The 2018 SXSW Conference kicks off this week with its film and TV festival, unleashing a tidal wave of thrilling titles upon Austin, Texas. Filmmakers and stars from all over the world will converge onto this genre-championing fest to share their weird and wonderful stories. And Fangrrls will be in the thick of it, soaking of the screams, cheers, and enthralling insanity. Follow our reports out of the fest over the coming weeks.
But for now, let's kick things off with the titles we're most stoked to see at SXSW!
A Quiet Place
Imagine a post-apocalyptic world where the only rule for survival is this: don't make a single sound. John Krasinski directs and stars in this original horror thriller that's giving us goosebumps from its eerie trailer alone. Krasinski and his real-life wife Emily Blunt co-star, playing parents trying to protect their children from a mysterious threat that tears through walls like paper, turns bustling blocks into a ghost town, and hunts you down by sound. Basically, Krasinski has made a movie where screaming at it will only make you more scared. Ahead of its theatrical release in April, A Quiet Place will bring chills and excitement to SXSW's opening night.
Ahead of this SYFY show debut on March 21, Krypton is coming to SXSW with the world premiere of its first episode. Set on the planet of Superman's origin, this exciting series follows the Man of Steel's grandfather, Seg-El, as he battles for the fate and future of Krypton. Now, you might think you know where this story is going. But with DCEU mastermind David S. Goyer on board as Krypton's creator, you can bet there will be plenty of unexpected turns and surprises along this super, space-set odyssey.
Writer/director Owen Egerton brings horror fans their best dream/worst nightmare come true. Imagine a festival that celebrates all the garish gore and evil iconography of your favorite scary movies. Now imagine these fictional killer-clowns, sharp-fanged monsters, and flesh-craving zombies became all too real. Robbie Kay (Heroes: Reborn), Seychelle Gabriel (Falling Skies, The Legend of Korra), Jacob Batalon (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Barbara Dunkelman (RWBY) star as teens who must live by the rules of horror movies to survive the night.
Maybe you know Martin Freeman best as the plucky Bilbo Baggins of The Hobbit Trilogy. Or perhaps as the eye-rolling Dr. Watson of Sherlock or overwhelmed Earthling Arthur Dent of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Freeman's brought no shortage of fun into the lives of Fangrrls, even diving into the MCU as a government agent who joins the fight in Black Panther. But with this British horror movie, Freeman shows an all-new side, playing a man haunted by his last encounter with his dying wife. Written and directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, Ghost Stories has scored rave reviews for its anthology of creepy tales. And we can't wait to see it for ourselves.
Writer/director Jason Stone's been bringing us twisted teen tales as a helmer on Riverdale. Now, he's showing what he can spin in science-fiction with this low-budget indie about a teen girl who gains incredible powers after spotting strange lights in the night's sky. Following this otherworldly encounter, Alex Lainey (Insidious: The Last Key's Stefanie Scott) calls on her childhood friend Sean (Théodore Pellerin) for help. Together, they go on the run, evading the mysterious organization dedicated to tracking Alex down and uncovering the truth that's out there beyond the lights.
Pedro Pascal plus science-fiction. You're in right? In case you need more, Prospect is Christopher Caldwell and Zeek Earl's stirring sci-fi tale of a father (Jay Duplass) and daughter (Sophie Thatcher in her film debut) traversing a far-flung moon in search of treasure. But what sounds like a family-friendly adventure soon turns deadly serious when the pair must work together when the toxic forest around them threatens their very survival. Audiences in Austin will be the first to lay their eyes upon this world premiere title.
Forget the fiction; let's focus on the science! This charming documentary follows nine teens from around the world as they strive to forge a bright future by winning "Best in Fair." These kids come from different backgrounds and face challenges like poverty, self-doubt, hormones, and rivalries. But this science fair isn't just about being brilliant; it's about communicating your idea to the world. This doc offers audiences a trip back to their own tender youth, with a look into our future thanks to the incredible young people who make up its heart and soul.
Field Guide to Evil
This crowd-funded horror anthology uses folklore as its unifying theme, then invites 8 thrilling filmmakers to create a vignette based on the tales from their country of origin. We know absolutely nothing about the what these stories might contain. But with the talent on board to helm, we're positively salivating to discover this globe-trekking omnibus of horror. The directors involved include Peter Strickland of the acclaimed BDSM-drama Duke of Burgundy, Agnieszka Smoczynska who made the man-eating mermaid musical The Lure, and Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, the twisted minds behind the mind-bending body-horror masterpiece Goodnight Mommy.
Ever wonder what secrets lurk in the roots of your family tree? Toni Collette stars as a wife and mother whose family encounters unnerving paranormal activity in the wake of her own mother's death. As the mystery of this deceased matriarch begins to unfold, her daughter's nightmare has just begun. Writer/director Ari Aster's feature film debut won rave reviews out of Sundance. Now it comes to SXSW, where audiences revel in heart-stopping horror and champion the films that make your mind snap.
Isle of Dogs
And now for something completely different. Wes Anderson brings his stop-motion adventure to Austin, along with all the charm of talking dogs. Set in a not-so-distant future in Japan, Isle of Dogs imagines a world where man's best friend is exiled to a garbage dump island. But 12-year-old Atari Kobyashi (Koyu Rankin) refuses to abandon his beloved pet. Traversing to the titular landscape, he calls on its mangy alpha dogs to help him find his dear Spots. Lending their voices to Anderson's latest curious cartoon are Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Yoko Ono, Tilda Swinton, and Ken Watanabe.