SXSW is the place to debut a genre movie; horror is especially popular. Titles like A Quiet Place and Don't Breathe were big hits, but what else?
SXSW, or more formerly South by Southwest, is a multimedia festival that is annually held in Austin, Texas.The festival consists of a wide number of exhibits, including conferences, music festivals, trade shows, and movie premieres. The festival is increasingly growing in popularity - a fact that is undoubtedly due to its exposure and increasingly-fantastic movie premieres.
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Many great horror movies have made their debuts at SXSW. The festival isn't inherently linked to the horror genre, but the festival is increasingly being seen as the go-to destination for horror movie premieres. The debuts of these fantastic horror movies certainly helped in that regard.
Serving as a remake/reboot of the iconic 1981 original, Evil Dead is a horrific and bloody affair that wonderfully updates the material for the 21st century. The movie premiered on March 8, 2013 at SXSW before releasing wide on April 5.
Despite some public hesitance (owing largely to the iconic status of the original), Evil Dead earned relatively good reviews. It sits at 63% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average score of 6.2/10 and a consensus reading, "It may lack the absurd humor that underlined the original, but the new-lookEvil Deadcompensates with brutal terror, gory scares, and gleefully bloody violence."
Starring Ethan Hawke as a man who discovers a series of disturbing 8mm reels, Sinister premiered at SXSW on March 11, 2012 before receiving a wide release the following October. Like Evil Dead, Sinister currently sits at 63% on Rotten Tomatoes. And, like Evil Dead, the average rating also sits at 6.2/10.
The movie was mostly praised for its twists, with the consensus reading, "Its plot hinges on typically implausible horror-movie behavior and recycles countless genre clichs, butSinisterdelivers a surprising number of fresh, diabolical twists."
Serving as a loving homage to cheesy '80s slasher films, The Final Girls concerns a group of high school students who are transported into an '80s slasher flick. Starring a great cast consisting ofTaissa Farmiga, Nina Dobrev,Malin kerman, and Adam DeVine (among many others), The Final Girls was widely praised for its '80s throwback atmosphere.
Premiering at SXSW on March 13, 2015, The Final Girls sits at 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus, "The Final Girlsoffers an affectionate nod to slasher tropes while adding a surprising layer of genuine emotion to go with the meta amusement."
Co-written and directed by Ben Wheatley, Kill List is a combination horror-crime film concerning an ex-soldier turned hitman.
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Premiering at SXSW on March 12, 2011, Kill List earned strong reviews from critics, generating a solid 78% on Rotten Tomatoes and a consensus reading, "Kill Listis an expertly executed slow-burn crime thriller that thrives on tension before morphing into visceral horror." It's one of the most original horror films of the decade, and it is well worth viewing.
The second Jane Levy filmhere (after Evil Dead), Don't Breathe was one of the most acclaimed horror films of 2016. The story concerns Levy's Rocky, an amateur criminal who makes a horrifying discovery while robbing a blind man's house.
The movie debuted at SXSW on March 12, 2016 and earned instant acclaim from critics. It sits at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus reading, "Don't Breathesmartly twists its sturdy premise to offer a satisfyingly tense, chilling addition to the home invasion genre that's all the more effective for its simplicity."
Serving as a brilliant horror-comedy,Cheap Thrillsfollows Pat Healy's Craig Daniels. Craig is struggling financially and loses hisjob as a mechanic, forcing him to drown his sorrows at a local bar. While there, he meets two malicious strangers who offer him money in exchange for increasingly elaborate and twisted dares.
The movie isn't very popular, but it's well adored by critics. It currently sits at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus reading, "Gleefully nasty and darkly hilarious,Cheap Thrillslives down to its title in the best possible way."
The Invitation is a simple little horror film starring Logan Marshall-Green as Will, a grieving man who is invited to a troubling party in the Hollywood Hills that is being hosted by his ex-wife, Eden. Of course, the invitation - and the party itself - have ulterior motives.
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Released through SXSW on March 13, 2015, The Invitation sits at 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus reading, "The Invitationmakes brilliant use of its tension-rich premise to deliver a uniquely effective -- and surprisingly clever -- slow-building thriller."
The Cabin in the Woods is perhaps the most self-reflexive and meta horror film of the 2010s. Written and directed by Drew Goddard (and co-written by Joss Whedon), the movie was widely acclaimed for its originality and for its meta-acknowledgment and utilization of countless horror tropes.
It currently sits at an excellent 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus stating, "The Cabin in the Woodsis an astonishing meta-feat, capable of being funny, strange, and scary -- frequently all at the same time."
Co-written and directed by horror legend Sam Raimi, Drag Me to Hell stars Alison Lohman as a loan officer named Christine Brown. After Christine fails to extend an elderly woman's mortgage, a curse is placed upon her that will eventually send her to Hell.
It contains all the typical Raimi trappings, complete with a wacky tone and a deft blend of comedy and horror. It sits at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus, "Sam Raimi returns to top form withDrag Me to Hell, a frightening, hilarious, delightfully campy thrill ride."
Perhaps the most famous movie to ever come out of SXSW, A Quiet Place was one of 2018's biggest hits. Premiering at SXSW on March 9, 2018 before its wide release the following month, A Quiet Place stars real-life couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt as a couple forced to keep quiet in a post-apocalyptic world populated by noise-sensitive monsters.
The movie was a huge commercial and critical success, generating an enormously successful 96% on Rotten Tomatoes with a consensus reading, "A Quiet Placeartfully plays on elemental fears with a ruthlessly intelligent creature feature that's as original as it is scary -- and establishes director John Krasinski as a rising talent."
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero