to finish.


BLACKOUT

A still from Larry Fessenden's Blackout

In a small upstate New York town, artist Charley Barrett (Alex Hurt) checks out of the motel that’s been his recent home and sets out on a series of personal missions. These include exposing the corruption of ruthless developer Hammond (Marshall Bell), and reconciling with former lover Sharon (Addison Timlin), Hammond’s daughter. Another is connected to his tragic secret: Charley is a werewolf, recently infected with the curse and responsible for a series of gruesome murders. The local residents have scapegoated one of the Latino workers on Hammond’s construction site for the killings, and as a full moon rises, their desire for justice hits a fever pitch while Charley succumbs to his transformation once more.

Larry Fessenden, Ladies and Gentlemen, and All Genre Fans. This horror legend not only appears in every single instant cult classic but writes and directs slick horror through his production company Glass Eye Pix. Fessenden’s Monster Mania takes a new turn in werewolf form this go around. 


WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS

Darkest prayers will be answered, in sawdust and sacrilege, when Fantasia goes WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS. This astonishing new feature from cult favourites The Adams Family (Toby Poster, John Adams, Zelda Adams), follows a family of traveling sideshow performers as they traverse Depression-era America on a bloody search for eternal life. As in THE DEEPER YOU DIG and HELLBENDER, both Fantasia World Premieres, the gifted filmmaking family’s latest creation continues their inspired explorations of familial power dynamics through the prism of horror. Haunting, poetic, sometimes funny, frequently freakish, and told with conviction through a deeply personal lens. World Premiere. 

Filmmaking phenoms The Adams Family has been rocking my world for years with their uniquely smart storytelling and jarring imagery. Fellow born and bred New Englanders, I love them and their work on a deeply personal level. If you check Twitter notes, they have publicly accepted me into the family. They can do no wrong in my book.


EMPIRE V

EMPIRE V

A disaffected student (Pavel Tabakov) follows an invitation to join “the elite” and finds himself forcibly transformed into a vampire, joining a supernatural ruling class who exercise an anonymous dictatorship over humans. Celebrated Russian-American director Victor Ginzburg (GENERATION P) demonstrates a striking visual imagination, perfectly complementing a story that reinvents nearly every aspect of vampire lore in clever and fantastical ways. This is the MATRIX of vampire cinema. Years in the making, EMPIRE V is both next-level blockbuster storytelling and megabudget anti-Oligarch satire, electrified with breathtaking visuals from the great Aleksei Rodionov (COME AND SEE). Co-starring Miron Fedorov, AKA rap star Oxxxymiron, whose anti-War benefit concerts led the Russian justice ministry to condemn him as a “foreign agent.” EMPIRE V itself has been banned by Russia’s Ministry of Culture, ensuring that the citizens of its home country may never see the film. World Premiere. 

I don’t care how many vampire films we’ve seen, I’m a Child of the Night, an Anne Rice, Stephen King lover. And yes, even Twilight, baby. Vampires will get me through the door every single time. Empire V looks slick as hell, and I’m all for satire. Especially when it involves Russia and all forms of revolt. This new take clearly has teeth.


BIRTH/REBIRTH

Rose (Marin Ireland, THE DARK AND THE WICKED) is a morgue technician with little patience for the living. Brilliant and obsessively driven, she also has a personal side-project that’s consumed much of her waking energies: The reversing of physical death. Celine (Judy Reyes, SCRUBS) is a hardworking maternity nurse who gives her all to patients shift after shift, the emotional intensity of her work only finding reprieve when she comes home to her effervescent six-year-old daughter, Lila (A.J. Lister). Fates take a horrific turn that smashes the lives of both women into each other, dropping them down a gruesome rabbit hole of desperate choices and ascending moral compromise that will shake you to your core. We’ll reveal no more.

Female-driven horror storytelling with motherhood at the center, Birth/Rebirth may connect with childbearing audiences that don’t usually go for this kind of fare. Risky, visceral, and unafraid to shock, audiences cannot prepare for what they are about to witness. Mary Shelley approves. 


WHITE NOISE

white noise short film still

Ava’s debilitating hyper-sensitivity to sound is becoming unliveable. Her doctor’s prescription of exposure therapy backfires as she descends into a fit of panic in both her class and the subway. When her attempt at suicide fails, she pleads with her doctor to enrol her in an experimental trial involving an anechoic chamber: the world’s quietest room. The doctor has his reservations, but Ava is convinced this is the ticket to her salvation. In this soundless space, her euphoria quickly mutates into madness when she begins to hear the inner workings of her own body.

Drawing on producer Christina Saliba’s experiences, this short film from director Tamara Scherbak made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Suffering from the same affliction, this brilliantly torturous short places the viewer inside the body of someone with constant sensory overload. *Shiver and wince*


Last but not least, the annual goodness that is BORN OF WOMAN 2023 shorts program. Every year I look forward to the brutal, genius, angry, gorgeous, bloody storytelling from a handpicked group of female filmmakers. 130 mins, 8 films, from the United Kingdom, USA, Belgium, France, Germany, and Argentina. 

For all things Fantasia Festival 2023, click here.

 

Reviews will be rolling out as fast as we can watch and type!


 

NEWS- FANTASIA ANNOUNCES A BLISTERING FIRST WAVE OF TITLES FOR ITS 27th EDITION

FIRST WAVE OF TITLES FOR ITS 27th EDITION


A spotlight on South Korean cinema, a Canadian trailblazer Award for underground legend Larry Kent and World Premieres of new works from Larry Fessenden, Xavier Gens, Jenn Wexler, Jared Moshe, The Adams Family, and Victor Ginzburg + International Premieres of Tsutomu Hanabusa’s blockbusters TOKYO REVENGERS 2 – PART 1 & 2 headline the first wave of titles announced for Fantasia’s 27th edition!

Thursday May 11, 2023 // Montreal, Quebec — The Fantasia International Film Festival will be celebrating its 27th edition with a whiplashing program of screenings, workshops, and launch events running from July 20 through August 9, 2023, taking place at the Concordia Hall Cinema, with additional screens at the Cinémathèque québécoise and Cinéma du Musée.

The festival’s full lineup will be announced in early July. In the meantime, Fantasia is excited to reveal a selected first wave of titles and happenings.


BRIGHT SPOTLIGHTS ON SOUTH KOREAN CINEMA ILLUMINATE FANTASIA’s 27th EDITION

Since the selection of Kang Je-gyu’s GINGKO BED at Fantasia’s 1998 edition, the festival has become one of the premiere destinations for South Korean cinema. Over the years, Fantasia’s audience has had the opportunity to discover several essential Korean auteurs: Bong Joon-ho (BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE), Park Chan-wook (SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE), Kim Ji-woon (THE QUIET FAMILY), Hwang Dong-hyuk (MISS GRANNY), and Yeon Sang-ho (THE KING OF PIGS) among many others. These filmmakers are now mainstays of the international film scene, lighting up the big screen and streaming platforms alike.
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Celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Republic of Korea, the Fantasia International Film Festival –in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Center Canada and the Cinémathèque québécoise– is proud to showcase this unique national cinema. The festival will emphasize the vitality of current works and the versatility of South Korean creators, who work in a multitude of genres ranging from action to arthouse, breathtaking thrillers to outlandish musical comedies. The festival will also present a retrospective highlighting several significant works that led to the revival of Korean cinema in the 2000s, an effervescence that hasn’t stopped since.

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Fantasia will host the North American premiere of NEW NORMAL by Jung Bum-shik (GONJIAM: HAUNTED ASYLUM), a cynical and timely one-man horror anthology. The festival will also host the Canadian premieres of An Tae-jin’s period acupuncturist thriller THE NIGHT OWL; the violent and boisterous THE ROUNDUP: NO WAY OUT by Lee Sang-yong, featuring Don Lee once again; the 4K restoration of Jeong Jae-un’s coming-of-age TAKE CARE OF MY CAT (2001) and a screening of the unmissable THE PRESIDENT’S LAST BANG (2005) by master Im Sang-soo. More titles will be announced soon.

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In recognition of the spotlight, this year’s poster art was created by Montreal visual artist Donald Caron as an interpretation of the mythical nine-tailed fox, a fantastical creature that appears in the folktales of East Asia and legends of Korea. 

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FEAR RUNS LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP

LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP is the hotly anticipated directorial debut of Teresa Sutherland, screenwriter of THE WIND and a writer on MIDNIGHT MASS. Laced with stunning visuals, this ominously beautiful, deeply frightening nightmare is anchored by a captivating lead performance from BARBARIAN’s Georgina Campbell. Campbell plays a park ranger in an isolated forest outpost, the site of multiple mysterious disappearances, and she is plagued by visions blending the past and present with something even more sinister. This transfixing film oozes an immersive, fever-dream atmosphere. Also starring Nick Blood, Wai Ching Ho, and Edgar Morais. World Premiere. 

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A SUPPRESSED AND SPECTACULAR REINVENTION OF VAMPIRE LORE: EMPIRE V

A disaffected student (Pavel Tabakov) follows an invitation to join “the elite” and finds himself forcibly transformed into a vampire, joining a supernatural ruling class who exercise an anonymous dictatorship over humans. Celebrated Russian-American director Victor Ginzburg (GENERATION P) demonstrates a striking visual imagination, perfectly complementing a story that reinvents nearly every aspect of vampire lore in clever and fantastical ways. This is the MATRIX of vampire cinema. Years in the making, EMPIRE V is both next-level blockbuster storytelling and megabudget anti-Oligarch satire, electrified with breathtaking visuals from the great Aleksei Rodionov (COME AND SEE). Co-starring Miron Fedorov, AKA rap star Oxxxymiron, whose anti-War benefit concerts led the Russian justice ministry to condemn him as a “foreign agent.” EMPIRE V itself has been banned by Russia’s Ministry of Culture, ensuring that the citizens of its home country may never see the film. World Premiere. 

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THE TOKYO REVENGERS SAGA REVEALS HIGHER STAKES AND LOADS OF EMOTIONS

Tekemichi gets another blast from the past when his beloved Mio perishes again before his eyes in a freak accident… Or was it? Tekemichi must go back in time to save her, and find out how his involvement with the Tokyo Maji Gang ruined his real life once more. Nothing can prepare you for the amount of action, suspense and emotion TOKYO REVENGERS 2 – PART 1 and TOKYO REVENGERS 2 – PART 2 bring to the big screen! Director Tsutomu Hanabusa surpasses himself with two riveting new chapters in this beloved saga, whose legions of fans break Japan’s box office at every occasion. Come see this acclaimed manga-turned-anime in its ultimate incarnation as a star-studded live-action juggernaut. International Premiere. 

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A HEARTBREAKING, TIME-BENDING MASTERPIECE OF SPECULATIVE SCIENCE-FICTION: APORIA

Since losing her husband Mal (Edi Gathegi, FOR ALL MANKIND) in a drunk-driving incident, Sophie (Judy Greer, HALLOWEEN) has struggled to manage crippling grief, a full-time job, and the demands of parenting her devastated teenage daughter (Faithe Herman, THIS IS US). When her husband’s best friend (Payman Maadi, A SEPARATION), a former physicist, reveals he and Mal had been building a time-bending machine that could restore her former life, Sophie will be faced with an impossible choice.This riveting character-driven sci-fi work from award-winning writer/director Jared Moshe (THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN), imaginatively grapples with the ripple effects of morally fraught choices made in the name of love and raises timely questions about ethics in technological innovation.  World Premiere. 

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THE ADAMS FAMILY TAKE YOU WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS

Darkest prayers will be answered, in sawdust and sacrilege, when Fantasia goes WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS. This astonishing new feature from cult favourites The Adams Family (Toby Poster, John Adams, Zelda Adams), follows a family of traveling sideshow performers as they traverse Depression-era America on a bloody search for eternal life. As in THE DEEPER YOU DIG and HELLBENDER, both Fantasia World Premieres, the gifted filmmaking family’s latest creation continues their inspired explorations of familial power dynamics through the prism of horror. Haunting, poetic, sometimes funny, frequently freakish, and told with conviction through a deeply personal lens. World Premiere. 

 

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© Thanaporn Arkmanon

XAVIER GENS BRINGS SHATTERING FISTFULS OF MAYHEM!

Xavier Gens (FRONTIER(S), GANGS OF LONDON) is back! Sam, (Nassim Lyes) a professional boxer recently released from prison, breaks probation, flees to a faraway island in Thailand, and starts a family there. But when he’s blackmailed by a fierce local Godfather (Olivier Gourmet) into becoming a drug smuggler, things go straight to hell.. and then some! A blood-soaked revenge roller coaster, MAYHEM! starts slow and seething before exploding off the screen with tendon-snapping tension and unbelievably ferocious fight choreography of the sort that’s seldom seen in modern film. Also starring Loryn Nounay, Vithaya Pansringarm, Mehdi Hadim and Kenneth Won. World Premiere. 

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LET IT ALL OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO TALK TO PLUSHIES ARE KIND.

When sophomore student Nanamori joins the Plushies Club, he is encouraged to share his feelings with stuffed animals. You could call it an introvert’s paradise, or better yet, a safe space. And while for some it’s a natural fit, for others it’s an insular distraction. Adapted from a novella by rising literary star Ao Omae and directed by up-and-comer Yurina Kaneko (Fantasia 2019 selection 21ST CENTURY GIRL), PEOPLE WHO TALK TO PLUSHIES ARE KIND enchants with a gently provocative exploration of sexuality, gender, kindness and tolerance in Japanese society. A thought-provoking update on the youth film, for when the world feels like entirely too much. North American Premiere. Camera Lucida section.

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LYCANTHROPIAN CHILLS FROM FROM LARRY FESSENDEN: BLACKOUT

At last, acclaimed horror auteur Larry Fessenden has fulfilled his long-held desire to make a werewolf film, rounding out the triptych begun with his vampire drama HABIT (1997) and FRANKENSTEIN variation DEPRAVED (2019). Fessenden, as always, makes BLACKOUT a very human story as well as a gripping horror show while weaving in his traditional focus on socio-political themes, from his long-held ecological concerns to very modern issues of suspicion and paranoia. Starring Alex Hurt, Addison Timlin, Marshall Bell, James LeGros, Barbara Crampton and Joe Swanberg. World Premiere. 

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FROM SOUTH KOREA, COMES MOTHER LAND AN ARCTIC STOP-MOTION ADVENTURE

When the health of Krisha’s mother takes a turn for the worse, the village shaman offers her wisdom: follow the North Star to the Ancient Forest and find its guardian and master, the great red bear of legend. The first South Korean stop-motion feature film in almost half a century, director Park Jae-beom’s animated adventure MOTHER LAND is an exquisitely crafted snowbound fantasy with a potent emotional warmth at its core. It explores the lives and lore of the nomadic, indigenous reindeer herders of the sparse and unforgiving Siberian tundra. North American Premiere. Axis Section

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FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS AND BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

A chef with gambling problems (Nick Stahl) flees to the Latin American villa of an old friend who appears to be living an extraordinary life. Envy soon turns to greed and then to something more unsettling for the chef when he assumes his friend’s life. A Hitchockian, edge-of-your-seat descent into moral compromise with generous servings of dark humour, shock and surprise, WHAT YOU WISH FOR is the gripping sophomore feature of writer/director Nicholas Tomnay (THE PERFECT HOST). Grounded by a career best performance from Stahl, the film co-stars Tamsin Topolski, Randy Vasquez and Penelope Mitchell. From the producers of THE FLORIDA PROJECT. World Premiere. 

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A GUT-WRENCHING REFLECTION ON MODERN SLAVERY TAKES PLACE IN RICHELIEU

When Stéphane (Marc-André Grondin, RAVENOUS, C.R.A.Z.Y.) hires Ariane (Ariane Castellanos) to act as an interpreter for his Guatemalan workers, he expects nothing more than a messenger. But after witnessing the horrifying abuse the men are subjected to, Ariane will be pushed to choose between their lives and her own. A stunning debut feature from Québécois director Pier-Philippe Chevigny, RICHELIEU delivers a raw and emotional portrait of a system in which we are all  complicit unless we are willing to bear the cost of standing up for justice. Canadian Premiere. 

SUPERNATURAL POWERS AND SCHOOL GIRLS WITH SECRETS KICK OFF THE 2023 SEPTENTRION SHADOWS SECTION LINEUP! 

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A NOSTALGIC, SUPERNATURAL ROAD TRIP LEADS TO DAUGHTER OF THE SUN

Take a supernatural journey with Sonny, a man with Tourette Syndrome, and his daughter Hildie as they forge their path across the country. They hide a powerful secret but join a community of friendly nomadic strangers whose kindness conceals a darker intention. The World Premiere of DAUGHTER OF THE SUN is Sonny’s next chapter and a continuation of director/actor Ryan Ward’s award-winning SON OF THE SUNSHINE. This deeply personal journey reflects aspects of Ward’s life with cosmic imagery, stunning cinematography shot in Ward’s home province of Manitoba, and stellar performances from teens Nyah Perkin and Lennox Leacock. World Premiere

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JENN WEXLER DARES YOU TO BLEED FOR THE SACRIFICE GAME!

Jenn Wexler’s THE RANGER, a high-octane punk rock banger, exploded onto the genre landscape in 2018, and now she’s back with her sophomore feature THE SACRIFICE GAME. Filled with gore and lore, indie filmmaker Wexler penned this gripping and stylish ‘70s-set chiller involving school girls, power-mad killers and occult prophecy with partner Sean Redlitz. Shot in Quebec, this breakneck horror film stars Mena Massoud (EVOLVING VEGAN and ALADDIN), Olivia Scott Welch (LUCKY HANK, FEAR STREET Trilogy), Gus Kenworthy (AMERICAN HORROR STORY), Georgia Acken, Madison Baines and features the return of THE RANGERS’ Chloë Levine. You won’t want to miss a second of THE SACRIFICE GAME! World Premiere co-presented with Les Fantastique Week-ends.

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A CANADIAN TRAILBLAZER AWARD FOR LARRY KENT

Fantasia is proud to be giving our 2023 Canadian Trailblazer Award to our country’s legendary first underground filmmaker, Larry Kent, with World Premieres of Canadian International Pictures’’s new 4K restorations of his landmark Vancouver Trilogy and additional screenings and events. 

Cited by David Cronenberg as “a heroic figure,” Larry Kent made films “so ahead of their time” (to quote Atom Egoyan) that they eventually fell out of official circulation. 

Situated somewhere between the vivid indie dramas of John Cassavetes and the lurid melodramas of Doris Wishman, Kent’s films brought new vitality to Canadian cinema — and time has only added to their potency. 

Even as his 90th birthday approaches, he continues to make singular and gutsy independent features: his most recent works, EXLEY (2011) and SHE WHO MUST BURN (2015)  both World-Premiered at Fantasia, the latter winning Spectacular Optical’s 2015 Barry Convex Award for Best Canadian Feature at the festival. 

Whether audiences have caught up with Kent’s boldly uncompromising vision or not, CIP  is working on an ambitious restoration initiative that aims to resurrect his most seminal films, starting with The Vancouver Trilogy: THE BITTER ASH (1963), SWEET SUBSTITUTE (1964), and WHEN TOMORROW DIES (1965), each of which will be unveiled at Fantasia this summer.

The original camera negatives for all three films have been newly scanned in 4K and restored by CIP, giving these enduring works of underground Canadian cinema a chance to be discovered (and re-discovered) by adventurous cinephiles. 

In addition, Fantasia will also be presenting a rare 35mm print of YESTERDAY (1981) and a special screening of SHE WHO MUST BURN (2015). 

Join us in celebrating the career of one of Canadian Film’s most courageous originals!

Presented in association with Canadian International Pictures and the Cinémathèque québécoise.


Review: ‘The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou’ is a genre-defying tale.

The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou

When Jacky’s grandmother, a renowned healer, suddenly passes away and a particularly compelling young woman with a mysterious rash arrives on his doorstep, he has no choice but to stay and try to help. As her condition worsens, it becomes clear that she’s afflicted with no ordinary illness. She’s transforming into something dangerous before his eyes, but he’s already in too deep to abandon her.

Writer-director Lucas Delangle and co-writer Olivier Strauss place Jacky in an environment that might feel stifling for a young man with dreams outside his genetic talents. His grandmother nurtures his gift of healing, understanding that he must fully embrace himself before sharing his abilities with the masses. Jacky finds himself torn between love and the greater good. The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou is a surprising film that twists and turns in the most unexpected ways. It is rare to find something this unique. 

Thomas Parigi‘s performance transfixes. His ability to hold the audience in the palm of his hands, quite literally in this case, has the viewer waiting with bated breath for his next move. Parigi is a musician. His Soundcloud is as mesmerizing as his performance in the film. This debut role should garner him the attention he deserves. Parigi pulls you into this one-of-a-kind folklore horror dealing with loss, love, self-confidence, and generational embracement. The Strange Case of Jacky Caillou is an undisputable gem.


IN THEATERS (LA, NY) APRIL 7
ON DVD AND DIGITAL APRIL 11

Director: Lucas Delangle
Cast: Thomas Parigi, Edwige Blondiau, Lou Lampros, Jean-Louise Coulloc’h
Screenplay: Lucas Delangle, Olivier Strauss

Review: Irish folk horror ‘UNWELCOME’ is a fairy tale for adults.

UNWELCOME

Directed by Jon Wright and co-written by Mark Stay, Irish folk horror UNWELCOME has you on edge from the beginning. A fresh start for Maya, Jaime, and their baby on the way, comes with a caveat; their newly inherited country house has a beautiful garden that backs up against the woods and a promised nightly offering to keep the Red Caps at bay. Not upholding tradition with the little people beyond the wall could be a huge mistake.

Colm Meaney is the abusive Daddy Whelan, heading up the unsavory local family fixing the cottage. Proud and fiery, he is just as volatile as his children. Jaime-Lee O’Donnell and Chris Walley make the aggressive audience relentlessly uncomfortable with their behavior and nationalist words. Kristian Nairn plays Eoin, the quiet, clearly complicated, deemed “simple” son of the Whelan crew. Nairn gives a brilliant performance, more complex than at first glance.

Douglas Booth wears his emotions on his sleeve as Jaime. He is charming and kind but channels his unresolved trauma into simmering anger and anxiety. Hannah John-Kamen is enchanting and vulnerable. She owns the screen in her self-assured presence. Her chemistry with Booth and the rest of the cast keeps you watching.

The script is a dark adult version of a Grimm’s fairytale. Costumes are as colorful as the scenery is lush. Gorgeous drone shots down windy roads are breathtaking. The score creeps up on you. The first appearance of the elusive creatures is reminiscent of 80s Jim Henson; think Hoggle and the goblins from Labyrinth. They are awesome in the truest sense of the word. As a person who has been pregnant twice, the violence in the film is visceral. The commitment from the cast is applause-worthy. As the impressive practical effects get more intense, so do their performances. You will find yourself wincing and giggling simultaneously. Yes, it is over the top. And yes, the ending is a real WTF. Just go with it and have fun because in UNWELCOME, keeping the tradition alive keeps you alive.


UNWELCOME is set to be out in theaters this FRIDAY, MARCH 10th

 as it’s part of the AMC Thrills & Chills lineup,

and on Digital Tuesday, March 14th!


 

SXSW 2023: Horror and Sci-fi and Docs, Oh My! A curtain raiser for the masses.

SWSX 2023 has something for everyone, from franchise horror expansion to the hotly anticipated premiere of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. But we’re here to share some of the films on our radar this year.

 

Click here for tickets and all things SXSW 2023


Pure O
Director/Screenwriter: Dillon Tucker, Producers: Ricky Fosheim, Dillon Tucker, Ray Lee
A young screenwriter/musician grapples with Pure O, a lesser-known form of OCD while juggling his recent engagement and his day job at a high-end Malibu drug rehab. Inspired by the filmmaker’s own personal true story.

Cast List: Daniel Dorr, Hope Lauren, Landry Bender, Jeff Baker, Candice Renee, Breon Gorman, Tim Landfield, Isaac Nippert, Devon Martinez, Clint James (World Premiere)

Speaking as someone existing in a neurodivergent family unit, this one will hit hard for anyone battling invisible disabilities.


Raging Grace (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Paris Zarcilla, Producer: Chi Thai
A bold coming-of-rage story where Joy, a Filipino immigrant, and her daughter Grace encounter a darkness that threatens all they have worked for.

Cast List: Maxine Eigenman, Leanne Best, David Hayman (World Premiere)

Femme-centric horror from Paris Zarcilla explores assimilation, trauma, and horror.


Another Body
Directors: Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn, Producers: Elizabeth Woodward, Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn, Screenwriters: Sophie Compton, Reuben Hamlyn, Isabel Freeman
Another Body follows a college student after she discovers deepfakes of herself circulating online. (World Premiere)

As if women didn’t have enough to fear, AI porn enters the arena. This mind-bending and infuriating doc shocks over and over.


Geoff McFetridge: Drawing a Life – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Geoff McFetridge: Drawing a Life
Director/Producer: Dan Covert, Screenwriters: Erik Auli, Dan Covert, Amy Dempsey, Tara Rose Stromberg
What defines a life? The iconic work of artist Geoff McFetridge is everywhere. But this film is more than a primer on his career—it’s about the choices we confront in trying to lead meaningful lives, and how we use our most precious resource: time. (World Premiere)

Hold on, I know that art! This charming and insightful doc will introduce you to Geoff McFetridge, an artist we all know, but don’t know we know. Ya know?


Deadland – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Deadland
Director: Lance Larson, Producers: Elizabeth Avellan, Bob Bastarache, Jas Shelton, Lance Larson, Tara Pirnia, Chris Wilks, Screenwriters: Lance Larson, Jas Shelton
A U.S. Border Patrol Agent tries to apprehend the ghost of his father, a grave decision that will haunt him forever.

Cast List: Roberto Urbina, McCaul Lombardi, Julieth Restrepo, Kendal Rae, Luis Chavez, Julio Cesar Cedillo, Manuel Uriza, Chris Mulkey (World Premiere)

Get ready for chills and politics to collide. You’re not ready.


Hail Mary - 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Hail Mary
Director: Rosemary Rodriguez, Producer: Karina Miller, Screenwriter: Knate Lee
A young Belizean girl, Maria, finds herself mysteriously pregnant and trying to cross the US/MEX border while outrunning a deadly virus, the Cartels, Border Patrol, and the right-hand man of the Devil. This genre-bending retelling of the Mary and Joseph story begs the question – who are the real monsters? Cast: Natalia del Riego, Benny Emmanuel, and Jack Huston with Angela Sarafyan (World Premiere)

As a former Catholic school kid and a lover of genre-defying fare, Hail Mary is 100% on my list. The meer idea that this will work brings my eyeballs to the screen.


Only The Good Survive - 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Only The Good Survive
Director/Screenwriter: Dutch Southern, Producers: Thomas Mahoney, Justin X Duprie
While unwittingly doing crimes in Texas, Brea Dunlee stumbles upon a QAnon-like cabal that preys on the poor and the powerless. Through a series of interrogations led by a gaslighting sheriff named Cole Mack, we discover not everything is as it seems.

Cast: Sidney Flanigan, Frederick Weller, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Will Ropp, Darius Fraser, Lachlan Watson, Jon Gries, Patrick Grover (World Premiere)

Quirky, colorful, and confusing, this ping-pong, time-hopping delight is pure delightful mayhem.


Peak Season - 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Peak Season
Directors: Henry Loevner, Steven Kanter, Producers: Lovell Holder, Patrick Ward, Henry Loevner, Steven Kanter, Screenwriter: Henry Loevner
An emotionally adrift young woman forges an unexpected friendship with a wilderness guide when she and her fiancé take a summer trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Cast: Claudia Restrepo, Derrick DeBlasis, Ben Coleman, Fred Melamed, Stephanie Courtney, Will Neff, Caroline Kwan, Ron Hanks, Gadiel Del Orbe, Natasha Dewhurst (World Premiere)

Look out for this authentic, easy breezy dramedy that is like an emotional warm hug.


Art For Everybody - 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Art for Everybody
Director: Miranda Yousef, Producers: Morgan Neville, Tim Rummel
Thomas Kinkade’s pastoral landscapes made him the most collected and despised painter of all time. After his shocking death, his family discovers a vault of unseen paintings that reveal a complex artist whose life and work embody our divided America. (World Premiere)

You could not escape his art in the late 90s. His “lit from the inside” painting of countryside cottages and mass marketable art held America captive. I almost bought one in a mall gallery at 20 years old. They were that enchanting. 


Satan Wants You - 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Satan Wants You
Directors/Screenwriters: Sean Horlor, Steve J. Adams, Producers: Michael Grand, Melissa James
The shocking story of how a young woman and her psychiatrist ignited the global Satanic Panic with their bestselling memoir Michelle Remembers. (World Premiere)

One book twisted the narrative of a nation. It would start an avalanche of conspiracy theories that continues to run rampant in crazy circles today.


Who I Am Not – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Who I Am Not (Romania, Canada)
Director/Screenwriter: Tünde Skovrán, Producers: Andrei Zinca
There is male, there is female, and then there is i. Born male and female within one single body, a beauty queen and a male-presenting activist break the intersex taboo through a personal and intimate exploration of truth, faith, and belonging. (North American Premiere)

Timely and important. That’s all you need to know.


Brooklyn 45 – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Brooklyn 45
Director/Screenwriter: Ted Geoghegan, Producers: Seth Caplan, Michael Paszt, Pasha Patriki, Sarah Sharp
In the months following World War II, five old military friends are talked into an impromptu séance, which brings to troubling light each of their haunted pasts.

Cast List: Anne Ramsay, Ron E. Rains, Jeremy Holm, Larry Fessenden, Ezra Buzzington, Kristina Klebe (World Premiere)

Just because I know Ted Geoghegan to be one of the kindest and coolest gents in the biz doesn’t mean I have to mention his newest and perhaps most personal project yet. His work and the company he keeps (he is also producing Molli and Max screening at the fest this year), speak for themselves. I mean, how cool does this still look?! Shudder was smart enough to snap this up ages ago. 


Monolith – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Monolith (Australia)
Director: Matt Vesely, Producer: Bettina Hamilton, Screenwriter: Lucy Campbell
All you have to do is listen. A disgraced journalist turns to podcasting to try and rebuild her career – but her rush to generate headlines soon uncovers a strange artifact, an alien conspiracy, and the lies at the heart of her own story.

Cast List: Lily Sullivan (International Premiere)

The history of deceptive podcasting has changed the lives of suspects and the far right in recent years. This one deserves your full attention.


Talk To Me – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Talk To Me (Australia)
Directors: Danny Philippou, Michael Philippou, Producers: Samantha Jennings, Kristina Ceyton, Screenwriters: Danny Philippou, Bill Hinzman
Lonely teenager Mia gets hooked on the thrills of conjuring spirits through a ceramic hand, but when she is confronted by a soul claiming to be her dead mother, she unleashes a plague of supernatural forces.

Cast List: Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji, Zoe Terakes, Chris Alosio (Texas Premiere)

We caught this one at Sundance and can report that it is franchise worthy. Do not miss it. Talk To Me


The Wrath of Becky – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

The Wrath of Becky
Directors/Screenwriters: Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote, Producers: Raphael Margules, JD Lifshitz, Tracy Rosenblum, Russell Posternak, Chadd Harbold
After living off the grid for two years, Becky finds herself going toe to toe against Darryl, the leader of a fascist organization, on the eve of an organized attack.

Cast List: Lulu Wilson, Seann William Scott, Matt Angel, Courtney Gains, Aaron Dalla Villa, Michael Sirow, Denise Burse, Jill Larson, Kate Siegel (World Premiere)

Firstly, Lulu Wilson is a phenom in my book. A follow-up to the 2020 film BECKY, I cannot wait to see this girl kick ass and not give a shit about names. 


The Artifice Girl – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official SelectionThe Artifice Girl – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

The Artifice Girl
Director/Screenwriter: Franklin Ritch, Producers: Aaron B. Koontz, Ashleigh Snead
Three special agents develop a bold new computer program to catch online predators, but its rapid advancement poses unexpected challenges.

Cast: Tatum Matthews, Sinda Nichols, David Girard, Franklin Ritch, Lance Henriksen (U.S. Premiere)

We could not escape the buzz that this film has been generating on the festival scene. It’s about time we join the crowd.


Molli And Max In The Future - 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Molli And Max In The Future
Director/Screenwriter: Michael Lukk Litwak, Producers: Candice Kuwahara, Ben J. Murphy, Mallory Schwartz, Kate Geller, Michael Lukk Litwak
Molli and Max In The Future is a Sci-Fi Romantic Comedy about a man and woman whose orbits repeatedly collide over the course of 12 years, 4 planets, 3 dimensions, and one space-cult.

Cast: Zosia Mamet, Aristotle Athari, Danny Burstein, Arturo Castro, Okieriete Onaodowan, Erin Darke, Grace Kuhlenschmidt, Michael Chernus, Aparna Nancherla, Matteo Lane (World Premiere)

After following the cast and crew of this film along the way, Molli and Max feels like a festival darling from the start.


With Love and a Major Organ – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

With Love and a Major Organ
Director: Kim Albright, Producer: Madeleine Davis, Screenwriter: Julia Lederer
In an alternate world where hearts are made of objects and suppressing emotions is self-care, a lonely woman rips out her own heart for the man she loves, only to discover that he has run away with it.

Cast: Anna Maguire, Hamza Haq, Veena Sood, Donna Benedicto, Lynda Boyd, Arghavan Jenati, Enid-Raye Adams, Ryan Beil, Laara Sadiq (World Premiere)

The concept alone makes me want to run to the theater. 


My Drywall Cocoon – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

My Drywall Cocoon
Director/Screenwriter: Caroline Fioratti, Producers: Rui Pires, André Montenegro
Virginia’s death during her 17th birthday shakes up a luxurious building complex. For most residents, it’s a passing tragedy. For her mother and her friends, it is the beginning of a transformation: the crack in their drywall cocoon.

Cast: Maria Luisa Mendonça, Bella Piero, Michel Joelsas, Mari Oliveira, Daniel Botelho, Caco Ciocler (World Premiere)

The only Brazillian film in the fest this year, this intricately written film will surprise again and again.


Is There Anybody Out There? (United Kingdom) – 2023 SXSW Film & TV

Is There Anybody Out There?
Director: Ella Glendining, Producer: Janine Marmot
Inhabiting a bizarrely unusual body (the body I love), and navigating daily discrimination, I search the world for another like me. Is there anybody out there? (Texas Premiere)

Check out our previous coverage of Ella Glendining’s unfiltered look at self-acceptance and judgment. It will live in my family’s heart forever.


The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster - 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster
Director/Screenwriter: Bomani J. Story, Producers: Jack Davis, Darren Brandl, Bomani J. Story
Death is ever present in Vicaria’s world – violence, police brutality, substance abuse – and after watching her mother and brother succumb, she’s had enough. Vicaria is going to put an end to all this death… by bringing the dead back to life.

Cast: Laya DeLeon Hayes, Denzel Whitaker, Chad Coleman, Reilly Brooke Stith, Keith Sean Holliday, Amani Summer Boyles, Edem Atsu-Swanzy (World Premiere)

Writer-director Bomani J. Story takes on the complexities of survival and oppression with a femme-centric modern take on Frankenstein. Yes, please, and thank you.


SHORT FILMS

Fuck Me, Richard – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Fuck Me, Richard (Australia, U.S.)
Directors: Lucy McKendrick, Charlie Polinger, Screenwriter: Lucy McKendrick, Producers: Jenna Grossano, Lucy McKendrick, Charlie Polinger
Recovering from a broken leg, a romance-obsessed loner finds herself swept up in a passionate long-distance love affair. Richard is perfect in every way, except that he may be a scammer. (World Premiere)

As someone who “survived” a 5+ year long distance relationship, this one is a yes.


Dead Enders – 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival Official Selection

Dead Enders
Directors: Fidel Ruiz-Healy, Tyler Walker, Screenwriters: Fidel Ruiz-Healy, Tyler Walker, Jordan Michael Blake, Conor Murphy, Producers: Raven Jensen, Amanda Crown, Gregory Barnes, Conor Murphy, Nico Alvo, Jordan Michael Blake, Eduardo Ruiz-Healy
A disaffected gas station clerk finds out why they call it the “graveyard shift” after oil drillers set loose an ancient race of mind-controlling parasites. (World Premiere)

Horror shorts for the win, ladies, and germs. Give me a new badass final girl every day of the week.


To find out more about SXSW 2023’s full lineup click here!

Shudder capsule review: ‘Attachment’ dazzles with its smart script.

ATTACHMENT

New couple Maja and Leah battle terror and tradition when they move back into the same house as Leah’s Hasidic mother, Chana. Jewish mysticism takes center stage in this unique entry for Tribeca 2022 Midnight section. Is Chana an overprotective parent, or is something more sinister happening? Enter writer-director Gabriel Bier Gislason‘s ATTACHMENT.

The writing is perfectly genius, as it disguises the mystery within the secretive nature of the religion. I watch a lot of horror. ATTACHMENT had me on the ropes. I had no idea where this script would land. The language barrier raises the stakes, as important revelations become lost in translation, literally. Performances are spectacular and nuanced. The emotional journeys are lush. Their pasts slowly revealed creating a genuine and curious bond. I could not take my eyes off the screen while watching Attachment, fearing I’d miss the smallest detail. Audiences will be hypnotized.


*STREAMING EXCLUSIVELY ON SHUDDER*
FEBRUARY 9th, 2023


FEATURE | DENMARK | 105 MINUTES | DANISH, ENGLISH | ENGLISH SUBTITLES
DIRECTOR
Gabriel Bier Gislason
PRODUCER
Thomas Heinesen
SCREENWRITER
Gabriel Bier Gislason
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Valdemar Winge Leisner
EDITOR
Nikoline Løgstrup
US DISTRIBUTOR
Shudder
CAST
Josephine Park, Ellie Kendrick, Sofie Gråbøl, David Dencik