Fantasia 2018: Becky’s Ten Most Anticipated Genre Films

Narrowing a list of movies from Fantasia International Film Festival’s 2018 lineup is a challenge. In addition to horror from around the globe, Fantasia celebrates all the action, science-fiction, and supernatural your brain can imagine. My first love is horror, but action, particularly action from Southeast Asia, is always vying for my heart’s top spot. Fantasia is my version of silver screen comfort food doused in crazy sauce. Here are the genre movies I am most looking forward to, in no particular order.


I mean, have you seen the trailer? How could this whacked-out, colorful orgy of Nic Cage goodness not be on my list? Following Panos Cosmatos’ acid-trip-of-a-movie, Beyond the Black Rainbow, Mandy promises to be an angry yet poetic bloodbath unlike anything we’ve seen. Phantasmagoria shall meet my eyeballs.

Satan’s Slaves

Since the film shattered box-office records upon its release in Indonesia, Satan’s Slaves has collected praise as one of the scariest films of the year. Building from Indonesian folklore and Islamic traditions, this atmospheric possession movie has been compared to The Conjuring and The House of the Devil. I eagerly await the nightmares.

Buffalo Boys

If you’ve seen The Raid or Merantau, then you know Indonesia doesn’t mess around when it comes to non-stop action. Featuring the country’s finest genre talent, Buffalo Boys is an Indo twist on the American Western. Gunplay, sledgehammers, goloks (a traditional machete), hatchets, and freaky executioners make this orchestra of madness a must-see for me.


After reading and re-reading the synopsis, I still can’t really tell you what Hurt is about. However, I’m intrigued by its description as an atmospheric slasher that deconstructs the fears embedded in American culture. I’m happy to go into this one relatively blind, because I’ll take all the brutal slasher violence I can get.  *Flashes smile that is as unsettling as it is joyful.*

Under the Silver Lake

From It Follows director David Robert Mitchell, Under the Silver Lake is an offbeat noir comedy with a hodgepodge of genre elements. It’s a stylized murder mystery by way of conspiracy theory. I get a Brick meets Mulholland Drive vibe from the trailer, which isn’t what I was expecting from Mitchell, but I’m damn curious to see his career unfold.

Anna and the Apocalypse

The only thing you really need to know is: zombie musical. Yup. That’s it.


A survival horror film about a pledge gone wrong. Boasting black humor and a crescendo of fraternal brutality, Pledge is 100% my style. I’m all about seemingly ordinary scenarios escalating to violence, testing the limits of what people are capable of to survive, à la Cheap Thrills or Green Room.

The Outlaws

Remember the badass from Train to Busan? Well, he goes by the name of Don Lee to us Westerners and he kicks a lot of ass in The Outlaws. Following Korean-action tradition, the trailer shows off group melee fights in claustrophobically tight spaces and a whole lot of people getting punched in the face. I’m so in.   

Tigers Are Not Afraid

Stephen King and Guillermo Del Toro have lauded this heartbreaking supernatural film from Mexico. Violent, fantastical, and sure to make me cry, Tigers Are Not Afraid is a dark fairytale about kids caught in the horrors of drug trafficking, embracing the unknown to counter their terrifying reality.

The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion

From the writer of I Saw the Devil, Park Hoon-jung unleashes a dark superhero tale out of South Korea. Centered around a telekinetic girl being hunted by a squad of assassins, I’m stoked to witness a Firestarter-like story with Hoon-jung’s cinematic viciousness.  

Bonus non-genre pick that doesn’t involve murder, magic, or mayhem:


I immediately became a fan of director Joseph Kahn after his hilarious, genre-bending mindfuck known as Detention was released. Bodied confronts cultural appropriation, political correctness, and white privilege with a satirical edge. How close will it ride the line between blatantly offensive and poignantly hysterical? I’ll gladly let you know.



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