The 2019 Fantasia Film Festival descends on Montreal July 11 – August 1, 2019 to celebrate some the world’s most incredible genre films. Recent year’s selections have included Steve Mitchell’s documentary King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen, Ryan Prows’ Lowlife, and Nightmare Cinema which brought together Horror Masters new and old including Mick Garris, David Slade, and Joe Dante. And this year’s program is bursting that the seams with horror, sci-fi, and fantasy selections for genre fans looking for this year’s dose of nightmare fuel.
Fantasia 2019 celebrates the World Premieres of The Phantom of Winnepeg, Critters Attack!, the North Amerian premieres of Vivarium, Sadako, and the Canadian premieres of The Lodge and Ready or Not as well as a whole host of previous festival favourites including Joe Begos’ Bliss, Ant Timpson’s Come To Daddy, and Chelsea Stardust’s Satanic Panic. Also included in this year’s program is Joe Bob Briggs’ How Rednecks Saved Hollywood and a new 4k restoration of Brain de Palma’s Phantom of The Paradise with producer Edward R. Pressman in attendance, who will be receiving a lifetime achievement award for 40+ years of incredible, genre-defining work in the industry.
All that said, with so many incredible films set to blow the minds of the Montreal audience, it was very hard to pick just a handful of movies to highlight. Below are 5 films you absolutely do not want to miss at the 2019 Fantasia Film Festival.
Director: Jovanka Vuckovic
North American Premiere
“Scratch (Bates Motel’s Paloma Kwiatkowski) and her girlfriend Nat (JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE’s Madison Iseman) fend for themselves with a band of friends and family in an alternative, mid-’90s, post-apocalyptic world in which the adult population has been decimated by a deadly plague. The hotly-anticipated debut feature from genre iconoclast Jovanka Vuckovic (XX, THE CAPTURED BIRD, Rue Morgue Magazine), co-starring Munro Chambers (Degrassi, TURBO KID) and scripted by Catherine Collins (Netflix’s Lost in Space), RIOT GIRLS (North American Premiere) is a triumphant love letter to teenage misfits everywhere.”
Director: Jordan Graham
“Adam (Gabe Nicholson) lives a lonely existence in a cabin in a desolate forest, checking “Deer Cam” feeds on his computer and occasionally receiving visits from his brother Pete (Michael Daniel). Another family member looms large in his life: his grandmother “Nani” (June Petersom), who has long been a receptor for a spirit she calls Sator. This presence has been getting into her head and “training me, teaching me to be a person,” Nani says, and Adam slowly discovers that it has a more malevolent purpose as well. No longer confined to Nani’s psyche, Sator begins manifesting in other ways, threatening the lives of Adam and his troubled family.”
Ready or Not
Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
“Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin (V/H/S) and Tyler Gillett (DEVIL’S DUE), READY OR NOT follows a young bride (Samara Weaving of MAYHEM) as she joins her new husband’s (Mark O’Brien) rich, eccentric family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell) in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival. In this Special Screening from Fox Searchlight Pictures, the games that people play are the games where people slay!”
Director: Zack Gayne
“Michelle (Alex Essoe) meets Linda (Precious Chong) at a yoga class. Linda’s wide-eyed enthusiasm is clearly off-putting, but Michelle’s aversion to conflict makes it difficult for her to brush off the increasingly pushy woman. Things escalate once Linda asks Michelle to redecorate her home and refuses to let her leave. Written by director Zack Gayne and the film’s two stars, Chong and Essoe (who wowed audiences with her breakthrough performance in 2014’s STARRY EYES), HOMEWRECKER (World Premiere) embraces an unusual tone informed by late 1980s pop sensibilities. With the energy of a Jane Fonda workout tape, the movie escalates into the uncanny, especially as it deals with gendered expectations surrounding femininity and romance.”
Directors: Brett Pierce, Drew Pierce
“Inspired growing up amid the production of the original THE EVIL DEAD, filmmaking brothers Brett and Drew Pierce (DEADHEADS) have taken things to the proverbial next level with the grisly occult thrill ride THE WRETCHED (World Premiere), the story of a teenager who realizes that he’s living next door to an ageless, undying horror that threatens all he holds dear. The film is a dead serious new spin on witchcraft cinema, with a fresh set of rules, likeable and developed teen characters, a ton of surprising scares, and a cauldron of imaginatively gruesome special makeup effects. THE WRETCHED stars John-Paul Howard (Hell or High Water), Piper Curda (I DIDN’T DO IT), Azie Tesfai (Supergirl), Kevin Bigley (Netflix’s Upload), Jamison Jones (HBO’s True Detective), and Zarah Mahler (NIGHTMARE CINEMA).”
The full lineup of all Fantasia 2019 films, events, and more can be found at the festival’s official website. The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal July 11 – August 1 2019, once again returning to the mammoth Concordia Hall Cinema as its main base, with additional screens at the Cinémathèque Québécoise, Cinéma du Musée, and the McCord Museum.
Will you be attending this year’s festival? What movies are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know on Twitter, in the official Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!