Once again, the Overlook Film Festival is stocked with a veritable treasure trove of movies to be screened. The Scariest Things will be in the Big Easy to preview for you all the great indie horror to come out of Overlook.
Last year, one of the groundbreaking moments for the Scariest Things was to go to the Overlook Film Festival in New Orleans. I got a chance to see Hereditary, Upgrade, Downrange, St. Agatha, Beast, Blood Fest, and oddly the most influential film for our website, The Farm. What I realized, after I got back from the festival, was that I didn’t have a concise strategy on how to handle the viewings. As a result, I ended up missing some absolutely fantastic films. Tigers are Not Afraid, Ghost Stories, Vampire Clay, Satan’s Slaves, Blue My Mind, The Ranger, Puppet Master the Littlest Reich, and What Keeps You Alive were all playing there, and I didn’t get a chance to see them. I have since seen all of those movies, and they are top-shelf must-see horror viewings, with many of them ending up on my Top 10 list for 2018.
So, this year, I’m bringing in the cavalry. Mike and Liz will be joining me in this effort, and we’ll get to cover more stuff for you this year. Festivals are the absolute lifeblood of independent horror movies. This is where directors and producers go to make deals and find distributors for their films. Overlook has the heavy sponsorship of companies like IFC Midnight, Shudder, Fangoria, A24, SpectreVision, and Blumhouse, So, less merch and no autograph booths, but a decent chance to rub shoulders with directors and producers. This is also the place for those filmmakers who are already aligned with distributors to get some good early horror press buzz for their projects. Not many of the big press agencies will be there, but the genre press will be there in force.
That’s where we come in! This year’s slate is similarly packed with very interesting projects. First and foremost is the star-packed zombie picture The Dead Don’t Die, by Jim Jarmusch. The Opening Night presentation features Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigne, Danny Glover, Iggy Pop, RZA, and Tom Waits. There’s a saying in sports that there are “player’s coaches” and clearly Jim Jarmusch is an “actor’s director.”
Robert Rodriguez will be in town to show his ultra-low budget film Red 11, getting back in touch with his El Mariachi roots, and will be hosting a workshop for aspiring filmmakers that shows the tricks he used to make a micro-budget movie.
Elijah Wood will be on hand to talk about his movie Come to Daddy, and also about his production company SpectreVision, producers of the acclaimed Mandy, and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. He will be joined by his SpectreVision partner Daniel Noah for the discussion, and they will be also unveiling their Shudder Podcast Visitations.
Best selling horror-comedy writer Grady Hendrix is back to Overlook, and will be hosting a number of panels to talk about his recently released book We Sold Our Souls, and his upcoming book Paperbacks from Hell II. Needless to say, Liz is pretty pumped about attending these events, and we are hoping to get Grady on a Podcast episode.
Of course, there will be a big roster of short films, and Eric will be there for sure. The ones that intrigue me the most are It’s Not Custard, The Obliteration of the Chickens, and Nose Nose Nose, Eyes! And, yes, I’m a sucker for short films with funny names.
Here’s the full roster of the 26 Feature Films that are showing:
- The Dead Don’t Die, Dir. Jim Jarmusch
- Come to Daddy, Dir. Ant Timpson
- The Lodge, Dir. Severin Fiala
- Bliss, Dir. Joe Begos
- Dachra, Dir. Abdelhamid Bouchnak
- Daniel Isn’t Real, Dir. Adam Egypt Mortimer
- Depraved, Dir. Larry Fessenden
- Extra Ordinary, Dr. Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman
- The Faculty, Dir. Robert Rodriguez
- Girl on the Third Floor, Dir. Travis Stevens
- Greener Grass, Dir. Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe
- Gwen, Dir. William McGrego
- Head Count, Dir. Elle Callahan
- Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, Dir. Xavier Burgin
- In Fabric, Dir. Peter Strickland
- Ma, Dir. Tate Taylor
- Nightmare Cinema, Dir. Alejandro Brugués, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade, Joe Dante, Mick Garris
- One Cut of the Dead, Dir. Shinichiro Ueda
- Pardise Hills, Dir. Alice Waddington
- Porno, Dir. Keola Racela
- Red 11, Dir. Robert Rodriguez
- Satanic Panic, Dir. Chelsea Stardust
- Swamp Thing, Dir. Len Wiseman
- The Vast of Night, Dir. Andrew Patterson
- Z, Dir. Brandon Christensen
And, if that weren’t enough, there is a massively immersive game experience, virtual reality experiences, live immersive stage performances, red carpet walks, and after parties. Good times to be had by all, if we can keep our energy levels up!
Tickets, I believe are still available. It really is a treat to go to one of these festivals, and with the focus so squarely on our little dark corner of the film universe, you’ll find what a great community it is. Let us know if you’re planning on being there!