Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel “THE I IN EVIL”, and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
Sundance 2016 Midnight Line-Up Announced!Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
While the festival hasn’t always been friendly to the horror genre, especially through its formative years, Sundance has grown more accepting of scare fare in recent times, branding a horror-centric Midnight line-up that has now become standard with all “legitimate” film festivals such. Luckily, Sundance has also carried it’s notoriously high standards among its Midnight choices as well, often bringing about the most lauded- or at least polarizing- films in the horror world, including the V/H/S series and the upcoming A24 release, THE WITCH. Now, Sundance 2016 has laid its claim to the first 9 films of their midnight line-up, which features some heavy-hitters indeed and all of which are world premieres.
Perhaps the most notable of Sundance’s selections include the premieres of Rob Zombie’s 31, his supposedly final fright film, and Kevin Smith’s second installment in his True North trilogy, YOGA HOSERS. Other notable additions include SpectreVision & Drafthouse Films’ first co-production, Jim Hosking’s THE GREASY STRANGLER, as well as SUBURBAN GOTHIC director Richard Bates Jr.’s TRASH FIRE and POD/DARLING auteur Mickey Keating’s CARNAGE PARK. Also featured include Danny Perez’s mind-melter ANTIBIRTH, JT Mollner’s wicked western OUTLAWS & ANGELS, and Babak Anvari’s political frightener UNDER THE SHADOW.
However, perhaps most interesting of the selections is Rich Fox’s THE BLACKOUT EXPERIMENTS, a film that examines people who develop a dangerous obsession with Blackout, the notorious extreme haunt experience. While it’s unknown if the film is a documentary or a fictionalization based on the actual underground haunt, THE BLACKOUT EXPERIMENTS is examining a part of the horror world that rarely gets the on-screen treatment. And though the ramifications of said experience can absolutely make a compelling horror film, one can only imagine that the real people behind Blackout, who strive for the utmost safety for their paying customers even while giving them a horrifying thrill-seeking experience, may not be happy with the results.
I guess we’ll find out when Sundance returns to Park City from January 21st to January 31st. You can find more information on the films and the festival itself at Sundance’s official Midnight page HERE.