One of the premiere genre film festivals in the world is the annual Fantastic Fest. It starts this Thursday, and io9 will be there. That means a week of non-stop sci-fi, fantasy, animation, horror, supernatural, and otherwise weird, wacky, and wonderful movies.
Well over 100 feature films will screen at the festival. Some are titles you will have already heard of, but there are some you haven’t, too—and really, odds are the best films will come out of nowhere. In preparation, we’ve read about them all and picked out the 20 we are most excited to see, based solely on their descriptions.
It’s hard to not be excited about the new installment in the Halloween franchise, considering horror icon Michael Myers is back with a vengeance. Produced by series creator John Carpenter, it stars Jamie Lee Curtis and has some seriously great buzz after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The J.J. Abrams-produced Nazi zombie movie will have its world premiere at Fantastic Fest—and after that crazy, killer trailer, we are very curious to see if director Julius Avery’s vision can live up to the promise of its Bad Robot branding.
3. You Might Be the Killer
Remember that viral Twitter conversation that authors Sam Sykes and Chuck Wendig had a few years back that deconstructed the slasher genre? Well, director Brett Simmons took that as inspiration for this slasher movie, in which a camp counselor calls his horror movie-obsessed friend for advice when there’s a killer on the loose.
A border guard has a sixth sense for figuring out who is a smuggler and who is not. However, she finally meets someone whom she can’t prove is smuggling, and the revelation challenges the very nature of her power and life itself.
From Gareth Evans, the director of The Raid films, comes this period film about a man who travels to a deserted island to challenge the mysterious cult leader who kidnapped his sister. It promises plenty of Evans’ signature action as well as a supernatural mystery to boot.
6. One Cut of the Dead
As a film crew makes a zombie movie inside a warehouse, something is happening inside that might be an actual zombie apocalypse. It’s a fun premise—plus, it plays with a short film called Monster Challenge which stars Patton Oswalt and is directed by Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino.
7. Tenacious D in Post Apocalyptic
Fantastic Fest will screen the full YouTube series written and animated by the band known as Tenacious D. ‘Nuff said.
8. Between Worlds
This new film from Blumhouse stars Seann William Scott as a man who pretends he lives for clean, family values. Except if you disagree with him...then he brutally murders you.
10. Girls With Balls
A women’s volleyball team gets stranded at a remote bar, pisses off the locals, and sets off a brutal battle between the two groups.
11. Level 16
Described as being in the vein of The Handmaid’s Tale, Level 16 is about a group of girls who are being trained to be virtuous and to ultimately achieve level 16...whatever that means. One girl finally decides to stray and figure it all out.
12. May The Devil Take You
Just before the patriarch of a family who has it all passes away, he tells his daughter that they were so fortunate because he made a pact with Satan. And guess who’s on his way to collect?
13. Madam Yankelova’s Fine Literature Club
In this black comedy from Israel, a group of women bring nice young men to dinner parties, where they proceed to murder them and eat their remains.
14. The Boat
A fisherman gets stuck in a terrible fog. As he starts to go mad, he realizes he may not be alone on the ocean. Something monstrous may be waiting.
Zhang Yimou, the director of Hero and House of Flying Daggers, is back with another period action film, this time with a bit of a darker hue. A ruler has what he called a “Shadow” that poses for him, an arrangement that ends up causing all types of problems.
16. Open 24 Hours
A young woman who previously killed her boyfriend is forced to survive her first night at an all-night convenience store. And then shit begins to hit the fan outside.
In this Argentinian horror film, several strangers on a seemingly quiet Buenos Aires street begin to experience all kinds of different horrors.
This found footage-style film from Mexico shows what “really happened” in a secretive base meant to rehabilitate troubled kids—and the truth is, as you might suspect, nothing good.
After losing her best friend, a girl puts on a mysterious mixtape and falls asleep. When she wakes up, she’s in an unrecognizable, snow-covered, almost post-apocalyptic setting.
20. In Fabric
A woman begins online dating and goes out to get a new dress. The problem is, the dress she selects ends up being possessed.
And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other movies screening at this year’s Fest: a sequel to the dance movie The FP, Jonah Hill’s skateboarding-themed directorial debut, a movie that features Jean Claude Van Damme as a bouncer, a Flash Gordon documentary, actual Flash Gordon, the list goes on and on. If you’d like more information, visit the official site. And come back over the next seven days for our coverage from Austin, Texas.