SXSW 2018: Midnighters Reveal Hereditary, Field Guide to Evil, an Untitled Blumhouse Film + More!
Austin, Texas, is getting ready for the mass influx of tourism that comes with its annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. A gargantuan gala that celebrates film, technology, video games, music, art, and more, SXSW has become one of the premier events of the year. Just imagine Austin as a house and each area of the city is a different room. If you get bored in one part of the house, just walk to another room, and you’ll find a wild amount of activities to keep you entertained.
For horror/film fans, one of the highlights of SXSW’s film festival portion is the Midnighters showcase, which feature the more genre-centric titles. Today those titles have been revealed and include films such as Hereditary, which is being hailed as THE horror film of the year; Ajin: Demi-Human, a Japanese action/thriller based on Gamon Sakurai’s manga; Field Guide to Evil, an anthology horror film with stories based on folklore from around the world; and more.
SXSW Senior Film Programmer Jarod Neece, whom we interviewed last year, states, “It is the highlight of my year to get to dive into the yearly pool of genre film submission and see what wild and devilish ideas these filmmakers have brought to life. This year’s Midnighters, made both by veteran filmmakers and many first-timers, are sure to delight and terrify lucky SXSW audiences. And if they can survive the onslaught, they will be treated to the fantastical world of Wes Anderson’s latest stop-motion masterpiece, SXSW Closing Night Film Isle of Dogs.”
SXSW’s Midnighters are “scary, funny, sexy, controversial – ten provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.”
Here’s the list:
Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro, Screenwriter: Kouji Seko
Endless battle between human being and immortal demi-human “Ajin”. A stunning, strikingly original action masterpiece! Cast: Takeru Satoh, Go Ayano, Tetsuji Tamayama, Yu Shirota, Yudai Chiba, Rina Kawaei, Minami Hamabe (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Owen Egerton
In Blood Fest, fans flock to a festival celebrating the most iconic horror movies, only to discover that the charismatic showman behind the event has a diabolical agenda. Cast: Robbie Kay, Jacob Batalon, Seychelle Gabriel, Tate Donovan, Barbara Dunkelman, Nick Rutherford, Zachary Levi (World Premiere)
Untitled Blumhouse-Bazelevs Film
Director/Screenwriter: Stephen Susco
A 20-something finds a cache of hidden files on his new laptop and is thrust into the deep waters of the dark web. From the makers of Unfriended, this thriller unravels in real-time, entirely on a computer screen. A warning for the digital age. Cast: Colin Woodell, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Andrew Lees, Conor del Rio, Stephanie Nogueras, Savira Windyani (World Premiere)
Field Guide to Evil
(Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Poland, Turkey, U.S.)
Directors: Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, Peter Strickland, Agnieszka Smoczynska, Katrin Gebbe, Can Evrenol, Calvin Reeder, Ashim Ahluwalia, Yannis Veslemes
They are known as dark folklore. Created to give logic to mankind’s darkest fears, these stories and others laid the foundation for what we now call the horror genre. (World Premiere)
Directors/Screenwriters: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
An arch skeptic debunker of the supernatural embarks upon a terror filled quest when he stumbles across a long lost file containing details of three cases of inexplicable ‘hauntings’. Adapted from the Olivier Award Winning hit stage play. Cast: Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther, Jill Halfpenny, Andy Nyman, Paul Whitehouse (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Ari Aster
When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. Cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro
A Prayer Before Dawn
(United States, France)
Director: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, Screenwriters: Jonathan Hirschbein, Nick Saltrese
Based on the international best-seller, A Prayer Before Dawn is the true story of Billy Moore, a troubled young British boxer sent to one of Thailand’s most notorious jails. Cast: Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringar, Panya Yimmumphai, Nicolas Shake (North American Premiere)
Director: Jenn Wexler, Screenwriters: Jenn Wexler, Giaco Furino
Teen punks, on the run from the cops and hiding out in the woods, come up against the local authority—an unhinged park ranger with an axe to grind. Cast: Chloë Levine, Granit Lahu, Jeremy Pope, Bubba Weiler, Amanda Grace Benitez, Jeremy Holm, Larry Fessenden (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Leigh Whannell
In a utopian near-future when technology controls everything, a technophobe avenges his wife’s murder and his own paralysis-causing injury with the help of an experimental computer chip implant – STEM – that turns out to have a mind of its own. Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Benedict Hardie (World Premiere)
What Keeps You Alive
Director: Colin Minihan, Screenwriters: Colin Minihan, Brittany Allen
Majestic mountains, a still lake and venomous betrayals engulf a female married couple attempting to celebrate their one-year anniversary. Cast: Hannah Emily Anderson, Brittany Allen, Martha Macisaac, Joey Klein, Charlotte Lindsay Marron (World Premiere)
Badges for SXSW can be purchased here.