September 13, 2019
Fantastic Fest 2019

15 Insane Fantastic Fest Films You Should See This Year

Celebrating its 15th year, Fantastic Fest promises another fresh crop of bloody and insane genre premieres.

Hosted annually in Austin, Texas, Alamo Drafthouse's famous genre-film festival Fantastic Fest is set to celebrate its 15 year anniversary with a bang. For a festival that has seen world premieres of the likes of John Wick, Split, Machete Kills, Bone Tomahawk and Zombieland, there should be plenty of blood, carnage, zombies and suspense in this latest batch of films.

“Our fifteenth year is a one-of-a-kind of celebration of the cinema we champion: brilliant and out-there. It’s an ode to the independent spirit of cinema that allows us to showcase the diversity of the world at large and helps us to understand it better!” - Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy 

Along with asking all attendees to submit awkward photos of themselves at the age of 15 in lieu of traditional identification for their badges, the festival has some big World, North American and US premieres from some big names like Taika Waititi and Rian Johnson in attendance.

Let’s look at 15 of the most promisingly insane features to be screened in this year’s Fantastic Fest lineup.

Jojo Rabbit

jojo rabbit
USA, 2019

US Premiere, 108 min

Director - Taika Waititi

In Attendance - Director Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi is back with a timely and hilarious satire about a bright-eyed German boy who wants nothing more than to join his nation’s army during WWII, until he finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.

Knives Out

USA, 2019

Special Presentation, 130 min

Director - Rian Johnson

In attendance - Director Rian Johnson

From acclaimed writer, director Rian Johnson comes KNIVES OUT, a fresh and modern take on the classic “whodunnit” mystery genre.

Come to Daddy

New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, 2019

Texas Premiere, 94 min

Director - Ant Timpson

When 30-year-old Norval (Elijah Wood) receives a letter from his estranged dad begging him to visit, he is set on a weird path of discovery, unusual encounters… and a lot of violence.

The Wave

United States, 2019

World Premiere, 87 min

Director - Gille Klabin

Frank (Justin Long), a bored corporate lawyer, decides to shake it up with a wild night out. In the process, he takes a mysterious drug that launches him into a mind-bending time travel adventure.

Wrinkles the Clown

USA, 2019

World Premiere, 78 min

Director - Michael Beach Nichols

In Attendance - Director Michael Beach Nichols

Pennywise isn’t real. But Wrinkles is. This documentary explores the story of the infamous freaky clown from Naples, Florida who makes a living being hired by parents to terrorize their naughty children.

The McPherson Tape

Presented by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!

USA, 1989

World Premiere of Restoration, 63 min

Director - Dean Alioto

The world’s first found-footage horror movie, newly preserved by AGFA + Bleeding Skull!

We Summon the Darkness

USA, 2019

World Premiere, 90 min

Director - Marc Meyers

When Val, Beverly, and Alexis meet a group of fun-loving dudes in the parking lot of a heavy metal concert, they all decide to have an after-party, but it isn’t long before the group finds themselves fighting for their lives.

Blood Machines

France, USA, 2019

North American Premiere, 50 min

Director - Seth Ickerman

The wild sequel to the Carpenter Brut music video, “Turbo Killer,” shoots you into a turbulent psychedelic adventure of galactic hunters tracking down the soul of a spaceship set to a killer synthwave soundtrack.

Sea Fever

Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, 2019

US Premiere, 91 min

Director - Neasa Hardiman

The crew aboard a West of Ireland fishing trawler marooned at sea fall victim to a gradually spreading parasite in their water supply.

The Platform

Spain, 2019

US Premiere, 90 min

Director - Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

In attendance - Director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Somewhere in the future exists THE PLATFORM, a vertically tiered prison where the upper levels have access to exquisite food and the lower levels fight for survival. Level assignments are random, but how long can a prisoner’s luck hold? One man is about to find out.

VFW

USA, 2019

World Premiere, 92 min

Director - Joe Begos

In attendance - Director Joe Begos

In the near future, a new drug called Hype has turned America into a war zone. The addicted are more mutant than human, and they’ve set their sights on assaulting a VFW post in Joe Begos’ star-studded latest.

Jallikattu

India, 2019

US Premiere, 91 min

Director - Lijo Jose Pellissery

The line between man and beast dissolves when a buffalo escapes slaughter in a sleepy South Indian village, leaving a trail of chaos and explosive machismo in its wake. It's a landlocked JAWS, a bestial 2001, and a contemporary MAD MAX: FURY ROAD all rolled into one.

The Cleansing Hour

USA, 2019

World Premiere, 95 min

Director - Damien LeVeck

Reverend Max and his best friend Drew have a hit web show where they make a pretty good living faking exorcisms for hundreds of thousands of fans until the evening a real demon takes over and terrorizes their crew.

I Lost My Body

France, 2019

US Premiere, 82 min

Director - Jérémy Clapin

A severed hand escapes from a laboratory and sets off on a series of adventures across Paris, determined to find its owner.

Vivarium

Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, 2019

US Premiere, 98 min

Director - Lorcan Finnegan

When young couple -- Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) -- drive out to a maze of temptingly-affordable houses in the suburbs, they find themselves unable to leave.

For more information about the festival, you can check out the Fantastic Fest website here.     

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