15 Movies We’re Dying to See at Fantastic Fest 2018

man who killed don quixote trailer

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Director: Terry Gilliam

Synopsis: Once-ambitious advertising man Toby finds himself revisiting a student film he made long before his world became monochrome. Re-teaming with the Spanish cobbler he cast in the film who genuinely believes he’s Don Quixote, Toby embarks on a soul-searching journey of magical proportions.

Why We’re Excited: Countless thousands of words have chronicled the troubled production of Terry Gilliam’s new fantasy, which began production 20 years ago and has encountered every imaginable hurdle and pothole since then. But now, the new film from the director of Brazil and Time Bandits is here, so the narrative can stop being “when is this movie going to get made” and can start being “is the movie any good.” That’s the big question, huh? Gilliam is undeniably a genius with a slew of masterpieces under his belt, so it’s time to witness the climax of 20 years of curiosity. Is this film as good as the story of how it was made? (Jacob Hall)

The Night Comes For Us

Director: Timo Tjahjanto

Synopsis: A former triad enforcer must protect a young girl while trying to escape his former gang, setting off a violent battle on the streets of Jakarta.

Why We’re Excited: Gee, I wonder why I’m excited for The Night Comes For Us. Could it be filmmaker Timo Tjahjanto, maestro of such showstoppers as Killers and Macabre? Maybe because stars Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Julie Estelle, Sunny Pang, and Zack Lee have all demonstrated tremendous martial arts cinematics in either Gareth Evans’ The Raid universe or Tjahjanto’s Headshot? This is common sense. Tjahjanto + Uwais = one ticket on the Hype Train Express. Don’t even play.

Indonesia has been a breeding ground for new-age action where bulging machismo muscles are traded for drop-dead beautiful fight choreography. The Night Comes For Us aims to blend Tjahjanto’s seedy dark mannerisms with Uwais and company’s Pencak Silat action fluidity – a match made in whatever part of heaven is alright with broken limbs or ballet-swift bodily destruction. Uwais’ moves are precise, punishing, and breathlessly underrated (still), as he works over henchmen like a sushi chef who never fumbles a single slicing motion. Such dedication to craft that American genre films simply can’t compete with – see Mile 22 as an example. (Matt Donato)

Overlord

Director: Julius Avery

Synopsis: With only hours until D-Day, a team of American paratroopers drop into Nazi-occupied France to carry out a mission that’s crucial to the invasion’s success. Tasked with destroying a radio transmitter atop a fortified church, the desperate soldiers join forces with a young French villager to penetrate the walls and take down the tower. But, in a mysterious Nazi lab beneath the church, the outnumbered G.I.s come face-to-face with enemies unlike any the world has ever seen.

Why We’re Excited: I’ve always been a sucker for historical horror, and Overlord looks to scratch a very specific itch for me. World War II. Nazi experiments. American soldiers battling the supernatural. It’s a grab bag of buzzwords that have my immediate attention and the involvement of J.J. Abrams as a producer has me even more intrigued. After all, Abrams has a habit of throwing his support behind promising filmmakers, which says a lot about Julius Avery. Hopefully, at the very least, Overlord delivers the gory, historically-tinged goods that the trailer promises. (Jacob Hall)

Starfish

Director: A.T. White

Synopsis: A girl. A mixtape. And Armageddon. A uniquely honest portrayal of loss as a young woman struggles with the death of her best friend while dealing with the horrific Lovecraftian end of the world, driven by a beautiful indie music soundtrack.

Why We’re Excited: Yellow Veil Pictures has already acquired worldwide sales rights after its premiere at TIFF, and co-owner Joe Yanick described Starfish as “It Follows by way of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. To me, that description conjures up a visually haunting and emotionally engaging film. And since Al White is commonly known as the lead singer of the UK band, Ghostlight, it’s refreshing to witness a music industry professional expanding his skills as the director of this music-infused apocalyptic horror film. Honestly, I’m always intrigued when creative individuals explore other mediums of artistic expression. The fact that the plot centers around an alluring indie playlist, Armageddon, and creature designs reminiscent of Lovecraft are just an added bonus. White addresses the type of horror that is rooted in realism as his protagonist grieves the loss of her best friend. Navigating the emotional depth and gut-wrenching heartache of death, White attempts to alleviate emotional pain through music and monsters while tackling the humanistic experience that in and of itself can feel like the end of the world. Laying that disturbing, relatable groundwork topped with an allegorical storyline is a cathartic approach that I ultimately love to see exercised in the horror genre. (Marisa Mirabal)

You Might Be The Killer

Director: Brett Simmons

Synopsis: Counselors are being killed off at summer camp, and Sam (Fran Kranz) is stuck in the middle of it. Instead of contacting the cops, he calls his friend and slasher-film expert (Alyson Hannigan) to discuss his options.

Why We’re Excited: I know next to *nothing* about Brett Simmons’ You Might Be The Killer beyond Fantastic Fest’s informational listing and the fact that it’s based on a viral twitter thread between Chuck Wendig and Sam Sykes. A trailer *just dropped, but it’s only a minute long. What *do* we know? Camp counselors have been murdered, Fran Kranz plays someone caught in the middle, and instead of phoning for lawmen aid, he contacts a friend played by Alyson Hannigan (Chuck) who’s well versed in slasher lore. It also stars Brittany S. Hall and Partick Reginal Walker, with an appearance by Keith David.

Uh, inject this into my optic receptors right now?

As per Fantastic Fest, You Might Be The Killer screams Cabin In The Woods meta storytelling and genre manipulation. Scream 2.0 and what have you. As a horror comedy obsessor, conception baited me hook, line and sinker. Kranz and Hannigan are just cherries on top. Fantastic Fest always plugs one or two programmed titles with zero “awareness” or marketing that absolutely floor audiences, which is exactly the vibe I’m getting here. Sometimes you just gotta follow your gut, and it’s rumbling for You Might Be The Killer. (Matt Donato)

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