The Sundance Film Festival has long been a launchpad for future Oscar-winning movies, like Little Miss Sunshine, Precious, and Boyhood. But over the past few years the event has also proven a great showcase for horror movies — most notably The Witch, which generated huge buzz by scaring the pants off Utah audiences back in 2015. One of the most anticipated genre films being premiered at this year’s event is XX, a quartet of horror stories from four female directors. Karyn Kusama (The Invitation) directs a segment called Her Only Living Son; Jovanka Vuckovic oversees a tale called The Box; and Annie Clark (AKA singer-songwriter St. Vincent) makes her directorial debut with The Birthday Party. The fourth director is Roxanne Benjamin, who was a producer on the original V/H/S — another Sundance-screened horror movie — and here contributes a story called Don’t Fall.
“The idea for Don’t Fall came to me at a time when I’d been thinking a lot about the conventions of the classic around-the-campfire tales we all heard as kids, and more often that not fell for,” says Benjamin, who previously directed a segment of this year’s Southbound. “The short story format is perfect for playing around within those tropes, and I wanted to tell a story that harkened back to that feeling — without feeling like a ‘throwback’ — seen through the eyes of a character who falls for everything.”
XX stars Natalie Brown, Melanie Lynskey, Breeda Wool, and Christina Kirk, and also features wraparound material from director and animator Sofia Carrillo. The film, from Magnet Releasing and XYZ Films, opens in theaters and on VOD, Feb. 17.
See an exclusive image from Benjamin’s segment below.