Fantastic Fest has so many great films coming to this year’s event, that it is almost impossible to make a list of the ones you cannot miss. That will not stop us from trying, however. This year will see releases that include a look at the cinematic career of Stephen King, the latest release from one of the greatest directors in the modern era, and a terrifying clown. These movies below are definitely on our radar.
Decision to Leave
The 2022 edition of Fantastic Fest will include a celebration of Park Chan-wook. The South Korean director known for The Vengeance Trilogy and The Handmaiden will be honored with a lifetime achievement award. There will also be a screening of Joint Security Area, his underrated classic from 2000. But for many, the main attraction will he his latest release. Decision to Leave won Park the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie is about a detective who gets involved with a mysterious widow who is the prime suspect in a murder. Park’s return to the mystery genre should be fun to watch.
Kids vs Aliens
Director Jason Eisner (Hobo With a Shotgun) has pulled from a lot of sources for his latest movie. Think Stranger Things meets The Monster Squad but from a Canadian perspective. Gary just wants to make awesome home movie with his friends. His older sister Samantha wants to hang out with the cool kids. When aliens attack while the two are hosting a Halloween party, the siblings band together to survive the night.
King on Screen
There is no denying the impact Stephen King has had on television and movies. Since 1976, adaptations of the author’s works have flooded our screens. From the straight up horror of the most recent It remakes to the touching coming of age story in Stand by Me, King has made a lasting impression on audiences from different eras. This documentary looks at the movies that became a part of pop culture and the ones that fell by the wayside as it interviews some of the filmmakers that brought the works to life.
Fantastic Fest has always been a good place to find documentaries that bask in the glow of “truth is stranger than fiction”. This world premiere follows the life of Michael Organ a master manipulator who ends up affecting the life of documentarian David Farrier (Tickled). The three year investigation lead to all manner of lies and half-truths and the journalist being in over his head.
September is Hispanic Heritage Month and what better way to celebrate than with a horror anthology from five Latino filmmakers. Police raid a house in El Paso, full of dead Latinos, and with only one survivor: The Traveler. When the cops him to the station for questioning, he tells them about the horrors he’s encountered in his long time on this earth. Demian Rugna, Ed Sanchez, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Alejandro Brugués and Mike Mendez’s all contributed to the film.
Cinema is an ever evolving medium that strived during the silent era and still manages to entertain in today’s streaming world. Of course, some things never change. To wit, Damien Leone’s Terrifier 2, which proves that clowns are still very creepy. Art the Clown is back and this time he has a partner. The first one became a cult hit thanks to its retro horror style. Expect more of the same here.
The road trip movie has long been a staple of film and this year has seen some of the interesting takes on the genre. Peter is a gay dwarf who has no interest in interacting with society. His neighbor Winona is an internet sex worker who has an unusual request. The two set off on a trip that will take them across the Canadian border. Their destination? A rendezvous with the aliens that abducted Winona years earlier.
Year of the Shark
There have been countless number of Jaws ripoffs since the original first came out. For whatever reason, many of them seem to fall into the “so bad, it’s good” category. Year of the Shark is certainly an homage to Steven Spielberg’s classic, but it also seems to know what made it so good. Sure, the shark is terrifying, but it is the people that put it over the top. The premise may sound familiar – a maritime officer suspects a shark is lurking in the waters and wants to shut down the beach – but the Boukherma brothers (whose werewolf movie Teddy played at Fantastic Fest in 2020) know how to write compelling characters and good comedy.
Fantastic Fest takes place September 22 – September 29. Badges on sale HERE
Check out the full lineup of films playing at Fantastic Fest HERE
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