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July 10, 2024


Let's get this out of the way: In our infancy, Fantasia was the first festival to give us press credentials, so it will always hold special meaning. That said, it is far from the only reason we religiously cover it.

Revered by notable directors such as James Gunn and Guillermo del Toro, Fantasia is the biggest genre festival in North America. Located in Montréal, Quebec, Canada, the festival is often viewed as a launching pad for many an unknown talent due to its focus on lower-budget, independent filmmaking and fearlessness in presenting innovative ideas and themes.

This year's iteration features a wide range of buzzy titles, from the Hunter Schafer-led Cuckoo (one of Katie’s most anticipated of 2024’s second half, read about it HERE) to the latest from Steven Kostanski (director of Bitesize favourite Psycho Goreman). As with every year, there will be a bunch of titles featured, and we look forward to catching as many as we can with our remote access. That said, here is a look at some of the movies Nick, Quentin, and Paige are personally anticipating once the festival begins.

The Fantasia International Film Festival runs from July 18th to August 3rd this year, so make sure to check our site and socials for all our thoughts on what this year's entries have to offer.


When it comes to festivals, existing buzz and name recognition go a long way. For Azrael, which has played a few festivals already, there is quite a bit to go on. The two quotes that most caught my eye, though, are “an inventive and exciting blend of folk and survival horror” and “a thrilling sprint…that had me riveted.” On top of that, there is some notable talent involved. You’ve got Samara Weaving, who should need no introduction; director E.L. Katz (cult classic Cheap Thrills); and writer Simon Barrett (You’re Next, The Guest, Godzilla x Kong). Mix all that together in a dialogue-free movie described as Fury Road meets Evil Dead meets Apocalypto, and this could be an intensely wild ride. The fact that Azrael won Audience Awards for Best Feature, Best Actress (Weaving), and Best FX at Panic Fest 2024 only furthers that hope. - Quentin


Jon Snow…I mean, Kit Harington…will be joining a pack of direwolves in the upcoming creature feature The Beast Within. This new horror film appears to be more than meets the eye, with the story, told through the perspective of a 10-year-old girl, aiming to be more than just a straightforward werewolf thriller. I'm curious to see what horrific family trauma is depicted in this feature film from Alexander J. Farrel because I'm already gripping the edge of my seat just from the movie's eerie and gothic trailer. Plus, I’m a sucker for werewolf movies, so I’m hoping for a gnarly transformation scene. - Paige


My anticipation for Dark Match is a little different than my second choice because it’s not one of the bigger titles this year. What it is, however, is set in the world of pro wrestling, which always makes for a fun world to play in. Not much is known about the film except it seems to follow a group of indie wrestlers who are hired for a gig within a cult. The cult leader in question? Current AEW wrestler and WWE legend Chris Jericho. Considering this comes from the director of cult classic WolfCop, I expect there to be a delightful mix of over-the-top action and camp, and that’s exactly that kind of film made for a festival like Fantasia. It should be a good time. - Nick


The only thing I need to know about Frankie Freako is that it’s from writer/director Steven Kostanski, who also wrote and directed one of the most underrated movies of the last decade in Psycho Goreman. In this follow-up to that cult classic, Kostanski “taps into the nostalgia of Saturday morning cartoons, the charm of old-school puppetry, and gonzo comedy,” harkening back to the likes of Ghoulies, The Puppetmaster franchise, Gremlins, and The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. If Frankie Freako pays loving tribute to those movies in the way that Psycho Goreman paid loving tribute to Little Monsters, Mac & Me, and The Monster Squad, I think we’ll have another gem of a cult classic on our hands. - Quentin


YouTube has proven to be quite the starting point. Logan Paul is a WWE wrestler, King Bach has amassed quite the IMDB resume, and now Chris Stuckman is a director. The latest widely known YouTuber to branch beyond that space brings his directorial debut and passion project to Fantasia. After a record-shattering Kickstarter campaign and the backing of executive producer Mike Flanagan, Shelby Oaks is one of the more anticipated films this year. The film follows the sudden disappearance of a group of paranormal podcasters, and one of the members’ sisters’ frantic search to find out what happened. The found-footage format isn’t among my favourites, but I’m willing to give this one a shot just to see what Chris Stuckman has to offer behind the lens. - Nick


After her directorial debut Prevenge, Alice Lowe is back with what seems to be an even more ambitious film in Timestalker. A reincarnation romantic comedy with time travel? Sign me up! Timestalker is presented as a hopeless romantic’s journey through time as she keeps falling for the wrong guy over and over again. This concept sounds fascinating and ridiculous. It reminds me of the 2024’s The Beast, which I quite enjoyed, but with a much lighter tone to it. What can I say? I’m a fan of toxic spins on typical romantic clichés, so I am very much on board to see where this journey takes me. - Paige

Photo Credits: Fantasia International Film Festival

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