Genre grab-bag at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival


The 16th annual Tribeca Film Festival rolls into New York City April 19-30, and as usual, there’s a plethora of intriguing genre films making their premieres in the bloody Big Apple. The fest announced the bulk of its titles today, including its must-hit Midnight section. Those flicks include:

  • DEVIL’S GATE (directed by Clay Staub, written by Peter Aperlo, Staub): Struggling to overcome a recent professional tragedy, a tough-as-nails FBI agent (Amanda Schull) relocates to a small North Dakota town to investigate the disappearance of a local woman and her young son. The search leads to the missing woman’s husband’s secluded farm, on which answers, new mysteries and God-fearing terrors await. Not to mention, something locked and caged down in the basement… With Milo Ventimiglia of HEROES, X-MEN’s Shawn Ashmore, Bridget Regan and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION’s Jonathan Frakes. (Canada, USA; World Premiere)

    Milo Ventimiglia stars as the mysterious Jackson Pritchard living on the outskirts of Devil’s Gate. Film still from DEVIL’S GATE. Photo credit: David Bukach.

  • HOUNDS OF LOVE (directed and written by Ben Young): Dark forces lurk behind the sunny façade of an unassuming Australian suburb in Ben Young’s stylish directorial debut. This ’80s-set true crime thriller follows 17-year-old Vicki on the night she’s abducted by a disturbed couple. While bound to a bed inside of the kidnappers’ home and subjected to psychological and physical torture, Vicki must find a way to drive a wedge between her unhinged captors and escape by any means necessary. With Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, ROGUE’s Stephen Curry, Susie Porter, Damian de Montemas and Harrison Gilbertson. (Australia; New York Premiere)

    Stephen Curry as John in Ben Young’s Hounds of Love (2016). Photo by Michael McDermot.

  • PSYCHOPATHS (directed and written by Mickey Keating): Over the course of one excessively blood-soaked night, multiple serial killers’ paths cross, leaving a trail of bodies and begging the question: Which psychopath will live to see morning? One of the most exciting and unclassifiable new voices in indie horror, Keating (CARNAGE PARK) delivers his wildest ride yet with this ultra-stylish and uber-violent descent into madness. With LAST EXORCISM’s Ashley Bell, James Landry Hébert, Mark Kassen, Angela Trimbur, the always welcome Larry Fessenden, Jeremy Gardner and former FANGORIA contributor Sam Zimmerman. (USA; World Premiere)

    A film still from Mickey Keating’s PSYCHOPATHS. © 2017 Sorrow Entertainment LLC | photo by Mac Fisken.

  • SUPER DARK TIMES (directed by Kevin Phillips, written by Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski): Teenagers Zach and Josh have been best friends their whole lives, but when a gruesome accident leads to a cover-up, the secret drives a wedge between them and propels them down a rabbit hole of escalating paranoia and violence in Phillips’ atmospheric ’90s-set mystery-thriller. With Owen Campbell, Charlie Tahan, Elizabeth Cappuccino, Max Talisman, Sawyer Barth and BLUE RUIN’s Amy Hargreaves. (USA, North American Premiere)

    Charlie Tahan as Josh in SUPER DARK TIMES. Photo by Eli Born.

  • TILT (directed by Kasra Farahani, written by Jason O’Leary, Farahani): There’s something off about Joe. Although his pregnant girlfriend, Joanne, supports him as he devotes more and more time to his passion project, a sprawling documentary about America’s “golden age,” both the film and Joe are becoming increasingly unhinged. Joanne is growing worried about Joseph’s odd behavior…but not as worried as she should be. With Joseph Cross, Alexia Rasmussen, Kelvin Yu, Jessy Hodges and DEXTER’s CS Lee. (USA; World Premiere)

    Joe Burns calming himself in a public park bathroom. Joseph Cross as Joe Burns in Tilt. Photo credit: Alexander Alexandrov.

In addition to the exciting Midnight selections, Tribeca’s US Narrative Competition and Spotlight Narrative sections offer several offerings sure to interest Fangorians. These include:

  • THE ENDLESS (directed by and starring RESOLUTION/SPRING’s brilliant Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, written by Benson): Years after escaping a cult as teenagers, brothers Aaron and Justin return to their former home after receiving a mysterious message. While Aaron is quickly drawn back into the fold, Justin remains uneasy. However, neither can deny it when strange events begin happening that seem to mirror the cult’s unusual axioms. With Tate Ellington, Callie Hernandez, James Jordan and WALKING DEAD’s Lew Temple. (USA; World Premiere)

    Aaron Moorhead as Aaron and Justin Benson as Justin in THE ENDLESS. Photographer: William Tanner Sampson.

  • NOVEMBER (directed and written by Rainer Sarnet): Dive into the cold, snowy landscape of 19th-century Estonia, where werewolves and spirits roam free, and Jesus co-exists with kratts, the farmers’ mythological helpers made of tools and bones. Farmer girl Liina’s doomed romance with local boy Hans is at the center of director Sarnet’s pagan, black and white world, where the characters search for meaning in their surroundings and ponder the existence of the soul. With Rea Lest, Jörgen Liik, Arvo Kukumägi, Katariina Unt, Taavi Eelmaa and HUMAN CENTIPEDE’s Dieter Laser (!). (Estonia; International Premiere)

    Kratt in front of the Manor in NOVEMBER, directed by Rainer Sarnet. Photo credit: Jan Viljus.

  • BUSTER’S MAL HEART (directed and written by Sarah Adina Smith): A fugitive hotly pursued by rangers reviews the pathway to his present circumstances and finds conflicting stories. A spellbinding Rami Malek of MR. ROBOT brings impressive range to Smith’s sophomore feature: a twisting, mind-bending thriller in which the typical rules don’t apply, least of all to a man who cannot be certain of anything he’s done. We loved this David Lynch-style descent into paranoia. With SUPERNATURAL’s DJ Qualls, Kate Lyn Sheil, Sukha Belle Potter and the ubiquitous Lin (INSIDIOUS) Shaye. (USA; New York Premiere)

    Rami Malek as Buster in BUSTER’S MAL HEART. Photo credit: Shaheen Seth.

  • SWEET VIRGINIA (directed by Jamie Dagg, written by The China Brothers): Jon (THE WALKING DEAD) Bernthal, Rosemarie DeWitt, Imogen Poots, Odessa Young and a spectacular Christopher Abbott star in this gritty neo-Western with echoes of the early Coen Brothers: a burglary-homicide rattles the residents of a small Alaska town. Dagg’s second feature is a haunting drama about the predator in each of us, and the prices we pay to start over. (USA; World Premiere)

    Jon Bernthal as Sam in SWEET VIRGINIA. Photographer: Keri Anderson.

  • MR LONG (directed and written by SABU): Following an assignment gone wrong in Tokyo, professional Taiwanese hitman Mr. Long (Chang Chen) finds himself stranded without a passport in a run-down Japanese village. So naturally, Long does what any cold-hearted killer would do in his situation: befriend the locals and open a wildly popular noodle cart. Moving artfully between scenes of slickly choreographed violence and charming, whimsical drama, Japanese helmer SABU’s latest is a refreshing twist on the gangster genre, offering a surprisingly tender and heartwarming fable of redemption. (Japan, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan R.O.C., Germany; North American Premiere)

    Chang Chen as Long in MR LONG.

  • TAKE ME (directed by Pat Healy, written by Mike Makowsky): Ray is in the boutique simulated abduction business. It’s an understandably threadbare market, so he jumps at the chance when a mysterious call contracts him for a weekend kidnapping with a handsome payday at the end. But the job isn’t all that it seems. A black comedy that threads the needle between crime thriller and slapstick farce, TAKE ME is as twisty as it is funny. One of our favorite indie actors, Healy (COMPLIANCE, CHEAP THRILLS, TALES OF HALLOWEEN) directs his sophomore effort and also acts here. With Taylor Schilling, Alycia Delmore and Jim O’Heir. (USA; World Premiere)

    Pat Healy as Ray Moody and Taylor Schilling as Anna St. Blair in TAKE ME. Photographer: Nathan M. Miller.

  • THUMPER (directed and written by Jordan Ross): This suspenseful crime drama follows Kat Carter (Eliza Taylor), the troubled new girl in a school harboring a deep secret. When she attracts the attention of the volatile gang leader Wyatt (a menacing Pablo Schreiber), Kat’s own hidden secrets threaten to put her life in danger. Executive produced by Cary Fukunaga (BEASTS OF NO NATION, TRUE DETECTIVE), the film features raw supporting turns from GAME OF THRONES’ Lena Headey, Daniel Webber, Ben Feldman, and Grant Harvey. (USA; World Premiere)

    Pablo Schreiber and Eliza Taylor as Kat Carter in THUMPER, directed by Jordan Ross. Photo credit: Doug Emmett.

  • MY FRIEND DAHMER (directed and written by Marc Meyers): Before Jeffrey Dahmer became one of the most notorious serial killers of all time, he was a teenage loner. Conducting grisly experiments in a makeshift backyard lab, Jeff was invisible to most, until his increasingly bizarre behavior unexpectedly attracted friends. Based on the cult graphic novel, MY FRIEND DAHMER chronicles the origins of the man, the monster…the high school senior. With Ross Lynch, Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts, Alex Wolff, Tommy Nelson, and RICKY 6’s Vincent Kartheiser. (USA; World Premiere)

    Ross Lynch as Jeffrey Dahmer in MY FRIEND DAHMER. Photo credit: Daniel Katz.

  • PILGRIMAGE (directed by Brendan Muldowney, written by Jamie Hannigan): In 13th-century Ireland, a cadre of monks travels through the war-torn countryside on a mission to bring their land’s most sacred relic to Rome. But other forces are gaining on them, as the true significance of the relic becomes dangerously apparent. A period drama crossed with an action/adventure road movie, the furiously violent PILGRIMAGE delivers a profound lesson on religious fervor and the savagery of soldiers with a cause. With new SPIDER-MAN Tom Holland, THE HOBBIT’s Richard Armitage, Jon Bernthal (again!), John Lynch and Stanley Weber. (USA, Ireland; World Premiere)

    Convoy at bottom of hill. Stanley Weber as The Cistercian, John Bernthal as The Mute, Tom Holland as The Novice, John Lynch as The Herbalist in PILGRIMAGE. © 2016 Savage Productions | photo by Martin Maguire.

Expect more Tribeca Film festival announcements shortly, and watch this website for exciting coverage. Ticket packages are on sale now, and single tickets will be available for purchase starting Tuesday, March 28.

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About the author
Tony Timpone
FANGORIA Editor Emeritus Tony Timpone helps manage the company’s VOD, DVD and digital divisions. For nearly 10 years he served as a Vice President of Acquisitions for FANGORIA’s three separate home video labels, and co-created FANGORIA’S BLOOD DRIVE short film DVD collection, hosted by Rob Zombie. For TV, Timpone was a Co-Producer of cable’s FUSE/FANGORIA CHAINSAW AWARDS and a Consulting Producer to the HORROR HALL OF FAME special. Since 1998, Montreal’s Fantasia film festival has engaged Tony as Co-Director of International Programming.
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