Sunday, July 9

Fantasia International Film Festival 2023

7 Most Anticipated Films

Fantasia International Film Festival 2023


The 27th Annual Fantasia International Film Festival is back July 20th – August 9th with quite a stacked line-up!

Big mainstream debuts will include SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL, TALK TO ME, APORIA, and SUITABLE FLESH. Plus, a career achievement award for Nicolas Cage.

But for me, what draws me to Fantasia each year is the unique storytelling from the smaller, independent films.

Like BOOGER – a film where the main character is bitten by a cat named Booger and things starts to get stranger every day like her hunger for canned cat food. Or #MANHOLE – a film about a successful salesman who falls into a concrete manhole with no way out. Or the world premiere of THE PRIMEVALS, representing the culmination of a longtime dream harbored by visual effects wizard David Allen.

Since its beginnings, the vision of Fantasia International Film Festival has been to explore the diverse realms of genre cinema, creating a bridge between the cutting edge and the mainstream.

It’s a bridge I like to take my time walking along, soaking in all the glorious film making. And although my list of films to watch is extensive, today I’m going to share the 7 films I’m most excited for this year.



Directed by: Teresa Sutherland

LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP is the hotly anticipated directorial debut of Teresa Sutherland, screenwriter of THE WIND and a writer on MIDNIGHT MASS.

It’s currently being touted as an immersive, fever dream and I’m all for it.


Georgina Campbell (BARBARIAN) plays Lennon, a park ranger in an isolated forest outpost, the site of multiple mysterious disappearances, and is plagued by visions blending the past and present with something even more sinister.



Directed by: Park Jae-beom

MOTHERLAND is the first South Korean stop-motion feature film in almost half a century. The stills look stunning and the story a fun, snow packed adventure that will satisfy my inner child.


When the health of Krisha’s mother takes a turn for the worse, the village shaman offers her wisdom: follow the North Star to the Ancient Forest and find its guardian and master, the great red bear of legend.



Directed by: Jenn Wexler

I rocked out to Jenn Wexler’s THE RANGER at Phoenix Film Festival in 2018 and I can’t wait to take in her latest punk indie.


In a girl’s Catholic school in the ’70s, a couple of lonely misfit girls, Samantha and Clara, must spend their Christmas break in their near-deserted school with a young teacher named Rose. As they hunker down for quiet times and turkey, a group of marauding killers set on unleashing supernatural evil find themselves at the school’s gates.



Directed by: Eva Strelnikova

STAY ONLINE is the heavy hitter on my list but a film I feel is imperative to watch. It is also the first Ukrainian feature film to have been shot since the beginning of the ongoing Russian invasion.


While using a laptop donated to the resistance, Katya, comes into contact with the original owner’s superhero-obsessed son, who is looking for his lost parents. In an effort to make a positive change in this boy’s life and pull herself out of a destructive cycle, Katya risks all that she holds dear to locate his parents.



Directed by: Kenneth Dagatan

I LOVE fairy tales and folklore so I’m anxiously awaiting the screening of IN MY MOTHER’S SKIN.


A Filipino folk-horror fairy tale set in a time of perfidy, dread, and desolation - during the final days of the Second World War, the young Tala discovers something otherworldly in the woods.



Directed by: Cameron Cairnes and Colin Cairnes

Let’s face it, journalism, especially broadcast news journalism, is at a tipping point today. The LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL looks to be a nice reprieve from our current outlook and an interesting found-footage film.


David Dastmalchian (SUICIDE SQUAD) headlines this innovative and nightmarish horror treat in which a live television broadcast in 1977 goes horribly wrong, unleashing evil into the nation’s living rooms.



Directed by: Jennifer Reeder

I showcased Jennifer Reeder’s KNIVES AND SKIN during our local Women in Horror Month screenings in 2019 and it was mesmerizing. There’s no way I’m going to miss out on her latest entry in genre filmmaking.


Jonny Baptiste is a reckless teen sent to live with her estranged Aunt Hildie. On the event of her 18th birthday, she experiences a radical metamorphosis: a family spell that redefines her called - Forevering. When several teen girls go missing at her new school, a mythically feral Jonny goes after the Perpetrator.


Watch for my reviews and possible director interviews from July 20th - Aug. 9th! 



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