SXSW: A Guide To Horror Features At South By Southwest 2016

The time of year has come again. The illustrious film and arts festival in Texas has returned. A goal of most indie filmmakers is to get into such a festival and enjoy the eight to ten days in the Texas heat surrounded by like minded artists and incredible crafts including music and a multitude of film screenings. We Are Indie Horror is talking about none other than South By Southwest Film and music festival. The line up for the 2016 film program has been released and we have a guide to all things horror at the festival for those attending or for those curious as to what to watch out for the rest of the year.


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Carnage Park

Mickey Keating

The year is 1978. A team of wannabe crooks botch a small-town bank heist and flee with their hostage deep into the California desert, where they find themselves in a harrowing fight for survival against a psychotic ex-military sniper. The film stars Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck, Darby Stanchfield, Larry Fessenden, Graham Skipper, James Landry Hebert, and Michael Villar. 

Mickey’s sophomore attempt lands him back at SXSW. POD was featured last year and then quickly acquired for theatrical and home release.

Hush

Hush

Mike Flanagan

Author Maddie Young (Siegel) has lived a life of isolation since losing her hearing as a teenager, fully retreating into her now silent world. But when the masked face of a psychotic killer appears in the window of her secluded home, Maddie must push herself beyond her mental and physical limits in order to survive the night. The film stars Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, and Samantha Sloyan. 

You may be familiar with Mike Flanagan’s previous work. He directed the terrifying Oculus and AbsentiaSXSW marks the world premiere for Hush

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I Am a Hero

Shinsuke Sato

Hideo is still a manga artist’s assistant at the age of 35. Increasingly frustrated by his fruitless dreams, Hideo’s girlfriend, Tekko, kicks him out. Days later, Hideo returns to apologize to Tekko, but she’s been infected by the mysterious virus that turns humans into ZQN, and attacks him! Hideo flees Tokyo, taking his shotgun with him. The city is already overflowing with people infected with the virus. Amid the panic, Hideo meets high school student Hiromi, and they team together to escape. Hideo and Hiromi seek refuge, along with other survivors, on the roof of a shopping mall where they must shoot ZQNs on sight. Will Hideo be able to protect Hiromi and find a cure for the virus? It stars Yo Oizumi, Kasumi Arimura, and Masami Nagasawa.

I Am a Hero is Japan’s first major zombie movie based on a blockbuster manga series. The showing at SWSW is the U.S. premiere. The director, Sato, is well known for his use of beautiful CGI to bring worlds to life.

Jack Goes Home

Jack Goes Home

Thomas Dekker

After his father is killed in a car crash, Jack travels home to Colorado to help nurse his mother (who was injured in the crash) back to health. There, he uncovers long buried secrets and lies within his family, his friends and his very identity. The film stars the always captivating Rory Culkin. Along side him is the incredibly talented and genre favorite Lin Shaye. Joining those two powerhouses will be Daveigh Chase, Natasha Lyonne, Louis Hunter, Nikki Reed and Britt Robertson.

SXSW is lucky to have the world premiere of this intense film. Thomas Dekker has been acting since the age of 5 and has appeared in over 25 films. He is an accomplished writer and director as well.

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Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word

Simon Rumley

Based on true events. Amarillo, Texas, Halloween, 1968, Sister Tadea Benz, a 76 year old nun is raped and murdered in her bedroom in her convent. A teenager from the wrong side of the tracks, Johnny Frank Garrett, is arrested but claims innocence. His trial is a farce and he is sentenced to death. On the day of his execution, Garrett writes a curse letter saying his spirit will return and kill not only those involved with his sentencing and death but the members of their families too. Sure enough, soon after, those involved in the execution start dying and it is left to one of the jurors to try to solve the riddle of who actually killed Sister Tadea Benz to save his son. It stars Sean Patrick Flanery, Erin Cummings, Devin Bonne, and Mike Doyle

Another world premiere strikes at SXSW 2016 with Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word. As a leading independent horror director in the UK, Rumley’s work can be seen in the ABCs Of Death compilation with P Is For Pressure and his features Red, White, and Blue and The Living And The Dead

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My Father Die

Sean Brosnan

Deaf and mute since having his hearing knocked out at the age of 12, Asher has been training for almost two decades to avenge himself on Ivan, the man that killed his older brother, 21 years ago. And now that his nemesis is out of prison, he gets his chance. But Asher’s target also happens to be his father. This film stars Across The Universe’s Joe Anderson, Gary Stretch, Candace Smith, and Kevin Gage

Low and behold this will be another world premiere for SXSW. The son of PierceBrosnan jumps into the feature horror game after many years of mostly short films and TV series. This tale of revenge is set to scare during the Midnights portion of the festival.

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Pet

Carles Torrens

A Lonley man fatefully reunites with a former high school classmate. When she spurns his advances, he takes her prisoner, only to find that she is not what she seems. The film stars Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Parsons, John Ross Bowie, Da’Vone McDonald, and Janet Song.

In the vein of Hard Candy and Gone Girl, Pet is a psychological thriller that deals with the themes of identity, loneliness, selflessness and what it means to truly belong to another. This dark love story will also be making it’s world premiere this year. Torrens is best known for his work Apartment 143 which you can find on Netflix.

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Phantasm: Remastered

Don Coscarelli

In Don Coscarelli’s PHANTASM, the residents of a small Oregon town have begun dying under mysterious circumstances. Upon the death of a family friend, thirteen-year-old Mike finds himself compelled to investigate. After discovering that the town’s mortician (a sinister and malevolent character Mike nicknames “the Tall Man”) is responsible for murdering and reanimating the dead, Mike seeks help from his older brother, Jody, and best friend and ice cream man Reggie. Working together, these three friends must break into a local mausoleum, lure out and confront the Tall Man, all the while avoiding his dangerous minions and his wicked flying chrome killing device, the deadly silver sphere. Starring Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, and the late great Angus Scrimm who left us at the beginning of this year.

J.J. Abrams and his company Bad Robot took on the task of a 4K restoration of this classic. It is featured as part of the Midnight series at this years SXSW

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Under The Shadow

Babak Anvari

Tehran, 1988: Shideh lives amidst the chaos of the Iran-Iraq war. Having been accused of subversive behaviour and blacklisted from medical college, she is in a state of malaise. Furthermore, her husband Iraj is at war, leaving her alone to protect their young daughter, Dorsa. A missile hits their apartment building and doesn’t explode. Soon afterwards, Dorsa falls ill and her behaviour becomes increasingly disturbed. Searching for answers, Shideh learns from a superstitious neighbour that the cursed, unexploded missile might have brought in Djinn – malevolent spirits that travel on the wind. She becomes convinced that a supernatural force within the building is attempting to possess Dorsa. The film stars Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Maderi, and Arash Marandi.

This Farsi film comes from Jordan, where war is prevalent in day to day life. Director Babak Anvari has been making films since he was 16 years old and has won numerous awards across multiple countries. His last short Two and Two was nominated for a BAFTA award.

Untitled Ghost House Thriller

Fede Alvarez

A group of teens break into a blind man’s home thinking they’ll get away with the perfect crime. They’re wrong. Starring Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, and Stephen Lang

This untitled film will be having it’s world premiere in just about one month at the SXSW Film FestivalFede Alvarez is known for his rendition of Sam Rami’s Evil Dead from 2013 which went on to gross over 100 million dollars.


Will you be heading to Austin, Texas this March for the world renowned South By Southwest Film Festival? If so let us know what films you are going to be seeing. If not let us know what you find interesting off this list. Stay tuned for an article next week with all the short horror films for this years SXSW.