Each year, the midnight shift at Sundance belongs to me, and that's the way I like it. I've had some of my most memorable experiences at the festival happen as part of the midnight screenings, and I look forward to this announcement every year.
I'm surprised to see “It Follows” there. That's been playing festivals since Cannes, and while it's good, I wouldn't expect to see Sundance use one of the slots for a film that's been seen as much as this one has already.
The hottest ticket will most likely be “Knock Knock,” with Eli Roth directing Keanu Reeves. I like that Eli has fallen in with Nicolas Lopez and Guillermo Amoedo as his new constant collaborators, and this one sounds like it could be nasty fun, which is Eli's sweet spot.
I'm excited about the Kevin Bacon movie, which sounds like a darker, actual-real-world-repercussions version of “Let's Be Cops,” and I'm excited about “The Hallow” because I love it when we get horror films grounded in European mythology that is lesser-used. And I'm wildly curious about Rodney Ascher's “The Nightmare.” He's the filmmaker behind “Room 237,” and this time he's working in documentary form again, but about sleep paralysis.
Overall, it's a solid line-up with plenty of room for discovery, which is the way I like it. This is probably the line-up I know the least about out of the last four years, and that's when things get really exciting.
On the next page, you'll see the full list of Sundance's Park City At Midnight titles.
PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT
From horror flicks to comedies to works that defy any genre, these unruly films will keep you edge-seated and wide awake.
Cop Car / U.S.A.
(Director: Jon Watts, Screenwriters: Christopher D. Ford, Jon Watts) – Two 10-year-old boys steal an abandoned cop car.
Cast: Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, Shea Whigham, Camryn Manheim. World Premiere
The Hallow / Ireland, United Kingdom
(Director: Corin Hardy, Screenwriters: Corin Hardy, Felipe Marino) – When a London-based conservationist is sent to Ireland to survey an area of ancient forest believed by the superstitious locals to be hallowed ground, he unwittingly disturbs a horde of terrifying beings and must fight to protect his family.
Cast: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael McElhatton, Michael Smiley. World Premiere
Hellions / Canada
(Director: Bruce McDonald, Screenwriter: Pascal Trottier) – Teenage Dora Vogel must survive a Halloween night from hell when malevolent trick-or-treaters come knocking at her door.
Cast: Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Wilson, Peter DaCunha, Luke Bilyk. World Premiere
It Follows / U.S.A.
(Director and screenwriter: David Robert Mitchell) – After a strange sexual encounter, a teenager finds herself haunted by nightmarish visions and the inescapable sense that something is after her.
Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe.
Knock Knock / U.S.A.
(Director: Eli Roth, Screenwriters: Eli Roth, Nicolas Lopez, Guillermo Amoedo) – Two beautiful young girls walk into a married man's life and turn a wild fantasy into his worst nightmare.
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana De Armas, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Colleen Camp. World Premiere
The Nightmare / U.S.A.
(Director: Rodney Ascher) – A documentary-horror film exploring the phenomenon of sleep paralysis through the eyes of eight people. They (and a surprisingly large number of others) often find themselves trapped between the sleeping and awake realms, unable to move but aware of their surroundings while subject to disturbing sights and sounds. World Premiere
Reversal / U.S.A.
(Director: J.M Cravioto, Screenwriters: Rock Shaink, Keith Kjornes) – A gritty psychological thriller about a young woman chained in a basement of a sexual predator and manages to escape. However, right when she has a chance for freedom, she unravels a hard truth and decides to turn the tables on her captor.
Cast: Tina Ivlev, Richard Tyson, Bianca Malinowski. World Premiere
Turbo Kid / Canada, New Zealand
(Directors: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann-Karl Simard, Screenwriters: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann-Karl Simard) – In a post-apocalyptic future, The Kid, an orphaned outcast, meets a mysterious girl. They become friends until Zeus, the sadistic leader of the Wasteland, kidnaps her. The Kid must face his fears, and journey to rid the Wasteland of evil and save the girl.
Cast: Chambers Munro, Leboeuf Laurence, Ironside Michael, Jeffery Aaron, Wright Edwin. World Premiere