Running from July 14 until August 3, the Fantasia Festival has, over the years, become one of the more celebrated film festivals for its commitment to genre-bending features and a dedication to highlighting stories and filmmakers who may often exist on the fringe of mainstream media. The lineup at the 2022 festival is no different, with an egregious wealth of talent on board, from international horror, festival darlings making their way through the yearly circuit, highly anticipated animation, and more.
This year’s schedule features a spotlight on Korean animation, a celebration of the work of legendary action filmmaker John Woo, and further exploration of Queer genre filmmaking. For genre fans – especially those looking for horror films that challenge the status quo of modern filmmaking – the festival is one to keep an eye on. The end of summer and the start of fall sees an abundance of festivals that celebrate a certain ideal of cinema and, while they often highlight strong and singular works, it’s refreshing to have a festival shine the light on smaller, more independent works.
Here are six of our most anticipated films playing at the festival, from buzzed-about and starry horrors to the return of Masaaki Yuasa.
Bodies Bodies Bodies directed by Halina Reijn
Synopsis: A party game leads to murder when young and wealthy friends gather at a remote family mansion.
Released by A24, Bodies Bodies Bodies is one of the most anticipated horror films of the summer. This is, in large part, due to the incredible cast full of rising talent from Shiva Baby star Rachel Sennott, Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give), and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm breakout Maria Bakalova. This is the second film from Halina Reijn following her 2019 feature-length debut Instinct.
Bodies Bodies Bodies will be released August 5.
Inu-Oh directed by Masaaki Yuasa
Synopsis: Inu-Oh is born with unique physical characteristics, and the horrified adults cover his face with a mask. One day, he meets a boy named Tomona, a blind biwa player, and as Tomona plays a delicate song, Inu-Oh discovers an incredible ability to dance.
It’s fair to say that Masaaki Yuasa is a modern master, having stunning with both film and television projects, from the quirky and musical Lu Over the Wall, reality-bending Mind Game to the exuberant Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!. Inu-Oh looks to be as visually vibrant as the rest of his filmography as it gleefully plays within the lines he’s drawn for his realities.
Inu-Oh will be released on August 12.
Resurrection directed by Andrew Semans
Synopsis: A woman’s carefully constructed life gets upended when an unwelcome shadow from her past returns, forcing her to confront the monster she’s evaded for two decades.
Rebecca Hall has had quite the past few years with the premiere of her debut feature film Passing in 2021. With Resurrection, she’s being given a chance to remind audiences of her talent in front of the screen. This marks director Andrew Semans’s first film since 2012’s Nancy, Please.
Resurrection will get a limited theatrical release July 29 followed by a VOD release on August 5.
Shin Ultraman directed by Shinji Higuchi
Synopsis: As the threat of giant unidentified lifeforms known as “S-Class Species” worsens in Japan, a silver giant appears from beyond Earth’s atmosphere.
Shin Godzilla is the best modern Godzilla film, full stop. Clever, bleak, and creative in how it demonstrates the continued evolution of the monster and the destruction it brings, it’s a tremendous and scathing film from Shinji Higuchi and Hideaki Anno. Higuchi returns with Shin Ultraman with a script from Anno. Drive My Car star Hidetoshi Nishijima appears as one of the main characters.
Speak No Evil directed by Christian Tafdrup
Synopsis: On a vacation in Toscana, a Danish family instantly becomes friends with a Dutch family. Months later, the Danish couple receives an unexpected invitation. It doesn’t take long before the joy of reunion is replaced with misunderstandings.
The Danish film about the horrors borne from forced politeness and social niceties, Speak No Evil will likely stick around after viewing (something this writer does not have the mental fortitude to do). Our critic praised the film when she saw it at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, writing “Christian Tafdrup’s Speak No Evil constantly reminds of a rule that parents often tell their children: Don’t talk to strangers. They could be the nicest people ever, at first, but their intentions could become more and more sinister over time. Tafdrup exploits this fear in his first horror film—co-written with his brother, Mads Tafdrup—and creates something so unnerving that it will stay with you long after the credits run.”
Summer Ghost directed by Loundraw
Synopsis: Tomoya, Aoi, and Ryo are high school students who met through the Internet. The three of them all plan to meet the summer ghost, the ghost of a young woman who appears with the lighting of fireworks.
Loundraw has long been a celebrated illustrator and you can see why in the beautiful images on display in the brief teaser for Summer Ghost, one of our most anticipated animated films of the year. Combining that melancholic atmosphere with a sunset-kissed aesthetic that people (me, I mean me) love, the film, frankly, looks stunning, something that’s enough to compel us to see it as soon as we’re able.
Check out the entire festival lineup here at their official website.