While at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, filmmakers Chris Caldwell and Zeek Earl celebrated the world premiere of their low-budget/high-ambition sci-fi western Prospect, which follows a father/daughter team of terrestrial miners who end up in a fight for their lives after a routine excavation goes awry. The family at the center of Prospect is portrayed by indie pioneer Jay Duplass and up-and-coming actress Sophie Thatcher, and Daily Dead spoke with the duo in Austin this week about their recent collaboration and more.
This year’s SXSW Film Festival kept this writer plenty busy, with a ton of great genre movies that were part of their Midnighters programming slate, and in many cases, there were even some that screened outside the genre-friendly section. Here are my thoughts on a terror-filled trinity of films that I had the opportunity to check out while in Austin over the last week: Colin Minihan’s surprising psychological thriller What Keeps You Alive, the newly revealed sequel Unfriended: Dark Web, and Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s Ghost Stories.
With Ghost Stories, Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman have created one of the most uniquely compelling supernatural movies to come along in decades, but if you’re looking for precise answers to just how the duo have done so, I’m afraid I don’t have any answers for you there, readers. See, the best thing about Ghost Stories (which was adapted from their highly successful UK theatrical production) is that at a certain point, the story takes a brilliant left turn, and the secret of that reveal has been kept that way for years now (and this writer won’t be ruining it, either).
Leigh Whannell has been one of the leading voices in modern horror ever since Saw arrived on the scene in 2004. For his second time taking the directorial reins, Whannell ventures into the realm of science fiction with Upgrade, his beautifully brutal action flick that turns Logan Marshall-Green into a living, breathing weapon hell-bent on revenge after an accident and a run-in with some hired thugs leaves him paralyzed and grieving his wife, who is killed by the group of unknown assailants.
Easily one of my favorite horror movies of 2018, writer/director Ari Aster’s Hereditary is a true genre shocker that left audiences breathless at both the Sundance Film Festival (in case you missed it, read my review here) and during its SXSW debut over this past weekend. A rare mix of heartbreak and pure nerve-shredding terror, Hereditary features Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, and Milly Shapiro as the Graham family who, after the death of their matriarch, come to realize that some family secrets can never stay buried (and if that sounds like a vague description, that’s 100% on purpose—the less you know, the better).
For around 15 years, producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes have made an indelible mark on the landscape of modern horror, with their latest project, John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place, quite possibly being their most ambitious endeavor to date. Daily Dead sat down with the duo after the film’s world premiere at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, and they discussed the challenges that came along with producing the ambitious monster movie, collaborating with Krasinski, and the difficulties of getting audiences into theaters these days.
When it came to choosing an opening night film for the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, you couldn’t ask for a better start to the fest than John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place. This writer has attended nearly one hundred screenings at SXSW since 2011, but I’ve never experienced anything quite like the audience reception of A Quiet Place, with nearly 1,200 people in attendance in a hushed silence, holding their breath alongside the film’s family, who must fend off alien creatures that hunt their prey using hyper-auditory senses.
Earlier this weekend, this writer had the opportunity to check out two wildly different films that enjoyed their world premieres as part of SXSW’s 2018 Visions slate: Fritz Böhm’s Wildling and Prospect from the directorial team of Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell. Even though both movies feature a coming-of-age tale that centers on the relationship between a father and daughter, they are vastly different from each other, with Wildling going for more of a modern fairy tale approach, and Prospect being something of a scrappy yet wonderfully ambitious sci-fi western.
For his latest time at bat behind the camera, John Krasinski has crafted one of the most boldly innovative and stellar monster movies in years with A Quiet Place, a movie that terrifies and thrills just as much as it hits you right in the gut with an emotionally driven narrative that never sacrifices its story for scares (or vice versa).
Following the announcement that John Krasinski's A Quiet Place will be the opening night movie at SXSW, the anticipated Midnighters genre slate has now been revealed, including the buzzed-about Hereditary (read Heather Wixson's Sundance review here), Leigh Whannell's Upgrade, Jenn Wexler's The Ranger, and Field Guide to Evil.
"If they hear you, they hunt you." Before it's released in theaters this April, John Krasinski's new post-apocalyptic movie A Quiet Place will have its world premiere as the opening night movie at South by Southwest.