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Sundance ’15: Eli Roth, Rodney Ascher, Bruce McDonald & David Robert Mitchell Land at Park City at Midnight

Last year’s batch of eight films included the almost critic-proof trio of Adam Wingard’s The Guest, Taika Waititi & Jemaine Clement’s What We Do in the Shadows and the major revelation in Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook. After showings at Cannes and TIFF, David Robert Mitchell finds his It Follows (see pic above) also landing at Sundance and being surrounded by seven world preem titles coming from a little bit everywhere on the planet. Here are the fearful eight:

Cop Car/ U.S.A. (Director: Jon Watts, Screenwriters: Christopher D. Ford, Jon Watts) —Two 10-year-old boys steal an abandoned cop car. Cast: Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, Shea Whigham, Camryn Manheim.World Premiere

The Hallow/ Ireland, United Kingdom (Director: Corin Hardy, Screenwriters: Corin Hardy, Felipe Marino) —When a London-based conservationist is sent to Ireland to survey an area of ancient forest believed by the superstitious locals to be hallowed ground, he unwittingly disturbs a horde of terrifying beings and must fight to protect his family. Cast: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael McElhatton, Michael Smiley.World Premiere

Hellions/ Canada (Director: Bruce McDonald, Screenwriter: Pascal Trottier) —Teenage Dora Vogel must survive a Halloween night from hell when malevolent trick-or-treaters come knocking at her door. Cast: Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Wilson, Peter DaCunha, Luke Bilyk.World Premiere

It Follows/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Robert Mitchell) —After a strange sexual encounter, a teenager finds herself haunted by nightmarish visions and the inescapable sense that something is after her. Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe.

Knock Knock/ U.S.A. (Director: Eli Roth, Screenwriters: Eli Roth, Nicolas Lopez, Guillermo Amoedo) —Two beautiful young girls walk into a married man’s life and turn a wild fantasy into his worst nightmare. Cast: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana De Armas, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Colleen Camp.World Premiere

The Nightmare/ U.S.A. (Director: Rodney Ascher) —A documentary-horror film exploring the phenomenon of sleep paralysis through the eyes of eight people. They (and a surprisingly large number of others) often find themselves trapped between the sleeping and awake realms, unable to move but aware of their surroundings while subject to disturbing sights and sounds.World Premiere

Reversal/ U.S.A. (Director: J.M Cravioto, Screenwriters: Rock Shaink, Keith Kjornes) —A gritty psychological thriller about a young woman chained in a basement of a sexual predator and manages to escape. However, right when she has a chance for freedom, she unravels a hard truth and decides to turn the tables on her captor. Cast: Tina Ivlev, Richard Tyson, Bianca Malinowski. World Premiere

Turbo Kid/ Canada, New Zealand (Directors: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissell, Screenwriters: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissell) —In a post-apocalyptic future, The Kid, an orphaned outcast, meets a mysterious girl. They become friends until Zeus, the sadistic leader of the Wasteland, kidnaps her. The Kid must face his fears, and journey to rid the Wastelandof evil and save the girl. Cast: Chambers Munro, Leboeuf Laurence, Ironside Michael, Jeffery Aaron, Wright Edwin. World Premiere

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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