What the Fest!? 2018 runs March 29th through April 1st at the IFC Center.
We here at Film School Rejects are fond of all film festivals as they remain the purest way to experience a movie, but for some of us it’s the genre film fests — horror, action, weirdness — that appeal the most. Montreal’s Fantasia, Austin’s Fantastic Fest, Toronto After Dark, and the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival have a new sibling starting this weekend in New York City.
What the Fest!? takes place at the IFC Center where it brings “cerebral genre films to the big screen in the heart of Manhattan. Showcasing a small range of carefully selected films from the wild side of cinema with guests and special events to highlight the films in a new way, it is the weekend not to miss for cinema lovers who are looking for the next cool thing.” We wish we were there, but we’ll settle for knowing that some of you will be enjoying the fest in our place!
The fest includes a handful of premieres, some festival favorites, and a few other surprises. We’ve already seen a few of the titles and can happily recommend films like Revenge, The Endless, and Ghost Stories. Keep reading for a look at What the Fest!? 2018’s entire weekend slate.
REVENGE (NY Premiere)
Thursday, March 29th, 7:00PM
Synopsis: Three wealthy, married men learn the hard way that you should never bring your mistress along on a guys’ getaway, especially when there’s hunting involved. A Neon release.
Written & Directed by: Coralie Fargeat
Starring: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, & Guillaume Bouchède
TRT: 108 min.
Language: English; French (with English subtitles)
VALLEY OF SHADOWS (U.S. Premiere)
Friday, March 30th, 7:00PM
Synopsis: In this mesmerizing Scandinavian Gothic fable shot on 35mm, a small boy sets out into the deep, dark woods in search of a mysterious creature. Filmmaker Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen will appear in-person for a post-screening Q&A.
Directed by: Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen
Written by: Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen & Clement Tuffreau
Starring: Adam Ekeli, Kathrine Fagerland, Jørgen Langhelle, Jone Hope Larsen, & Lennard Salamon
TRT: 91 min.
Language: Norwegian (with English subtitles)
Friday, March 30th, 9:30PM
Synopsis: Two brothers (played by co-directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, of SPRING and RESOLUTION) return to the cult they fled years ago, only to discover that the group’s beliefs may make much more sense than they once thought. A Well Go USA release. Benson and Moorhead will appear in-person for a post-screening Q&A.
Directed by: Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
Written by: Justin Benson
Starring: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Tate Ellington, Callie Hernandez, & Lew Temple
TRT: 112 min.
BLUE MY MIND (NY Premiere)
Saturday, March 31st, 1:15PM
Synopsis: As if adapting to a new town and a new life weren’t enough, 15-year-old Mia faces an overwhelming transformation when her body starts to change radically.
Written & Directed by: Lisa Brühlmann
Starring: Luna Wedler, Zoë Pastelle Holthuizen, & Regula Grauwiller
TRT: 97 min.
Language: Swiss German (with English subtitles)
BOILED ANGELS: THE TRIAL OF MIKE DIANA (World Premiere)
Saturday, March 31st, 4:00PM
Synopsis: Jailed for comics?! The true story of Mike Diana, the only American artist ever convicted of obscenity, directed by cult filmmaker Frank Henenlotter (BASKET CASE, BRAIN DAMAGE, FRANKENHOOKER). Henenlotter and Diana will appear in-person for a post-screening Q&A, along with producers Anthony Sneed and Mike Hunchback.
Directed by: Frank Henenlotter
Featuring: Mike Diana, George A. Romero, Neil Gaiman, Peter Bagge, Jay Lynch, Stephen Bissette, Peter Kuper, & more
TRT: 105 min.
GHOST STORIES (NY Premiere)
Saturday, March 31st, 7:00PM
Synopsis: Arch-skeptic professor Phillip Goodman embarks upon a terror-filled quest when he stumbles across three long-lost cases of unexplainable “hauntings.” Filmmakers to appear in-person for post-screening Q&A.
Written & Directed by: Jeremy Dyson & Andy Nyman
Starring: Martin Freeman, Andy Nyman, Alex Lawther, & Paul Whitehouse
TRT: 98 min.
SATAN’S SLAVES (NY Premiere)
Saturday, March 31st, 9:45PM
Synopsis: A hit at Rotterdam, acclaimed director Joko Anwar’s (MODUS ANOMALI, A COPY OF MY MIND) remake of a beloved 1982 Indonesian horror classic (reputedly itself inspired by PHANTASM) is a delightfully terrifying haunted house movie — and the country’s biggest box office smash of 2017.
Written & Directed by: Joko Anwar
Starring: Bront Palarae, Tara Basro, Endy Arfian, & Dimas Aditya
TRT: 106 min.
Language: Indonesian (with English subtitles)
CURSE OF SNAKES VALLEY, a.k.a. “The Soviet Indiana Jones” (World Premiere Restoration)
Sunday, April 1st , 12:30PM
Synopsis: This unseen 1980s Eastern Bloc-buster presents the Soviet answer to Indiana Jones in a tale that combines snakes and jungle traps and the “classic weirdness” of Polish sci-fi! Never released in the U.S., CURSE OF SNAKES VALLEY screens in a beautiful new digital restoration by the Estonian Film Institute.
Directed by: Marek Piestrak
Written by: Wojciech Nizynski, Marek Piestrak, & Vladimir Valutskiy
Starring: Krzysztof Kolberger, Roman Wilhelmi, & Ewa Salacka
TRT: 94 min.
Country: Estonia, Poland
Language: Russian (with English subtitles)
LOWLIFE (NY Premiere)
Sunday, April 1st, 3:00PM
Synopsis: The sordid lives of an addict, an ex-con, and a luchador collide when an organ harvesting caper goes very, very wrong. An IFC Midnight release. Director Ryan Prows and co-star Mark Burnham will appear in-person for a post-screening Q&A.
Directed by: Ryan Prows
Written by: Tim Cairo, Jake Gibson, Shaye Ogbonna, Ryan Prows, & Maxwell Michael Towson
Starring: Jon Oswald, Nicki Micheaux, Mark Burnham, & Ricardo Adam Zarate
TRT: 96 min.
Language: English, Spanish (with English subtitles)
“The Terror” (Episode Sneak Preview)
Sunday, April 1st, 5:30PM
Synopsis: Join star Jared Harris for a sneak preview of AMC’s new series based on Dan Simmons’s 2007 bestseller, the true-life tale of a group of sailors confronting certain death at the frozen ends of the earth. Jared Harris and Executive Producers Soo Hugh and David Kajganich will appear in-person for a post-screening Q&A.
Starring: Jared Harris, Ciarán Hinds, & Tobias Menzies
TRT: 144 min (Episodes 1-3 of the first season)
THE RANGER (NY Premiere)
Sunday, April 1st, 9:00PM
Synopsis: Teen punks on the run from the cops hide out in a remote cabin, only to find out that the forest has its own law. Writer/director Jenn Wexler and producer/co-star Larry Fessenden will appear in-person for a post-screening Q&A.
Directed by: Jenn Wexler
Written by: Giaco Furino & Jenn Wexler
Starring: Chloe Levine, Jeremy Holm, & Larry Fessenden
TRT: 80 min.
Check out What the Fest!?’s official site for more details.