Recommendations: The Overlook Film Festival

By Shotgun CinemaPublished on 04/16/2018

The Overlook Film Festival makes its New Orleans debut this Thursday, and we’re excited to spend the weekend deep in genre films, virtual reality experiences, live shows, and immersive stories. The lineup of films is an impressive mix of horror films, ranging from compelling documentaries, to horror comedies, to truly terrifying stories. There’s a lot to catch, so here are a few of our recommendations.

Hereditary (Ari Aster): Garnering critical praise at its Sundance premiere, Hereditary is the stunning feature debut from director Ari Aster. After the Graham family matriarch dies, the remaining family members begin to uncover terrifying secrets of their ancestry. I really don’t want to say much beyond that, as this film is best experienced with little information. Toni Collette delivers one of her best performances, and co-stars Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, and Milly Shapiro round out the Graham family with equally disquieting turns. Trust this: you’ll be hard pressed to find a more terrifying film this year.

Caniba (Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor): Sensory Ethnography Lab documentarians Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor capture a chilling portrait of Issei Sagawa, the notorious Japanese cannibal, now in his late sixties and quite ill. Compelling and frequently uncomfortable, Caniba captures moments of Sagawa’s current life to cast insight into his past crimes and his subsequent punishment. The moments between Sagawa and his brother Jun uncover a deep bond between the two, examining nature versus nurture in compelling ways.

Don’t Leave Home (Michael Tully): Director Michael Tully’s filmography is eclectic, and Don’t Look Back adds a spooky, wonderfully stylized thriller to his repertoire. After receiving scathing reviews of her dioramas inspired by a missing Irish girl named Siobhan, American artist Melanie Thomas (Anna Margaret Hollyman) is invited to Ireland to share her work with the priest who painted the original portrait of the missing girl. Tully develops a consistent tension once Melanie lands in Ireland, gradually revealing the horrors that await her.

Blood Runs Down (Zandashé Brown): Screening in Shorts Program 1, Blood Runs Down is the newest horror short from Baton Rouge-based filmmaker Zandashé Brown. A young daughter must choose between protecting herself or saving her mother who is undergoing a horrifying transformation. Brown fuses Afro-futurism with horror to examine identity and familial bonds in this Southern gothic tale of survival and inheritance. Blood Runs Down is also one of the five projects selected for the New Orleans Tricentennial Story Incubator by NOVAC, New Orleans Film Society, #CreateLouisiana, Kickstarter, and Film New Orleans.


Upcoming Screenings