Fantastic Fest is here once again with a jam packed lineup of film goodness brimming to the rim with features, shorts and special events. Before the festival kicks off I wanted to highlight 5 can’t miss films to catch in Austin this weekend. It was hard to narrow it down to just five but if you have to be selective of you schedule and make a game plan these are some great options. One thing to keep in mind when planning your festival schedule is which films will you be able to catch in a few weeks on streaming services like Shudder or Paramount+. Regardless of a couple of these films dropping on streaming services soon, it is a real treat to be able to experience them in a theater with likeminded horror fans. So with out further delay lets jump into our most anticipated films of Fantastic Fest 2022.
The premise of ‘Smile’ from director Parker Finn seems destined to be a viral sensation and spread like the folklore from a creepypasta. So when we saw it was playing at Fantastic Fest ahead of its theatrical release we were stoked. Finn previously has had his short films Laura Hasn’t Slept and The Hidebehind screen at SXSW and Panic Fest to name a few. We are proud to call him a Panic Alum and can’t wait to check out his film along with red carpet coverage.
‘Smile’ revolves around Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.
The latest installment of the V/H/S franchise wants us to party like it’s 1999 and we will do just that when it premieres at Fantastic Fest. The inventive found footage franchise has found clever ways to piece together anthologies while maintaining a red thread of analog technology to get fans of the sub genre something to sink their teeth in. V/H/S 94 also screened at Fantastic Fest last year and I throughly enjoyed every segment. From Rattmaa to it was a fun ride to the very end. With plenty of stories left to tell we hope to find more creepy VHS tapes laying around in the future.
KIDS VS ALIENS
From ‘V/H/S/ 99’ to Jason Eisner’s ‘Kids VS Aliens’ which has its feature film roots from the original short film segment ‘Slumber Party Abduction’ which was originally featured as a ‘V/H/S/’ segment. This time Eisner is expanding yet another idea into a feature film based on one of his shorts. The original film was 13 minutes long and ‘Kids VS Aliens’ clocks in a just over an hour. It builds upon the original and fine tunes it by tying in his love of wrestling with a nostalgic trip that takes place in modern day that will have horror and sci-fi fans cheering. Add this to your list now, because if you don’t catch it at Fantastic Fest, you won’t see it again until sometime in 2023 on Shudder.
Art the Clown is back with vengeance in ‘Terrifier 2.’ Writer / director Damien Leone is back at the helm along with David Howard Thornton to bring Art the Clown to life with new grotesque and gnarly scenes that will dare you to look away from the screen. The nostalgic brand of filmmaking that weaves traits from horror icons from the past into a new package will continue to delight horror fans in the most obscene ways. With a battle of good versus evil between Lauren LaVera and David Howard Thornton this is another can’t miss film that you will want to see with an audience.
EVERYONE WILL BURN
After watching the ‘Everyone Will Burn’ (Y Todos Arderan) trailer that dropped this past week it gave me some big time Spanish ‘Hereditary’ vibes. It marks the North American debut of David Hebrero’s sophomore feature film.
Following a world premiere at Sitges, the story of a broken-hearted mother and a strange little girl who appears in her life has traveled the globe, most recently screening at FrightFest in London.
Hebrero directed and co-wrote and produced with Javier Kiran. Hebrero commented: “When we were in lockdown writing this madness of a film we never thought that we would be here at Fantastic Fest sharing space with industry icons. Arriving in North America alongside Raven Banner is a once in a lifetime experience to get to showcase Spain’s new wave of artists. We are pumped and ready to take over Austin!”
So there you have it – my 5 most anticipated films of Fantastic Fest. If you are attending virtually at home and can’t make it to Austin, be sure to not sleep on the wonderful selection of short films featured on the platform. See you in Austin!