The 21 Wildest, Coolest, and Most Unique Films We Can't Wait to See at Fantastic Fest 2022

The 21 Wildest, Coolest, and Most Unique Films We Can't Wait to See at Fantastic Fest 2022

From aliens and vampires to unicorns and demons, it's all happening at the genre film festival.

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A blue-suited superhero team with a droid.
While going through stills, this one from Smoking Causes Coughing just stood out.
Image: Fantastic Fest

Three years have passed since io9 traveled to Austin, Texas for a week of fun, fucked up films. The event is Fantastic Fest, one of the coolest, most unique genre film festivals in the entire world—and this year, it’s finally back in full force. For several days, we’ll be spending hours upon hours in the dark, watching mostly movies no one outside of the festival circuit has ever heard of. Which makes choosing difficult. What weird, wacky movies do you watch?

To help, we go through and read about every single movie playing. Some of them, like Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave or Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin, are intriguing but are not exactly films we’d cover on io9. Some, like the excellent Somewhere in the Dirt, we’ve already seen. But for the films that are fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and more, we just go by our gut. Does the premise sound interesing? Is the filmmaker exciting? And slowly but surely, a list is formed.

What follows are the top 21 films we’re excited to see at Fantastic Fest. Will we see them all? Probably not. Will others rise to the top? Of course. But either way, this is a great sampling of just how off the wall the festival can get.

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Bones and All

Bones and All

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The big sell here is it’s Timothée Chalamet reteaming with Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino for a love story about cannibals. Festival reviews have been all over the map so we have to see for ourselves.

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Kids vs. Aliens

Kids vs. Aliens

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The title kind of says it all, does it not? We’re all in for kids fighting aliens. That it’s from filmmaker Jason Eisener (Hobo With a Shotgun, Dark Side of the Ring) just makes us more excited. Plus: it just got picked up for distribution by RLJE and Shudder.

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Smoking Causes Coughing

Smoking Causes Coughing

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Image: Fantastic Fest

We love french filmmaker Quentin Dupieux’s oddball humor (see: Rubber) and the chance to see his take on superheroes in this movie is just too delicious to pass up.

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Shin Ultraman

Shin Ultraman

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I believe I’d be fired if this new spin on the classic character wasn’t on the list.

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Final Cut

Final Cut

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Though it has not been well-received at other festivals, this remake of One Cut of the Dead (a film we first saw at Fantastic Fest!) by the director of The Artist is still so damned intriguing.

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The Offering

The Offering

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The latest body to enter a Brooklyn funeral home is still possessed by a demon— and when that demon senses there’s a baby in the place, well, we’re guessing things don’t go well.

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Smile

Smile

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Smile is one of the few major studio films playing Fantastic Fest and its premise of a demon that makes its prey smile as it stalks just looks beyond creepy.

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Swallowed

Swallowed

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Jena Malone and Mark Patton co-star in a film about Americans who try to mule drugs into the country only to realize the drugs aren’t just drugs. They’re alive. Great title too.

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V/H/S 99

V/H/S 99

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We love this awesome anthology franchise which is known for giving new and popular filmmakers free rein to do almost anything. Sounds perfect for Fantastic Fest.

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GARCÍA!

GARCÍA!

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Fantastic Fest isn’t just movies. It’s also showing the first few episodes of this upcoming HBO Max show about a kidnapped presidential candidate and the frozen superhero resurrected to save him.

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The Five Devils

The Five Devils

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A woman with an incredible sense of smell realizes that certain smells allow her to travel through time. Sign us the heck up.

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The Elderly

The Elderly

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Described as a twist on Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Elderly is about a city where all the old people start acting very strange. What that means exactly we don’t know, but we’re guessing things get rather alarming.

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Blood Relatives

Blood Relatives

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Directed by and starring Noah Segan (The Last Jedi, Knives Out), Blood Relatives is about a vampire forced to question his way of life when his estranged daughter comes back into his life.

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Sick

Sick

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Kevin Williamson (Scream, Dawson’s Creek) wrote this horror film about a group of friends who decide to quarantine in a lake house only to realize they aren’t the only ones there.

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Unicorn Wars

Unicorn Wars

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Teddy bears fight unicorns in what’s expected to be an ultra-violent anime. Um, yes?

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The Visitor From the Future

The Visitor From the Future

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Based on a popular web series, the film follows a woman and her father brought to the future to witness the horrors of their actions. But it’s a comedy.

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Terrifier 2

Terrifier 2

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Honestly? I didn’t know there was a Terrifier part one. But there was and now its evil, blood-thirsty villain Art the Clown is back. A killer clown sequel sounds pretty sweet to us though.

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Disappear Completely

Disappear Completely

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A witch curses a photographer to lose all his senses, one by one, until he... disappears completely. Which is just absolutely terrifying. Terrifying 2, even. (A joke for the few of you reading these all).

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Demigod: The Legend Begins

Demigod: The Legend Begins

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We’re suckers for any film told in a new medium and this fantasy epic was made with the Taiwanese art of bùdàixì glove puppetry. It sounds and looks super rad.

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The Antares Paradox

The Antares Paradox

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The Antares Paradox might be a lo-fi Contact. It follows a SETI scientist who believes she’s receiving a message from aliens, so she works as fast as she can to solve the mystery.

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Amazing Elisa

Amazing Elisa

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Several seemingly random stories connect to one about a comic book-obsessed fan named Elisa who believes she has the same powers are her favorite character.

Fantastic Fest runs September 22-29 in Austin, Texas. io9 will have reviews and more reporting coming soon!

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