This year's Overlook Film Festival is almost upon us, and today the New Orleans-based horror fest has unleashed our first detailed look at this year's lineup of events, films, and guest stars. It is, quite frankly, unbelievably stacked.
Just how stacked is it? We'll let the press release do the talking:
The Overlook Film Festival announced today the full lineup for its upcoming 2023 edition, taking place March 30 – April 2 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The horror festival will welcome audiences back to America’s most haunted city with 51 films (27 features and 24 short films from 12 countries), along with extensive offerings including interactive events, live performances, immersive programming, parties and more scary surprises.
The festival will open with the world premiere of the highly anticipated modern vampire tale Renfield, starring Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men franchise) as the titular tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula, played by Oscar® winner Nicolas Cage. A Universal Pictures film based on an original idea by The Walking Dead and Invincible creator Robert Kirkman, Renfield is directed by Chris McKay (The Tomorrow War, The LEGO Batman Movie) with a screenplay by Ryan Ridley (Ghosted, Rick & Morty), and will be followed by a live Q&A featuring Nicolas Cage and Chris McKay. Renfield arrives in theaters April 14. The evening will continue with the Opening Night Vampire Ball.
Returning to the Prytania Theatre at Canal Place in Downtown New Orleans and expanding its programming at the Uptown location, the festival will also present a special 30th anniversary screening of Joe Dante’s loving ode to the great B movies, Matinee, featuring a live Q&A with legendary actor John Goodman and master of horror Joe Dante. A celebration of the 10th anniversary of Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Alfred Hitchcock’s silent thriller The Lodger with a live score and a special screening of William Castle’s horror classic The Tingler, featuring surprise live elements, are also amongst the 2023 lineup highlights.
Along with Opening Night presentation Renfield, world premiere titles include Philip Barantini’s Accused, Alexis Jacknow’s Clock, Nick Kozakis’s Godless: The Eastfield Exorcism, Ariel Vida’s Trim Season and Anthony Penta’s We Kill for Love.
Closing Night of the festival will feature a screening of New Line Cinema’s/Renaissance Pictures’ Evil Dead Rise, distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. Written and directed by Lee Cronin, the film stars Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols and Nell Fisher. The latest installment of the classic series is produced by longtime franchise producer Rob Tapert and executive produced by series creator and horror icon Sam Raimi and cult legend (and “Ash” himself) Bruce Campbell, along with John Keville, Macdara Kelleher, Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Romel Adam and Victoria Palmieri. The screening will be followed by the Closing Night Halloween Party.
As if all of the above weren't enough, this year's Overlook Film Festival will also feature - for the very first time! - a musical sidebar, a live performance by THE KINGCAST (with special guest host, Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller), a one-man show by How to Sell a Haunted House author Grady Hendrix, and magicians!
"For its 2023 edition, Overlook will debut its first music sidebar, made possible by the generous support of Kickstarter, the premier crowdfunding platform for bringing creative projects to life, which is presenting two exciting concerts on the festival’s opening and closing nights. Audiences will be treated to a special live performance by SQÜRL — Carter Logan and Jim Jarmusch’s enthusiastically marginal NYC rock band whose distinctive sound beautifully encompasses a range of genres, including big drums, distorted guitars, loops, feedback, sad country songs, molten stoner core, chopped & screwed hip-hop and imaginary movie scores. Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, which was scored by the band in collaboration with Dutch lutenist Jozef Van Wissem, will screen at the festival in celebration of the 10th anniversary of its world premiere. The sidebar will also feature famed American sludge metal band, Thou. Originally from Baton Rouge, LA, the band’s distinctive sound blends the shuddering heaviness of doom with the atmospherics of black metal, promising an unforgettable performance that Louisiana audiences won't want to miss.
The Overlook’s signature live and special event programming will include How To Sell A Haunted House In A Challenging Market, a one-man show by New York Times bestselling author Grady Hendrix, exploring our collective obsession with ghosts and a live session of THE KINGCAST podcast featuring hosts Eric Vespe and guest co-host Bryan Fuller who will discuss the work the legendary Stephen King with a surprise guest, presented by FANGORIA.
Through a partnership with the Academy of Magical Arts, the organization that resides in the world famous Magic Castle®, the 2023 program will also formally introduce magic to the festival. Special events curated by the Academy will include The Last Magic Show, created and performed by the renowned Zabrecky and featuring highlights from his global act along with new material, which is part of the live performance programming. In the festival’s immersive program, guests will experience the world premiere of one-on-one interactive theater experience The Oracle, from Tarologist and Soothsayer Jared Kopf. Attentive attendees may find additional magical secrets, if they know where to look."
You can head on over to the Overlook Film Festival's website to get a look at the full screening lineup (it is gigantic, so much so that we can't include all of it here), pick up your badges to attend, or just look at all the cool stuff you'll be missing out on if you're sitting this year's Festival out (booo). Additional titles will be announced on March 9th, with the Festival itself kicking off on March 30th. Will you be there?