1 of 22
The ABCs of Death
Want to see 26 films at Fantastic Fest and still have plenty of time to investigate Austin's rich cultural heritage and/or dive bars? Then we recommend you check out horror anthology sequel, and opening night film, The ABCs of Death, which boasts contributions from Larry Fessenden (Beneath), Jerome Sable (Stage Fright), Rodney Ascher (Room 237), and E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills), among others.
2 of 22
Eight years after director Joe Lynch screened his debut movie Wrong Turn 2 at Fantastic Fest, the filmmaker, Movie Crypt podcaster, and Holliston sitcom actor returns with this Christmas-set action movie. Salma Hayek plays a resourceful prostitute with a price on her head. A lot of other people play the small army of weapons-wielding maniacs determined to claim it.
3 of 22
Essie Davis (The Matrix Revolutions) plays a stressed-out single parent tormented by a possibly haunted children's book in a remarkably assured, and out-and-out terrifying, debut from Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent.
4 of 22
Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead
You could write a doctoral thesis about the enduring popularity of the zombie-Nazi subgenre. Alternatively, you could check your brain at the door and enjoy director Tommy Wirkola's sequel to his 2009 cult hit Dead Snow.
5 of 22
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films
This new film from Mark Hartley—director of 2008's fabulous Ozploitation documentary Not Quite Hollywood—details the history of the folks responsible for bringing us such dubious delights as the Bo Derek-starring Bolero, three Death Wish sequels, and, of course, Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.
6 of 22
Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe, and Adrianne Palicki star in a New York-set tale of an ex-hit man who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything away from him. Reeves visited last year's Fantastic Fest to support Man of Tai Chi—and to engage festival founder Tim League in a martial arts-themed debate—and will once more be in town for the red carpet gala screening of John Wick.
7 of 22
Justin Long plays a podcaster who makes the mistake of visiting Michael Parks' walrus-obsessed ex-sailor in Kevin Smith's utterly bizarre horror comedy. Is the demented result proof that all that weed has rotted the writer-director's brain? Or evidence that it has spurred him to new creative heights? You be the judge!
8 of 22
Harry Potter grows, yes, horns in this Daniel Radcliffe-starring, Alex Aja-directed adaptation of Joe Hill's terrific fantasy novel.
9 of 22
The big question: Can any of the segments featured in this third entry of the horror anthology franchise match, or better, Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto's unforgettable apocalypse-cult story from last year's V/H/S/2.
10 of 22
Adam Brooks essays the role of a one-handed film editor who becomes a murder suspect in this homage to the Italian giallo genre. The supporting cast features Udo Kier, Paz De La Huerta, and Laurence R. Harvey from Human Centipede 2.
11 of 22
According to the Fantastic Fest website this short film from France is ''a sordid, politically incorrect twist on Carlo Collodi's classic 19th century children's story, where our 'Gepetto' is a portly pedophile and his wooden boy is in fact a disguised junkie dwarf out to find the pervert's stash of cash.'' The weirdest short at the fest? Maybe not. My Father Is a Bird concerns a young boy whose father—a giant bird!—will die if he doesn't stop masturbating.
12 of 22
Over Your Dead Body
This adaptation of the classic Japanese ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan finds the prolific Takashi Miike (Audition) in full-on horror mode.
13 of 22
Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD
Borag Thungg, earthlets! Documentary about the self-described ''Galaxy's Greatest Comic''—and certainly the only one to be edited by a green-skinned alien named Tharg.
14 of 22
The creative team behind You're Next also made this film about an army veteran (Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey) who inveigles his way into the bosom of a grieving family. The result is 110 percent more entertainingly kick-ass than we've made it sound with that description.
15 of 22
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn will moderate the red carpet world premiere of David Yarovesky's movie which, according to the official synopsis, concerns a young man suffering from amnesia who must ''save the love of his life before a virus that has infected him takes over.'' Around here, we call that ''Wednesday.''
16 of 22
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau
Director David Gregory's gripping account of filmmaker Richard Stanley's attempt to adapt H.G. Wells' classic. With Val Kilmer. And Marlon Brando. In a jungle!
17 of 22
In this horror film from New Zealand a young woman (Morgana O'Reilly) is forced to move back in with her overbearing mother only to discover that mom's the least of her problems.
18 of 22
Maika Monroe (who also appears in The Guest) stars as a 19-year-old girl pursued by phantoms after she catches a sexually transmitted serial haunting. Yes, you read that right.
19 of 22
My Life Directed By Nicolas Refn
Shot during the production and release of director Nicolas Winding Refn's 2013 film Only God Forgives, this documentary portrait of the Drive auteur was made, intriguingly, by his own wife.
20 of 22
Elijah Wood stars in a thriller from Nacho Vigalondo (2007's superlative Timecrimes), which takes place entirely on a computer desktop. Fun fact: Wood and Vigalondo first met at 2010's Fantastic Fest.
21 of 22
The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Fear returns to a small town 65 years after it was terrorized by a masked killer in this remake from producers Jason Blum (Insidious) and Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story).
22 of 22
A gaunt Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a freelance news cameraman desperate to scoop the opposition. This year's closing night film is also the directorial debut of Bourne Legacy screenwriter Dan Gilroy and costars Rene Russo and Bill Paxton.