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SXSW 2024 GENRE SLATE BENDS, FLEXES AND TERRIFIES

By Mo Moshaty  February 7, 2024

Everything's bigger in Texas and SXSW's 2024 genre slate is an enchanting fusion of laughter, lore, and immersive terror. Here are 15 films we're anticipating!

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7 Keys - Written and Directed by Joy Wilkinson

When her date lets her down, Lena meets Daniel and there’s an instant connection, especially when she learns that he’s kept the keys to all the places he’s ever lived. Lena doesn’t want to go home. She wants to use Daniel’s keys to go on the ultimate property porn tour of London, a lost weekend of getting to know each other intimately in other people’s homes. But what begins as a risky fantasy soon becomes a deadly threat. 

Wilkinson's no stranger to crafting world-breaking storylines, so we know we're in for a ride with 7 Keys.

Starring: Emma McDonald, Billy Postlethwaite, Kaylen Luke, Joey Akubeze, Amit Shah, Jane Goddard

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Arcadian  Written by Mike Nilon and Directed by Ben Brewer

In a post-apocalyptic world, Paul and his sons, Thomas and Joseph, navigate a life of peace during the day and terror at night. When Thomas doesn't return on time from visiting his crush, Paul ventures outside their fortified farm to find him before nightfall. A horrifying battle unfolds, nearly costing Paul his life. Meanwhile, back at the house, Joseph faces the nightly threat alone.

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jaeden Martell, Maxwell Jenkins, Sadie Soverall

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Azrael   Written by Simon Barrett and Directed by E.L. Katz

A mute cult pursues Azrael, a young woman who escaped captivity in a post-apocalyptic era. Recaptured, she faces sacrifice to appease an ancient evil. Determined to survive, Azrael launches a fierce bid for freedom, leading to a revenge-fueled showdown

Samara thrilled us in Ready or Not and had us screaming at the screen in Scream VI. We love a Samara under pressure. 

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

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Birdeater Written by Jack Clark and Directed by Jack Clark, Jim Weir 

A bride-to-be is invited to join her own fiancé’s bachelor party on a remote property in the Australian outback. But as the festivities spiral into beer-soaked chaos, uncomfortable details about their relationship are exposed, and the celebration soon becomes a feral nightmare. 

This looks like a case of "girl, don't go out there!".

Starring: Shabana Azeez, Mackenzie Fearnley, Ben Hunter, Jack Bannister, Clementine Anderson, Alfie Gledhill, Harley Wilson, Caroline McQuade

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CuckooWritten and Directed by Tilman Singer

On a trip to the German Alps with her father and stepmother, Gretchen discovers that the resort town where they’re staying hides sinister secrets, as she’s plagued by strange noises and frightening visions of a woman pursuing her. Soon, Gretchen finds herself pulled into a conspiracy involving bizarre experiments by the resort’s owner that echo back generations.

Starring: Hunter Schafer, Dan Stevens, Jessica Henwick, Marton Csókás, Jan Bluthardt

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FamilyWritten and Directed by Benjamin Finkel

Eleven-year-old Joanna faces upheaval after moving for her father's medical treatment. Alone and desperate, she calls out for help, but ominous events unfold, making her fear a malevolent force has invaded her family.

Death and its impedance make us desperate to hold onto those we love, with dire consequences. 

Starring: Ruth Wilson, Ben Chaplin, Lucinda Lee Dawson Gray, Allan Corduner

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Hoodwitch Written by Saïd Belktibia, Louis Penicaut and Directed by Saïd Belktibia

Nour makes a living from smuggling exotic animals and illicit products (birds of prey, venom, rare roots, etc.). Wishing to get her son out of the city and offer him a better future, she designs and develops a mobile app that connects clients and marabouts. It’s a success, but a patient’s consultation turns into a tragedy and Nour has to face a wave of violence that could cost her and her son their lives.

Starring: Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant, Jérémy Ferrari, Amine Zariouhi, Issaka Sawadogo

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Hunting Daze - Written and Directed by Annick Blanc

Nina, a bold exotic dancer, gets stranded up North and persuades five men on a bachelor hunting trip to host her temporarily. Amid the comical and philosophical dynamics of their masculine microsociety, she experiences an unexpected sense of belonging. However, the arrival of a mysterious stranger alters the course of their improvised holiday in this raw and dreamlike tale, blending humor, horror, the uncanny, and the sensual.

Starring: Nahéma Ricci, Bruno Marcil, Frédéric Millaire-Zouvi, Marc Beaupré, Alexandre Landry, Maxime Genois, Noubi Ndiaye

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Immaculate Written by Andrew Lobel and Directed by Michael Mohan

Cecilia, an American nun of devout faith, embarking on a new journey in a remote convent in the picturesque Italian countryside. Cecilia’s warm welcome quickly devolves into a nightmare as it becomes clear her new home harbors a sinister secret and unspeakable horrors.

Starring: Sydney Sweeney, Álvaro Morte, Dora Romano, Benedetta Porcaroli, Giorgio Colangeli, Simona Tabasco

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It's What's Inside Written and Directed by Greg Jardin

A pre-wedding party descends into an existential nightmare when an estranged friend shows up with a mysterious suitcase.

Lots of marriage mayhem on this list and we love to get messy.

Starring: Brittany O'Grady, James Morosini, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Devon Terrell, Gavin Leatherwood, Reina Hardesty, Nina Bloomgarden, David Thompson

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Kryptic Written by Paul Bromley and Directed by Kourtney Roy

Kryptic is a psycho-thriller about a woman’s search for a missing monster hunter and her growing realization that she is inescapably linked to the creature being pursued.

Starring: Chloe Pirrie, Jeff Gladstone, Jason Deline, Ali Rusu-Tahir, Christina Meredith Lewall, Patti Allen, Pam Kearns, Jennifer Copping

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The MoogaiWritten and Directed by Jon Bell

Sarah and Fergus, a hopeful young Aboriginal couple, give birth to their second baby. But what should be a joyous time of their lives becomes sinister when Sarah starts seeing a malevolent spirit she is convinced is trying to take her baby. Fergus, who can’t see it but desperately wants to believe her, grows increasingly worried as she becomes more unbalanced. Is the child-stealing spirit real or is she in fact the biggest threat to the safety of their family?

Starring: Shari Sebbens, Meyne Wyatt, Tessa Rose, Clarence Ryan, Toby Leonard Moore, Bella Heathcote

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OddityWritten and Directed by Damian McCarthy  

In this new supernatural spectacle from "Caveat's" Damian McCarthy, a blind medium uncovers the truth behind her sister's death with the help of a frightening wooden mannequin.

Starring: Gwilym Lee, Carolyn Bracken, Tadhg Murphy, Caroline Menton, Steve Wall, Jonathan French, Joe Rooney

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Sew Torn Written and Directed by Freddy Macdonald

Barbara Duggen, ‘The Mobile Seamstress’, is struggling to keep her fabric shop alive. After a botched sewing appointment sets her on a quest to replace her client’s lost button, she unexpectedly stumbles upon a drug deal gone bad. Faced with two downed motorcyclists, guns, and a briefcase - Barbara is completely torn. She is forced to pick between three choices: commit the perfect crime, call the police, or drive away.

Starring: Eve Connolly, Calum Worthy, John Lynch, K Callan, Ron Cook, Thomas Douglas, Werner Biermeier, Veronika Herren-Wenger, Caroline Goodall

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TimestalkerWritten and Directed by Alice Lowe

Agnes, an ill-fated heroine, repeatedly falls for the wrong man, meets a grim demise, and reincarnates a century later to restart the cycle. A tale of messy thrills and spills, it explores the challenges of following one's heart, or perhaps, one's desires. 

If Lowe's Prevenge (2016) tells us anything about longing, lost love and the absolute pain embodied, we can imagine how Timestalker is going to toy with our emotions.

Starring: Alice Lowe, Jacob Anderson, Aneurin Barnard, Tanya Reynolds, Nick Frost

Check out our daily coverage from SXSW in March!!

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Mo Moshaty is a horror writer, lecturer and producer. As a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and life long horror fan, Mo has lectured with Prairie View A&M Film & TV Program as a Keynote, BAFSS Horror Studies Sig  and The University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Mo has partnered with horror giant, Shudder Channel, to co-produce the 13 Minutes of Horror Film Festival 2021 and 2022 with Nyx Horror Collective and her literary work "Love the Sinner" was published with Brigid's Gate Press in July of 2023 and her two volume collection, "Clairviolence: Tales of Tarot and Torment Vol. One and Two" will be published with Spooky House Press in the Spring of 2024

Mo is the creator and Editor-in-Chief of NightTide Magazine

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