Oculus [Courtesy of the Overlook Film Festival]

The 8th Annual Overlook Film Festival

07:00 March 12, 2024
By: David Vicari

Horror in NOLA

It's the 8th annual celebration of all things horror for the 2024 edition of The Overlook Film Festival. Taking place April 4-7 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Prytania Theatres, the horror festival will offer a terrifying selection of new and classic films, as well as interactive events, live performances, immersive programming, special guests, and much, much more.

Cuckoo [Courtesy of the Overlook Film Festival]

The opening night film will be NEON's upcoming Cuckoo, directed by Tilman Singer and starring Hunter Schafer, Dan Stevens, and Jessica Henwick. This giallo-esque nightmare tells the story of a reluctant teen who moves with her family to a resort in the German Alps, where she finds herself being stalked 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 Schoenbrun's feature about 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.

Abigail [Courtesy of the Overlook Film Festival]

The 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 different take on 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 its no ordinary little girl that they're locked inside with. The directors and their Radio Silence partner Chad Villella will be in attendance for the film.

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.

Phantom of the Paradise [Courtesy of the Overlook Film Festival]

Legendary composer/singer/actor Paul Williams will be the guest of honor at a special 50th anniversary screening 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 3D 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.

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 Most Dangerous Man in America [Courtesy of the Overlook Film Festival]

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.

For a complete schedule and ticket information for The Overlook Film Festival, visit overlookfilmfest.com.

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