Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the country, shows horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action, and unusual films that don’t necessarily fit into run-of-the-mill genres. The 2022 edition will run at Austin’s iconic Alamo Drafthouse Theater South Lamar from September 22 for eight days. The scariness then continues with an “at home” version, for residents of the United States, from September 29 through Oct. 4.
Past years have launched cult favorites and brought famous directors and actors to the Hollywood of the South. In 2018, Jamie Lee Curtis walked the red carpet for the new version of Halloween. The following year, Taika Waititi created controversy, and crazy laughter, with Jojo Rabbit. Last year’s fest brought director Edgar Wright to Austin to introduce Last Night in Soho. This film, which stars Thomasin McKenzie and, in her final role, Diana Rigg, already has achieved cult film status.
Here Comes 2022
According to Fantastic Fest, three titles in this year’s schedule of 99 films have potential to join the Fantastic Fest hall of fame.
Triangle Of Sadness, Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning pitch-black comedy, turns social hierarchy upside down. A luxury cruise ends up shipwrecked on a South Seas island, with Woody Harrelson (Zombieland, True Detective) as a crazy captain. Think Trading Places meets Gilligan’s Island.
Another Fantastic Fest recommended flick from director Parker Finn: Smile. Sosie Bacon (Mare of Easttown) stars as Dr. Rose Cotter. The doctor witnesses a traumatic event involving a patient and her grip on reality begins to slip. And you thought going to the dentist was scary?
Park Chan-wook (Snowpiercer), who just won Best Director at Cannes, brings murder mystery Decision to Leave to the festival. Also, he will be at the Alamo Draft House to accept a lifetime achievement award for what Fantastic Fest describes as “his mind-bending, artfully-crafted body of work.”
Besides all of the above, this year the festival will include a new, online-only section of programming called “Burnt Ends.” They promise it will bring you the weirdest, wildest, most fringe films out there.
As always, there are time slots for mystery titles and buzz screenings, based on audience reactions. If attending in person, you can enjoy Fantastic Fest favorites like Fantastic Feud. In this event trivia experts compete, debating questions like “Which Friday the 13th entry has no nudity?”, “Who directed 1988’s Zombie Death House,” and “How do you destroy a Killer Klown from Outer Space?” And, of course, there are parties.
To find out about the many ticket options available for viewing some or all of the Fantastic Fest collection of films, or to get updates about future Fantastic Fest events and ways to experience the weirdness, check its website.