The Overlook Film Festival is one of the country’s best genre fests, an annual party that combines some of the most exciting new horror films, rep titles and special guests with wholly unique immersive experiences that you simply won’t get anywhere else. Today, the fest has announced this year’s full lineup, and … phew, they’ve really outdone themselves this time! The 2024 Overlook Film Festival lineup is possibly the best it’s ever been.

A special point of pride for us this year: FANGORIA is presenting a 50th-anniversary screening of Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise, with none other than Paul Williams in attendance, as well as a special lecture about the film’s history by Swan Archives‘ Ari Kahan. We couldn’t be more excited to be bringing this special event to the Overlook.

Take it away, press release…

“The Overlook Film Festival, the annual celebration of all things horror, announced today the initial lineup for its 2024 edition. Taking place April 4 – April 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Prytania Theatres, the horror festival will welcome audiences back to America’s most haunted city with a terrifying selection of new and classic films as well as extensive offscreen offerings including interactive events, live performances, immersive programming, special guests and much, much more.

“We are finally able to see the fruits of post-pandemic productions and it’s a sight to behold,” said Michael Lerman, co-founder and director of film programming of The Overlook Film

Festival. “This year’s lineup is full of bigger, scarier, more personal, more bombastic fever dreams that are sure to haunt you for the rest of 2024.”

This wide-ranging initial festival lineup includes 45 films (22 features and 23 shorts) from 11 countries, as well as four live presentations and five immersive experiences.

Kicking off the festivities as the Opening Night film will be NEON’s upcoming Cuckoo. Directed by Tilman Singer and starring Hunter Schafer, Dan Stevens and Jessica Henwick, this beautiful and terrifying giallo-esque nightmare tells the story of a reluctant 17-year-old who moves with her family to a resort in the German Alps. There she finds herself the subject of terrifying visions and aggressive stalking by a mysterious woman who may or may not be linked to the town’s past.

Highlighting the lineup of new and upcoming films is A24’s Sundance breakout hit I Saw the TV Glow, Jane Shoenbrun’s story of an awkward teenager whose suburban life is rattled when his classmate introduces him to a strangely absorbing, supernatural TV show. Other notable features include Blackout, directed by horror icon Larry Fessenden and featuring the legendary Barbara Crampton; E.L. Katz’s Azrael, written by Simon Barrett (The Guest) and starring Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) as a woman desperate to escape imprisonment; and Shudder’s slasher film In a Violent Nature, directed by Chris Nash.

Closing Night of the festival will feature the world premiere screening of Universal Pictures’ new Radio Silence film, Abigail, from directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Ready or Not, 2022’s Scream). Starring an ensemble cast led by Melissa Barrera and Dan Stevens, Abigail is a brash, blood-thirsty new vision of the vampire flick, about a group of criminals who get more than they bargained for when they kidnap the ballerina daughter of a powerful underworld figure. As they watch Abigail overnight in an isolated mansion, the captors discover that they’re locked inside with no ordinary little girl. The directors and their Radio Silence partner Chad Villella will be in attendance for the film.”

But that’s not all: in addition to all these exciting new titles, this year’s iteration of the Overlook Film Festival will also include a number of retrospective screenings, anniversary screenings, and a number of special guests…

“In addition to the new features, this year’s festival will include an expanded selection of retrospective screenings, starting with a tenth anniversary showing of Oculus, the breakout film from the prolific horror filmmaker and showrunner Mike Flanagan (Doctor Sleep, The Haunting of Hill House), who will be on hand, with actress Kate Siegel, to receive the festival’s Master of Horror Award. Past recipients of this award include Roger Corman, Mick Garris, Stuart Gordon and Joe Dante. There will also be a world premiere screening of the brand new 4K restoration, overseen by Grindhouse Releasing, of the 1981 New Orleans-shot giallo classic The Beyond from Italian horror master Lucio Fulci.

Beloved composer/singer/actor and all around legend Paul Williams will be the guest of honor at a special 50th anniversary screening, presented by FANGORIA, of Brian De Palma’s cult classic Phantom of the Paradise, for which he served as composer and star. The retro lineup will round out with a 70th anniversary 3-D screening of 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon in 35mm and a 100th anniversary showing of the silent film classic The Hands of Orlac, which will be accompanied by a live score from New Orleans’ own Think Less, Hear More.”

And, as always, this year’s Overlook Film Festival will also feature a number of live events, presentations, and the same sort of immersive experiences this fest has become known for over the years.

“The Overlook’s signature live programming will include events such as Looking Over the Garden Wall, a 10th anniversary panel celebration of the beloved horror-tinged animated miniseries Over the Garden Wall, featuring creator Patrick McHale and art director Nick Cross; Fasterpiece Theater, presented by Museum of the Home Video, where creator and host Bret Berg will take the audience through a tightly edited blast of horror films you’ve never heard of; and Scream Dreams: The Nightmares That Shaped Us, presented by AMP, a live recording of the podcast featuring hosts Catherine Corcoran and horror legend Barbara Crampton.

The 2024 Overlook Film Festival’s one-of-a-kind immersive program, featuring interactive projects and experiences, will once again be anchored by the secret and mysterious appointments created through the festival’s continuing partnership with the Academy of Magical Arts, the organization that resides in the world famous Magic Castle®. These programs include three world premieres: A Freak Encounter, a trip through the darkest corners of your own mind guided by the infamous Todd Robbins; The Most Dangerous Man in America, an unforgettable meeting with the greatest card cheat in the country, created by Mark Calabrese; and Regrets From the Dead, a ghostly guided journey through our decisions and regrets materialized by Jared Kopf; along with a special presentation of The Dark Séance, an attempt to part the veil and manifest the dead from the renowned Zabrecky. Rounding out this wave of the larger immersive program will be a sneak preview of The Grand Hall, presented by local favorites Escape My Room, a self-directed journey where guests explore an ancestral home to uncover the deepest mysteries of a family’s long-buried past. “

Head on over to the Overlook Film Fest’s site to see a complete rundown of all the titles scheduled for this year’s lineup, to pick up your badge, or to learn more about the best film festival in New Orleans. We’ll see you there on April 4th!

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