Sundance Film Festival 2016: Surprise Reveal of Midnight Film Line-Up
Every new year brings us another Sundance Film Festival and with 60 days left until Sundance 2016 kicks off on January 21st, it's time to kick things off. The festival has surprisingly revealed just the Midnight line-up on its own. The rest of the festival line-up has yet to be revealed - and should happen in the next few weeks. Sundance typically starts out by announcing the In-Competition films before revealing the Spotlight, Premiere, New Frontier and Next lines-ups, but they're jumping ahead with Midnight first. Kevin Smith is back after 22 years to premiere his latest film, Yoga Hosers, and Rob Zombie's latest, 31, is also premiering.
To dive in, browse through the first few selections of Sundance 2016 films - visit Sundance.org for details.
From horror flicks to comedies to works that defy any genre, these unruly films will keep you on the edge of your seat and wide awake.
31 (Director & Screenwriter: Rob Zombie) — Five friends are kidnapped on the day before Halloween and are held hostage in a terrifying place named Murder World. While trapped, they must play a violent game called 31, in which the mission is to survive 12 hours against a gang of evil clowns. Cast: Sheri Moon Zombie, Malcolm McDowell, Richard Brake, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Meg Foster.
Antibirth (Director & Screenwriter: Danny Perez) — In a desolate community full of drug-addled marines and rumors of kidnapping, a wild-eyed stoner named Lou wakes up after a crazy night of partying with symptoms of a strange illness and recurring visions. As she struggles to get a grip on reality, the stories of conspiracy spread. Cast: Natasha Lyonne, Chloë Sevigny, Mark Webber, Meg Tilly, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos.
The Blackout Experiments (Director: Rich Fox) — A group of friends discover the dark underworld of the ultra-scary, psychosexual horror experience called Blackout. But what starts as a thrill ride through the unknown becomes deeply personal, developing into an obsession that hijacks their lives and blurs the line between reality and paranoid fantasy.
Carnage Park (Director & Screenwriter: Mickey Keating) — The year is 1978. A team of wannabe crooks botch a small-town bank heist and flee with their hostage deep into the California desert, where they inexplicably find themselves in a harrowing fight for survival against a psychotic ex-military sniper. Cast: Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck, Darby Stanchfield, James Landry Hébert, Larry Fessenden.
The Greasy Strangler (Director: Jim Hosking, Screenwriters: Jim Hosking, Toby Harvard) — When Big Ronnie and his son Brayden meet lone female tourist Janet on Big Ronnie’s Disco Walking Tour—the best and only disco walking tour in the city—a fight for Janet's heart erupts between father and son, and the infamous Greasy Strangler is unleashed. Cast: Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex, Jesse Keen, Joe David Walters.
Outlaws and Angels (Director & Screenwriter: JT Mollner) — With a notorious bounty hunter closing in on their trail, a gang of cold-blooded outlaws invades the home of a seemingly innocent frontier family, where an unexpected game of cat and mouse ensues throughout the night, leading to seduction, role reversal, and ultimately bloody revenge. Cast: Chad Michael Murray, Francesca Eastwood, Luke Wilson, Teri Polo, Madisen Beaty, Nathan Russell.
Trash Fire (Director & Screenwriter: Richard Bates Jr.) — When Owen is forced to confront the past he's been running from his whole adult life, he and his girlfriend, Isabel, become entangled in a horrifying web of lies, deceit, and murder. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll be scarred for life. Cast: Adrian Grenier, Angela Trimbur, AnnaLynne McCord, Fionnula Flanagan, Matthew Gray Gubler, Ray Santiago.
Under the Shadow / United Kingdom, Jordan (Director & Screenwriter: Babak Anvari) — Tehran, 1988: As the Iran-Iraq War rumbles into its eighth year, a mother and daughter are slowly torn apart by the bombing campaigns on the city coupled with the country's bloody revolution. As they struggle to stay together amidst these terrors, a mysterious evil stalks through their apartment. Cast: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi, Ray Haratian, Arash Marandi.
Yoga Hosers (Director & Screenwriter: Kevin Smith) — Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie are teenage besties from Winnipeg who love yoga and live on their smartphones. But when these sophomores get invited to a senior party by the school hottie, the Colleens accidentally uncover an ancient evil buried beneath their Canadian convenience store. Cast: Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith, Johnny Depp, Justin Long, Austin Butler, Tyler Posey.
Stay tuned for the remaining 2016 line-up reveals. From Sundance: our "first look" at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival starts by announcing the nine feature films that will screen in its iconic Midnight section, which has launched films including The Blair Witch Project, SAW, Super Troopers, The Babadook, Black Dynamite, What We Do In The Shadows, Dead/Alive, Delicatessen, The Descent and Hard Candy. In 1991, the Festival described its first Midnight section as a "special showcase of the most challenging but rewarding film experiences from around the world brought to you at the most arduous hour." That curfew-breaking, genre-reinventing spirit continues today with audiences filling theaters for these fun, late-night offerings.
Sundance is always one of my favorite festivals, I'm always excited to get a glimpse at the line-up. This year should be exciting as usual. Sundance 2016 runs from January 21st to 31st, 2016. Visit Sundance.org.