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The Overlook Film Festival - 8th Annual Horror Festival Lineup Announcement!


ABIGAIL gets the closing night film at Overlook Film Festival


The Overlook Film Festival, the annual celebration of all things horror, announced today the initial lineup for its 2024 edition. Taking place April 4 April 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Prytania Theatres, the horror festival will welcome audiences back to America’s most haunted city with a terrifying selection of new and classic films as well as extensive offscreen offerings including interactive events, live performances, immersive programming, special guests and much, much more.


"We are finally able to see the fruits of post-pandemic productions and it's a sight to behold," said Michael Lerman, co-founder and director of film programming of The Overlook Film Festival. "This year's lineup is full of bigger, scarier, more personal, more bombastic fever dreams that are sure to haunt you for the rest of 2024."


This wide-ranging initial festival lineup includes 45 films (22 features and 23 shorts) from 11 countries, as well as four live presentations and five immersive experiences.


Kicking off the festivities as the Opening Night film will be NEON’s upcoming Cuckoo. Directed by Tilman Singer and starring Hunter Schafer, Dan Stevens and Jessica Henwick, this beautiful and terrifying giallo-esque nightmare tells the story of a reluctant 17-year-old who moves with her family to a resort in the German Alps. There she finds herself the subject of terrifying visions and aggressive stalking by a mysterious woman who may or may not be linked to the town’s past.


Highlighting the lineup of new and upcoming films is A24’s Sundance breakout hit I Saw the TV Glow, Jane Schoenbrun’s story of an awkward teenager whose suburban life is rattled when his classmate introduces him to a strangely absorbing, supernatural TV show. Other notable features include Blackout, directed by horror icon Larry Fessenden and featuring the legendary Barbara Crampton; E.L. Katz’s Azrael, written by Simon Barrett (The Guest) and starring Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) as a woman desperate to escape imprisonment; and Shudder’s slasher film In a Violent Nature, directed by Chris Nash.


Closing Night of the festival will feature the world premiere screening of Universal Pictures’ new Radio Silence film, Abigail, from directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Ready or Not, 2022’s Scream). Starring an ensemble cast led by Melissa Barrera and Dan Stevens, Abigail is a brash, blood-thirsty new vision of the vampire flick, about a group of criminals who get more than they bargained for when they kidnap the ballerina daughter of a powerful underworld figure. As they watch Abigail overnight in an isolated mansion, the captors discover that they’re locked inside with no ordinary little girl. The directors and their Radio Silence partner Chad Villella will be in attendance for the film.


In addition to the new features, this year’s festival will include an expanded selection of retrospective screenings, starting with a tenth anniversary showing of Oculus, the breakout film from the prolific horror filmmaker and showrunner Mike Flanagan (Doctor Sleep, The Haunting of Hill House), who will be on hand, with actress Kate Siegel, to receive the festival’s Master of Horror Award. Past recipients of this award include Roger Corman, Mick Garris, Stuart Gordon and Joe Dante. There will also be a world premiere screening of the brand new 4K restoration, overseen by Grindhouse Releasing, of the 1981 New Orleans-shot giallo classic The Beyond from Italian horror master Lucio Fulci. 


Beloved composer/singer/actor and all around legend Paul Williams will be the guest of honor at a special 50th anniversary screening of Brian De Palma’s cult classic Phantom of the Paradise, for which he served as composer and star. The retro lineup will round out with a 70th anniversary 3-D screening of 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon in 35mm and a 100th anniversary showing of the silent film classic The Hands of Orlac, which will be accompanied by a live score from New Orleans’ own Think Less, Hear More.


“This festival has always been as much about horror’s history as it is about its future,” said Landon Zakheim, co-founder and executive director of The Overlook Film Festival. “The expanded retrospective screenings, with some of our favorite heroes once again joining in person, allow us to celebrate what drew our community together in the first place, while our signature live shows and interactive experiences show us where we can go."


In addition to the films and special guests, the Overlook Film Festival will once again be packed with the live presentations and immersive programming it is known for.


The Overlook’s signature live programming will include events such as Looking Over the Garden Wall, a 10th anniversary panel celebration of the beloved horror-tinged animated miniseries Over the Garden Wall, featuring creator Patrick McHale and art director Nick Cross; Fasterpiece Theater, presented by Museum of the Home Video, where creator and host Bret Berg will take the audience through a tightly edited blast of horror films you’ve never heard of; and Scream Dreams: The Nightmares That Shaped Us, presented by AMP, a live recording of the podcast featuring hosts Catherine Corcoran and horror legend Barbara Crampton.


The 2024 Overlook Film Festival's one-of-a-kind immersive program, featuring interactive projects and experiences, will once again be anchored by the secret and mysterious appointments created through the festival's continuing partnership with the Academy of Magical Arts, the organization that resides in the world famous Magic Castle®. These programs include three world premieres: A Freak Encounter, a trip through the darkest corners of your own mind guided by the infamous Todd Robbins; The Most Dangerous Man in America, an unforgettable meeting with the greatest card cheat in the country, created by Mark Calabrese; and Regrets From the Dead, a ghostly guided journey through our decisions and regrets materialized by Jared Kopf; along with a special presentation of The Dark Séance, an attempt to part the veil and manifest the dead from the renowned Zabrecky. Rounding out this wave of the larger immersive program will be a sneak preview of The Grand Hall, presented by local favorites Escape My Room, a self-directed journey where guests explore an ancestral home to uncover the deepest mysteries of a family’s long-buried past. 


The festival is programmed by Co-Founders Landon Zakheim & Michael Lerman; Program Manager Keith Garcia; Short Film Programmer Katie Rife; and Associate Director of Programming Sheryl Santacruz.


The 2024 Overlook Film Festival is dedicated to the memory of our friend and colleague Doug Jones (1970-2023).


The current lineup of films, experiences, live events and immersive content is included below, with additional programming to be announced as the festival approaches. 


Opening Night Film

Cuckoo 

Director: Tilman Singer

Cast: Hunter Schafer, Dan Stevens, Jessica Henwick

Germany, United States, 2024

When 17-year-old Gretchen reluctantly moves with her family to a resort in the German Alps, she finds herself the subject of terrifying visions and aggressive stalking by a mysterious woman who may or may not be linked to the town’s past. Featuring audacious performances from Hunter Schafer, Dan Stevens and Jessica Henwick, this beautiful and terrifying Giallo-esque nightmare is sure to make you think twice about going into the woods at night.


Closing Night Film

Abigail

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Cast: Melissa Barrera, Dan Stevens, Alisha Weir, Kathryn Newton, William Catlett, Kevin Durand, Angus Cloud and Giancarlo Esposito

United States, 2024

From Radio Silence, the filmmaking team behind Ready or Not, 2022’s Scream and Scream VI comes a brash, blood-thirsty new vision of the vampire flick, about a group of criminals who get more than they bargained for when they kidnap the ballerina daughter of a powerful underworld figure. As they watch Abigail overnight in an isolated mansion, the captors discover that they’re locked inside with no ordinary little girl.


Feature Film Presentations

International Titles Presented by MUBI 


All You Need is Death

Director: Paul Duane

Cast: Simone Collins, Charlie Maher, Olwen Fouéré, Gary Whelan

Ireland, 2023

Set in the world of Irish folk ballads and brimming with lure, this creepy tale follows a young couple who collect rare songs. Hired by a mysterious man to track down and translate an ancient, taboo tune, they unlock something that was best left undisturbed.


Azrael

Director: E.L. Katz

Cast: Samara Weaving, Vic Carmen Sonne, Katariina Unt, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Sebastian Bull Sarning

United States, 2024

Survivalist horror is alive and well in this pulse-pounding, dialog-less, post-apocalyptic vision from director E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills) and writer Simon Barrett (You’re Next) that follows Azrael (Samara Weaving), a desperate woman who is being hunted by a tenacious cult of mutes determined to use her in a sadistic ritual.


Birdeater

Director: Jack Clark, Jim Weir

Cast: Mackenzie Fearnley, Shabana Azeez

Australia, 2023

Engaged couple Louie and Irene are as close as two people could be. So close, in fact, that Irene is attending Louie’s bachelor party, all set for a night of fun and debauchery. But, as uncomfortable details about their relationship start to come to the surface, it becomes clear that Louie’s friends may have other plans in this unnerving and shockingly unforgettable first feature.


Blackout

Director: Larry Fessenden

Cast: Alex Hurt, Addison Timlin, Motell Gyn Foster, Joseph Castillo-Midyett, John Speredakos, Michael Buscemi, Joe Swanberg, Barbara Crampton, James Le Gros, Marshall Bell

United States, 2023

Not your typical werewolf story, Blackout follows a painter, haunted by guilt, who becomes convinced that he is transforming at night and wreaking havoc in his small town in this genre-bending and often hilarious portrait from the legendary Larry Fessenden (Habit, Wendigo).

 

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

Director: Ariane Louis-Seize

Cast: Sara Montpetit, Félix-Antoine Bénard, Steve Laplante, Sophie Cadieux, Noémie O’Farrell, Marie Brassard, Patrick Hivon, Marc Beaupré

Canada, 2023

Struggling with her own personal ethics, a teenage vampire makes a pact with a suicidal boy after her family cuts off her blood supply in this sweet and touching tale of friendship and loyalty.


I Saw the TV Glow

Director: Jane Schoenbrun

Cast: Justice Smith, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Ian Foreman, Helena Howard, with Fred Durst and Danielle Deadwyler

United States, 2023

Filmmaker Jane Schoenbrun (We’re All Going to the World’s Fair) returns with a searingly beautiful and evocative story of an awkward teenager whose suburban life is rattled when his classmate introduces him to a strangely absorbing, supernatural TV show that is abruptly canceled.


In a Violent Nature

Director: Chris Nash

Cast: Ry Barrett, Andrea Pavlovic, Cameron Love, Reece Presley, Liam Leone, Charlotte Creaghan, Lea Rose Sebastianis, Sam Roulston, Alexander Oliver, Lauren Taylor

Canada, 2023

The story is familiar: a savage, undead monster stalks a group of unsuspecting teenagers in the woods. But filmmaker Chris Nash turns this brutal slasher on its head, following the creature in his relentless pursuit. 


Infested

Directors: Sébastien Vaniček

Cast: Théo Christine, Sofia Lesaffre, Jérôme Niel, Lisa Nyarko, Finnegan Oldfield, Marie-Philomène Nga, Mahamadou Sangaré, Abdellah Moundy

France, 2023

Packed full of jump scares and sure to be every arachnophobes’ worst nightmare, this spine-tingling chiller sees the residents in the French projects go to war with a group of deadly spiders who are rapidly reproducing through each floor of their apartment building.


Kill Your Lover

Directors: Alix Austin, Keir Siewert

Cast: Paige Gilmour, Shane Quigley Murphy, May Kelly, Chloe Wigmore, Joshua Whincup

United Kingdom, 2023

Breaking up is hard to do, but when Dakota finally decides to end her relationship with Axel, the toxicity she is trying to escape begins to manifest in insidious ways, threatening to consume her as well, in this devastatingly relatable monster movie that highlights the struggle between love and destruction.


Look Into My Eyes

Directors: Lana Wilson

United States, 2024

The intimate relationship between psychics, their clients, and the loved ones they are trying to contact from the beyond is explored in this hilarious and heartbreaking new documentary from filmmaker Lana Wilson.


New Life

Director: John Rosman

Cast: Sonya Walger, Hayley Erin, Tony Amendola

United States, 2023

A tense game of cat-and-mouse unfolds as a young woman flees a mysterious facility, evading a savvy agent with nothing to lose, as the stakes rise to apocalyptic proportions in this nasty, genre-bending, and surprisingly intimate thriller.

 

Oddity

Director: Damian Mc Carthy

Cast: Gwilym Lee, Carolyn Bracken, Tadhg Murphy, Caroline Menton, Steve Wall, Johnny French, Joe Rooney, Shane Whisker, Ivan de Wergifosse

Ireland, 2023

A blind medium resorts to desperate measures in an effort to find out the truth behind what happened to her sister in this mystical, terrifying creepfest that will burn its lasting, nightmarish imagery into your brain.


Red Rooms

Director: Pascal Plante

Cast: Juliette Gariépy

Canada, 2023

Canadian auteur-in-the-making Pascal Plante presents a disturbingly engaging tale of a model’s obsession with a child murderer who is on trial and her dark web search for evidence of his innocence.


Sleep

Director: Jason Yu

Cast: Jung Yu-mi, Lee Sun-kyun

South Korea, 2023

An expectant wife desperately tries to break her loving husband from his deranged sleepwalking patterns in this cleverly scripted, razor-edged thriller from Bong Joon-ho’s protégé Jason Yu.

 

Things Will Be Different

Director: Michael Felker

Cast: Adam David Thompson, Riley Dandy, Chloe Skoczen, Justin Benson, Sarah Bolger

United States, 2023

Executive produced by veteran filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, this twisty time travel story follows two siblings, fresh off a robbery, who hide out on a remote farm in a different time period than their own, only to find themselves reckoning with a mysterious entity that does not like being there.


Retrospective Film Presentations


The Beyond

World Premiere of 4K Restoration

Director: Lucio Fulci

Cast: Katherine MacColl, David Warbeck, Sarah Keller, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar

Italy, 1981

Lucio Fulci, the Giallo maestro himself, sets his sights on the bayou with his propulsive, brain-melting nightmare of psychedelia. Shot entirely in and around New Orleans, and driven by one of the all-time great Fabio Frizzi scores, Grindhouse Releasing’s brand new restoration is mandatory big-screen viewing. 


Creature From the Black Lagoon 3-D

70th Anniversary Screening in 35mm

Director: Jack Arnold

Cast: Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, Nestor Paiva, Whit Bissell, Ben Chapman, Ricou Browning

United States, 1954

Not since the beginning of time, has the world known terror like this. Science couldn’t explain it, but there it was: the last of the old Universal movie monsters. An inspiration to countless generations of fans and filmmakers, don’t miss this absolute classic as it was meant to be seen, in its original 3-D and on 35mm!


The Hands of Orlac

100th Anniversary Screening with New Live Score by Think Less, Hear More

Director: Robert Wiene

Cast: Conrad Veidt, Alexandra Sorina, Fritz Kortner, Carmen Cartellieri, Fritz Strassny, Paul Askonas

Austria, 1924

From the director of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari comes this expressionist-tinted pulp tale of the macabre starring the sinister somnambulist himself, Conrad Veidt (The Man Who Laughs). Watch in horror as a concert pianist’s hands are replaced by those of a murderer and hear the all new score by returning NOLA artists Think Less, Hear More.


Phantom of the Paradise

50th Anniversary Screening

Actor, Composer and Music Producer Paul Williams in Person

Preceded by Swan Archives Lecture

Presented by FANGORIA

Director: Brian de Palma

Cast: Paul Williams, William Finley, George Memmoli, Harold Oblong, Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor, Gerrit Graham, Jessica Harper

United States, 1974

The Swan Archives and its Principal Archivist Ari Kahan will introduce a very special screening of Brian De Palma's faustian, fantastical opera of rock and roll composed by, and starring, the legendary Paul Williams (The Muppet Movie, Bugsy Malone) that has rightfully taken its place as one of the genre's finest cult masterpieces. See it as you never have before!


Oculus

10th Anniversary Screening

Mike Flanagan in person

Director: Mike Flanagan

Cast: Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane

United States, 2014

Before he took on Hill House, Bly Manor, the House of Usher and the halls of King, there was the supernatural thrawl of the Lasser Glass. Adapted from his own short film of the same name, auteur Mike Flanagan cemented his reputation as a modern master of the art of the scare with his breakthrough second film.

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