If you somehow aren’t aware by now, we take Fantastic Fest pretty seriously ’round these parts. America’s largest genre festival will kick the doors off the hinges for its 7th incarnation this September, and your faithful crew here at Starship Reject could not be more excited. As always, we’ll be assembling our Fantastic Fest Death Squad to attempt the insane goal of reviewing each and every film that plays this year. Take a gander at some of the titles that have jumped out at us from this latest batch.
First up is Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia. Antichrist was huge at Fantastic Fest back in 2009, and the buzz out of Cannes and from a brief run in LA has me chomping at the bit to see Von Trier’s latest as soon as possible. While certainly polarizing, Von Trier is also an extremely versatile and uncompromising filmmaker, and I can’t wait to see him put his own unique spin on a story with sci-fi elements. You can bet the Rejects will be first in line for this one come September.
You also know we’re looking forward to You’re Next, the new film from the team behind last year’s A Horrible Way to Die. While their previous effort wasn’t a perfect film, the last 20 minutes in particular were chilling and showed quite a bit of promise with their fresh take on serial killer celebrity. Adam Wingard returns to direct You’re Next, and genre favorite AJ Bowen joins a cast that includes horror icon Barbara Crampton as well as fellow filmmakers like Joe Swanberg and Ti West. You’re Next features a family trapped in a secluded mansion surrounded by vicious killers out for blood. Sounds like our cup of tea! But wait, there’s more.
The French do insanity on screen like few others can, and the country’s latest export sounds like no exception. Calibre 9 has a perfect premise for a Fantastic Fest film. To quote from the press release, “a city planner becomes strangely linked to a gun possessed by the soul of a dead hooker.” If that won’t sell tickets, I don’t know what will. Seriously, how could you not be excited for a movie about a gun possessed by the soul of a dead hooker? That’s what Fantastic Fest is all about.
There are plenty of other films to be excited about including the latest from filmmakers like Nacho Vigalondo, Ti West, and Jaume Balaguero of [REC] fame. Check out the full list of movies that will be attacking The Alamo Drafthouse:
Director Kitao Sakurai live in person
Director: Kitao Sakurai, Japan, 80 minutes
Larry (AARDVARK’s blind-since-birth protagonist) has an innate curiosity that lands him smack in the
middle of a bizarre criminal underworld replete with mixed martial arts, intrigue, murder and pillow
Director – AHN Sang-hoon, Korea, 111minutes
A blind woman narrowly escapes from the clutches of a serial killer. When he circles back to get rid of
any witnesses, the woman must rely on her other acute senses to identify and outwit the killer.
CALIBRE 9 (2011)
Director Jean-Christian Tassy & Producer Axel Guyot live in person
Director: Jean-ChristianTassy, France, 84 minutes
A city planner becomes strangely linked to a gun possessed by the soul of a dead hooker.
THE CORRIDOR (2010)
Director Evan Kelly live in person!
Director: Evan Kelly, Canada, 100 minutes
Five friends stay in a remote cabin for the weekend and uncover a supernatural anomaly in the
Director Nacho Vigalondo and Producer Nahikari Ipiña live in person
Director: Nacho Vigalando, Spain, 90 minutes
A man wakes in a strange apartment after a long night of drinking. When his unfamiliar bedmate tries
to usher him out, they both discover that spaceships are hovering over Madrid.
Director: Morten Tyldum, Norway, 100 Minutes
Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is good at two things: hiring people and stealing from them. He’ll risk it all
when he meets a former mercenary who owns a painting worth millions.
THE INNKEEPERS (2010)
Director Ti West live in person
Director: Ti West, USA, 101 Minutes
Luke and Claire work the desk at a quaint, failing hotel. On their last night, these two amateur ghost-
hunters try to capture definitive proof that their workplace is haunted. THE INNKEEPERS kicks off a Ti
West retrospective at the Alamo Drafthouse sponsored by the Austin Film Society.
LET THE BULLETS FLY (2010)
Director: Jiang Wen, Hong Kong, 132 minutes
The highest grossing domestic Chinese release ever, LET THE BULLETS FLY features the hilarious
and bloody antics of a band of thieves traveling by train in this 1920s-set western satire. Writer/
Director Jiang Wen stars opposite screen legend Chow Yun-Fat.
Director: Lars von Trier, Denmark, 130 minutes
The man who brought us Fantastic Fest hit ANTICHRIST creates a very different type of genre film –
an incredibly personal science fiction story about the end of the world.
Director: Markus Schleinzer, 96 minutes
Setting the record for the darkest of character studies, Markus Schleinzer’s compelling and
surprisingly humorous directorial debut follows five months in the lives of a pedophile and the ten-
year-old boy he keeps in the basement.
PASTORELA: A CHRISTMAS PLAY (2011)
Director: Emilio Portes Castro, Mexico, 90 minutes
Fantastic Fest again hosts another untraditional Christmas movie; this time Santa Claus is out and
Satan is in. When Chucho (Joaquín Cosio) loses the beloved role of Satan in the town’s Christmas
play and tries to reclaim the part, all hell breaks loose and an epic battle between good and evil
Director Adrian Garcia Bogliano and Producer Andrea Quiroz live in person
Director: Adrian Garcia Bogliano and Ramiro Garcia Bogliano Argentina, 85 minutes
A beautiful young woman is trapped in her apartment with a nervous realtor and an expanding cast of
unsettling characters in the latest from the director of COLD SWEAT.
SLEEP TIGHT (2011)
Director Jaume Balagueró live in person
Director: Jaume Balagueró, Spain, 102 minutes
The location is familiar (a vertical shaft Barcelona apartment building) but the story is markedly
different in Jaume Balagueros (REC; REC 2) solo feature debut. Lonely doorman Cesar must do
whatever is necessary to keep the neighbors from uncovering his dark, disturbing obsession for his
favorite resident Clara.
SNOWMAN’S LAND (2011)
Director: Tomasz Thomson, Germany, 95 minutes
Tomasz Thomson’s SNOWMAN’S LAND is a bleak comedic thriller from Germany about an over-the-
hill hit man who gets sent to the remote snow-covered wilderness to handle a job that may be his last.
THE SQUAD (2011)
Director: Jaime Osorio, Columbia, 107 minutes
Haunted by memories of their last mission, a feuding special ops unit is tasked to uncover the mystery
of what happened at a desolate military base in this tense and claustrophobic South American thriller.
North American Premiere
Director: Grímur Hákonarson, Iceland, 85 minutes
Oscar and Lara have an entirely normal family other than the fact that Oscar runs a haunted house in
their basement and Lara speaks with elves.
YOU’RE NEXT (2011)
Director Adam Wingard live in person
Director: Adam Wingard, USA, 95 minutes
From the team behind the Fantastic Fest award-winning film A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE, YOU’RE
NEXT traps a family inside secluded mansion in the middle of nowhere. Outside the home is a group
of animal-masked killers who take a stab at making sure none of them leave alive.
We hope to see some of you in Austin next month!