Mike Flanagan will be honored by Fantasia International Film Festival

Premiere Of Warner Bros Pictures' "Doctor Sleep" - Red Carpet
Premiere Of Warner Bros Pictures' "Doctor Sleep" - Red Carpet / Matt Winkelmeyer/GettyImages

Horror filmmaker Mike Flanagan is being honored at Fantasia International Film Festival this year with this year's 2024 Cheval Noir career award. That’s quite an honor considering he is not even 50 years old yet, and has only been making feature films since 2011.

Fantasia is bestowing the award to Flanagan “for imaginative and heartfelt horror visions; boundary-breaking achievements in making soulful, character-driven genre television commercially viable without compromises; and the extraordinary work he’s done in popularizing landmark authors to a new generation.”

Mike Flanagan is widely recognized as one of the best modern horror filmmakers of our town, thanks to films such as Absentia, Oculus, Hush, Ouija: Origin of Evil and Doctor Sleep. He is also responsible for Netflix limited series The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass, The Midnight Club and The Fall of the House of Usher. As writer, director, editor and sometimes producer, he is involved in all aspects of his projects, and is known for repeatedly casting the same actors.

Among those repeat actors are Kate Siegel, Henry Thomas, Bruce Greenwood, Carla Gugino, Robert Longstreet and Samantha Sloyan. It speaks to Flanagan's good judgement that there is not a weak performer among those on this list.

Mike Flanagan, Kate Siegel, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Victoria Pedretti
Netflix FYSEE Event for "Haunting of Hill House" / Emma McIntyre/GettyImages

Despite the fact that many of his films embody intense horror, Flanagan’s signature stamp is the heart and emotion that saturate his work. He seems to specialize in grief and trauma-based terror, and those watching one of his films or series are well advised to have a box of tissues handy.

Flanagan’s next project is an adaptation of the Stephen King novella The Life of Chuck, scheduled to make its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of this year. The Life of Chuck features an all-star cast, including Tom Hiddleston, Mark Hamill, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mia Sara, Matthew Lillard, Heather Langenkamp and David Dastmalchian, along with many of Flanagan’s “staple” actors (Siegel, Sloyan Rahul Kohli, Michael Trucco).

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