Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival Presents Demons, Aliens, Superheroes, and More

The 27th edition of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) takes place in Bucheon, South Korea, from June 29–July 9, 2023, and as always, Asia’s largest genre film fest offers well over 250 films from around the globe. With world, international, and Korean premieres of horror, science fiction, thriller, dark comedy, and related features and shorts, the fest is a wealth of cinematic treasures. Here are six of the features that we can’t wait to get our eyes on — and speaking of eyes, keep yours peeled for reviews from BIFAN here at Gruesome Magazine. 

Following are descriptions of the films from the BIFAN website, where more information is available: http://www.bifan.kr/eng/

Faces of Anne (Thailand, 2022)

A young woman wakes up in a shabby hotel room with no idea who she is and how she got there. The only clue she has is the voice from the next room calling her Anne. She found that her face is constantly changing and a nurse gives her an injection and informs her that it is just for psychiatric treatment. When night falls, stag-headed demon Vertico appears to kill the patients. Will she escape from the vicious creature and realize who she really is?

In My Mother’s Skin (Philippines/Singapore/Taiwan, 2023) 

Stranded in the Philippines during World War II, a young girl’ Tala lives in a war-worn colonial house in the isolated forest with her sickly mother and younger brother. Her mother’s condition rapidly deteriorates. Desperate, Tala seeks out a mysterious fairy who has promised to protect her. Happy to oblige, the fairy gifts Tala a magical insect to cure her dying mother. Tala decides to release the magical insect which burrows deep into her mother’s flesh and begins living inside her. While her mother’s sickness disappears, in its place grows an insatiable craving for human flesh. As carnage ensues, Tala is forced to decide: let her mother starve to death, or protect her mother and feed her bloodlust.

Life of Maria in Kabukicho (Japan, 2022)

Mariko is tending a small bar in Shinjuku, serving a variety of people from Kabukicho. Some of them are hostesses who are obsessed with a nightclub guy or even twin sisters covertly acting as contract killers. On a sideline, Mariko is working as a detective and one day the FBI visits her to ask for a secret investigation to search for an alien. When she embarks on it with help from her aides, she never knows that it will end up with confronting her tragic past.

Sri Asih (Indonesia, 2022)

Alana, a girl born during a volcano eruption which separated her from family, doesn’t understand why she is always influenced by anger. A rich woman adopts her and tries to raise her as a normal girl, but as Alana grows up, she discovers the truth about her origin: she’s not an ordinary human being. She may be a gift for humanity, or just a destruction if she can’t control her anger.

To Fire You Come at Last (U.K., 2023)

In 17th century rural England, a group of men is hired to carry a coffin to the graveyard. Superstitions and fear surround the journey, but the promise of higher wages motivates them. As they walk, tensions rise, and it’s revealed that two of them had wronged the deceased. Strange occurrences, including a spectral figure and a menacing hound, unsettle the group. They suspect a plot against them but are unsure of the culprits’ identity. Survival until dawn becomes their desperate goal.

Best Regards to All (Japan, 2023)

A young nursing school student visits her grandparents in the countryside. They enjoy a reunion while she feels increasingly uncomfortable. There is something in the grandparents’ house. One day, she finds out the truth that turns her happy daily life into horror.

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.