Grow Up, Tony Phillips

Local kid Emily Hagins‘ story is one with which you might be familiar. She’s the one who made her own zombie movie at age 12. In the almost seven years since, she’s made a number of steps toward making films at a very high level, culminating with the premiere of her last film, the vampire romance spoof My Sucky Teen Romance, at 2011′s SXSW fest. This year she’s back with this coming-of-age tale, her fourth feature, and it will be interesting to gauge her maturation as a filmmaker. If her trend of growth continues, we could very well be in for a treat. – Neil Miller

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Haunter

sxsw haunter

Lisa is a day away from turning sixteen, but then again she’s always a day away. She and her family were killed decades ago, but while they repeat the day as if they’re still alive only she knows the truth. Her life as a ghost is further complicated by a girl who currently lives in the house as well as another spirit… an evil one. Vincenzo Natali, the director of Cube and Splice, returns with a film that I hope is as fascinating as it sounds. – Rob Hunter

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Loves Her Gun

Another bit of local breakout potential comes in this feature from the live action debut of filmmaker Geoff Marslett, whose animated feature Mars debuted at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival to a wealth of solid reviews. In this one, Marslett takes on the paranoia-stricken world of one woman’s need for personal safety and wraps it in the unnervingly warm embrace of the Texas gun culture. Sure to be charged with social relevance, Loves Her Gun appears to be a wild ride worth taking. - Neil Miller

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Mud

Already my biggest disappointment of this year’s SXSW is having to miss the only showing of director Jeff Nichols‘ latest. After the terrific Take Shelter, we should all lineup fast for any movie bearing Nichols’ name. Thankfully Mud will see a theatrical release at the end of April, so if any of you are anticipating the film like I am we won’t have to wait too long for it. – Jack Giroux

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Plus One

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Three college friends looking for a good time head to a party together, but while they expect drinking, flirting and maybe a little fornicating what they get is something completely different. A supernatural event of some kind triggers a panic throughout the party, and soon good times lead to end times. This one comes from director Dennis Iliadis whose last film was the surprisingly effective and impressive Last House on the Left remake. I have no idea why it’s taken four years for him to make a 2nd English-language film, but I’m happy it’s finally here. – Rob Hunter


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