The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival rolls into NYC April 24 to May 5, and, as usual, there is a plethora of genre flicks woven into the ambitious 103-film lineup. Dread Central will have boots on the ground throughout the fest, but we wanted to pinpoint a few titles now so that you can grab your tix early. Everyone from Guillermo del Toro (participating in a Tribeca Talks session) to Abel Ferrara (unspooling his documentary The Projectionist) will be in the Big Apple, and you can also check out plenty of scary shorts and immersive VR experiences.
film highlights include…
EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE (Spotlight Narrative): Heartthrob Zac Efron goes for something completely different in this excellent biopic on notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, directed by master documentarian Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost films). The terrific ensemble includes Lily Collins, Kaya Scodelario, Jeffrey Donovan (from Berlinger’s Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2), Angela Sarafyan, Dylan Baker, Brian Geraghty, Terry Kinney, Sixth Sense’s Haley Joe Osment, James Hetfield Grace, Victoria Cox, Jim Parsons, and John Malkovich. New York Premiere.
BLISS (Midnight): Directed and written by Joe Begos (Almost Human, The Mind’s Eye), who continues his love affair with ’80s style horror and exploitation. In need of creative inspiration, a professionally stagnant and hard-partying Los Angeles artist recklessly indulges in a series of drug binges. As the narcotics fly out of control, so does her newfound and inexplicable, yet unquenchable, craving for blood. With Dora Madison, Tru Collins, Rhys Wakefield, The Battery’s Jeremy Gardner, Begos regular Graham Skipper and Cheers’ George Wendt (!). World Premiere.
CHARLIE SAYS (Spotlight Narrative): Director Mary Harron reunites with her American Psycho screenwriter Guinevere Turner to tell the Manson story through the fresh eyes of his most devoted female followers—jailbirds Leslie van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins. The new approach works here, as we learn how Manson managed to weave such a hypnotic effect over his murderous cohorts. In a bit of offbeat casting, former Doctor Who Matt Smith plays the hippie cult leader. With Suki Waterhouse, Hannah Murray, Nightmare Cinema’s Annabeth Gish, Merritt Wever, and The Covenant’s Chace Crawford. North American Premiere.
COME TO DADDY (Midnight): Directed by Ant Timpson, former New Zealand genre film festival organizer and movie producer (The ABCs of Death). After receiving a cryptic letter from his estranged father, Norval travels to his dad’s oceanfront home for what he hopes will be a positive experience. If only he’d known the dark truth about Pop’s beforehand… With Elijah Wood (Maniac), Stephen McHattie (also in the Rabid remake), Martin Donovan (Nadja), Michael Smiley, Madeleine Sami, and Simon Chin. World Premiere.
IN FABRIC (Tribeca Critics’ Week): Directed and written by Peter Strickland. The eccentric British auteur behind Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy offers a dreamlike saga of a haunted scarlet dress that passes through the lives of several characters. (How many remember the Tobe Hooper TV movie I’m Dangerous Tonight?) With Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires, Leo Bill, Julian Barratt, Steve Oram and Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie. New York Premiere.
KNIVES AND SKIN (Midnight): Writer/director Jennifer Reeder’s rural thriller follows the sudden disappearance of a teen girl. Soon, the mystery drives the town’s small population into a surreal nightmare of fear, suspicion, and guilt. With Kate Arrington, Marika Engelhardt, Audrey Francis, Kayla Carter, Ireon Roach, and Grace Smith. North American Premiere.
ONLY (Spotlight Narrative): It wouldn’t be a film fest without a postapocalyptic genre movie, and this one comes from writer/director Takashi Doscher (Still). After the onset of a mysterious plague that affects only females, Eva may be the sole woman left on Earth. Longing for freedom after months of secret quarantine, she and her partner Will venture out into the unknown. With Freida Pinto, Leslie Odom Jr., The Walking Dead’s Chandler Riggs, Jayson Warner Smith, and Tia Hendricks. World Premiere.
SOMETHING ELSE (Midnight): Directed by Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella. Gardner, who won us over with his zombie movie The Battery, comes up with another quirky genre outing. Dealing with a girlfriend suddenly leaving is tough enough, but for Hank (played by Gardner), heartbreak couldn’t have come at a worse time. There’s also a monster trying to break through his front door every night. Don’t you hate when that happens? With Brea Grant, Henry Zebrowski, Ashley Song, Nicola Masciotra and The Endless’ Justin Benson, who produced with long-time collaborator Aaron Moorhead. World Premiere.
Be sure to check out the Tribeca Film Festival website for more info on these movies and many more!