Every March, film lovers and tech gurus descend upon Austin, Texas for South By South West, a two-week-long festival full of cinema, music, interactive exhibits, and more. Of particular interest to Nightmare on Film Street is its Midnighters slate, featuring horror films from around the world. Horror hits such as Evil Dead (2013), The Cabin in the Woods (2011), and Sinister (2012) have had their world premiere at SXSW, making it a great place to find new horror titles and perhaps the new horror classic. But that’s not all SXSW has in store for horror fans: the festival will open with the premiere of Jordan Peele’s Us and close with Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer’s adaptation of Pet Sematary.
Here’s a rundown of the 10 Films on SXSW’s Midnighters Program:
7 Reasons to Run Away (From Society), directed by Esteve Soler, Gerard Quinto, David Torras, is a Spanish horror-comedy anthology film that follows seven people, from a family to a real-estate agent. Each story gets progressively stranger and reflects the ways we try to cope with our society today.
Not much sounds worse than having to stay overnight with a dead body you found in the woods. This is the premise of Roxanne Benjamin’s latest film, Body at Brighton Rock. A young park rangers tries to take over duties for a difficult trail to prove to her friends that she can do it. In the process, she gets lost, loses her radio, and stumbles across a crime scene. She must stand guard over the body through the night, confronting her deepest fears.
Ninian Doff’s Boyz in the Wood, besides its great title, is a film with what may be the best horror film description. On SXSW’s website, the film is described as “an anarchic cocktail of generational politics, hip-hop loving farmers, and hallucinogenic rabbit shites.” It also involves four city boys whose camping trip in the Scottish Highlands takes a turn for the worst when they’re chased by a masked couple.
Holidays (2016) director Adam Egypt Mortimer is back with a new film, Daniel Isn’t Real. Sometimes we use imaginary friends to cope with trauma, and Luke is not different. He uses his childhood imaginary friend, Daniel, to deal with his violent family. However, Daniel seems to have different plans.
Were you scarred by Lucky McKee’s 2011 film, The Woman? Get excited, because now there’s a sequel, written and directed by Pollyanna McIntonish who played the titular woman. McIntonish’s film, Darlin’, follows the feral teenage girl from The Woman as she’s taken in by a priest and put under strict Catholic care. Nothing could go wrong with that, right?
Girl On The Third Floor, whose bloody teaser trailer debuted today, promises a gory haunted house film where the house takes on a life of its own. Travis Stevens’ film will give you a new perspective on the show, This Old House.
No horror slate is complete with a strange-occurrence-investigated-by-troubled-cop movie. In Adam Randall’s I See You takes place in a perfect town where a little boy has disappeared. As the town’s detective begins to investigate, things take a turn for the supernatural.
Stephen Cedars and Benji Kleiman’s take on the popular sex-is-dangerous trope in their alien pregnancy film, Snatchers. Popular girl Sara decides to lose her virginity, but something’s wrong with her partner. She wakes up the next day nine months pregnant, ready to burst. She must turn to her ex-best friend to help her fix this problem and keep it a secret.
When old friends get together, it’s supposed to be a nostalgic time full of booze, stories, and laughter. But in Abigail Blackmore’s Tales from the Lodge, an old friends’ vacation turns into a horror story as the sun sets.
Life as a millennial is hard, we know this and so does Olive from Richard Bates, Jr.’s Tone-Deaf. To escape her dysfunctional reality, she rents a house from an old man who is trying to hide his murderous impulses. Generations collide and Olive must fight to survive. This is my AirBnb nightmare.
Learn more about all 10 Midnighters films on SXSW’s website.
SXSW starts on March 8 and runs until March 17. Which of these films are you most excited for? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group!