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7 Horror Films To See At This Year's Fantasia Film Festival




Heading into its 28th year, the Fantasia International Film Festival is returning to Quebec with a jam packed programme of screenings, workshops, exhibitions and events being housed in Concordia Hall and J.A. de Sève cinemas, with additional screens and events at Montréal’s Cinémathèque Québécoise, Cinéma du Musée, Théâtre Plaza, and BBAM! Gallery. 


With over 125 feature films and 200+ shorts films filling the 2024 Fantasia cinematic schedule, this year’s festival boasts a diverse lineup of genre films, including world premieres and innovative cinematic experiences, and we here at What A Scream are holding our breaths in anticipation of what is sure to be one of the festival’s best years yet. 


Directed and co-written by one of horror’s most prolific indie filmmakers, Alice Maio Mackay’s Carnage For Christmas is a festive adventure which follows a true crime podcaster who returns to their hometown where the inhabitants are being slaughtered by a seemingly resurrected serial killer. Following on from the success of T-Blockers (2023), Mackay continues to turn genre films on their heads, pushing boundaries and speaking to generations of the LGBTQIA+ community.


With the follow up to 2020’s seriously creepy Caveat, is Irish director Damian McCarthy’s Oddity. A blind medium played by Carolyn Bracken (You Are Not My Mother) attempts to discover, with the help of an uncanny wooden mannequin, the answer to the mystery of her twin sister’s unsolved murder. What results is a dark descent into the occult, the supernatural and the all engulfing matter of retribution. 


Starring Euphoria’s Hunter Schafer as teenager Gretchen who is relocated halfway across the world to the Bavarian Alps where her father and step-mother are working for eccentric hotelier Herr König (played by a firmly in his villain era Dan Stevens). Whilst working a desk job for König, Gretchen experiences some unexplainable occurrences which has her questioning her need for survival. Directed by Tilman Singer, the eagerly anticipated Cuckoo is sure to be a big draw for Fantasia.


Set in the late 80s, Lowell Dean’s Dark Match involves a troupe of struggling indie wrestlers as they agree to a match with a hefty financial promise. They soon realise that in the ring, they’ll have to fight for their lives against a community group headed by a cult leader played by wrestling favourite Chris Jericho. After 2022’s Here For Blood , here at What A Scream we are crying out for more wrestler-centric horror, with the hope that Dark Match will satiate that need.


Directed by Toby Poser and John Adams of horror’s rock’n’roll royal family The Adams Family comes Hell Hole, a good old-fashioned monster movie teamed with the Adams’ unique filmmaking sensibilities. An ancient monster is awoken from its gestational slumber by a U.S fracking team and rips its way through every human it comes into contact with. With themes of environmental concern as well as bodily autonomy and gender, Hell Hole is bound to be another hit in the Adam’s already headey filmography.


Hoping to be the rekindling spark of interest in the J-Horror subgenre is Tomojiro Amano’s This Man. Inspired by urban legends and folk traditions, This Man explores the curse phenomenon through the lens of mental health. Victims of a serial killer are multiplying in numbers across a city, all connected by their involvement with psychiatric services and a vision of a monobrow man seen previous to their death. Combined with impressive gore and unsettling entertainment values, This Man is said to be the perfect amalgamation of both Asian horror cinema and western style horror traditions. 


French filmmaking horror duo Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s new film The Soul Eater gets its North American premiere at this year’s Fantasia Festival. Two separate investigators arrive in a French mountain town and discover both of their cases are interlocked by a local legend of a boogeyman used to warn children against straying into the nearby woods. A gripping and suspenseful procedural thriller, we are excited to see what the directors behind 2007’s Inside have in-store for audiences. 


Fantasia International Film Festival is happening July 14th - August 4th, 2024. Tickets are now on sale from their website.


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