‘Halloween’ & A Plethora Of Great Films Fill Out Fantastic Fest’s 2nd Wave Of Programming

Halloween Fantastic Fest
Blumhouse Productions

There’s a chance you may be saying “hey, what happened to the 1st Wave announcement” and listen, the ball got dropped there. Our bad. Yet almost making up for that oversight is just how amazing this 2nd Wave of programming is. Buckle up as we’ve got a giant press release with tons of films listed. This year looks to be a banner year for Fantastic Fest, which takes place in Austin, September 20th-27th.

First thing’s first though. Halloween. The latest in the series to the mega franchise (which effectively erases all films but the 1978 original) is the opening night film. Even better? Why, none other than Jamie Lee Curtis will be in attendance for the showing! You can bet we will have full coverage of the event, when not pinching ourselves. Take a look at the full press release below.


 Blasting off the festival in its 14th year will be the U.S. Premiere of David Gordon Green’s razor-sharp new contribution to the HALLOWEEN canon with legendary actor Jamie Lee Curtis-along with HALLOWEEN producers Malek Akkad, Jason Blum and Bill Block in attendance! Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

 Also showing at the festival is the U.S. Premiere of FF alumni Jeremy Saulnier’s gripping new psychological thriller HOLD THE DARK starring Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright. A brutal, beautiful excursion that pits nature versus man’s heart of darkness, the film also boasts electric performances from Alexander Skarsgård and Riley Keough.

Festival Creative Director Evrim Ersoy says, “2018 is proving to be a remarkable year for genre cinema. It is a constant delight to be able to discover both seasoned directors and newcomers pushing the boundaries of what genre can mean, using cinematic language to bring incisive, intelligent commentary on the current state of the world and still find enough ingenious methods to terrify, thrill and twist! This second wave represents the best genre filmmaking talent on the planet, and it is all crashing into Austin next month!”
Worldwide genre titles continue to explode at Fantastic Fest with the World Premiere of haunting shocker THE BOAT, an insidious tale of man vs sea vessel; GIRLS WITH BALLS, where a female French volleyball team takes on an entire countryside of maniacs; the North American Premiere of Timo Tjahjanto’s bonkers MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU, where Satanic rites intermingle with family in-fighting to brutal and violent effect; the World Premiere of French serial killer shocker SAVAGE, where a summer holiday obsession becomes a dangerous and deadly game; and the U.S. Premiere of Venice Critics week opener TUMBBAD, where three generations of a family face off against demons in an ever-expanding circle of greed.
Winner of this year’s Un Certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival, BORDER is coming to Fantastic Fest and as a special treat, Fantastic Fest will also present a singular, open-air screening experience of BORDER in an intimate outdoor venue, paired with exclusive cocktails and accompanied by a lavish multi-course meal crafted by Alamo Drafthouse Chef Brad Sorenson.
Spanish-language genre cinema is represented at this year’s Fantastic Fest with a triple threat of brilliant titles. First up is the World Premiere of Argentinian shocker FERAL, where the VHS diary of an outcast priest reveals more than just daily hardship. Then the U.S. Premiere of Cannes favourite THE ANGEL tells the story of a killer who was mad, bad and dangerous to know. And finally THE BASTARDS’ FIG TREE, a tale of fantasy and revenge woven deeply through the Spanish civil war.
Second wave also sees returning alumni at the festival to present their newest movies. We’ll be hosting the World Premiere of FP2: BEATS OF RAGE, which finds JTRO forced to return to the bloodsport of Beat-Beat Revelation with director Jason Trost in attendance. Peter Strickland brings his visually astonishing cerebral thriller IN FABRIC to the festival in the tale of a cursed dress and the unusual department store it comes from. Plus filmmaker extraordinaire Gaspar Noé returns to FF with his newest, reality-wrecking epic CLIMAX.
First-time directors bring a plethora of titles to the festival, marking their arrivals with inventive and brilliant cinema. From Switzerland, director Simon Jaquemet brings a tale of faith and doubt in the U.S. Premiere of the astounding THE INNOCENT, wherein a devout woman discovers her whole life may be a lie. French filmmaker Yann Gonzales brings his Cannes hit KNIFE + HEART with its heady neon take on love lost and obsessions, all set in 1970’s Paris. And from our very own shores, director Henry Dunham brings the U.S. Premiere of THE STANDOFF AT SPARROW CREEK, a taut thriller where the discovery of a missing assault rifle sends a militia tearing itself apart as the cops beat down the door!
There’s a blast of amazing unseen retro titles screening at FF 2018! The American Genre Film Archive presents the AGFA DRUG STORIES Collection, a special program of drug scare films curated by Lisa Petrucci of Something Weird Video. We’ll be hosting the North American Premiere of restored Canadian shocker SUDDEN FURY (1975), the tale of a good samaritan desperately trying thwart a psychotic stranger’s murderous plot. Finally, we’ll see the North American Premiere of the restored bizarre Santa-maniacal masterpiece 3615 CODE PÈRE NÖEL aka GAME OVER (1989) with director René Manzor in attendance.
This year, Fantastic Fest is expanding its focus on podcasts with the addition of some new guests. Alongside fest regulars Leonard Maltin and Doug Benson, we’re proud to announce that April Wolfe’s incisive Switchblade Sisters will also be coming to the festival for an episode of the popular show.
And finally, the Birth.Movies.Death. team is proud to be launching a brand-new, HALLOWEEN-themed edition of their collectible magazine at this year’s festival. In addition to exclusive interviews with John Carpenter, David Gordon Green and the legendary Jamie Lee Curtis, this issue will also feature deep-dive essays into the history of HALLOWEEN, a spread featuring some of Mondo’s best HALLOWEEN posters, and many more spooky surprises. Festival attendees may pre-purchase their copies of the magazine for pickup at the festival here, or copies can be purchased online and shipped directly to buyers via this link.  
Argentina, Spain, 2018
US Premiere, 120 min
Director – Luis Ortega
In 1971 Argentina, Carlitos is a baby-faced youth whose good looks match his confident swagger. Carlitos’ passion is stealing; the things he covets, he takes. But when he meets Ramon at his school, he embarks on his true calling: armed robberies and violent crimes.
Spain, 2017
Texas Premiere, 103 min
Director – Ana Murugarren
In Attendance – Director Ana Murugarren and Producer Joaquin Trincado
In Ana Murugarren’s whimsical THE BASTARDS’ FIG TREE, a fascist soldier in the Spanish Civil War becomes a fig-tree obsessed hermit after looking into the vengeful eyes of a young boy whose father and brother he had violently executed.


USA, 2018
World Premiere, 95 min
Director – Henry Jacobson
In Attendance – Director Henry Jacobson, Actor Seann William Scott, Producer Adam Hendricks, and Writer Avra Fox-Lerne
Evan (Seann William Scott) values family above all else, and anyone who gets between him, his wife, and newborn son learns that the hard way. But when it comes to violent tendencies, it seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.



Malta, United Kingdom, 2018

World Premiere, 89 min
Director – Winston Azzopardi
In Attendance – Director/Co-Writer Winston Azzopardi and Actor/Co-Writer Joe Azzopardi
A lone fisherman on his daily run finds himself lost in a thick fog which proves impossible to navigate. The worst is yet to come when his encounter with a seemingly abandoned sailboat becomes a fight for survival against an enemy unknown.
Sweden, Denmark, 2018
Texas Premiere, 108 min
Director – Ali Abbasi
When a border guard with a sixth sense for identifying smugglers encounters the first person she cannot prove is guilty, she is forced to confront terrifying revelations about herself and humankind.
Fantastic Fest 2018
© Flies Collective
USA, 2018
Regional Premiere, 91 min
Director – Aaron Schimberg
In Attendance – Director Aaron Schimberg and Producer Vanessa McDonnell
Mabel (Jess Weixler, TEETH) and Rosenthal (Adam Pearson, UNDER THE SKIN) – both hired for their looks – meet on the set of a horror movie in this surreal examination of how those with physical differences are portrayed on film.



France, 2018
US Premiere, 96 min
Director – Gaspar Noé
Consistent provocateur Gaspar Noé outdoes himself with his latest feature CLIMAX, a trippy horror-musical featuring twenty sensuous dancers partying hard and living their best lives, until a bad batch of sangria plunges them into insanity.
France, 1990
North American Premiere, 90 min
Director – René Manzor
In Attendance – René Manzor
DEADLY GAMES (3615 CODE PÈRE NOËL) is the terror version of HOME ALONE. A 9-year old kid in his house, tormented by a demented Santa Claus, fights for his survival by setting traps. Christmas will never be the same again.
Italy, France, 2018
Texas Premiere, 102 min
Director – Matteo Garrone
Marcello is a gentle dog groomer whose tumultuous friendship with violent neighbourhood thug Simone engulfs him in a violent series of events that will leave him forever scarred.
USA, 2018
US Premiere, 101 min
Director – Tim Sutton
In Attendance – Tim Sutton
Frank Grillo and Jamie Bell are just two of the desperate men and women headed for “The Donnybrook” – a no-holds-barred bare-knuckle fight contest with a $100,000 prize – in this midwestern gothic journey into a heartland of darkness.
USA, 2018
World Premiere, 80 min
In Attendance – Something Weird Video’s Lisa Petrucci
AGFA and Something Weird present a compilation of classroom scare films about boozers, users and losers, all in brand new 2K preservations and featuring the legendary anti-drug diatribe known as THE TRIP BACK.
Mexico, 2018
World Premiere, 97 min
Director – Andrés Kaiser
In Attendance – Andrés Kaiser
The mountains of Oaxaca harbor the remains of a ravaged and burnt shelter, once home to a psychoanalyst priest who used it to look after savage children, trying to re-integrate them into society. Through videotape diaries and interviews, the truth of what happened is shockingly revealed.
USA, 2018
World Premiere, 89 min
Director – Jason Trost
In Attendance – Jason Trost
JTRO gave Frazier Park everything he had, but his challenges aren’t over. Now he must journey into the destruction of The Waste to rekindle the passion he needs to win the ultimate Beat-Beat Revelation tournament and fulfill his destiny.
Fantastic Fest 2018
© C4 Productions/Kinology
France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, 2018
World Premiere, 77 min
Director – Olivier Afonso
After winning a competition, a women’s volleyball team heads home aboard their minibus. Forced to take a shortcut, they end up at a tavern where they upset the local degenerate rednecks… and then the hunt begins.
USA, 2018
US Premiere, 105 min
Director – David Gordon Green
In Attendance – Jamie Lee Curtis and Producers Malek Akkad, Jason Blum and Bill Block
Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.
USA, 2018
US Premiere, 125 min
Director – Jeremy Saulnier
In- Attendance – Director Jeremy Saulnier and Co-Writer/Actor Macon Blair
A gripping psychological thriller unfolds in the treacherous Alaskan wilderness when a retired wolf expert is summoned to investigate a child’s disappearance.
Fantastic Fest 2018
© Rook Films
United Kingdom, 2018
US Premiere, 118 min
Director – Peter Strickland
Peter Strickland (THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY; BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO) returns to Fantastic Fest in full, flourishing style with IN FABRIC, a film that’s part surreal thriller, part giallo love letter, part fashion collage, and all hypnotic originality.
Switzerland, Germany, 2018
US Premiere, 113 min
Director – Simon Jaquemet
In this dark and fantastical tale about religion versus science and good versus evil, a woman’s faith is being tested as her ex-lover reappears in her life after twenty years in jail.
France, 2018
North American Premiere, 102 min
Director – Yann Gonzalez
In Attendance – Director Yann Gonzalez
In Yann Gonzalez’s second feature, a masked serial killer stalks a producer and her film company in this love letter to European giallo, American grindhouse cinema, and ’70s gay porn.
Indonesia, 2018
North American Premiere, 110 min
Director – Timo Tjahjanto
At her father’s deathbed, Alfie learns that she and her family must give the Devil his due when he comes to collect on the pact made years before in this electrifying horror film from Indonesian master storyteller Timo Tjahjanto.
France, 2018
World Premiere, 83 min
Director – Vincent Mariette
In Attendance – Director Vincent Mariette
Summer is in full swing and men are going missing. People are talking about a leopard on the loose in the area. A mysterious horror writer is in the bungalow next door. And Laura’s most disturbing summer has only just begun.
Fantastic Fest
© Cinestate/XYZ Films
USA, 2018
US Premiere, 88 min
Director – Henry Dunham
Over the course of one grueling night, a militia tears itself apart as it searches for the perpetrator of a mass shooting among its own.
United Kingdom, USA, 2018
World Premiere, 99 min
Director – A.T. White
A girl. A mixtape. And Armageddon. A uniquely honest portrayal of loss as a young woman struggles with the death of her best friend while dealing with the horrific Lovecraftian end of the world, driven by a beautiful indie music soundtrack.
Canada, 1975
World Premiere of New Restoration, 91 min
Director – Brian Damude
When a well-intentioned bystander rushes to the scene of a violent car wreck, he finds himself embroiled in a hot mess of desperate homicide in this wickedly taut and unpredictable thriller, recently rescued from Canadian obscurity and restored by exploitation video label Vinegar Syndrome.
India, 2018
US Premiere, 108 min
Directors – Rahi Anil Barve & Adesh Prasad
In Attendance – Co-Director/Writer Adesh Prasad
In the rural village of Tumbbad, a decaying castle hides an immeasurable ancestral fortune guarded by something ancient, sinister, and monstrous. Vinayak thinks he can control it, but how long will it be until his own greed destroys everything he’s built?
If you’re looking for more information of the festival, including badges for purchase, visit the official Fantastic Fest website. Otherwise, keep a look out for tons of coverage when the festival begins, next month.
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