The Overlook Film Festival Announces Their 2023 Line-up
The Overlook Film Festival announced today the full lineup for its upcoming 2023 edition, taking place March 30 – April 2 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The horror festival will welcome audiences back to America’s most haunted city with 51 films (27 features and 24 short films from 12 countries), along with extensive offerings including interactive events, live performances, immersive programming, parties, and more scary surprises.
The Overlook Film Festival will open with the world premiere of the highly anticipated modern vampire tale Renfield, starring Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road) as the titular tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula, played by Oscar® winner Nicolas Cage. A Universal Pictures film based on an original idea by The Walking Dead and Invincible creator Robert Kirkman, Renfield is directed by Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War, The LEGO Batman Movie) with a screenplay by Ryan Ridley (Ghosted, Rick & Morty), and will be followed by a live Q&A featuring Nicolas Cage and Chris McKay. Renfield arrives in theaters on April 14. The evening will continue with the Opening Night Vampire Ball.
Returning to the Prytania Theatre at Canal Place in Downtown New Orleans and expanding its programming at the Uptown location, the festival will also present a special 30th-anniversary screening of Joe Dante’s loving ode to the great B movies, Matinee, featuring a live Q&A with legendary actor John Goodman and master of horror Joe Dante. A celebration of the 10th anniversary of Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Alfred Hitchcock’s silent thriller The Lodger with a live score, and a special screening of William Castle’s horror classic The Tingler, featuring surprise live elements, are also amongst the 2023 lineup highlights.
Along with the Opening Night presentation Renfield, world premiere titles include Philip Barantini’s Accused, Alexis Jacknow’s Clock, Nick Kozakis’s Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism, Ariel Vida’s Trim Season, and Anthony Penta’s We Kill for Love.
The closing night of the Overlook Film Festival will feature a screening of New Line Cinema’s/Renaissance Pictures’ Evil Dead Rise, distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. Written and directed by Lee Cronin, the film stars Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols, and Nell Fisher. The latest installment of the classic series is produced by longtime franchise producer Rob Tapert and executive produced by series creator and horror icon Sam Raimi and cult legend (and “Ash” himself) Bruce Campbell, along with John Keville, Macdara Kelleher, Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Romel Adam and Victoria Palmieri. The screening will be followed by the Closing Night Halloween Party.
In addition to the films and special guests, the Overlook Film Festival will be generously packed with live presentations, music performances and immersive programming.
For its 2023 edition, Overlook will debut its first music sidebar, made possible by the generous support of Kickstarter, the premier crowdfunding platform for bringing creative projects to life, which is presenting two exciting concerts on the festival’s opening and closing nights. Audiences will be treated to a special live performance by SQÜRL — Carter Logan and Jim Jarmusch’s enthusiastically marginal NYC rock band whose distinctive sound beautifully encompasses a range of genres, including big drums, distorted guitars, loops, feedback, sad country songs, molten stoner core, chopped & screwed hip-hop and imaginary movie scores.
Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, which was scored by the band in collaboration with Dutch lutenist Jozef Van Wissem, will screen at the festival in celebration of the 10th anniversary of its world premiere. The sidebar will also feature famed American sludge metal band, Thou. Originally from Baton Rouge, LA, the band’s distinctive sound blends the shuddering heaviness of doom with the atmospherics of black metal, promising an unforgettable performance that Louisiana audiences won’t want to miss.
The Overlook’s signature live and special event programming will include How To Sell A Haunted House In A Challenging Market, a one-man show by New York Times bestselling author Grady Hendrix, exploring our collective obsession with ghosts and a live session of THE KINGCAST podcast featuring hosts Eric Vespe and guest co-host Bryan Fuller who will discuss the work the legendary Stephen King with attending filmmakers, presented by FANGORIA.
Through a partnership with the Academy of Magical Arts, the organization that resides in the world-famous Magic Castle®, the 2023 program will also formally introduce magic to the festival. Special events curated by the Academy will include The Last Magic Show, created and performed by the renowned Zabrecky and featuring highlights from his global act along with new material, which is part of the live performance programming. In the festival’s immersive program, guests will experience the world premiere of the one-on-one interactive theater experience The Oracle, from Tarologist and Soothsayer Jared Kopf. Attentive attendees may find additional magical secrets, if they know where to look.
The 2023 immersive offerings will also welcome back an audience favorite, The Overlook Immersive Game, but with a thrilling twist. While the games of years past have featured standalone storylines, this year’s multi-day interactive experience, titled Lingering Echoes and presented by guest designers The Ministry of Peculiarities, will wrap around the festival as a whole, connecting every piece of immersive programming as part of an overarching mystery. Free to all pass holders, “the game” will extend from Opening Night to the Closing Night party.
“We are thrilled to unveil our expanded 2023 programming, featuring an eclectic selection of films, captivating live performances, immersive experiences, and a brand-new music sidebar showcasing thrilling acts that will undoubtedly add to the fun,” said Overlook Festival Director Lisa Carbonari. “Horror is such an exciting and diverse way to tell stories. We are grateful for the continued support of our partners and proud to be a part of the growing appreciation of the horror genre, which we see as a testament to the ever-expanding vibrant spirit and vitality of this creative community.”
“Anything is possible when you’re talking about horror movies, and we celebrate that. From the terrifying to the hilarious, from original visions of classic frights to fresh new fears you didn’t even know you had, this year’s program embraces it all. The creativity of our filmmakers is boundless, and our filmgoers have so many exciting discoveries ahead of them,” added Overlook Artistic Director Doug Jones.
The Overlook Film Festival is programmed by Co-Founders Landon Zakheim & Michael Lerman; Artistic Director Doug Jones; Program Manager Keith Garcia; Short Film Programmer Katie Rife; and Immersive Curator Bryan Bishop.
Check out the list of feature film presentations below, and see the full lineup and buy tickets to the Overlook festival here.
Feature Film Presentations
Director: Baatar Batsukh
Cast: Erkhembayar Ganbat, Selenge Chadraabal, Yalalt Namsrai
When a couple rents a cabin deep in the woods, their odd behavior causes their nosy neighbor to grow suspicious, even as he’s dealing with issues of his own. With wonderfully inventive camerawork that recalls early Raimi or Coens, the first Mongolian film ever presented at Overlook is a wild ride.
Director: Philip Barantini
Cast: Chaneil Kukar, Lauryn Ajufo
United Kingdom, 2022
Alone at a remote country house, a young man (Chaneil Kukar, Sex Education) watches helplessly as a social media frenzy wrongly identifies him as a wanted terrorist. When online threats lead to an IRL home invasion, he must fight for his life in this tense thriller of virtual witch-hunts and false accusations.
The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster
Director: Bomani J. Story
Cast: Laya DeLeon Hayes, Denzel Whitaker, Chad Coleman, Reilly Brooke Stith, Keith Sean Holliday, Amani Summer Boyles, Edem Atsu-Swanzy
United States, 2023
For Vicaria, death is just another disease, and she believes she has the cure. After her brother is brutally murdered, she embarks on a dangerous journey to bring him back to life in this thrilling tale about a family that, despite the terrors of systemic pressure, will survive and be reborn again.
Director: Anna Zlokovic
Cast: Hadley Robinson, Emily Hampshire, Brandon Mychal Smith, Kausar Mohammed
United States, 2023
After years of suppressed anxiety and self-doubt, an ambitious fashion designer is horrified when all that bottled-up emotion begins to manifest itself as a growth on her back — one with a mind of its own. Body horror is only the beginning for this sharp look at inner voices and self-control gone out of control.
The Artifice Girl
Director: Franklin Ritch
Cast: Tatum Matthews, Lance Henriksen, Sinda Nichols, David Girard, Franklin Ritch
United States, 2022
In a covert effort to catch online predators, two special agents team up with a skittish computer programmer working on some revolutionary AI. What begins as an experimental technology turns into something entirely different and far more personal in this award-winning piece of hard science fiction featuring genre icon Lance Henriksen.
Director: Laura Moss
Cast: Marin Ireland, Judy Reyes, A.J. Lister, Breeda Wool
United States, 2023
Maternal instincts and scientific hubris collide in this chilling tale of two women — one a grieving mother, the other an obsessive pathologist — who are pushed beyond their limits in this powerful reimagining of the Frankenstein mythos.
Director: Ted Geoghegan
Cast: Anne Ramsay, Ron E. Rains, Jeremy Holm, Larry Fessenden, Ezra Bussington, Kristina Klebe
United States, 2023
Restless spirits are not the only things haunting a group of longtime friends, reunited in the wake of WWII. Ted Geoghegan returns to Overlook with this chamber piece of horrors where the only thing more terrifying than what lies on the other side may be the secrets we’ve buried in the past.
Director: Alexis Jacknow
Cast: Dianna Agron, Jay Ali, Melora Hardin
United States, 2023
On the eve of her 39th birthday, a woman desperately attempts to fix her broken biological clock, but at what cost? Featuring a powerhouse turn from Dianna Agron (Shiva Baby), this cautionary tale warns that when the pressure to conform mounts beyond reason, something’s going to break.
Directors: Raúl Cerezo, Fernando González Gómez
Cast: Zorion Eguileor, Gustavo Salmerón, Paula Gallego, Irene Anula
As a vicious heatwave grips Madrid, octogenarian Manuel (Zorion Eguileor, Platform) is behaving in increasingly disturbing ways. In fact, all the senior citizens are acting odd — aggressive, angry, and as if they know of awful things to come. As the temperature rises, so does the tension in this unsettling, slow burn of body horror and generational fear.
The Five Devils
Director: Léa Mysius
Cast: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Sally Dramé, Swala Emati, Moustapha Mbengue, Daphne Patakia
Struggling to decipher the adult world around her, an eight-year-old girl with an uncanny sense of smell discovers that her gift also allows her to travel back in time and observe her mother and her aunt’s mysterious past. At once intimate and inexplicable, this is a mesmerizing vision of powerful emotions and sensory overload.
Give Me an A
Directors: Hannah Alline, Avital Ash, Bonnie Discepolo, Loren Escandon, Valerie Finkel, Natasha Halevi, Caitlin Josephine Hargraves, Danin Jacquay, Sarah Kopkin, Francesca Maldonado, Kelly Nygaard, Megan Rosati, Mary C. Russell, Monica Suriyage, Megan Swertlow, Erica Mary Wright
Cast: Alyssa Milano, Virginia Madsen, Gina Torres, Milana Vayntrub, Jennifer Holland, Sean Gunn, Molly C. Quinn, Jason George, Jackie Tohn
United States, 2022
With passion, strength and righteous anger, 16 women filmmakers make their voices heard with this anthology of genre-themed short films, all made in direct response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. A mix of horror, sci-fi and dark comedy, these shorts are a rallying cry for personal rights and bodily autonomy.
Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism
Director: Nick Kozakis
Cast: Georgia Eyers, Dan Ewing, Tim Pocock, Eliza Matengu, John Wood, Rosie Traynor
Convinced that his wife is possessed by dark forces, a desperate husband puts his faith in the power of a pitiless self-proclaimed exorcist, who is convinced that salvation can only be found through his hands. Based on a true story, this is a disturbing tale of misplaced faith and destructive zealotry.
Late Night with the Devil
Directors: Colin Cairnes, Cameron Cairnes
Cast: David Dastmalchian, Laura Gordon, Fayssal Bazzi, Ian Bliss, Ingrid Torelli, Rhys Auteri, Josh Quong Tart, Georgina Haig
Desperate for ratings, a 70s-era late-night talk show host invites a skeptic, a doctor and a young girl supposedly possessed by the devil for a very special Halloween episode. By the end of the show, his horrified audience would learn one awful truth: Evil doesn’t take commercial breaks.
Director: David Farrier
Featuring: David Farrier
New Zealand, 2022
Is Michael Organ the most mysterious man in New Zealand, or is he just the most annoying? An investigation into a parking lot scam leads down a deep and dark rabbit hole of half-truths, veiled threats and toxic personalities in this riveting documentary from journalist and filmmaker David Farrier (Tickled).
Director: Matt Vesely
Cast: Lily Sullivan
An anonymous email prompts a disgraced podcaster to launch a worldwide investigation into mysterious black bricks that have touched and sometimes destroyed people’s lives, and she’s doing it all without leaving the house in this ingenious thriller filmed with one actress and one location, but packed with plenty of surprises.
Director: Jacqueline Castel
Cast: Bobbi Salvör Menuez, Amandla Stenberg, Stephen McHattie, Heidi Von Palleske, Cory Lipman, Charlie Halpenny, Harrison Halpenny, Joe Apollonio, Dean McDermott, Scott Thompson
A coming-of-age tale equally concerned with the coming of the next full moon, this visually stunning queer romance follows two teen girls struggling to come to terms with their desires, their fears and, for one of them, a family curse of bloodlust and lycanthropy.
Smoking Causes Coughing
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Cast: Gilles Lellouche, Anaïs Demoustier, Vincent Lacoste, Jean-Pascal Zadi, Oulaya Amamra
Iconoclast Quentin Dupieux (Deerskin, Mandibles) returns with a film that’s funny, gooey and guaranteed to surprise. When superhero team Tobacco Force is ordered by their talking rat of a boss to take a vacation before facing the world’s greatest supervillain, they pass the time by telling fantastical stories of mayhem and mutilation.
Director: Ariel Vida
Cast: Alex Essoe, Ally Ioannides, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Jane Badler, Marc Senter, Paris Warner, Ryan Donowho, Chelsea Jurkiewicz, Lorenzo Antonucci, Cory Hart, Austin R. Grant, Bethlehem Million, Arianna Scott, Corynn Treadwell
United States, 2023
Completely cut off from the outside world, a small crew of trimmers working on a remote marijuana farm discover the stalks there have disturbingly deep roots in ancient blood-soaked traditions. Now they must fight to escape the final harvest in this stylized and twisted tale of the Emerald Triangle.
We Kill for Love
Director: Anthony Penta
Featuring: Andrew Stevens, Monique Parent, Amy Lindsay, Linda Ruth Williams, Kira Reed Lorsch, Jim Wynorski, Fred Olen Ray
United States, 2023
Take a deep dive into the sultry, shadowy world of direct-to-video erotic thrillers — films of mysterious strangers, sexual obsessions, and crimes of passion that once dominated video store shelves and late-night cable. This in-depth documentary celebrates the genre with insight, filmmaker interviews, and an amazing array of clips that will leave you lusting for more.
The Wrath of Becky
Directors: Matt Angel, Suzanna Coote
Cast: Lulu Wilson, Seann William Scott, Denise Burse, Jill Larson, Courtney Gains, Michael Sirow, Aaron Dalla Villa, Matt Angel, Kate Siegel
United States, 2023
When members of an extremist group known as the “Noble Men” attack her and her friend, teenaged Becky seeks sweet, sweet vengeance, invading their lakeside headquarters as they prepare to launch a terrorist attack. This sequel to 2020’s Becky requires no prior knowledge of the earlier film, just an appetite for some fast, fun, and blood-soaked action.
Retrospective Film Presentations
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog
Original live score by Think Less, Hear More
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cast: June Tripp, Ivor Novello, Marie Ault, Arthur Chesney, Malcolm Keen
United Kingdom, 1927
The streets of London are being stalked by a Jack the Ripper-like killer, and a young blonde showgirl is torn between her policeman sweetheart and a mysterious stranger. Alfred Hitchcock’s first thriller and his finest silent film, The Lodger will feature an all-new live score from NOLA faves Think Less, Hear More.
30th Anniversary Screening
Joe Dante and John Goodman in person
Director: Joe Dante
Cast: John Goodman, Cathy Moriarty, Simon Fenton, Omri Katz, Lisa Jakub, Kellie Martin, Jesse Le Soffer, Dick Miller, John Sayles
United States, 1993
In 1962, a Hollywood showman preps the Key West premiere of his latest B-movie masterpiece, Mant!, but for local teens, the atomic terror onscreen is no match to the Cuban Missile Crisis happening just offshore. John Goodman stars in Joe Dante’s affectionate tribute to a bygone era of moviegoing.
Only Lovers Left Alive
10th Anniversary Screening
Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan in person
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright
United States/Germany/United Kingdom, 2013
In Jim Jarmusch’s sly take on vampires, Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston play centuries-old vampire lovers, more passionate about music and literature than bloodletting. Reunited in Detroit after decades apart, they explore the city and each other by night, until an unexpected guest causes everything to change.
Presented in Percepto
Director: William Castle
Cast: Vincent Price, Philip Coolidge, Judith Evelyn, Darryl Hickman
United States, 1959
When asked which William Castle film he’d like to see at Overlook, Joe Dante replied, much to our delight, “The Tingler.” Vincent Price stars in this shocker about a doctor obsessed with capturing a deadly parasitic creature he believes lives in the spine of terrified people. To ensure your survival of this special Overlook screening, presented in full “Percepto,” we suggest you scream. Scream for your lives!