Back in January it was announced that Jordan Peele's Us will be the opening night film for the 2019 SXSW film festival, and now it's been revealed that the new Pet Sematary will make its world premiere as the closing night movie of the festival, joining a lineup that also includes The Curse of La Llorona and the newly announced Midnighters titles.
In addition to Pet Sematary and The Curse of La Llorona (which are listed in the Headliners section), the SXSW 2019 festival will also feature a Midnighters lineup that includes Pollyanna McIntosh's Darlin', Roxanne Benjamin's Body at Brighton Rock, and Travis Stevens' Girl on the Third Floor.
Also joining the festival is Abe Forsythe's Little Monsters, which recently enjoyed a well-received world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival (read Heather Wixson's review here).
Read on for the full Midnighters lineup and genre-related news from SXSW and check here to catch up on our previous SXSW 2019 coverage.
A new Pet Sematary trailer will be released tomorrow, and we'll be sure to share it with Daily Dead readers. You can also visit this YouTube link to sign up to receive the trailer right when it is released!
From the Press Release: Austin, Texas, February 6, 2019 – The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals announced the second round of its Film Festival program, including the Midnighters, Festival Favorites, Shorts, Episodic Pilot Competition, Virtual Cinema, Music Video and Title Design lineup, plus late-addition Features and the Closing Night Film for the 26th edition of the Festival, running March 8-17, 2019 in Austin, Texas. The acclaimed Film program draws thousands of fans, filmmakers, press and industry leaders every year to immerse themselves in the most innovative, smart and entertaining new films of the year.
This year’s program encompasses 131 Feature Films including 101 World Premieres, 9 North American Premieres, 3 US Premieres, and 64 films from first-time filmmakers,101 Short Films (including music videos), 5 Episodic Premieres, 12 Episodic Pilots, 25 Virtual Cinema Projects, and 30 Title Design entries.
The world premiere of Paramount Pictures’ Pet Sematary, directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, will close the 2019 Festival. Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.
The SXSW Midnighters section is a perennial favorite for SXSW audiences thrilled by the weird, electric, and sometimes terrifying selections. Featuring 10 genre films, all World Premieres, the slate includes dark comedies, thrillers, Sci-Fi, mystery and slasher horror from a mix of established and first-time filmmakers. The Midnighters, Festival Favorites, as well as 15 additional films, round out the 131 total features now to be screened at the SXSW 2019 Film Festival.
“Programming the SXSW Midnighters section is always a favorite part of my job, and this year was no exception,” said Jarod Neece, SXSW Senior Film Programmer. “We get to peek into the collective consciousness of the world of genre filmmakers working today. This year’s selections are a mix of horror, thriller, sci-fi and fantasy with a good dose of feral children, haunted houses, extraterrestrial creatures and the undead to creep out SXSW audiences late into the night. Genre films can be found throughout the entire SXSW program, from Jordan Peele’s Us on Opening Night to our Closing Night Film, Pet Sematary!”
This year’s 101 short films and music videos were selected from 5,478 submissions. A comprehensive list of the Short Film Program is below and will screen as part of 10 curated shorts programs.
“Welcoming these films and filmmakers into our community is a major highlight for me,” said Claudette Godfrey, Senior Film Programmer. “The work this year is contemplative and tender. In an uneasy era, these shorts show us how to connect across the abyss by exposing and embracing vulnerability through their originality, authenticity, and humor. Rightly so, over half of the films across our Shorts Programs, Music Videos, and Episodic Pilot Competition are directed by women.”
The Virtual Cinema section of the Film Festival continues to grow, showcasing the newest and most cutting-edge work. SXSW resides at the intersection of film and technology, and there is no better place to present this innovative format. The 25 projects emphasize storytelling, ingenuity and also showcase how other industries are embracing this new medium.
“The industry leaders and independent creators working in the immersive arts are once again bringing their fantastical new worlds to SXSW this March,” said Blake Kammerdiener, VR Programmer. “This year’s selections showcase the breadth of ingenuity in this medium and will transport you to far off lands in both the smallest and largest ways imaginable.”
SXSW Conference has announced separately many of this year’s Keynotes, Featured Speakers and Sessions in the Entertainment Influencers, Film & TV Industry and Making Film & Episodics Tracks, plus Convergence Tracks: Experiential Storytelling, Cannabusiness, VR/AR, Food, Media & Journalism, Social and Global Impact and more. Film and TV Highlights include: Film Keynotes: Olivia Wilde, Jessica Brillhart, and Marti Noxon; Featured Speakers: Neil Gaiman; Frank Oz; Elisabeth Moss; Henry Winkler; Shira Lazar and Zoe Saldana; Pamela Adlon; Jason Blum and John Pierson; Busy Philipps with Hillary Kerr and more at: https://www.sxsw.com/conference/
Continuing for 2019, the Interactive, Film, and Music badges include expanded access to most of the SXSW Conference and Festivals experience. Attendees receive primary entry to programming associated with their badge type, with secondary access to most other SXSW events. SXSW’s next registration deadline is February 15, 2018 at 11:59pm PT. Early registrants benefit from discounted rates.
Additions to the 2019 SXSW Film Festival lineup include:
The world premiere of Paramount Pictures’ Pet Sematary, directed by Kevin Kölschand and Dennis Widmyer, will close the 2019 Film Festival. Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), who, after relocating with his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) and their two young children from Boston to rural Maine, discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unfathomable evil with horrific consequences.
The SXSW Midnighters section is a perennial favorite for SXSW audiences thrilled by the weird, electric, and sometimes terrifying selections. Featuring 10 genre films, all World Premieres, the slate includes dark comedies, thrillers, Sci-Fi, mystery and slasher horror from a mix of established and first-time filmmakers. The Midnighters, Festival Favorites, as well as 15 additional films, round out the 129 total features now to be screened at the SXSW 2019 Film Festival.
7 Reasons to Run Away (From Society) (Spain)
Directors: Esteve Soler, Gerard Quinto, David Torras, Screenwriter: Esteve Soler
7 Reasons to Run Away takes a critical look at today’s society and puts the values it transmits into question. Cast: Sergi Lopez, Emma Suarez, Lola Dueñas, Alex Brendemuhl, Alain Hernandez, Francesc Orella (World Premiere)
Body At Brighton Rock
Director/Screenwriter: Roxanne Benjamin
An inexperienced park employee discovers a body on a remote mountain trail and must stay with it overnight in the wilderness, facing her darkest fears in the process. Cast: Karina Fontes, Casey Adams, Emily Althaus, Brodie Reed, Martin Spanjers, John Getz, Miranda Bailey, Susan Burke, Matt Peters (World Premiere)
Boyz in the Wood (United Kingdom, U.S.)
Director/Screenwriter: Ninian Doff
When four city-bred schoolboys embark on a traditional Duke of Edinburgh Award camping trip that takes them deep into the Scottish Highlands, they find themselves chased by a deranged masked couple with aims of culling this teenaged “wildlife”. Cast: Eddie Izzard, Kate Dickie, James Cosmo, Kevin Guthrie, Jonathan Aris, Alice Lowe, Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja, Rian Gordon, Lewis Gribben (World Premiere)
Daniel Isn’t Real
Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer, Screenwriters: Brian DeLeeuw, Adam Egypt Mortimer
Troubled Luke suffers a violent family trauma and resurrects his childhood imaginary friend to help him cope. Charismatic and full of manic energy, “Daniel” helps Luke to achieve his dreams, before pushing him into a desperate fight for his own soul. Cast: Patrick Schwarzenegger, Miles Robbins, Sasha Lane, Hannah Marks, Mary Stuart Masterson (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Pollyanna McIntosh
In this visually inventive sequel to The Woman, a feral teenage girl is taken into strict Catholic care and prepared for her First Holy Communion. Cast: Lauryn Canny, Bryan Batt, Nora-Jane Noone, Cooper Andrews, Pollyanna McIntosh (World Premiere)
Girl On The Third Floor
Director/Screenwriter: Travis Stevens
Don Koch tries to renovate a rundown house with a sordid history for his growing family, only to learn that the house has other plans. Cast: Phil Brooks, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Sarah Brooks, Elissa Dowling, Karen Woditsch, Travis Delgado, Marshall Bean, Anish Jethmalani, Bishop Stevens, Tonya Kay (World Premiere)
I See You (United Kingdom, U.S.)
Director: Adam Randall, Screenwriter: Devon Graye
Strange occurrences plague a small town detective and his family as he investigates the disappearance of a young boy. Cast: Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney, Judah Lewis, Owen Teague, Libe Barer, Greg Alan Williams, Erika Alexander, Allison King (World Premiere)
Directors: Stephen Cedars, Benji Kleiman, Screenwriters: Stephen Cedars, Benji Kleiman, Scott Yacyshyn
After a popular teen has sex for the first time, she finds herself pregnant — with an alien. With no one to turn to but her nerdy ex-best-friend, she’ll have to risk her neck — and social status — to fight the freaky extraterrestrial threat. Cast: Mary Nepi, Gabrielle Elyse, Austin Fryberger, JJ Nolan, Nick Gomez, Ashley Argota, Amy Arburn, Amy Landecker, Rich Fulcher (World Premiere)
Tales from the Lodge (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Abigail Blackmore
When a group of old friends spend the night telling stories of murders, ghosts, zombies and possessions they soon become aware of another tale unfolding around them. And this one is real. Cast: Mackenzie Crook, Dustin Demri-Burns, Laura Fraser, Sophie Thompson, Johnny Vegas, Kelly Wenham (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Richard Bates, Jr.
Two generations collide with terrifying results in this home invasion horror film that is also a darkly comedic critique of the bizarre cultural and political climates in the United States. Cast: Amanda Crew, Robert Patrick, Kim Delaney, Hayley Marie-Norman, Ray Wise, Johnny Pemberton, Keisha Castle-Hughes, AnnaLynne McCord, Nelson Franklin, Ronnie Gene-Blevins (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Abe Forsythe
A washed-up musician teams up with a plucky schoolteacher and a despicable kid’s show personality to protect a Kindergarten class from a sudden outbreak of zombies. Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England, Josh Gad
Them That Follow
Directors/Screenwriters: Britt Poulton, Dan Madison Savage
Set deep in the wilds of Appalachia, where believers handle death-dealing snakes to prove themselves before God, Them That Follow tells the story of a pastor’s daughter who holds a secret that threatens to tear her community apart. Cast: Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, Thomas Mann, Lewis Pullman
The Curse of La Llorona
Director: Michael Chaves, Screenwriters: Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis
In 1970s Los Angeles, La Llorona is stalking the night…and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother, a social worker is soon drawn into a terrifying supernatural realm, with the lives and souls of her own kids at stake. Cast: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez, Marisol Ramirez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Roman Christou (World Premiere)
Directors: Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, Screenwriter: Jeff Buhler
Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King. The new Pet Sematary trailer premieres online tomorrow! Click here to be one of the first to see it. Cast List: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, Hugo Lavoie, Lucas Lavoie and John Lithgow"