Fantastic Fest 2017 Line-Up Includes 'Gerald's Game,' 'Brawl In Cell Block 99,' And 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'

Fantastic Fest, the Austin-based film festival celebrating the weirdest and wildest movies from around the globe, has announced the first wave of movies playing at this year's fest and it's a perfect summation of what makes this my favorite week of the year.

The next films from the directors of In Bruges, Bone Tomahawk, and The Lobster? The next Takashi Miike joint? Two Stephen King adaptations? A Scottish zombie movie set during Christmas that's also a musical? Yeah, that's Fantastic Fest.

The first wave of Fantastic Fest 2017 movies has been revealed and I implore you to take a close look at this list of titles. While there are several heavy-hitters from major names in the bunch, many of these movies are bound to be new favorites that you discover while poking around Netflix over the next few years. That's always the case with Fantastic Fest films.

But let's take a moment to focus on some of the big films. Mike Flanagan's adaptation of Gerald's Game is a must-see not only because I've enjoyed Flanagan's work in the past, but because I literally have not idea how you adapt that book. It's one of Stephen King's most isolated and internal novels (it's set entirely in a single bedroom) and I'm eager to see how it translates. Another King adaptation, a take on the novella 1922, is also playing the fest.

Also of interest is Brawl in Cell Block 99, the latest film from S. Craig Zahler, whose Bone Tomahawk was a big hit with fest-goers a few years ago. While it's made the festival rounds already, I'm very curious to check out Yorgos Lanthimos' The Killing of a Sacred Deer, especially since his The Lobster was one of the most fascinating movies in recent years. Of all the major movies though, it's Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri that has me the most excited. The director of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths has a free pass to my undivided attention.

However, the smaller movies seem just as exciting as the major screenings. Just check out the synopsis for Anna and the Apocalypse, a Scottish movie making its world premiere at the fest:

Anna's life is dominated by the typical concerns of her youthful peers until the Christmas season in her small town brings not Santa, but an outbreak of the undead in this genre-mashing holiday horror musical. Yep. Musical.

Fantastic Fest kicks off on September 21, 2017. You can find a full list of the first wave of movies playing the fest under the photo gallery below. As usual, we'll be providing coverage straight from the fest.

1922USA, 2017World Premiere, 101 minsDirector – Zak Hilditch1922 is based on Stephen King's 131-page story telling of a man's confession of his wife's murder. The tale is told from from the perspective of Wilfred James, the story's unreliable narrator who admits to killing his wife, Arlette, in Nebraska. But after he buries her body, he finds himself terrorized by rats and, as his life begins to unravel, he becomes convinced his wife is haunting him.78/52USA, 2017Regional Premiere, 91 minDirector – Alexandre O. PhilippeThis masterful documentary focuses on a single aspect of Hitchcock's PSYCHO to demonstrate the master's technical ability in storytelling. With expert interviews and rollicking analysis, 78/52 sets a new bar in how to examine film overall.ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSEScotland, 2017World Premiere, 107 minDirector – John McPhailAnna's life is dominated by the typical concerns of her youthful peers until the Christmas season in her small town brings not Santa, but an outbreak of the undead in this genre-mashing holiday horror musical. Yep. Musical.ANYABEgypt, 1981Repertory, 100 minDirector – Mohammed SheblANYAB (FANGS) is an oddity worth rediscovering! An Egyptian take on THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, this eye-popping musical of madness manages to cram horror, science fiction and even social commentary together while charming with its outrageous costumes and action.BLADE OF THE IMMORTALJapan, 2017US Premiere, 141 minDirector – Takashi MiikeTakashi Miike's 100th journey is an adaptation of the BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL manga. Manji, a samurai who cannot die, crosses paths with Rin Asano, a young girl whose parents were killed. Manji swears to help Rin Asano avenge her parents' deaths.BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99USA, 2017US Premiere, 132 minDirector – S. Craig ZahlerS. Craig Zahler (BONE TOMAHAWK) returns with his sophomore feature, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99. An exhilarating exercise in analog violence, CELL BLOCK follows the brutal exploits of a former boxer who finds himself incarcerated after a drug deal goes wrong. Trapped in a maximum security facility, he must fight to stay alive and to protect those he loves.COLD HELLGermany, 2017US Premiere, 91 minDirector – Stefan RuzowitzskyA young Turkish woman living in Vienna feels increasingly lonely after she witnesses a murder and finds herself next on the killer's agenda in this smart and gritty thriller from the director of ANATOMY and the Oscar-winning THE COUNTERFEITERS.DAN DREAMDenmark, 2017US Premiere, 97 minDirector – Jesper RofeltKLOWN duo Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam reunite for a true-life tale of epic failure. Witness the non-arrival of the Danish electric car! THE ENDLESSUSA, 2017Texas Premiere, 111 min

Directors – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead

When brothers Justin and Aaron return to the cult that they escaped from ten years ago, they encounter a web of secrets and mysteries that threatens to tear them apart.GENERATION B (GENERATIE B)Belgium, 2017ep. 1-4 = North American Premiere; ep. 5-6 = World Premiere, 210 minDirector – Pieter Van HeesThe generation gap has never been wider than it is in Pieter Van Hees' deliriously absurd satire, pitting old generation money against Millennial apathy — and the occasional naked anarchist — following Belgium's economic collapse.GERALD'S GAMEUSA, 2017US Premiere, 103 minsDirector – Mike Flanagan Flanagan unites with master of the macabre Stephen King for his cinematic interpretation of King's beloved GERALD'S GAME. Starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood, GERALD'S GAME delivers pitch-perfect performances in a chilling adaptation where the horrors of the mind are much worse than what's in front of you.HAGAZUSSA – A HEATHEN'S CURSEGermany, 2017World Premiere, 102 minDirector – Lukas FeigelfeldSet in the 15th Century in the Austrian Alps, Lukas Feigelfeld's HAGAZUSSA takes us back to a dark period in which even the remotest parts of Europe suffered from the paranoia and superstition of the time.JAILBREAKCambodia, 2017US Premiere, 92 minDirector – Jimmy HendersonCambodia's traditional martial art of bokator is unleashed in all its bone crunching fury in this action-packed tale of police trapped in the midst of a raging prison riot.JUVENILEUSA, 2017World Premiere, 87 minDirector – Bradley BueckerThe emotionally powerful story of Billy, an angry youth who spends his evenings stealing cars with best friend Mikey while attempting to cultivate a stable relationship with his girlfriend Jules.THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEERIreland / United Kingdom, 2017US Premiere, 120 minDirector – Yorgos LanthimosThe life of a brilliant surgeon is thrown into disarray when his friendship with a bizarre teenager threatens the lives of his entire family. Faced with a frightening choice, the man will be forced to assess all that he's ever done.KING COHENUSA, 2017US Premiere, 104 minDirector – Steve MitchellFeaturing interviews from some of the biggest names in genre cinema including Joe Dante, Robert Forster and Fred Williamson, this documentary tells the story of one of the best and hardest working exploitation filmmakers.MAUSSpain, 2017World Premiere, 90 minDirector – Yayo HerreroYayo Herrero's directorial debut is a couple's nightmare journey into the heart of darkness. A superlative horror parable, this shocking film is an indictment of modern history, war and the difficulties of reconciliation. It is a story for our times.MY FRIEND DAHMERUSA, 2017Texas Premiere, 107 minDirector – Marc MeyersThis is the story of Jeffrey Dahmer, a high school loner whose life would shape up to be something far more frightening than anyone could have imagined.THE ORIGINALSEgypt, 2017International Premiere, 125 minsDirector – Marwan HamedSamir works for a bank, provides for his ever-demanding family and dreams of being in an Egyptian talent show. When he's unexpectedly fired, Samir finds himself recruited to be part of a secret society and finds a darker side to life in Egypt.RON GOOSSENS: LOW-BUDGET STUNTMANThe Netherlands, 2017North American Premiere, 78 minDirectors – Steffen Haars & Flip van der KuilThe latest from the comedic team behind the NEW KIDS films and BROs BEFORE HOs. Ron Goossens is totally shitfaced. Only by working as a movie stuntman and bedding the hottest actress in the Netherlands can Ron save his marriage.THE SQUARESweden, 2017US Premiere, 150 minDirector – Ruben ÖstlundAn art museum director's life becomes a comedy of errors when trying to put together his latest exhibit in FORCE MAJEURE director Ruben Ostlund's latest, which won the Palme D'Or at this year's Cannes.SUPER DARK TIMESUSA, 2017Regional Premiere, 102 minDirector – Kevin PhillipsA split-second act of violence forever changes the lives of two '90s kids. Now they must cope with both the fallout of that moment and the pressures of high school in this clever and bloody coming-of-age thriller.THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURIUSA, 2017US PREMIERE, 110 minDirector – Martin McDonaghA grieving mother takes drastic measures in an attempt to catch her daughter's killer. Challenging the police to solve the case, she posts a series of billboards that threaten the fabric of rural, Missouri.TIGER GIRLGermany, 2017US Premiere, 90 minDirector – Jakob LassFailing to crack the ranks as a would-be cop, Maggie begrudgingly settles for a security guard job until she encounters Tiger, a fierce young woman whose rebellious antics leave Maggie questioning which side of the law she truly belongs on.TOP KNOT DETECTIVEAustralia, 2016North American Premiere, 87 minDirectors – Aaron McCann & Dominic PearceAliens! Ninjas! Robots! Enormous egos! Get ready to enter the world of TOP KNOT DETECTIVE! Possibly the greatest cult TV series you've never heard of, TOP KNOT DETECTIVE and its creator Takashi Tawagoto come to life in this gonzo documentary.