Fantastic Fest Day Three Recap

(Welcome to The Fantastic Fest Diaries, where we will be chronicling every single movie we see at the United States’ largest genre film festival.)

Welcome to Fantastic Fest 2019, day two. In this entry, The Long Walk is a fascinating story that goes on for too long, The Lodge will make you miserable in the best ways possible, The Pool defies logic and taste in ways that are difficult to sum up, and The Mortuary Collection is a fun but hit-and-miss horror anthology.

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the lodge release date

The Lodge is the feel-bad movie of the year, and I mean that as a compliment. This nightmare-inducing tale of terror from the directors of Goodnight Mommy is sure to be one of the most buzzed-about horror films of 2019, and now you can finally start counting down the days until you can see it. Neon has locked down a release date for the movie for November, just in time for the movie to fuck up the start of the holiday season. See The Lodge release date, plus a new teaser, below.

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overlook film festival day three

There’s another day of repeat viewings left at the Overlook Film Festival as I type this up, but I’m rolling out of NOLA today and leaving it all behind. So long to the murderous humidity, blasting air conditioners, high calorie foods, and a vast sea of alcohol. My last day of the fest was day three, yesterday, which I spent indoors as much as possible. I also ended up partaking in the best the fest had to offer in the form of two movies – one of which I had already seen. The best event turned out to not be a movie at all, though. Instead, author Grady Hendrix returned to New Orleans to give Overlook attendees an early glimpse of his upcoming Paperbacks from Hell II: Think of the Children. The end result was one of the most entertaining experiences of my life.

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the lodge trailer new

Ready for the next great horror movie? Good, because it’s here, and it’s called The Lodge. This supremely freaky nightmare from the director of Goodnight Mommy traps Riley Keough and two kids in a cabin during a blizzard, and proceeds to scare the living daylights out of you. Watch The Lodge trailer below.

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the lodge trailer

The Lodge was one of the best films I saw at Sundance this year – a chilly, slow-burning nightmare that’s bound to give horror fans a jolt. What makes this creeper so effective is how unpredictable it is, which means you might want to go into The Lodge with as little info as possible. That said, the first trailer for the film does an excellent job being vague, while still selling the dread-inducing atmosphere on display. Watch The Lodge trailer below.

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the lodge review

It seems like every year, we get at least one film heralded as “the next great horror movie.” Sometimes, that assessment is overblown. But sometimes, it’s spot-on. This year’s next great horror film is The Lodge, and I am entirely confident in that assessment. It’s going to be nearly impossible for any other fright flick this year to top the atmospheric dread and abject terror on display here. An icy cold mix of The Shining and religious mania run wild, The Lodge opens with a bang, and never lets up. Take it from someone who doesn’t scare easy: The Lodge is scary as hell.

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Sundance 2019 logo

While 2018’s edition of the Sundance Film Festival might not have launched any major Oscar heavyweights, it turned out a steady stream of modest summer hits from first time directors (Hereditary, Sorry to Bother You, Eight Grade) as well as three non-fiction films that were blockbusters by documentary standards (Three Identical Strangers, RBG, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?). Plus, countless Sundance selections remained critical favorites that stuck around in the conversation through the end of last year (Wildlife, Minding the Gap, Hale County This Morning, This Evening).

This is all to say, never believe anyone who tells you that a given year at Sundance is a “weak” one. Fluctuations in programming focuses and projects submissions rarely yield a continuous trajectory for a festival. That may prove doubly true for the 2019 edition of the Sundance Film Festival, which is the first under Kim Yutani’s leadership as director of programming following the long reign of Trevor Groth. This year’s festival looks noticeably more inclusive and diverse, both in terms of the stories being told and the people who are telling them. The lineup pulls less obviously from established festival favorites in favor of providing a platform to emerging artists who may have only a scattered short or feature to their name.

There’s going to be a lot to follow out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and thankfully /Film will have several writers on the ground in Park City to report out the big finds and stories. But for those of us who aren’t making the trek up into the mountains of Utah for Sundance, there’s still a way to be a part of the festival.

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