Fantastic Fest 2021: THE BLACK PHONE Leads Second Wave

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas (@peteramartin)
Fantastic Fest 2021: THE BLACK PHONE Leads Second Wave

As the spotlight moves from the Telluride and Venice festivals to Toronto, the second and final wave of programming for Fantastic Fest has been announced.

It's led by the world premiere of The Black Phone, directed by Scott Derrickson from a screenplay written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, adapted from a short story by Joe Hill. Ethan Hawke stars. The premise sounds chilling: "After being abducted by
a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls on a disconnected phone from the killer's previous victims." Hello? Hello? Can you hear me now?

Among the latest crop of higher-profile titles, A Banquet sounds quite good; it's a U.S. premiere and is described as "a chilling psychological horror where a mother's love for her daughter is pushed to the limits." From Norway comes The Innocents, "about children with supernatural powers," which sounds like a little too much power for young tykes, but what do I know?

At the last FF I attended a couple years ago, I enjoyed seeing streaming titles on the big screen with an auditorium packed with genre fans. This year, There's Someone Inside Your House will continue that tradition; it's world premiere of a thriller, directed by Patrick Brice, that is bound for Netflix. Also, I'm curious about a new Slumber Party Massacre, said to be "a contemporary and fun reimagining of the 1982 slasher cult classic directed by Fantastic Fest alumna Danishka Esterhazy (Level 16)" that is heading to SyFy (?!).

Fantastic Fest will close with a U.S. premiere: "Camille Griffin's pitch-black comedy Silent Night, starring Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Roman Griffin Davis (Jojo Rabbit)." They're calling it "the strangest holiday celebration of the year, when a family gathers for a high-stakes Christmas dinner in Griffin's directorial debut."

Per the official statement, "this final wave of Fantastic Fest films presents 37 feature film titles and 56 short film selections, showcasing world, US and regional premieres, and one pre-fest screening." Visit the official site for more information.

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