The 2012 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival runs March 9–17 in Austin, Texas, and now the full film program lineup has been announced. From a first glance at the list, it’s pretty light on horror, but there are a few standouts.
In addition to the world premiere of Lionsgate’s The Cabin in the Woods as the Opening Night Film, which we already knew, here are the horror (and a few horror-ish or just very interesting sounding) highlights:
Killer Joe – US Premiere
Director: William Friedkin | Screenwriter: Tracy Letts
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church
A garish, Southwestern tale – a violent black comedy about a desperate Texas debtor (Hirsch) who plots to kill his mother with help of his family (Haden Church, Gershon). They hire a crazy Dallas cop who moonlights as a contract killer (McConaughey) to do the job, but Killer Joe asks for their teenage daughter (Temple) as a retainer. The film is based on Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts’ (August: Osage County) award-winning play.
Keyhole (Canada) – US Premiere
Director: Guy Maddin | Screenwriters: Guy Maddin & George Toles
Cast: Isabella Rossellini, Jason Patric, Udo Kier, Kevin McDonald, Tattiawna Jones
I’m only a ghost… but a ghost isn’t nothing. After a long absence, gangster and father Ulysses Pick (Patric) arrives home to a house haunted with memories, towing the body of a teenaged girl and a bound and gagged young man. His gang waits inside his house, having shot their way past police. There is friction in the ranks. Ulysses, however, is focused on one thing: journeying through the house, room by room, and reaching his wife, Hyacinth (Rossellini), in her bedroom upstairs. The equilibrium of the house has been disturbed, and his odyssey eventually becomes an emotional tour as the strange nooks and crannies of the house reveal more about the mysterious Pick family.
Extracted – World Premiere
Director & Screenwriter: Nir Paniry
Cast: Sasha Roiz, Dominic Bogart, Jenny Mollen, Nick Jameson, Brad Culver
Thomas Jacobs invents a way to watch people’s memories from the inside. Going against his morals, he accepts an offer to enter a heroin addict’s memories to literally see if he committed a crime. However, a malfunction causes his consciousness to become trapped inside the criminal’s mind. He remains a prisoner in the addict’s memories for more than four years until he discovers the possibility of escape.
Sun Don’t Shine – World Premiere
Director & Screenwriter: Amy Seimetz
Cast: Kate Lyn Sheil, Kentucker Audley, AJ Bowen, Kit Gwinn, Mark Reeb
Two lovers, on the back roads of Florida, do very bad things. The film follows Crystal (Sheil) and her boyfriend, Leo (Audley), on a tense and mysterious road trip through the desolate yet hauntingly beautiful landscape of central Florida. As the couple travel up the Gulf Coast, the disturbing details of their excursion gradually begin to emerge, revealing Crystal’s sinister past and the couple’s troubling future.
Thale (Norway) – North American Premiere
Director & Screenwriter: Aleksander L. Nordaas
Cast: Silje Reinåmo, Jon Sigve Skard, Erlend Nervold, Morten Andresen
The film revolves around a huldra, a mythical, tailed female creature, found by two crime scene cleaners in a concealed cellar. Someone’s been keeping her down here for decades, for reasons soon to surface. Someone is approaching from outside. They want her back.
Director & Screenwriter: Christoffer Boe
Cast: Nicolas Bro, Marijana Jankovic, Nikolaj Lie Kaas
How long will you go to hold on to the person you love? Bruno loves his wife, Maxine, but his love and body are slowly undergoing a transformation. Something is beginning to stir inside him, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. Because when you first delve into the dark side of love to find power, aggression and hatred, there is no turning back.
Lovely Molly – US Premiere
Director: Eduardo Sanchez | Screenwriters: Eduardo Sanchez, Jamie Nash
Cast: Gretchen Lodge, Johnny Lewis, Alexandra Holden
A gripping horror thriller that begins as newlywed Molly Reynolds moves back into her long-abandoned childhood home. Soon she experiences unnerving and impossible things. What starts as a simple story about things going bump in the night escalates into a battle for dominion over Molly’s spirit as she is beset by a cunning, malevolent force bent on wreaking havoc and terror on Molly and her family. Richly exploring the parallels between psychosis, addiction and demonic possession to chilling effect, Lovely Molly shows us what really happens before the exorcist arrives.
The Raid (Indonesia) – US Premiere
Director & Screenwriter: Gareth Huw Evans
Cast: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Doni Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno
Rama, a member of a special forces team, arrives at a rundown apartment block with a mission to remove its owner, a notorious drug lord. The building has become a sanctuary to killers, gangs, rapists and thieves seeking accommodation in the one place they know they cannot be touched by the police. When a spotter blows their cover, Rama and his team must fight their way through every floor and every room not just to complete their mission but to survive their bloody ordeal.
Director: Richard Linklater | Screenwriters: Richard Linklater, Skip Hollandsworth
Cast: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey, Brady Coleman, Richard Robichaux
Based on real-life events. In the small town of Carthage, TX, assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede was one of the most beloved and appreciated residents so it came as no surprise when he befriended the town’s richest and meanest widow, Marjorie Nugent. Soon Marjorie became fully dependent on Bernie and his generosity as he struggled to meet her increasing demands. When the townspeople went months without seeing Marjorie, the people of Carthage were shocked when it was reported that she had been dead for some time and Bernie Tiede was being charged with the murder.
There are a lot more really intriguing sounding narrative films and documentaries playing at SXSW this year. Visit the official South by Southwest website for all the details, and register for a Film, Gold or Platinum Badge by clicking here.
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