Whether you are in the mood for supernatural fright fare, outrageous horror comedies, or arthouse chillers, this year’s Fantastic Fest presents some of the most incredible fear fare of 2021, as well as science fiction, thrillers, action, and other genre film stunners. From a silent classic to restored fare from the 1980s to world premieres, Austin’s Fantastic Fest presents outstanding fare from around the world. Thos who can’t make it to Austin during the fest can still join in on the virtual portion of Fantastic Fest, FF@HOME, which takes place 9/30-10/11 on Alamo On Demand. Following is the official press release announcing the final wave of films for this year, along with information about how you can watch from home or at the festival.
Fantastic Fest is proud to announce the final wave of programming for the festival’s 16th edition, featuring the widest selection of weird and wonderful films gathered from across the globe to screen in Austin, TX, from September 23rd – 30th.
“Working on this final wave has been a pure joy for the programming team,” says Fantastic Fest Director of Programming Annick Mahnert. “With films coming from as far as Senegal, Latvia, Iran and Kazakhstan, and topics ranging from teenage assassins, circus freaks, serial killers and eerie children playing with dangerous powers, there is no doubt the program will delight the Fantastic Fest audience. 2021 is definitely a great year for Genre and we’re really proud to have secured so many fantastic movies. We can’t wait to reunite with the audience at Alamo Drafthouse and to chat with you all about our lineup.”
Leading the studio titles in the announce is the World Premiere of THE BLACK PHONE, penned by Scott Derrickson (DOCTOR STRANGE, SINISTER franchise) and Austin screenwriter C. Robert Cargill (DOCTOR STRANGE, SINISTER franchise), based on the short story by Joe Hill. Universal Pictures, Blumhouse and Crooked Highway’s much-buzzed-about horror film reunites director Derrickson and four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke (SINISTER) in one of the most terrifying Blumhouse films ever.
Additional studio titles include the U.S. Premieres of IFC’s A BANQUET, a chilling psychological horror where a mother’s love for her daughter is pushed to the limits, and THE INNOCENTS (Cannes – Un Certain Regard 2021), a stunning Norwegian drama about children with supernatural powers that will shake you to the core. World Premieres include Netflix’s THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE, a bloody and highly entertaining slasher from director Patrick Brice (CREEP), and SYFY’s SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, a contemporary and fun reimagining of the 1982 slasher cult classic directed by Fantastic Fest alumna Danishka Esterhazy (LEVEL 16).
Last but not least, Fantastic Fest is thrilled and excited to close the festivities with the U.S. Premiere of Camille Griffin’s pitch-black comedy SILENT NIGHT, starring Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Roman Griffin Davis (JOJO RABBIT). In sync with this year’s festival theme, you’re invited to witness the strangest holiday celebration of the year, when a family gathers for a high-stakes Christmas dinner in Griffin’s directorial debut.
This final wave of Fantastic Fest films presents 37 feature film titles and 56 short film selections, showcasing world, US and regional premieres, and one pre-fest screening.
We are excited to offer a special pre-fest presentation on September 22 of Utopia’s brand new 35th anniversary restoration of RAD, with star Bill Allen in attendance. Arrive early and check out a radical pre-screening bike stunt outside the theater featuring the riders of Austin’s 512 Wheelie Crew along with some surprise guests, sponsored by Rambler Sparkling Water.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has partnered with GroundUp Music to present seven silent film classics reimagined by five different artists from the label. The festival will World Premiere the 1924 Soviet silent classic AELITA: QUEEN OF MARS with a new score by Snarky Puppy’s Chris Bullock. Four additional film pairings will play on Fantastic Fest @HOME: House of Waters with the three shorts MENILMONTANT (1926), LE VOYAGE DANS LA LUNE (1902), and BALLET MECANIQUE (1923); PRD Mais with WAXWORKS (1924); Sirintip with THE LOST WORLD (1925); and Bob Lanzetti with NOSFERATU (1922). All seven titles will then be available on Alamo On Demand. Select projects will be presented as live score events at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s soon-to-be-opened Manhattan theater later this year.
The virtual portion of Fantastic Fest, FF@HOME, will still take place 9/30-10/11 on Alamo On Demand. ALTER is the lead sponsor of FF@HOME. Rev.com will be sponsoring our new accessibility initiative.
“The first step to creating access was offering a virtual option with an affordable badge price,” says Ahbra Perry, Head of Alamo On Demand. “We are grateful to ALTER for generously underwriting FF@HOME, including a soon-to-be-legendary virtual party. And with help from our friends at Rev.com. we’re going to be able to provide Closed Captions for the films and shorts playing virtually that can’t provide their own. That is a big step in the right direction and hopefully just the beginning.”
Over 30 films from the current festival lineup will be available virtually, including brand new shorts blocks. FF @ Home Badge holders will have access to films for 48-hour windows. We are also excited to include a special curation of Fantastic Fest films from years past, many of them hard to find, that will be available for the full duration of the virtual festival.
COVID Safety Protocols Update
While we strongly prefer proof of vaccination, by state order, the festival will now also accept a negative COVID test from a state-approved test provider taken within 24 hours of each day’s screenings. Festival staff will check for either vaccine cards or test results as attendees enter the theater for all Fantastic Fest screenings. Attendees with a vaccine card will be given a wristband to make this process more efficient for attending multiple screenings. Additionally, masks must be worn at all times indoors when not eating or drinking.
FINAL WAVE FEATURE FILM LINEUP BELOW:
AELITA: QUEEN OF MARS
World Premiere of Score by Chris Bullock, 113 min
Director – Yakov Protazanov
A silent science fiction film directed by Soviet filmmaker Yakov Protazanov with new score by Chris Bullock, a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, and as a longtime member and composer for Snarky Puppy, he has received four Grammy awards.
International Premiere, 95 min
Director – Hugo Sakamoto
Two teenage assassins are just trying to get by when a run-in with the Yakuza throws a wrench in their plans. Bummer!
United Kingdom, 2021
US Premiere, 97 min
Director – Ruth Paxton
Betsey, the eldest daughter of a widowed mother, suddenly finds herself unable to eat. Betsey believes this to be a spiritual blessing rather than an ailment — a belief that threatens the fabric of her family.
Texas Premiere, 122 min
Director – Mamoru Hosoda
Suzu is a shy girl from a small town who moonlights as a pop singer in a digital universe known as “U.” When a mysterious dragon crashes one of her performances, Suzu is driven to track down its user in the physical world.
World Premiere, 84 min
Director – Casey Tebo
A ragtag group of toy store employees get more than they bargained for when Black Friday shoppers mutate into violent monsters.
THE BLACK PHONE
World Premiere, 102 min
Director – Scott Derrickson
After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls on a disconnected phone from the killer’s previous victims.
North American Premiere, 102 min
Director – Jean-Christophe Meurisse
A seemingly benign look into the daily lives of people living in modern-day France goes completely haywire in this shocking black comedy.
North American Premiere, 98 min
Director – Hannes Thór Halldórsson
Bussi is the best and most reckless cop in the Reykjavik police force. When, after thwarting a bank heist, he’s paired up with Hördur, the best and sexiest cop in Gardabaer, sparks start to fly. Professionally and personally.
World Premiere, 104 min
Director – Jeroen Perceval
Johnny is a street-smart kid in Antwerp who moves drugs to survive. When he establishes a friendship with one of his clients — an actor worried about remaining relevant — both are hoping for a chance at a new life.
THE DEER KING
US Premiere, 114 min
Directors – Masashi Ando & Masayuki Miyaji
In the Kingdom of Aquafa which is under the dominion of Zol, enslaved warrior Van may hold the cure to a disease known as the Black Wolf Fever. When he escapes the mines, a manhunt begins.
World Premiere of 4K Restoration, 78 min
Director – Bernard Launois
Mummies! Nazi mutants! Stupid goddamn ghost horses! And oh no… look out for that pirate ship! DEVIL STORY is a caustic anti-human geyser of sanity-proof mayhem, totally unique, almost totally unseen, and beamed in straight from the armpit of the 80s French trash-horror cuckooverse.
North American Premiere, 130 min
Director – Lado Kvataniya
Issa Valentinovich is celebrating his promotion to police chief when a phone call reveals that the serial killer case that made his career may not be closed.
EYES OF FIRE
World Premiere of 4K Restoration, 86 min
Director – Avery Crounse
The seminal American folk horror film, unavailable on home video for decades, now debuts in a new 4K restoration from Severin Films, overseen by director Avery Crounse.
Italy, Belgium, 2021
International Premiere, 140 min
Director – Gabriele Mainetti
During WWII in Italy, after circus director Israel disappears, four performers gifted with special powers go looking for him and unknowingly walk into a trap set by an SS Officer who is obsessed with finding them.
South Africa, 2021
US Premiere, 94 min
Director – Kelsey Egan
In a dangerous dystopia, a matriarch struggles to protect her children and shield them from the harsh truths of the world.
United Kingdom, 2021
World Premiere, 75 min
Director – Sebastian Godwin
A trip to the countryside turns out to be far from idyllic for a father and his new fiancée when his kids decide the house is a little too crowded…
HOSTAGE: MISSING CELEBRITY
South Korea, 2021
North American Premiere, 94 min
Director – Gam-sung PIL
Hwang Jung-min’s action film credentials are put to the test in HOSTAGE: MISSING CELEBRITY, a no-holds-barred thriller in which the Korean star plays himself.
US Premiere, 117 min
Director – Eskil Vogt
A group of children discover that they have psychic powers that defy explanation. Will they use them for good… or evil?
North American Premiere, 103 min
Director – Peter Brunner
Johannes, a man with the mind of a child, lives secluded in the Austrian Alps with his God-fearing mother. When a developer starts buying out the land in order to build a cable car, their world is turned upside down with tragic consequences.
World Premiere, 90 min
Director – Johannes Grenzfurthner
An IT technician locks himself in his apartment and sets up a homemade lab in order to better understand and cure his tinnitus. His experiment will ultimately lead to tragedy.
South Africa, 2021
US Premiere, 92 min
Director – Jenna Cato Bass
The aftershocks of apartheid reverberate through a family as a daughter tries to free her mother from the grip of her mysterious employer.
Netherlands, Belgium, 2021
World Premiere, 103 min
Director – Alex van Warmerdam
A stranger whispers the word “kamaihí” into stage actor Günter’s ear and disappears. Günter was found abandoned in a forest as a child and never wondered about his birth parents… until now. Will his quest to unravel the mystery of his past provide peace or further plunge him into chaos?
US Premiere, 80 min
Director – Jean-Luc Herbulot
A trio of mercenaries find themselves navigating a mysterious region of Senegal in Jean-Luc Herbulot’s cool and kinetic genre-shifting thriller.
World Premiere, 85 min
Director – Aik Karapetian
Samuel travels to Eastern Europe to look for the father he’s never met. When he accidentally hits a piglet with his car, he ends up enslaved at the owner’s farm.
United Kingdom, 2021
US Premiere, 90 min
Director – Camille Griffin
Family and friends come together to celebrate Christmas. The gathering quickly escalates into arguments and the rehashing of old issues, but there may be a very simple reason for the rapidly rising implosion.
SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE
South Africa, 2021
World Premiere, 86 min
Director – Danishka Esterhazy
From the brilliant mind of Fantastic Fest alum Danishka Esterhazy (LEVEL 16) comes a surprising, delightful, and bloody reimagining of ‘80s slasher classic SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE.
SOME LIKE IT RARE
North American Premiere, 87 min
Director – Fabrice Eboué
Vincent’s butcher shop is not doing well. After he intentionally runs over a vegan activist who has vandalized his store, he uses his skills to dispose of the body… to the delight of his clueless customers.
SWEETIE, YOU WON’T BELIEVE IT
Texas Premiere, 85 min
Director – Yernar Nurgaliev
What begins as a fishing trip with the boys quickly spirals out of control when they witness a mob hit in the forest, and that’s just the beginning of this insane, violent, hilarious misadventure from Kazakhstan.
World Premiere, 76 min
Director – Alexandre O. Philippe
In his sublime new documentary, Alexandre O. Philippe analyzes the myth of Monument Valley, its symbolism in westerns (including John Ford’s), and its significance during the conquest of the West and in American history.
THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE
World Premiere, 96 min
Director – Patrick Brice
Makani Young and the graduating class at Osborne High are being targeted by a masked killer intent on exposing their darkest secrets to the world.
TILL WE MEET AGAIN
North American Premiere, 128 min
Director – Giddens KO
After being struck by lightning, Alan wakes to find himself in a bureaucratic underworld. Facing the prospect of being reincarnated as a snail, he opts instead to train as a love god.
THE TIMEKEEPERS OF ETERNITY
World Premiere, 64 min
Director – Aristotelis Maragkos
In this mesmerizing experimental film, a Stephen King television movie is compressed and transformed through hypnotic black and white collage animation that meticulously reconstructs and reshapes its supernatural drama to an eerie and profound effect.
THE UNITED STATES OF INSANITY
World Premiere, 99 min
Directors – Tom Putnam & Brenna Sanchez
Get to know the men behind the makeup in this illuminating doc about the Insane Clown Posse as they fight for their fans’ right to enjoy their music, free from government harassment.
USA, Indonesia, 2021
World Premiere, 100 min
Directors – Chloe Okuno, Simon Barrett, Timo Tjahjanto, Ryan Prows & Jennifer Reeder
Chloe Okuno, Jennifer Reeder, and Ryan Prows join franchise alumni Simon Barrett and Timo Tjahjanto in this fourth installment of the blood-soaked found footage horror omnibus series.
WHO KILLED THE KLF?
United Kingdom, 2021
World Premiere, 88 min
Director – Chris Atkins
They came to spread chaos and to make you dance. When the dancing stopped, the chaos was all that remained. One way or another, WHO KILLED THE KLF? is gonna rock you.
WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR
US In-Theater Premiere, 192 min
Director – Kier-La Janisse
The world’s most passionate and knowledgeable genre film expert, Kier-La Janisse, takes you on a global tour of folk horror that will simultaneously rock your world and will change your life forever.
US Premiere, 93 min
Director – Arsalan Amiri
Investigating reports of demonic possessions in a remote village, a skeptical military officer finds his beliefs tested by an enigmatic exorcist.
FANTASTIC FEST 2021 SHORTS FILM LINEUP BELOW:
Each short film will be presented either as part of our traditional shorts block programs (FANTASTIC SHORTS, SHORT FUSE, SHORTS WITH LEGS, and DRAWN AND QUARTERED) or paired to screen with one of our fantastic features.
THE 27 DEATHS (Dir. Franklin Connor Ritch, USA, 2021)
ALGORITHM (Dir. Edwina Casey, Ireland, 2020)
THE ARCHIVISTS (Dir. Igor Drljača, Canada, 2020)
BIRTHDAY BOY (Dir. Jordan Michael Blake, USA, 2021)
BLACK HOLE (Dir. Jamie Parslow, USA, 2021)
CALVING (Dir. Louis Bhose, United Kingdom, Ireland, 2021)
CELEBRITAS EX MACHINA (Dir. Joe Nicolosi, USA, 2021)
CERBERUS (Dir. Kaspar Ainelo, Estonia, 2021)
THE DANGEROUS TYPE (Dir. Tipper Newton, USA, 2021)
DEATH AND THE WINEMAKER (Dir. Victor Jaquier, Switzerland, 2021)
DIGITAL VIDEO EDITING WITH ADOBE PREMIERE PRO: THE REAL-WORLD GUIDE TO SET UP AND WORKFLOW (Dir. Seong-yoon HONG, South Korea, 2020)
DUST BATH (Dir. Seth A Smith, Canada, 2021)
EXPECTANCY (Dir. Juho Fossi, Finland, 2020)
THE FAMILIARS (Dir. Millicent Malcolm, Australia, 2020)
THE GIRL FROM SATURN (Dir. Gonçalo Almeida, Portugal, 2021)
GUTS (Dir. Chris McInroy, USA, 2021)
HEART OF GOLD (Dir. Simon Filliot, France, 2020)
HIS & HERZOG (Dir. Gates Bradley, USA, 2020)
INHERITANCE (Dir. Annalise Lockhart, USA, 2021)
ITCH (Dir. Susannah Farrugia, Malta, 2021)
LA CIGUAPA SIEMPRE (Dir. Monica Moore-Suriyage, USA, 2021)
THE LAST DAYS (Dir. Dipo Baruwa-Etti, United Kingdom, 2021)
LAUNCH (Dir. Leah Shore, USA, 2021)
LILIAS ADIE (Dir. Elize du Toit, United Kingdom, 2021)
LUCID (Dir. Deanna Milligan, Canada, 2021)
MAN OR TREE (Dirs. Varun Raman & Tom Hancock, United Kingdom, 2021)
MINIMALLY INVASIVE (Dir. Adam Harvey, New Zealand, 2020)
MISTER POWERFUL (Dir. Oriol Barberà Masats, Brazil, 2021)
MOTHER BUNKER (Dir. George Metaxas, Australia, USA, 2020)
MR. JAMES IS DEAD (Dirs. Daniel Irving & Josh Aries, Canada, 2021)
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DICKS (Dir. Ilja Rautsi, Finland, Denmark, 2021)
NUEVO RICO (Dir. Kristian Mercado Figueroa, USA, Puerto Rico, 2021)
PSYCHOS (Dir. Richard Karpala, USA, 2021)
RETURN OF THE ACTION MAN (Dir. Scott Peters, USA, 2021)
ROJAS AND RETRIBUTION (Dir. Daniel Koenig Porter, USA, 2021)
SEEK (Dir. Aaron Morgan, USA, 2020)
SELF-ACTUALIZATION OF THE WEREWOLF WOMAN (Dir. Conall Pendergast, Canada, 2021)
SHADOWPROWLER (Dir. Scott Derrickson, USA, 2021)
SILLY HUMAN (Dir. Cory Williamson, USA, 2021)
SMILE (Dir. Joanna Tsanis, USA, Canada, 2021)
SUCH SMALL HANDS (Dir. Maria Martinez Bayona, United Kingdom, 2021)
SUNBELLY (Dir. Jordan Speer, USA, 2020)
SWEET MARY, WHERE DID YOU GO? (Dir. Michael Anthony Kratochvil, Australia, 2021)
TELOS OR BUST (Dir. Brad Abrahams, USA, 2021)
THE TENANT (Dir. Lucas Paulino & Ángel Torres, Spain, 2021)
THANK YOU FOR NOTHING (Dir. Thomas Desimone, USA, 2021)
TRANSFER (Dir. Jonas Govaerts, Belgium, 2021)
TROUBLE (Dir. Naledi Jackson, USA, 2020)
THE TRUTH ABOUT HASTINGS (Dir. Dan Schneidkraut, USA, 2021)
UNCLE (Dirs. Emily Green & Ester Song Kim, USA, 2021)
VO (Dir. Nicolas Gourault, France, 2021)
WALL #4 (Dir. Lucas Camps, The Netherlands, 2021)
WITH PLEASURE (Dirs. Maxwell Nalevansky & Carl Fry, USA, 2020)
WOLF IN DUDE’S CLOTHING (Dir. Solmund MacPherson, Canada, 2021)
WORSE THAN THE DEMON (Dir. Maya Tippett, USA, 2013)
YOU’RE DEAD HELEN (Dir. Michiel Blanchart, France, Belgium, 2021)
Due to COVID safety concerns, we have changed the format of the festival for this year. We are no longer utilizing the badge system. Screenings will be spread out across multiple Alamo Drafthouse locations in Austin, and each screening will be individually ticketed. You must purchase a ticket for each screening you wish to attend. More info on in-person screenings is available here and on the FAQ page.
In addition to the in-person screenings, the all-new FANTASTIC FEST @ HOME Badges are also available and provide access to the fest’s new virtual event which takes place from 9/30 – 10/11.