L to R: The Dead Don’t Die, Satanic Panic, Swamp Thing
Photo: Overlook Film Festival

The Overlook Film Festival has announced its programming for 2019, its third year in existence and its second in the French Quarter of New Orleans. As it did last year, Overlook will be taking full advantage of its haunted environs, with immersive experiences from a veteran of NYC’s famed Sleep No More as well as local group Escape My Room and the eternally enticing “many more.” This year’s lineup also solidifies Overlook’s status as a horror insider’s event, with podcast recordings from Elijah Wood’s SpectreVision, Masters Of Horror guru Mick Garris, and Amy Nicholson and Paul Sheer, as well as a masterclass in guerilla filmmaking from Robert Rodriguez and a preview of the first two episodes of DC Universe’s upcoming Swamp Thing series.

Fresh off of its opening slot at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die—which, as we pointed out in our post about the film’s trailer, features Tilda Swinton killing zombies with a samurai sword—opens this year’s Overlook festival. And with six films directed or co-directed by women in its lineup—including The Lodge, from Goodnight Mommy directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz, and the world premiere of Satanic Panic, Fangoria’s buzzy new film project directed by Chelsea Stardust and starring Rebecca Romijn as the head of a suburban Satanic cabal—Overlook actually has Cannes beat, as only four films by women are represented in that festival’s main competition lineup.

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We’re also looking forward to new films by Joe Begos, whose The Mind’s Eye was a favorite of ours at Fantastic Fest 2015; the legendary Larry Fessenden, whose Depraved returns to the Frankenstein mythos he explored in his 1991 film No Telling; a sneak preview of Ma, Universal and Blumhouse’s upcoming horror flick starring Octavia Spencer; Porno, simply because it has a really fun premise; and a sequel to Grady Hendrix’s Paperbacks From Hell, the hilarious audiovisual lecture Hendrix made to accompany his book of the same name.

The full lineup for the festival’s feature, special presentation, and immersive lineups is below. The Overlook Film Festival is set to take place in New Orleans from May 30 through June 2, and passes are available for purchase here.

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Opening Night Film:

The Dead Don’t Die

Director: Jim Jarmusch

Cast: Adam Driver, Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Selena Gomez, Bill Murray, Tom Waits, RZA, Danny Glover

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United States, 2019

Adam Driver and Bill Murray lead an all-star cast in indie maven Jim Jarmusch’s latest film, the story of the peaceful town of Centerville that finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves.

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Closing Night Film:

The Lodge

Directors: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz

Cast: Riley Keough, Richard Armitage, Jaeden Lieberher

United States, 2019

When a stepmom-to-be gets snowed in to a remote cabin alongside her fiancé’s two children, she finds herself with the seemingly perfect opportunity to win their affection. But a series of strange occurrances may lead the trio down a different path…

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FEATURE FILM PRESENTATIONS

Bliss

Director: Joe Begos

Cast: Dora Madison, Tru Collins, Jeremy Gardner, Graham Skipper, Rhys Wakefield

United States, 2019

Reminiscent of the gritty work of Abel Ferrara, Joe Begos’ (ALMOST HUMAN, THE MIND’S EYE) latest sees a ferocious young painter, desperate to finish her latest masterpiece, who will resort to any means necessary. Little does she know that sex, drugs and hallucinations are just the top of the spiral...

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Dachra

Director: Abdelhamid Bouchnak

Cast: Yasmine Dimassi, Aziz Jbali, Bilel Slatnia, Hela Ayed

Tunisia, 2018

When a trio of Tunisian journalism students hubristically journey to a small town to solve the 25-year-old cold case of a mysteriously mutilated woman now committed to an asylum, they come upon a community packed with well-spiced secrets.

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Daniel Isn’t Real

Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer

Cast: Patrick Schwarzenegger, Miles Robbins, Sasha Lane, Hannah Marks, Mary Stuart Masterson

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United States, 2019

When a distraught college freshman faces an unimaginable family trauma, he turns to his sadistic imaginary friend from childhood for help, hoping to unleash some long-forgotten strength. What he friends instead will alter his life forever in this mind-altering new film from director Adam Egypt Mortimer.

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Depraved

Director: Larry Fessenden

Cast: David Call, Joshua Leonard, Alex Breaux, Ana Kayne, Maria Dizzia, Chloë Levine

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United States, 2019

Heralded genre-bender Larry Fessenden returns with his millennial take on the Frankenstein myth in which a PTSD-riddled field surgeon deep in the heart of Brooklyn decides to reconstruct an unsuspecting man out of spare body parts.

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Extra Ordinary

Director: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman

Cast: Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte, Claudia O’Doherty, Risteárd Cooper, Jamie Beamish, Terri Chandler

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Ireland/Belgium, 2019

A driving instructor with an unusual talent for communicating with the spirit world, is enlisted to help save an innocent teenager from a washed-up rock star who has made a sinister deal with the devil in this uproarious and sweet-natured Irish comedy, starring Will Forte.

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Greener Grass

Director: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe

Cast: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe, Beck Bennett, Neil Casey

United States, 2019

Writers, directors and stars Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe create a hilariously deadpan hellscape of competitive suburbia with a boldly stylized absurdist chain of events that unfurls with increasing fervor after one soccer mom asks her best friend for her baby.

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Gwen

U.S. Premiere

Director: William McGregor

Cast: Eleanor Worthington-Cox, Maxine Peake, Richard Harrington

United Kingdom, 2019

In the stunning and stark setting of 19th century Snowdonia, young Gwen must brave the harsh elements, the threat of disease, an aggressive mining company, and hostile villagers—but the signs of something more sinister are undeniable in this haunting feature debut from writer-director William McGregor.

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Head Count

Director: Elle Callahan

Cast: Issac W. Jay, Ashleigh Morgan, Bevin Bru, Billy Meade, Hunter Peterson

United States, 2018

A group of rowdy teenagers take a weekend trip to Joshua Tree in search of debauchery, only to find themselves part of deadly ritual when they realize that they might not all be who they seem.

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In Fabric (read our review from TIFF 2018 here)

Director: Peter Strickland

Cast: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires, Leo Bill, Julian Barratt, Steve Oram, and Gwendoline Christie

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United Kingdom, 2018

At the height of winter sales in a modern UK department stores, a cursed dress passes from owner to owner, leaving a path of destruction in its wake in this wry, visionary comedy from the director of Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy.

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Knives And Skin

Director: Jennifer Reeder

Cast: Marika Engelhardt, Audrey Francis, Ireon Roach, Kayla Carter, Kate Arrington, Tim Hopper, Raven Whitley

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United States, 2019

Calling upon echoes of Twin Peaks, artist and filmmaker Jennifer Reeder serves up an eerie teen noir punctuated with haunting 80s covers and unforgettable imagery centering around the effects of one girls’ disappearance on a small town.

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Ma

Director: Tate Taylor

Cast: Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Diana Silvers, Luke Evans, McKaley Miller, Missi Pyle, Corey Fogelmanis, Gianni Paolo, Dante Brown

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United States, 2019

Oscar® winner Octavia Spencer stars as Sue Ann, a loner in a quiet town who invites a group of unsuspecting teenagers to hang out and drink in her basement. They just have to abide by her rules, and call her “Ma.” But as Ma’s hospitality starts to curdle into obsession, what began as a teenage dream turns into a terrorizing nightmare, and Ma’s place goes from the best place in town to the worst place on earth.

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Nightmare Cinema (read our review from Fantasia 2018 here)

Director: Alejandro Brugués, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade, Joe Dante, Mick Garris

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Cast: Mickey Rourke, Annabeth Gish, Elizabeth Reaser, Maurice Bernard, Richard Chamberlain

United States/Japan, 2018

Five Masters of the macabre unite to re-invigorate the anthology sub-genre with a jolt of bloodlust in this good old fashioned series of thrills and chills stitched together by Mickey Rourke’s Projectionist, who shows woeful passerbys a movie of their gruesome demise, helmed by a cavalcade of horror’s greatest minds.

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One Cut Of The Dead (read our review from Fantastic Fest 2018 here)

Director: Shinichiro Ueda

Cast: Takayuki Hamatsu, Mao, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Manabu Hosoi, Hiroshi Ichihara, Syuntaro Yamazaki

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Japan, 2017

In one of the year’s most crowd-pleasing surprises, this twisty horror comedy sees chaos ensue when a low-budget film crew, hard at work on a zombie flick in a WWII bunker, comes face to face with real terror lurking outside.

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Paradise Hills

Director: Alice Waddington

Cast: Emma Roberts, Danielle Macdonald, Awkawfina, Jeremy Irvine, Arnaud Valois, Eiza Gonzalez, Milla Jovovich

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United States/Spain, 2019

With razor-sharp artistic direction and searing wit, Alice Waddington’s directorial debut tells the story in which a young girl is sent to a mysterious reform school specializing in crafting ladies to be more “proper”.

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Porno

Director: Keola Racela

Cast: Evan Daves, Larry Saperstein, Jillian Mueller, Glenn Stott, Robbie Tann, Bill Phillips & Peter Reznikoff, Katelyn Pearce

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United States, 2019

Equal parts hilarious and grotesque, this take-no-prisoners horror sex comedy sees a group of ultra-Christian movie theater employees face their worst fears when a mysterious set of pornographic reels releases a little more than their repressed desires.

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Satanic Panic

World Premiere

Director: Chelsea Stardust

Cast: Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Hayley Griffith, Ruby Modine, Arden Kyrin, AJ Bowen

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United States, 2019

When a pizza delivery girls’ final order of the night turns out to be for a blood-hungry group of Satanists thirsting for a sacrifice, all hell breaks loose...literally. From the Overlook alum writers of WE ARE STILL HERE and PAPERBACKS FROM HELL, and director Chelsea Stardust comes the goriest of comedies.

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The Vast Of Night

Director: Andrew Patterson

Cast: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz, Gail Cronauer, Bruce Davis

United States, 2019

First-time filmmaker Andrew Patterson smashes onto the scene with the elegant telling of a 1950s radio DJ and his switchboard operator companion, who stumble upon a strange frequency that may be carrying evidence of other-worldly life.

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Z

World Premiere

Director: Brandon Christensen

Cast: Keegan Connor Tracy, Jett Klyne, Sean Rogerson, Sara Canning, Stephen McHattie, Chandra West

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Loving parents Beth and Kevin get a little more than they bargained for when their eight-year-old son begins acting out at the alleged behest of his new imaginary friend, Z, in this jump-a-minute creepfest from Overlook alum Brandon Christensen (STILL/BORN).


SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

The Faculty

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Cast: Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, Jordana Brewster, Clea Duvall

USA, 1998

Join us for this special, site-specific screening of Robert Rodriguez’s 1998 chiller about a group of high school students who begin to suspect an extraterrestrial presence when their teachers start behaving out of the ordinary.

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Horror Noire - Free Community Screening

Director: Xavier Burgin

Cast: Ashlee Blackwell, Ernest Dickerson, Jordan Peele, Keith David, Kelly Jo Minter, Ken Foree, Ken Sagoes

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United States, 2019

Join us for a free community screening and panel discussion of this refreshing and incisive documentary tracing the history of Black Americans in Hollywood within the horror genre. Hear from Jordan Peele (GET OUT), Tony Todd (CANDYMAN), Rachel True (THE CRAFT), Keith David (THE THING) and many more about representation in our favorite genre from the beginning of cinema to today.

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Paperbacks From Hell 2: Think Of The Children (Work-in-Progress)

Creator, Writer, Performer: Grady Hendrix

It’s baaaack! Grady Hendrix’s live show, Paperbacks from Hell, has played everywhere from Los Angeles to London, and now you’re getting the world premiere of his work in progress sequel, Paperbacks from Hell II: Think of the Children. In 1967, S.E. Hinton kicked off the teen fiction genre with THE OUTSIDERS and that genre turned into a money-making boom in 1997 with J.K. Rowling’s HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE. But for those 30 intervening years, teen fiction was weirder, wilder, and woollier, than anyone remembers. Come learn about Ayn Randian teen books, time traveling wilderness survival novels, drug scare fiction, and the glory that is Christopher Pike in this one hour show that takes you from the roots of teen fiction to the day a boy wizard taught everybody how to get rich.

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Post Mortem With Mick Garris Live

Filmmaker/Author Mick Garris, best known for his Stephen King adaptations and creating the “Masters Of Horror” television series, dives deep into the devious minds of the greatest filmmakers and creators of your worst nightmares to bring their distinctive visions to life in fascinating one-on-one conversations every other week.

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The Robert Rodriguez Film School with Special Screening of RED 11

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Cast: Carlos Gallardo, Roby Attal, Pierce Bailey

United States, 2019

The Robert Rodriguez Film School is a masterclass in low budget filmmaking. In 60 minutes, the iconic filmmaker of EL MARIACHI, SIN CITY, and GRINDHOUSE shows how he made his new film, RED 11, on a $7k budget, immediately followed by a special screening of the film itself, the story of an aspiring filmmaker who is forced to become a human lab rat after inadvertently borrowing cash from the Mexican cartel to make his first film. Once he test trials begin, he discovers that a sinister truth of this medical study… one that he may never escape from.

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Swamp Thing
Episode 2

United States, 2019

Based on the classic DC Comics character, this new episodic series follows Dr. Abby Arcane’s investigation of a deadly swamp-born virus in a small town in Louisiana… but when a mysterious creature emerges from the murky marsh, Abby finds herself facing the nightmares of a supernatural world where no one is safe. Join us for this special screening of the first two episodes.

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Unspooled Live

Hosts: Amy Nicholson and Paul Scheer

Any group that loves movies shouldn’t be afraid of the dark. Yet, though the AFI’s current Top 100 Films list celebrates gory war flicks, it gets squeamish about horror. “Unspooled” podcast co-hosts Paul Scheer (“How Did This Get Made?”) and Amy Nicholson (“The Canon,” “Halloween Unmasked”) are halfway through watching the AFI’s ranked classics and ready to debate which chills should slither onto the next list. Join them and special guests for a conversation that isn’t scared to say what other films need to be murdered to make room.

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Visitations with Elijah Wood & Daniel Noah Live

Hosts: Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah

Boundary-breaking indie production company SpectreVision—partners Daniel Noah, Josh Waller, Lisa Whalen, and Elijah Wood—has given the world game-changing horror films like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Mandy. Now, Wood and Noah invite listeners to join them as they drop in on creative friends and colleagues for informal conversations about their lives and work at locations of their subjects’ choosing—at their homes, on set, or in their personal workshops—in their new podcast, Visitations with Elijah Wood & Daniel Noah. Hear Daniel, Elijah and their very special guest in an exclusive live conversation ahead of the ten-episode Shudder Original Podcast coming this summer.

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We Sold Our Souls Live

Creator, Writer, Performer: Grady Hendrix

Heavy metal — the subject of Congressional hearings, its albums burned by church groups, taken to court and accused of playing a role in teen suicides again and again...that’s a whole lot of fear over music sung by men wearing too much eye shadow. But heavy metal has always been about horror, and in this one-hour show, author Grady Hendrix will talk about the scandalicious side of heavy metal, its role in the Satanic Panic of the Eighties, the history of heavy metal in horror, and how all this mayhem led to the creation of his latest novel We Sold Our Souls.

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IMMERSIVE PRESENTATIONS

Fire Escape

Creators: Navid Khonsari, Vassiliki Khonsari, Andres Perez-Duarte, Sam Butin

From virtual powerhouse iNKStories comes a cutting-edge VR adventure that blurs the line between game, film, and episodic storytelling all while creating something entirely new. In the grand tradition of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, participants become the ultimate voyeur as they are thrust into a world of deceit and murder via text, chat and immersive audio all within your headset in this thrilling three-part interactive series.

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Home Of Enchantments

World Premiere

Creator, Writer, Performer: Ava Lee Scott

What you see cannot be unseen in this world premiere experience from immersive veteran Ava Lee Scott (SLEEP NO MORE) set in the world of her very own supernatural series, where what you see is never what you get. You are called upon to help the spiritually gifted, yet troubled Belle, her memory blurred between the material and spiritual realms. You must help her discover her true path, but are you willing to risk your own? WARNING: Only the strong, spirited souls are allowed.

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The Overlook Immersive Game

Creators: E3W Productions, Eva Anderson, Eric Hoff, Tommy Honton

Dive into a city-wide alternate reality experience that coincides with the Overlook Horror Film Festival. The game features live actors, unique locations, hidden clues, tactile puzzles, and surprising story twists that keep players on their toes while they explore the underbelly of New Orleans. Willing players will follow clues to become the protagonist of an engaging and thrilling narrative that no two people will interact with in exactly the same way. Details of the game’s story will remain locked away until the festival begins, but curious hearts might trouble themselves to seek significant special symbols wherever the opportunity presents itself.

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Room Service

Creators: Justin Fix, Daniel Montgomery, David Ruzicka, Stephanie Turek, Kylee Thurman, Stephanie Delazeri

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Knock, knock! From JFI Productions, the heralded creators of the ever-popular immersive productions CREEP and THE WILLOWS comes an intimate immersive experience delivered to your door. A turn-down service like no other, let the Creeps put you to bed with a twisted bedtime tale: the story of a salesman and his scream-catching briefcase. Watch and listen as it comes to life, right in front of you. Call the front desk to reserve your room service - and then wait for the knock

The Pumpkin Pie Show: One-On-Ones

Creator, Writer, Performer: Clay McLeod Chapman

A returning favorite from last year’s fest, please join author Clay McLeod Chapman as he takes one audience member at a time on a dark ride through this depraved, intimate storytelling experience. Think of it as a heart-to-bleeding-heart with madmen, murderers and monsters telling their own story. No fourth wall, no escape.

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Saintbone

World Premiere

Creators: DeLaporte Adventures

Explore the French Quarter, meet ghosts, solve puzzles, and save us all from chaos in this feature-length collaboration between DeLaporte Adventures and local favorites Escape My Room, launching at the Overlook. When the last surviving member of the Saintsbone society, protectors of the living in New Orleans, is found dead, the only thing stopping the spirit world from merging with ours forever...is you.

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