12 Films We Can’t Wait to See at The Overlook Film Festival

By  · Published on April 20th, 2017

Oregon’s newest film festival offers up a world premiere and a whole lot of other goodies.

The Timberline Lodge located at Mt. Hood, Oregon is set to be home for The Overlook Film Festival — a brand-new horror film festival stuffed with 39 films (22 features and 17 shorts from 16 countries). Naturally this is the perfect setting for horror hounds to gather as the Timberline was famously used as the exterior setting in Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, The Shining.

The festival is scheduled to kick off in a little over a week on April 27th (and run through the 30th) and we now know that the Opening Night Selection will be the world premiere of Stephanie, the new supernatural thriller from director Akiva Goldsman and Blumhouse Productions. Stephanie was written by the dynamic duo of Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski and stars Frank Grillo, Anna Torv and Shree Crooks.

Goldsman will be on hand with producer Jason Blum to participate in a Q&A after the screening of Stephanie which will then be followed by a screening of their favorite film in the Paranormal Activity franchise. Blum will also be on hand to accept the festival’s Visionary Award on behalf of Blumhouse Productions. The Visionary Award was established to honor a contemporary horror figure or company elevating the genre, while fostering the community by providing opportunities for new talent to thrive.

Stephanie is just one of a number of exciting films aimed to thrill audiences making the trek to the Pacific Northwest. Here are 12 films, including Stephanie, that I’m eager to feast my eyes upon at the first-ever Overlook Film Festival.

Opening Night Film — World Premiere

Stephanie — Dir. Akiva Goldsman — United States, 2017

Stephanie re-unites Blumhouse with Academy Award winning writer and director Akiva Goldsman (director: Winter’s Tale, writer: A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, executive producer: the Paranormal Activity franchise) for this supernatural horror-thriller. In the not too distant future, after a global crisis, Stephanie is left alone in her remote home, while a dark supernatural force looms in the background. When her mother and father return to claim her, the malevolent power spins out of control with Stephanie at the center.

The Bad Batch — Dir. Ana Lily Amirpour — United States, 2016

Set in a post-apocalyptic future, this imaginative tale sees a young girl deemed no longer suitable for civilized society forcibly put out to pasteur in the rugged Texas wasteland inhabited by a iron-pumping ground of blood thirsty cannibals.

The Bar — Dir. Alex de la Iglesia — Spain, 2017

Spanish genre maverick, Alex de la Iglesia, returns to form with fast paced horror-comedy about a random group of diners who get trapped together inside a bar in downtown Madrid when a sniper opens fire on the streets. As claustrophobia sets inside, a series of bizarre occurrences take place outside, leading this mismatched bunch to extreme paranoia that may have vicious consequences.

Boys in the Trees — Dir. Nicholas Verso — Australia, 2016

Part eerie, part moving, this engrossing coming-of-age tale sees two estranged teens as they begrudginly find themselves walking home together on Halloween 1997. As the differences in the pair start bubble to surface, the two embark on a surreal journey through their vivid memories, lurid dreams and morbid fears.

The Dwarves Must Be Crazy — Dir. Bhin Banloerit — Thailand, 2016

The most insane and hilarious horror comedy you will see this year, The Dwarves Must Be Crazy follows a village of little people as it is attacked by an evil ancient Thai spirit. When the local inhabitants feast on some poisonous fireflies, all hell breaks loose in this chaotic piece of anarchic cinema full of intenstines and flatulance humor.

Centerpiece Presentation

Lady Macbeth — Dir. William Oldroyd — United Kingdom, 2016

Rural England, 1865. Katherine is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age, and his cold, unforgiving family. When she embarks on a passionate affair with a young worker on her husband’s estate, a force is unleashed inside her so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

Meatball Machine Kodoku — Dir. Yoshihiro Nishimura — Japan, 2017

Japanese cyberpunk is alive and well in this folllow-up to the 2005 splatter comedy Meatball Machine. Taking the reigns this time is effects specialist Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police) as he puts his own independent spin on the story of the alien parasite who turns unsuspecting humans into Necro-borg — half man, half machine creatures who will stop at nothing to battle each other to the death.

Prey — Dir. Dick Maas — Netherlands, 2016

Bad boy Dutch director Dick Maas returns with this over-the-top thriller about an enormous, aggressive lion who is on the loose outside of Amsterdam. Teaming up with the police and her hunter ex-boyfriend, a brilliant veternarian is hot on the trail, dead set on catching the beast before he tears through everything in sight in the romp of a gore-fest.

Psychopaths — Dir. Mickey Keating — United States, 2017

When an unidentified madman is sent to the electric chair, it triggers a sort of Mischief Night for a group of serial killers out in an entire city. An escaped mental patient, a beautiful seductress, a strangler who preys on unsuspecting women and an enigmatic masked contract killer run amok in Mickey Keating’s new slasherfest.

Terror 5— Dir. Sebastian Rotstein, Federico Rotstein — Argentina, 2016

On a night when the City Governor is facing the accusation of being responsible for a tragedy that led to the death of 15 persons when a building in construction fell apart, five citizens who remain disillusioned are fated to face their most terrifying fears. Based on a set of urban legends, these seedy, allegorical tales of lust, possession, revenge and voyeurism will make your skin crawl.

Mayhem — Dir. Joe Lynch — United States, 2017

In this explosive new film from director Joe Lynch, a dangerous virus that prevents the infected from controlling their inhibitions is discovered in a corporate law building — the very same firm that recently cleared an infected man on murder charges. When a quarantine is issued and the building goes on lockdown, all hell breaks loose inside, leaving a disgruntled employee (Steven Yeun) and an irate client (Samara Weaving) to fight their way to the top to “have a word” with the corrupt executives who wronged them.

Lake Bodom— Dir. Taneli Mustonen— Finland, 2016

Every camper’s worst nightmare came true at Lake Bodom in 1960 when four teenagers were stabbed to death while sleeping in their tent. As the years passed and the case grew cold, the unsolved mystery turned into a creepy campfire story passed from generation to generation. Now, a group of teenagers arrives at the same campsite, hoping to solve the murder by reconstructing it minute by minute. As night falls, it turns out not all of them are there to play.

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Chris Coffel is a contributor at Film School Rejects. He’s a connoisseur of Christmas horror, a Nic Cage fanatic, and bad at Rocket League. He can be found on Twitter here: @Chris_Coffel. (He/Him)