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Fantastic Fest, Austin's celebrated genre-heavy film festival that draws some of the most exciting new and established voices in cinema each year, is here again, and as usual, the lineup is fascinating. From experimental horror films to heavy hitters from major studios, it's a full week of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, and completely unclassifiable cinema, and it's all worth watching. But that doesn't mean we don't already have our favorites picked out.
This year's lineup for the festival includes a buzzy new horror film with a creepy premise, a new Ultraman movie, a long-awaited slasher sequel, and the next installment in one of the most celebrated found footage franchises ever. So, from killers to monsters and everything in between, here are 10 genre films we can't wait to check out at Fantastic Fest 2022.
The feature directorial debut of actor and producer Noah Segan (Knives Out, Scare Package), Blood Relatives follows a drifting, curmudgeonly vampire whose life changes when he finds himself unexpectedly paired up with a 15-year-old girl who has issues of her own to contend with. The combination of the talent behind the camera and the premise means we might have a vampire comedy worth sinking our teeth into.
Bones and All
Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria director Luca Guadagnino re-teams with star Timothee Chalamet for this intriguing film that debuted at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month to a very warm reception. The story of two lovers on a journey through the fringes of the world, it's a road movie about two cannibals. There's really nothing more you need to say to get me interested in this one.
Kids vs. Aliens
Hobo with a Shotgun's Jason Eisener finally returns with a new feature film, and it looks like a truly wild time at the movies. "Kids vs. Aliens" is a subgenre unto itself in the science fiction space, but unleashing Eisener's particular sensibilities on this tale of a group of kids who just happen to run afoul of visitors from space feels like a recipe for a very strange trip indeed.
King On Screen
We love Stephen King movies around these parts, so of course we're pumped for this documentary by director Daphné Baiwir. Featuring interviews with legends who have made Stephen King adaptations possible, from Frank Dababont to Mick Garris, the film is a deep dive into why King endures as a cinematic icon as well as a literary once, and that's our kind of documentary.
Living with Chucky
Speaking of our kind of documentary, there's this journey into the long pop culture odyssey of everyone's favorite killer doll. Directed by Kyra Elise Gardner (whose association with Chucky runs in the family), Living with Chucky is both a look at the legacy of the legendary doll and a loving chronicle of how he was created, featuring interviews with Don Mancini, Brad Dourif, and more.
After a very buzzy premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, The Menu is making its way to Austin, and we can't wait to be served this wicked course of horror and black comedy. The story of a couple (Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult) who make their way to an exclusive restaurant, they soon discover the chef in charge (Ralph Fiennes) has a little more prepared than they bargained for.
The same team that gave us the remarkable Shin Godzilla is now delivering their rebooting take on Ultraman. That's all the reason we need to show up.
The opening night film of this year's festival, Smile promises a creepy journey into a world where a young woman (Sosie Bacon) is tormented by a mysterious force that seems to try and hide behind a smile at all times, with predictably horrifying results. Early buzz for this one has been strong, and the Fantastic Fest crew wouldn't program it as their opener if it wasn't worth seeing, so you can bet we'll be there.
It's been six years since Terrifier, but Art the Clown and director Damien Leone are back for another super-sized gorefest. The story of the next phase of Art's rampage, Terrifier 2 promises plenty of gruesome new kills and a new batch of young people fighting to survive a night with Art. After a well-received premiere at FrightFest, it's time for Art to come to Austin.
The V/H/S franchise made a welcome return last year with V/H/S/94, and now the found footage anthology is jumping five years ahead to one of the scariest years ever: 1999. That's right, it's a millennial tour of terror featuring segments from directors Johannes Roberts, Maggie Levin, Flying Lotus, Tyler MacIntyre, and Vanessa and Joseph Winter. We can't wait.
Keep checking back at SYFY WIRE for more of our coverage from Fantastic Fest 2022, including the best movies we caught at this year's event. And, if you can't wait for Chucky content, Peacock has you covered.