Hello, dear readers! On Friday, March 11th, the 2022 SXSW Film Festival will be kicking off, and Daily Dead will be on the ground in Austin to check out all of this year’s genre projects. To give you a sense of all the horror and sci-fi awesomeness that will be playing during this year’s fest, I’ve put together this rundown of all the great genre (as well as a few genre-adjacent) offerings that will be featured over the next week or so at SXSW 2022. What’s even better is that for a few of these films (like Ti West’s X), you won’t have to wait long to see them if you aren’t able to check out the fest’s lineup yourself, so definitely make sure to keep an eye out for these films when they are released in the coming months.

Just a quick note: I wanted to make sure to highlight films that haven’t played at other festivals in this preview piece, which is why I didn’t include both Mirama Diallo’s Master (which hits Amazon Prime on the 18th) and Chloe Okuno’s Watcher here. But both of those films are fantastic and are well worth your time.


X (Directed by Ti West)

Synopsis: In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives.

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of Christopher Moss / SXSW.]

Slash/Back (Directed by Nyla Innuksuk)

Synopsis: Pangnirtung, Nunavut: A sleepy hamlet nestled in the majestic mountains of Baffin Island in the Arctic Ocean, wakes up to a typical summer day. No School, no cool boys (well... except one), and 24-hour sunlight. But for Maika and her ragtag friends, the usual summer is suddenly not in the cards when they discover an alien invasion threatening Pang. But these teenagers have been underestimated their whole lives, and using makeshift weapons and their horror movie knowledge, they show the aliens you don't fuck with the girls from Pang.

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of SXSW.]

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Tom Gormican)

Synopsis: Nicolas Cage stars as... Nick Cage in the action-comedy "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent." Creatively unfulfilled and facing financial ruin, the fictionalized version of Cage must accept a $1 million offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous superfan (Pedro Pascal). Things take a wildly unexpected turn when Cage is recruited by a CIA operative (Tiffany Haddish) and forced to live up to his own legend, channeling his most iconic and beloved on-screen characters in order to save himself and his loved ones. With a career built for this very moment, the seminal award-winning actor must take on the role of a lifetime: Nicolas Cage.

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of Katalin Vermes / SXSW.]

A Lot of Nothing (Directed by Mo McRae)

Synopsis: A Lot of Nothing is a wildly entertaining and humorous exploration of what people today do in moments of extreme despair and conflict. Our two main characters, James and Vanessa, seem to be happily married, successful, and comfortable in every way. They are rocked to their core while watching the news one night when they see cell phone footage of their neighbor committing a crime. In a state of shock, and with opposing points of view about how to address the issue, they go on a highly combustible journey to ‘do something.’

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of John Keng / SXSW.]

Bodies Bodies Bodies (Directed by Halina Reijn)

Synopsis: When a group of rich 20-somethings plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion, a party game turns deadly in this fresh and funny look at backstabbing, fake friends, and one party gone very, very wrong.

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of Gwen Capistran / SXSW.]

The Cellar (Directed by Brendan Muldowney)

Synopsis: About a week after the Woods family move into Xaos House, their daughter Ellie goes missing during a power cut. Ellie's mother Keira investigates and finds that the walls have strange symbols engraved into them. After a number of terrifying supernatural experiences she comes to the conclusion that the house took Ellie. She discovers that a physicist and occultist called John Fetherston, who was obsessed with finding the 11th dimension, built the house and engraved sinister equations on the 10 steps leading into the cellar. Finally, Keira must battle with the universe’s most ancient evil, or lose her family’s souls forever.

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of Martin Maguire / SXSW.]

Deadstream (Directed by Vanessa Winter and Joseph Winter)

Synopsis: After a public controversy left him disgraced and demonetized, a washed up internet personality tries to win back his followers by livestreaming himself spending one night alone in an abandoned haunted house. When he accidentally pisses off a vengeful spirit, his big comeback event becomes a real-time fight for his life (and social relevance) as he faces off with the sinister spirit of the house and her own powerful following.

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of Jared Cook / SXSW.]

Bitch Ass (Directed by Bill Posley)

Synopsis: The year is 1980. Young Cecil is bullied by kids in the 6th Street gang for being fat, shy, and always playing board games. They all pick on him and call him Bitch Ass. On a gang initiation night they jump him and leave him for dead. Fast forward to 1999. No one has seen or heard from Bitch Ass since, and he has become an urban legend. Now, a new crop of 6th Street recruits are gearing up for another initiation night. They get tasked with robbing a house, but little do they know they're walking into Bitch Ass' house, and he has been plotting his revenge by building deadly versions of the childhood games they bullied him for playing. Let the games begin!

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of Shane Brown / SXSW.]

Everything Everywhere All At Once (Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert)

Synopsis: Everything Everywhere All At Once is a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action-adventure about an exhausted Chinese American woman (Michelle Yeoh) who can't seem to finish her taxes.

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of Allyson Riggs / SXSW.]

Hypochondriac (Directed by Addison Heimann)

Synopsis: Will, a young Hispanic gay potter, is one gregarious guy. His boss is terrible, but he's got a great boyfriend and a great job. Unfortunately, behind that veneer is a dark past of violence and mental illness that he is desperate to keep hidden. When his bipolar mother comes out of the woodwork after ten years of silence, he begins exhibiting unexplainable symptoms. After an injury at work, he starts losing functioning of his arms, and something sinister lurks in the corner of his vision: a silent and ominous man in a wolf costume. Will spirals into an obsession, determined to solve this mystery of his own. What is going on with his arms? Can he trust his boyfriend? Is he becoming his mother?

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of Dustin Supencheck / SXSW.]

Sissy (Directed by Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes)

Synopsis: Cecilia and Emma were tween-age BFFs who were going to grow old together and never let anything come between them, until Alex arrived on the scene. Twelve years later, Cecilia is a successful social media influencer living the dream of an independent, modern millennial woman... until she runs into Emma for the first time in over a decade. Emma invites Cecilia away on her bachelorette weekend at a remote cabin in the mountains, where Alex proceeds to make Cecilia’s weekend a living hell. #triggered

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of Steve Arnold ACS / SXSW.]

Jethica (Directed by Pete Ohs)

Synopsis: Jessica lives in fear of a man named Kevin who follows her everywhere she goes. While on a road trip, she reconnects with Elena, an old friend she hasn’t seen since high school. Elena has been hiding out at her deceased grandmother’s ranch in New Mexico.

When Kevin mysteriously appears at the ranch, Jessica and Elena seek help from beyond the grave to get rid of him for good. But Kevin is different from other stalkers and won’t move on so easily.

[Photo Credit: Above photo courtesy of Pete Ohs / SXSW.]


Go HERE to catch up on all of our coverage of the 2022 SXSW Film Festival!

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.