In just a few short days now, the Fantasia Film Festival—one of our favorite genre festivals here at Wolfbane Blooms—is kicking off in Montreal, Canada, promising us another glorious three weeks of deep horror indulgence.
As usual, this year’s lineup is packed with a bevy of fantastic films, from stalwart classics worth revisiting on the big screen to brand-new films just hitting the festival circuit. Here at Wolfbane, we promise to cover as many of those newbies as we can once the show commences. But in the meantime, take a look below at a few of the films we’re most excited about.
Being that it opens the entire festival this year, it’s just as well that Sadako also opens our list of must-see screenings. A direct sequel to Ringu (1998), this film marks original director Hideo Nakata’s return to the franchise.
Fittingly, Sadako is making its North American debut at the same festival that debuted Ringu to Western audiences 20 years ago—a screening that led to the film’s acquisition by Dreamworks, which many aficionados see as nascent moment for J-horror fandom. If you’re a fan of Nakata—and who isn’t?—we’d bet you’re in for a treat.
Thu, July 11 at 6:30 PM and Thu, July 18 at 12:30 PM | Tickets
Ready or Not
We’re certainly not the first in the horror community to single out Ready or Not as a big one we’re excited about, and I’d hazard to guess we won’t be the last. Packed with a promising cast featuring Samara Weaving (The Babysitter) and Adam Brody (Jennifer’s Body), the film is a horror comedy with a cat and mouse/hunter and hunted-style setup. From the looks of the trailer, it should be a fun bloodbath in the vein of You’re Next and Monster Party.
If you’ve been to see a horror movie recently, this trailer might look familiar to you. While it’s making its world premiere at Fantasia, a wider theatrical release is slated for mid-August.
Sat, July 27 at 9:45 PM | Tickets
Hey! They made another Critters movie! I’m pretty sure this is the fifth one, but please don’t @ me. Judging by the trailer, this looks to be another fun installment in exactly the style of the four (probably) others, so if you’re a fan of the franchise, this one’s for you. Also, Dee Wallace is back. Hell yeah!
Sat, July 13 at 4:45 PM | Tickets
Last month, I had the opportunity to see Darlin’ at the Cinepocalypse genre festival here in Chicago, and I really, really liked it. It seems to be getting a mixed reception on a whole, largely from people who’ve seen the other two films it follows—Offspring (2009) and The Woman (2011)—in the unconventional sort of “trilogy” it fits into.
I haven’t seen either of those films, so I went into the screening without expectations or preconceptions, and though I can’t say for certain, that’s perhaps exactly why I liked it so much. I can’t promise you’ll feel the same, whether you’ve seen the other two or not, but I can say that it’s worth a watch to find out.
Mon, July 15 at 9:15 PM | Tickets
Of course, one of the best things about an international genre festival is that it gives us a chance to see genre films from all over the world that haven’t yet secured proper North American distribution.
These international offerings are always some of our favorites, and in some special cases, represent the first of their kind from their country. That was the case last month at Cinepocalypse with Achoura—Morocco’s very first creature feature—and this month, we’re tapping their North African neighbor Tunisia for its first-ever horror film, Dachra.
Tue, July 30 at 9:15 PM | Tickets
From director Yoo Young-seon, The Wrath is a South Korean horror film set in medieval Korea and may well be the foreign film I’m looking forward to most at Fantasia this year. Its super engaging trailer betrays a film that’s going to be straight-up horror, and I can’t wait to see it.
Fri, July 12 at 11:55 PM | Tickets
The Wretched is another film making its world debut at Fantasia this year, from writer/director partners (and probably brothers?) Drew T. Pierce and Brett Pierce. I’ve never heard of these people, but this movie’s teaser looks incredible and its plot synopsis reads as follows:
A defiant teenage boy, struggling with his parents’ imminent divorce, faces off with a thousand-year-old witch, who is living beneath the skin of and posing as the woman next door.
Incredible. Sign me up.
Fri, July 19 at 9:30 PM | Tickets
The Fantasia International Film Festival runs from 7/11 – 8/1 in Montreal. Head over to their website for tickets and the full festival schedule.