James Is Heading To Fantastic Fest 2011, Here Are His Ten Most Anticipated Films

It’s true! It’s less than a day until I board a plane and land in beautiful Austin, Texas! Lots of exclamation points! Okay, enough of that ridiculousness. Let’s get into only the 10 films I can’t wait to see at Fantastic Fest. I could have technically made a quick post saying I want to see every single film, but I thought a list of 10 films in no particular order would be the most democratic way to do so.

Livid – Starting off with one of my most anticipated horror films coming from the minds behind Inside. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo bring us something that is supposedly more subdued, but we all know they have something up their sleeves to freak us out even more so.

Rabies – An Israeli horror film which I’ve been told is simply amazing, co-directors Navot Pupushado and Aharon Keshales bring us what sounds like to be a demented Hansel and Gretel with intertwining stories. This looks to be the surprise film in my opinion, but I think that’s what Fantastic Fest is all about.

Extraterrestrial – Nacho is back! When I heard about his film Timecrimes back when it screened at the 2007 Fantastic Fest. I had to find this film and didn’t worry that it was going to let me down. And instead it blew me away. I’ve actually read nothing about this film except for the fact it was directed by Nacho Vigalondo. I’m going in blind, and I think that’s the best way to do so for this film.

Snowtown – A true crime film coming from Australia, this seems to be the new wave of films for the country. I liked Animal Kingdom that came out last year, showing a crime family and their day to day business. From first-time director Justin Kurzel, this is a film I think will get the critics raving, and shedding some light on the man named John Bunting who was a horrifying figure in Australian history. I can’t wait for this one.

Bunohan – A Malaysian film dealing with kickboxing, family drama, betrayal and what appears to be some fantastic nonstop action, this film by Dain Said has an English title that just seems even more ominous: Return to Murder. I’m a sucker for foreign action films, especially anything from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. This one is no exception and I think I’m going to be blown away by this one.

The Day – Whenever I heard the words ‘post-apocalyptic’ around any film, color me intrigued and I will do anything and everything I can to check it out. Pair that with the tidbit that this is a film by a Robert Rodriguez protégé by the name of Doug Aarniokoski, I’m even more interested. You know why? Because even though Rodriguez still does Spy Kids movies, he gives chances to great up and coming talent, who take his method of film making and make films that are a bit more adult. As it says, fight or die because The Day has come.

Elite Squad: The Enemy Within – This is actually the sequel to José Padilha’s fantastic Elite Squad from 2007, this time it appears to be he’s taking the story to a whole new level. Brazilian films are starting to punch a hole in the consciousness of film fanatics everywhere, and for good reason. I love what Chase Whale has written up on the page for the film: Imagine Goodfellas with less narration and an afro-Brazilian backbeat.. You had me at ‘imagine’.

Beyond the Black Rainbow – The less I know about the film, the more I want to see it. It’s a film that has popped up repeatedly in trailer form or someone mentioning how much of a screwy film it was. Visually stunning as well. I usually devour all I can about a film before I get to see it, but for this festival, I’m going almost blindly in the majority of the films. Beyond the Black Rainbow is one film that keeps peeking its head in my life, usually when I’ve forgotten it. Not because of lack of interest, but because I think it must have been a dream in the first place.

Let the Bullets Fly – Actor and director Wen Jiang has a film that when I heard the following description of “Chow Yun Fat in a Robin Hood film”, it instantly went straight to the top of my list. I also prefer Chow Yun Fat in Chinese films, mainly because when he came to America, we just didn’t get why he was a superstar. This film has a comedic flare to it, with loathsome characters as our main protagonists. I can’t wait to see this film.

You’re Next – While I was attempting to pick out my final film for the 10 films I can’t wait to see, I just kept hearing the title You’re Next. That’s a title that just tells you that it has balls and in turn, as a horror fan, you hope it can truly back those up. Pair that up with one of my favorite newcomers Adam Wingard who has really shown what he’s made of already with his films Pop Skull and A Horrible Way to Die and it’s anticipation. And we have another film with one of my favorite actors AJ Bowen, and my mind is racing, wishing I was watching this film already. And Barbara Cramption! Let’s hope the 24th comes as fast as possible.

I just wanted to give a taste to our readers what films my mind goes to when trying to even possibly come up with any sort of list. I will be seeing films nonstop for 8 days straight, with stars and film journalists I’ve been wishing to meet for years. There are so many other movies that are playing, let alone all the classic films that will be screening with new prints. Will I survive? Just follow Criterion Cast, our Twitter feed at @CriterionCast or my very own @fistfulofmedia for up to the minute details of what events are going down. And which ones you will wish you were a part of. Let us know in the comments below. Or just find me at the festival if you’re going and tell me which films I need to see.

James McCormick

Writer. Podcaster. Social Media Enthusiast. James has loved film from the moment he set eyes on the screen. A Brooklyn, New York native, always trying to find a film that will shock and surprise him. Twitter / cineAWESOME