Dystopian nightmares, morbid thrillers, and more from the 28th Fantasia Festival have made my list of highly anticipated horror films of 2024!

The 28th Fantasia Festival is bringing audiences new and unique voices in horror. While the content is overflowing with talent, five titles have caught my attention more than the others. Dystopian nightmares, morbid thrillers, and much more have made my list for this year’s festival.

The festival runs from July 18 through August 4, 2024, in Montreal, Canada. It will be 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. Tickets are also available for pre-order.

5 Horror Film Picks from Fantasia Festival 2024

still image from Azrael
Azrael

Azrael – Directed by E.L. Katz

It’s the post-apocalypse and after escaping captivity from a cult of mute religious fanatics, losing their ability to speak in the process, Azrael (Samara Weaving, READY OR NOT) and her partner Kenan (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, FEMME) are traversing the treacherous forest in an attempt to evade their captors and keep their freedom. However, after falling back into the clutches of evil, Azreal learns that she will be sacrificed to appease an ancient evil that lurks within the shadows of the trees. Not willing to become demon food for a cult that has only caused her harm, Azrael must fight tooth and nail to secure her and Kenan’s freedom

Note from Britt: I’m beyond excited to see Weaving in another horror film, she’s a fantastic addition to any film of this genre she’s in. Combining a likely fantastic performance with some ancient evils, this is bound to be a hit.

still image from Shelby Oaks
Shelby Oaks

Shelby Oaks – Directed by Chris Stuckmann

Who took Riley Brennan? That’s the question asked by millions of devoted, even obsessed fans of the popular YouTube series Paranormal Paranoids, which ceased production when Brennan and her three co-hosts disappeared near the deserted town of Shelby Oaks, Ohio in 2008. Conspiracy theories have run rampant over the years, but none are more determined to get to the truth than Riley’s sister, Mia (Camille Sullivan), who has finally agreed to telling Riley’s story to a documentary film crew (Emily Bennett and Rob Grant) in the hopes of finding closure.

Closure, however, refuses to be found as a series of shocking events opens the door to a deeper mystery surrounding Riley, one that leads Mia to follow her ghost-hunting sister’s footsteps down a path to confront demons of the past and get answers that can only be found somewhere within the darkness of Shelby Oaks.

Note from Britt: This is a unique and exciting experience to see someone have for their indie horror film, especially with support from someone like Mike Flanagan! I love a mysterious set of events and creepy surroundings, sign me up for conspiracy theories galore in this documentary-style horror film.

Parvulos international poster- horror films at fantasia festival 2024

PÁRVULOS – Directed by Isaac Ezban 

Award-winning Mexican filmmaker Isaac Ezban (THE INCIDENT, THE SIMILARS, PARALLEL, EVIL EYES) returns with his fifth and most personal feature, a nightmarish vision that he’s spent the last seven years bringing into light.

The film is a dystopian coming-of-age horror story, set in a near future after a grim viral calamity, that begins with three young brothers living alone in a remote cabin. Hidden in their basement is a terrifying secret that they’ve adapted to… and have been living with for some time. Where it goes from there will pull the breath from your lungs, as the children’s hermetically sealed world is forcefully expanded—and invaded—by monstrous elements that are gut-wrenchingly beyond their control. What can they do to protect each other? Can this family save itself in a world they no longer recognize?

Note from Britt: Dystopian settings and horror often come hand-in-hand. Having siblings experience a horrific world and unknown future is thrilling and gut-wrenching to say the least. I’m hopeful for this film to display some heartfelt and deeply unsettling performances.

still image from Hell Hole
Hell Hole

Hell Hole – Directed by Toby Poser & John Adams

Far away, in the desolate Serbian wilderness, a U.S.-led fracking crew uncover a dormant monster gestating inside a centuries-old French soldier. Now awakened and exposed in its most dangerously fragile state, it tears through the men on the grounds in search of a new womb.

The screening will be preceded by the World Premiere of the Adams family’s chilling new short, PLASTIC SMILE, produced as part of the new Screambox Original series: TALES FROM THE VOID, a horror anthology based on the most viral and haunting stories from r/NoSleep.

Note from Britt: Old monsters in the Serbian wilderness??? YES, PLEASE.

The soul eater - horror films at fantasia festival 2024

The Soul Eater – Directed by Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo

A pair of quite different investigators arrive in Roquenoir, a town in the French mountains, and wind up approaching the same case from two different directions. Commander Elisabeth Guardiano (Virginie Ledoyen, 8 FEMMES) has been sent to look into a married couple’s grisly murder, and Captain of the Gendarmerie Franck De Rolan (Paul Hamy, DESPITE THE NIGHT), from the “department of alarming disappearances,” intends to track down a group of missing children.

Their missions turn out to be linked, and one of the elements tying them together is “The Soul Eater,” a local bogeyman legend intended to encourage kids not to wander off into the woods. This creature may not be a myth after all, and as strange details about that double killing come to light and more bizarre deaths occur, Guardiano and De Rolan are drawn toward discovering a shocking truth.

Note from Britt: French horror is hitting it out of the park this year. I’m beyond intrigued by the premise of The Soul Eater, both the investigation portion and the supernatural.

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