South by Southwest (SXSW), the biggest arts and culture festival in the US had a fully virtual presentation in March. Mike and Eric take a moment to discuss the Midnighter Films presented at the big Austin streaming showcase.
For those of you not familiar with SXSW, the film festival of the festival is but one component of the big event. The famed music festival that began SXSW in 1987 started with 700 acts, peaking with over 2000 performers by the mid-2010s, and attracting over 160,000 attendees. The film festival was added to the proceedings in 1995, along with a digital multimedia component. The film festival receives over 7000 film applications annually, for which around 150 films get selected.
Fortunately for genre fans, one of the most popular sub-sections within the film festival is their Midnighter features, which historically have premiered films like Monsters, Us, The Cabin in the Woods, and A Quiet Place, generating significant buzz on their way to becoming iconic films within the horror space. This year, though, due to ongoing Pandemic issues, the festival went fully online, and the film festival was truncated from nine days to five days of viewing.
The festival was trimmed to 75 films, with 57 world premieres, making this a more exclusive group of features for viewing. The Midnighter films were still well represented, and The Scariest Things was able to catch the following set of features:
- Alien on Stage ★★★★1/2
- Broadcast Signal Intrusion ★★★★
- The Feast ★★★★1/2
- Gaia ★★★★
- Jakob’s Wife ★★★★
- Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break ★★★ 1/2
- Sasquatch ★★★★
- Sound of Violence ★★★
- The Spine of Night ★★★ 1/2
- Witch Hunt ★★★1/2
- Woodlands Dark Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror ★★★★
For full reviews of these films click on the links above, but we will be discussing many of these films on the podcast. This was a treat, as the care of the vetting of the films was obvious. The production value and craft of these films is of a higher standard, as would be expected if the films were going to make the SXSW cut.
Stay tuned for more podcast goodness about one of the films we are discussing, as Travis Stevens, the director of Jakob’s Wife will be joining The Scariest Things on an upcoming Podcast Extra, to discuss the world premiere of his film with us.