First wave of hot horror titles announced for Fantasia Film Festival

The Sacrifice Game - Courtesy Fantasia
The Sacrifice Game - Courtesy Fantasia /

The Fantasia International Film Festival is ramping up for its 27th year, and it all starts on July 20th. Specializing in genre films, there is always an ample amount of sci-fi, fantasy and horror presented at Fantasia, but we are going to focus on the horror offerings.

This year, Fantasia is spotlighting South Korean cinema, giving a Canadian Trailblazer Award to Larry Kent, and, as always, premiering new films. Although only the first wave of film titles has been announced thus far, the full roster of presentations will be announced at the beginning of July.

Lovely, Dark, and Deep is Teresa Sutherland’s first crack at directing, but she was also a writer on Netflix/Mike Flanagan series Midnight Mass. Georgina Campbell (Barbarian) stars as a park ranger at a remote forest oupost where there have been numerous disappearances. As she starts to experiences visions it becomes obvious that something sinister is afoot. This will be the world premiere.

Russia’s Empire V gives us a student who is invited to join “the elite.” Upon accepting, he is turned into a vampire , thus becoming part of a supernatural group who rules over humans. In the press release, Empire V was referred to as “The Matrix of vampire cinema.” Interestingly, Russian citizens may never be able to watch this film, as it was banned by Russia’s Ministry of Culture. This will be its world premiere.

Empire V – Courtesy Fantasia /

Where the Devil Roams takes us alongside a travelling sideshow during the Great Depression in the US. As the performers travel, they are searching for eternal life. If you are a fan of Hellbender and The Deeper You Dig, you will want to see this film, since it is brought to us by The Adams Family (Toby Poster, John Adams and Zelda Adams), who also gave us those two genre films. This is the world premiere for Where the Devil Roams.

Larry Fessenden has paid homage to vampires with 1997’s Habit, and to Frankenstein with Depraved in 2019. Now he brings us a werewolf film with Blackout. Fessenden always does a good job of mashing up horror with humanity, so we can probably expect the same with Blackout, which features Barbara Crampton and Joe Swanberg. This will be its world premiere.

In Daughter of the Sun, Sonny is a man with Tourette Syndrome. He and his daughter Hildie are keeping a pretty powerful secret, but start to relax after joining up with a group of roaming people who hide dark intentions behind their friendly exteriors. This will be the world premiere of Daughter of the Sun.

The Sacrifice Game is described as a “gripping and stylish ‘70s-set chiller involving school girls, power-mad killers and occult prophecy”, and it was written by Jenn Wexler (The Ranger) and Sean Redlitz. This world premiere is co-presented with Le Fantastique Weekends.

Fantasia is usually a good indicator of the hottest horror films that will be coming to theaters and/or streaming platforms, so keep your eyes open for the full roster coming up soon! The festival will run from July 20 – August 9.

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Which of the Fantasia horror titles are you most looking forward to? Tell us about it in the comments section.