SXSW 2024: E.L. Katz and Simon Barrett Bring Nightmare Fuel to Austin With Their World Premiere of ‘Azrael’

Azrael SXSW Simon Barrett
Credit: SXSW Press

Azrael makes it’s world debut at SXSW and leaves the theater speechless. 

In a world in which no one speaks a devout female-led community hunts down a young woman who has escaped her imprisonment. Recaptured by its ruthless leaders, Azrael is due to be sacrificed to pacify an ancient evil deep within the surrounding wilderness – but she’ll stop at nothing to ensure her own survival.

In the last year or so there have been a few films that have come out with little to no dialogue. But none have been as intense and terrifying as E.L. Katz and Simon Barrett’s Azrael. Samara Weaving Leads and almost entirely mute cast in an edge of your seat horror that starts at an eleven and never lets up. 

Azrael takes place in a post apocalyptic world where speaking is a mortal sin and demons roam the forest. A nameless cult appeases these shadow demons by offering up human sacrifices to keep them at bay. The cult wants to sacrifice Azrael and she has other plans. 

Constantly on the run and fighting for her life, Azrael will stop at nothing to stay alive. Samara Weaving (Azrael) is absolutely brilliant in her skills to bringing out the most terror and anxiety without ever saying a word. Her ability to pull your into the film and make you freeze in absolute fear is a talent all on hits own. 

It’s not mentioned often, but the sound design for Azrael is absolutely off the hook. This film should be seen in the theater to get the full effect. The sound team from the film SISU were brought in to create the sound of primal horror that is unrelenting. You can hear every breath taken, every leaf and and stick being walked on. The screeching of the demons is absolutely unhinged. As you are running through the forest with Azrael you can’t help but hold your breath waiting for the next horrific thing to happen. Ten minutes into this film you are scared to even hear the wind blow. 

The demons in Azrael are absolutely horrifying. The way they look and move and sound is absolute nightmare fuel. The more you see them the scarier they are. They are brutal and animalistic. They are some of the best creatures I have seen in a long time and the practical effects are equally impressive. This film is gore at it’s best. It makes you cringe and turn your head while simultaneously wanting to see more. 

This a film is about survival turned revenge in the best possible way. This is a simple plot done in the best way. In an industry where they same genre films keep getting regurgitated, this is a refreshing new film for the horror genre. The film makers took big risks and absolutely knocked it out of the park. 

Azrael SXSW Simon Barrett
SXSW 2024: E.L. Katz and Simon Barrett Bring Nightmare Fuel to Austin With Their World Premiere of ‘Azrael’