Mike Flanagan, short films, and more are coming to the 28th edition of Fantasia Festival. Check out some titles we're pumped for this year!

The Fantasia International Film Festival will celebrate its upcoming 28th edition with an electrifying program of screenings, workshops, and launch events running from July 18 through August 4, 2024, returning to the 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.

The festival website is now live with over 125 features and 200+ shorts available to be explored. Ticket pre-sales are now open. Plenty of excellent horror films and shorts are headed for audiences at the 28th Fantasia Festival. Let’s examine some of the stories being told this year.

Mike Flanagan 2024 Career Achievement Award

mike flanagan fantasia festival award

For his imaginative and heartfelt horror visions; boundary-breaking achievements in making soulful, character-driven genre television commercially viable without compromises; and the extraordinary work he’s done in popularizing landmark authors to a new generation, Fantasia will be awarding their 2024 Cheval Noir career award to U.S. filmmaker Mike Flanagan.

Flanagan is an artist Fantasia has adored since his first visit to the festival for the Canadian premiere of his haunting 2011 indie debut ABSENTIA, a foundational feature that contains all the core elements that have come to define the artist’s work: a unique perspective on occult possibilities, engrossing slow-burn storytelling approaches, inventively cinematic aesthetics, and above all else – deeply compassionate horror narratives built on agonizingly personal themes of loss. These elements have been consistent throughout his career, regardless of whether the work is a standalone creation or an adaptation of classic literature.

While it may strike some as odd to bestow an achievement award to an artist who’s almost certainly not yet reached a mid-career place, Flanagan has been so extraordinarily prolific and consistently brilliant in his output that the filmmaker has already accomplished several lifetimes of creation.

Beyond being one of the most inspired storytelling voices of his generation, Mike Flanagan is a bona fide, culture-shifting master of horror, having changed the landscape of the genre since emerging on the scene in 2011. Since then, Flanagan has brought audiences such modern classics as OCULUS (2013), HUSH (2016), BEFORE I WAKE (2016), OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL (2016), GERALD’S GAME (2017), and DOCTOR SLEEP (2019), as well as the Netflix miniseries events The Haunting of Hill House (2018), The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020), Midnight Mass (2021), The Midnight Club (2022), and The Fall of the House of Usher (2023). His next feature is the forthcoming Stephen King adaptation THE LIFE OF CHUCK (2024), starring Tom Hiddleston, Mark Hamill, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

More Horror Arriving at Fantasia Festival

'in our blood' fantasia festival

IN OUR BLOOD

A perfectly calculated, slow-burn nightmare that opens with the feel of an indie doc and gradually evolves into something uniquely sinister, IN OUR BLOOD is the narrative feature debut of Oscar-nominated documentarian Pedro Kos (REBEL HEARTS, LEAD ME HOME). Nothing is as it seems when filmmaker Emily Wyland (a phenomenal Brittany O’Grady of HBO’s White Lotus) teams up with cinematographer Danny (E. J. Bonilla, FX’s The Old Man) to shoot an intimate documentary about reuniting with her mother (Alanna Ubach, HBO’s Euphoria) after a decade apart. When her mother suddenly goes missing, Emily and Danny must piece together increasingly disturbing clues, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

'4 pm' fantasia festival

4PM 

Inspired by the book “The Stranger Next Door” from critically acclaimed Belgian writer Amélie Nothomb, 4PM is a riveting psychological thriller from director Jay Song (THE NIGHTMARE) drenched in silent tension. Jeong-in (OLDBOY’s Oh Dal-su), is taking a break from his life as a teacher in his new countryside house when a written invitation to a neighbor (Jang Yeong-nam, PROJECT WOLF HUNTING) turns into a nightmare of excruciatingly awkward visits every day at 4PM.

'frankie freako' fantasia festival

FRANKIE FREAKO!

After the success of PSYCHO GOREMAN, FX artist and director Steven Kostanski hits back with the zany, over-the-top FRANKIE FREAKO! Starring Conor Sweeney and Adam Brooks of Astron-6 fame, the film follows a nerdy man who just isn’t cool. In an attempt to impress his wife and boss, he’s lured by a 1-900 TV ad to party with a strange little creature called Frankie Freako. All hell breaks loose when Conor calls and Frankie and his two friends wreak interdimensional havoc in Conor’s life.

'black eyed susan' fantasia festival

BLACK EYED SUSAN 

It’s been 21 long years since Scooter McCrae (SHATTER DEAD) released a new feature, and he’s lost none of his smart, transgressive bite. Desperate for work, Derek (Damian Maffei, THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT) accepts a job at a shady tech start-up, working intimately with Susan (Yvonne Emilie Thälker in a powerful debut role), a bleeding-edge BDSM sex doll meant to receive and appreciate sexual punishment as an integral part of her evolving AI. Shot on Super 16, BLACK EYED SUSAN counterbalances its dark, vulgar core with a surprisingly tender vulnerability, creating a lo-fi science-fiction landscape infused with surprising fragility, as legendary Italian composer Fabio Frizzi (THE BEYOND, ZOMBIE) lends the picture a lush, atmospheric backdrop.

'chainsaws were singing' fantasia festival

CHAINSAWS WERE SINGING

A true DIY passion project from Estonian filmmaker Sander Maran, CHAINSAWS WERE SINGING is a zany, blood-soaked musical about lovers split up by a chainsaw-wielding killer. Over a decade in the making, Saran not only directed but wrote, scored, shot, and edited this colorful murder-fest that’s part gory horror movie and part ridiculous musical. The camerawork is inventive, the editing slapstick, and the tone truly absurdist. Most importantly, though, the songs are incredibly catchy, with Sander clearly deeply indebted to Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL and Frank Oz’s LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.

'steppenwolf' fantasia festival

STEPPENWOLF 

A bleakly pulverizing action thriller from celebrated Kazakh maverick Adilkhan Yerzhanov (THE GENTLE INDIFFERENCE OF THE WORLD, THE OWNERS) and Oscar nominated producer Alexander Rodnyansky (LEVIATHAN), STEPPENWOLF explodes off the screen with tension that will singe the flesh from your bones. Like a Kazakh MAD MAX directed by John Ford – or perhaps, THE SEARCHERS directed by George Miller – with a touch of Herman Hesse and classic samurai tales, STEPPENWOLF reinvents the codes of its inspirations with jolting doses of post-Soviet nihilism and morbid black humor. A desperate mother (Anna Starchenko, NARTAI) teams up with a psychopathic ex-cop (Berik Aitzhanov, GOLIATH, THE ASSAULT) to find her son who’s gone missing in a landscape consumed by riots and death.

'house of sayuri' fantasia festival

HOUSE OF SAYURI

Legendary J-horror director Koji Shiraishi (NOROI: THE CURSE) brings the genre to new levels of fun with HOUSE OF SAYURI. A vengeful ghost disseminates a family until a counterattack from a bold grandma brings a startling new dynamic into the house.

'the paragon' fantasia festival

THE PARAGON

Former Power Rangers director Michael Duignan’s utterly mad feature debut, THE PARAGON, electrifies with hilarity and trippy psychedelic visuals, delivers in the spirit of inspired low-budget New Zealand filmmaking that harkens back to early Peter Jackson. After experiencing a hit and run, an angry ex-tennis coach named Dutch (Benedict Wall, SHADOW IN THE CLOUD) embarks on a psychic training course to find the driver and get revenge. Alongside his witchy psychic coach Lyra (Florence Noble), Dutch must decide between being a victim of his fate or a slave to otherworldly evil in this spectacularly entertaining fantasy comedy where revenge becomes a cosmic experience. Co-starring an especially nuts Jonny Brugh (WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS).

'the chapel' fantasia festival

THE CHAPEL

The stunning sophomore feature from award-winning director Carlota Pereda (PIGGY), THE CHAPEL marks the fantastic return of atmospheric, character-driven supernatural Spanish horror. Emma (Maia Zaitegi) wants to learn how to communicate with the spirit of a little girl who has spent centuries trapped inside a chapel. She tries to convince Carol (THE ORPHANAGE’s Belen Rueda), a cynical and fake medium, to help her in the hopes that contacting the spirit may help her to remain close to her dying mother after she passes. What Carol doesn’t suspect is that Emma really does have “the gift” and, if she keeps on trying to use it without her guidance, she will be putting her young life at terrifying risk.

Hunter Schafer in Cuckoo
Pictured: Hunter Schafer, Credit: Neon

CUCKOO

A seventeen-year-old girl (Hunter Schafer, HBO’s Euphoria) is forced to move with her family to a resort where things are not what they seem in this astonishing mix of mix of domestic tension, body horror, and perverse science from the gifted director of LUZ. Co-starring Dan Stevens, Jessica Henwick, Marton Csókás, and Jan Bluthardt.

'the tenants' fantasia festival

THE TENANTS 

In a dystopian Seoul, office worker Shin-dong, threatened with eviction, rents out his bathroom to an eccentric couple whose strange behavior quickly escalates into a waking nightmare. A rising talent in the indie horror scene, writer-director Yoon Eun-kyoung creates a unique blend of soft science fiction, Kafkaesque absurdism, and dark comedy to highlight Korea’s very real social inequality problems

Special Book Launch – ‘I Spit on Your Celluloid’

'i spit on your celluloid'
Source: Fantasia Festival

HEIDI HONEYCUTT’S I SPIT ON YOUR CELLULOID: THE HISTORY OF WOMEN DIRECTING HORROR MOVIES (Headpress Books)

Friday July 26, 5:15PM, Cinema J.A. DeSeve

A legendary curator, historian, and critic, author Heidi Honeycutt co-founded the Etheria film Festival and has written for a vast number of publications and outlets, from Filmmaker, Ms. Magazine, Moviemaker, and Indiewire to Bloody Disgusting and Rue Morgue.

Fantasia is hosting the World Premiere book launch of Honeycutt’s “I Spit on Your Celluloid: The History of Women Directing Horror Movies” (Headpress Books), a comprehensive 20-years-in-the-making work that covers the evolution of women in horror cinema from 1896 to the present day. The official book launch will be taking place with a special screening of Christina Hornisher’s once-thought-lost 1974 horror gem HOLLYWOOD 90028. Honeycutt will introduce the screening and advance copies of the book will be available for sale and signing.

Short Horror Films at Fantasia Festival 2024

ARE YOU AFRAID OF FANTASIA? 2024

Like the popular Canadian television series ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? (1992-1996), this program is an international collection of horrific short films, many with comedic bite, and some dead serious.

Amygdala (Sweden, dir. Oskar Johansson, Canadian Premiere)
Coléoptère (France, dir. Martin Gouzou, Canadian Premiere)
Dark Signals (USA, dir. Izzy Lee, Canadian Premiere)
Hold Up (USA, dir. Ori Guendelman, World Premiere)
Howl at the Dead (USA, dir. Gregg Bishop, Canadian Premiere)
Monster Party (Canada, dir. Amara Burnett, World Premiere)
Ouch! (USA, dir. Zach Kornfeld, International Premiere)
Roger is a Serial Killer (USA, dir. Don Swaynos, International Premiere)
Save Me (China, dir. Liu Di , International Premiere)
Tinkerhell (United States of America, Noah Sterling, World Premiere)

1 thought on “Fantasia Festival 2024: Horror, Mike Flanagan & More!

Leave a Reply