Panic Fest Unveils Their Stacked 2021 Line-Up For The In-Person & Virtual Festival

Image Courtesy of Panic Fest/Tim KC Canton

When it comes to the world of film festivals, there’s only a handful that stick out in the average person’s mind. Sundance, SXSW, Cannes, Venice, TiFF. For the most part they’re the heavy hitters and that can’t be argued with. The second tier though? Well that’s where genre fans set up shop. Where names like Fantasia, Fantastic Fest, Beyond Fest, Cinepocalypse, Telluride Horror and others rule. It’s also home to Panic Fest, Kansas City’s premiere film festival, that’s spent the last several years racking up awards and fans. As it enters its 9th year it’s doing what most others have to, going a hybrid in-person and virtual route. What’s stayed the same is the fest’s commitment to putting on one hell of a good time. With a great mix of features, shortsz podcasts and Gather social events, there’s a lot to look forward to.

Grab your pens, pencils or notepad app of choice, as there’s a lot of great stuff to dig through!





An Ideal Host

D: Robert Woods

Regional Premiere, 1h 25min

Liz just wants to host the perfect dinner party but an unexpected guest sends the evening into chaos, with potentially apocalyptic consequences.


An Unquiet Grave

D: Terence Kray

Regional Premiere, 1h 12min

A year after the death of his wife, a man enlists her sister to help him bring her back.


Below the Fold

D: Clayton Scott

World Premiere, 1h 32min

Without a trace, Susie Potter vanished from her home in the quiet town of Skidmore, Missouri. Ten years later, two reporters uncover a harrowing new detail, which leads them on an obsessive hunt for the truth through the dark labyrinth of rural northwest Missouri.


Benny Loves You

D: Karl Holt

Regional Premiere, 1h 34min

Jack is desperately trying for a new start in life, but when he throws away his childhood bear Benny, it’s a move that can only end in death.


The Blazing World

D: Carlson Young

Regional Premiere, 1h 41min

Decades after the accidental drowning of her twin sister, a self-destructive young woman returns to her family home, finding herself drawn to an alternate dimension where her sister may still be alive.


Blood Conscious

D: Timothy Covell

North American Premiere, 1h 21min

A vacationing family turns the tables on a mass shooter who claims to be fighting demonic forces.



D: Damian Mc Carthy

Regional Premiere, 1h 28min

A lone drifter suffering from partial memory loss accepts a job to look after a psychologically troubled woman in an abandoned house on an isolated island.




D: Prano Bailey-Bond

Regional Premiere, 1h 24min

After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, Enid, a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister’s disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality.


The Carnivores

D: Caleb Michael Johnson

Regional Premiere, 1h 17min

Alice and Bret’s dog Harvey is dying, and he’s ruining everything. What had been a bright little family is quickly getting consumed by clouds of self-doubt, suspicion, and a disturbing amount of ground beef.


The Djinn

D: David Charbonier, Justin Powell

North American Premiere, 1h 22min

A mute boy is trapped in his apartment with a sinister monster when he makes a wish to fulfill his heart’s greatest desire.



D: John Valley

Regional Premiere, 1h 31min

A dark social satire inspired by the real-life conspiracy theory known as Pizzagate. An amateur journalist and a far-right militiaman team up to expose the ugly truth behind rumors involving sex cults, a pizza place, and the lizard people.



D: Devereux Milburn

1h 46min

Strange cravings and hallucinations befall a young couple after seeking shelter in the home of an aging farmer and her peculiar son.



Jakob’s Wife

D: Travis Stevens

Regional Premiere, 1h 38min

Anne, married to a small-town minister, feels her life has been shrinking over the past 30 years. Encountering “The Master” brings her a new sense of power and an appetite to live bolder. However, the change comes with a heavy body count.


Katherine’s Lullaby

D: Savvas Christou

Regional Premiere, 1h 29min

A teenage runaway who’s trapped by a delusional man, pretends to be his daughter in order to escape.


Keeping Company

D: Josh Wallace

Regional Premiere, 1h 22min

A fateful chain of events begin to unravel after two brash insurance salesmen go knocking on the wrong door and find themselves trapped in a stranger’s basement.


The Last Matinee

D: Maximiliano Contenti

U.S. Premiere, 1h 28min

It’s a soaking wet day with rain pouring down and one of the best things to do is to go seek refuge in a great old cinema. There’s only one problem: A scary murderer is on the loose and he also has taken refuge there.


My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To

D: Jonathan Cuartas

Regional Premiere, 1h 30min

Two mysterious siblings find themselves at odds over care for their frail and sickly younger brother.


Night Drive

D: Brad Baruh, Meghan Leon

Regional Premiere, 1h 22min

A rideshare driver’s life is turned upside down after an unexpected series of misfortunes.




The Old Ways

D: Christopher Alender

Regional Premiere, 1h 30min

Cristina, a journalist of Mexican origin, travels to her ancestral home in Veracruz to investigate a story of sorcery and healing. There, she is kidnapped by a group of locals who claim she’s the devil incarnate.


Parallel Minds

D: Benjamin Ross Hayden

Regional Premiere, 1h 26min

In the near future, an A.I. called URM is investigated by a detective and researcher for a lab about to release a contact lens with the power to record what the eye can see to re-create memories.



Prisoners of Ghostland

D: Sion Sono

Regional Premiere, 1h 40min

A notorious criminal must break an evil curse in order to rescue an abducted girl who has mysteriously disappeared.


Red Snow

D: Sean Nichols Lynch

World Premiere, 1h 20min

A struggling vampire romance novelist must defend herself against real-life vampires during Christmas in Lake Tahoe.


She Watches From the Woods

D: Beau Ballinger

World Premiere, 1h 19min

A troubled artist with a dark past attempts to make peace with her dying mother while investigating the mysterious death of her teenage sister.


The Stylist (Special Presentation)

D: Jill Gevargizian

1h 45min

A lonely hair stylist becomes obsessed with the lives of her clients and descends into murderous madness.



D: Powell Robinson, Patrick Robert Young

Regional Premiere, 1h 30min

A sister claims to be cursed and persuades her brother to embark on a cross-country road trip to break her spell.


Vicious Fun

D: Cody Calahan

U.S. Premiere, 1h 36min

Joel, a caustic 1980s film critic for a national horror magazine, finds himself unwittingly trapped in a self-help group for serial killers. With no other choice, Joel attempts to blend in or risk becoming the next victim.



The Whooper Returns

D: Samuel Krebs

U.S. Premiere, 1h 24min

Following the death of their mother, four estranged siblings find themselves fighting for their inheritance and their lives when an eccentric stranger arrives, claiming their famous haunted childhood home was left to her.




A Puff of Smoke Short Film Special Presentation Presented by Yellow Veil Pictures


Clubhouse Weekend Hangouts


Colors of the Dark Podcast


Final Exam (Horror Trivia) FREE hosted by Ted Geoghegan


Frightday Podcast


Gather Fandom Weekend Happy Hours


Gather Weekend Filmmaker Networking Happy Hour


Knight Light Podcast


Nightmare on Film Street Podcast


Nightmare Junkhead Podcast


Screen Drafts Podcast with Rebekah Mckendry & Graham Skipper




You could easily say that this years Panic Fest isn’t letting a hybrid format slow them down at all. There’s literally something on that list for everyone and the only downside is attempting to put together a schedule. You’ve got a bit of time to do planning, but don’t wait for too long. Head on over to to buy your Virtual or Hybrid badges, as well as finding out when everything starts to unfold. Panic Fest runs from April 8 – 18. Tell everyone you know. You’re not going to want to miss out on this.

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