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Tony Todd in “BITCH ASS,” Ti West’s “X” and more in SXSW 2022’s Midnighters lineup

Wednesday, February 2, 2022 | Events, News

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

The festival has a typically wide range of genre fare on tap for this year.

South by Southwest’s film fest takes place March 11-20, presenting 99 features including 76 world premieres. All the movies will have in-person premieres and there will be additional in-person showings for most of them, with all available on-line for badgeholders only (some films will be restricted to U.S. access only). The horror-centric Midnighters lineup consists of:

BITCH ASS (pictured above)
Director: Bill Posley; Screenwriters/Producers: Bill Posley, Jonathan Colomb
In 1999 a gang initiation goes wrong when recruits break into the deadly game house of cinema’s first Black masked serial killer. Think DON’T BREATHE meets SQUID GAMES, but…black. Cast List: Tony Todd, Sheaun McKinney, Tunde Laleye, Me’Lisa Sellers, Teon Kelly (World Premiere)

DEADSTREAM
Directors/Screenwriters: Vanessa Winter, Joseph Winter; Producers: Vanessa Winter, Joseph Winter, Jared Cook, Melanie Stone
When a washed-up internet personality attempts to win back his followers by live streaming a haunted house, he accidentally pisses off a vengeful spirit and his big comeback event becomes a fight for his life (and social relevance). Cast List: Joseph Winter, Melanie Stone (World Premiere)

HYPOCHONDRIAC
Director/Screenwriter: Addison Heimann; Producers: Bay Dariz, John Humber
A young potter’s life devolves into chaos as he loses function of his body while being haunted by the physical manifestation of his childhood trauma. Cast List: Zach Villa, Devon Graye, Madeline Zima, Yumarie Morales, Marlene Forte, Chris Doubek, Paget Brewster, Adam Busch, Michael Cassidy, Peter Mensah, Debra Wilson (World Premiere)

NO LOOKING BACK (Russia)
Director/Screenwriter: Kirill Sokolov; Producers: Artem Vasilyev, Igor Mishin
Family dysfunction reaches boiling point as three generations of warring women face off. Cast List: Victoria Korotkova, Anna Mikhalkova, Sofia Krugova (North American Premiere)

SISSY (Australia)
Director/Screenwriter: Hannah Barlow, Kane Senes; Producers: Lisa Shaunessy, John De Margheriti, Jason Taylor, Bec Janek
Invited away on a bachelorette weekend, Sissy is stuck in a remote cabin with her high school bully…and a taste for revenge. #triggered Cast List: Aisha Dee, Hannah Barlow, Emily De Margheriti, Daniel Monks, Yerin Ha, Lucy Barrett, Shaun Martindale, Amelia Lule, April Blasdall, Camille Cumpston (World Premiere)

THE CELLAR (Belgium, Ireland)
Director/Screenwriter: Brendan Muldowney; Producers: Conor Barry, Richard Bolger, Benoît Roland.
Keira Woods’ daughter mysteriously vanishes in the cellar of their new house. She soon discovers there is an ancient and powerful entity controlling their home that she will have to face or risk losing her family’s souls forever. Cast List: Elisha Cuthbert, Eoin Macken, Abby Fitz, Dylan Fitzmaurice-Brady (World Premiere)

WATCHER (United Arab Emirates, U.S.)
Director: Chloe Okuno; Screenwriters: Zachary Ford, Chloe Okuno; Producers: Mason Novick, John Finemore, Aaron Kaplan, Sean Perrone, Roy Lee, Steven Schneider, Derek Dauchy
A young woman moves into a new apartment and is tormented by the feeling that she is being watched. Cast List: Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman (Texas Premiere)

X
Director/Screenwriter: Ti West; Producers: Jacob Jaffke, Kevin Turen, Harrison Kreiss, Ti West
In 1979, a group of young filmmakers set out to make an adult film in rural Texas, but when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, the cast find themselves fighting for their lives. Cast List: Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow, Owen Campbell, Stephen Ure, Scott Mescudi (World Premiere)

Also of interest in other sections of the fest are:

SLASH/BACK (Canada; Narrative Feature Competition)
Director: Nyla Innuksuk; Screenwriters: Nyla Innuksuk, Ryan Cavan; Producers: Dan Bekerman, Christopher Yurkovich, Alex Ordanis, Nyla Innuksuk, Stacey Aglok McDonald, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Ethan Lazar
In a remote Arctic community, a group of Inuit girls fight off an alien invasion, all while trying to make it to the coolest party in town. Cast List: Tasiana Shirley, Alexis Wolfe, Chelsea Prusky, Frankie Vincent-Wolfe, Nalajoss Ellsworth (World Premiere)

THE COW (Narrative Spotlight)
Director: Eli Horowitz; Screenwriters: Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby; Producers: Raphael Margules, JD Lifshitz, Shaun Sanghani, Russ Posternak
When her boyfriend runs off with a younger woman, Kath (Winona Ryder) attempts to move on with her life–but she begins to suspect his disappearance is not what it seems. Cast List: Winona Ryder, Dermot Mulroney, John Gallagher Jr, Owen Teague, Brianne Tju (World Premiere)

JETHICA (Visions)
Director/Producer: Pete Ohs; Screenwriters: Ashley Denise Robinson, Callie Hernandez, Andy Faulkner, Will Madden, Pete Ohs
When Jessica’s stalker surprises her in New Mexico, she must seek help from beyond the grave to get rid of him for good. Cast List: Callie Hernandez, Will Madden, Ashley Denise Robinson, Andy Faulkner (World Premiere)

MASTER (Festival Favorites)
Director/Screenwriter: Mariama Diallo; Producers: Joshua Astrachan, Brad Becker-Parton, Andrea Roa
Three women strive to find their place at an elite New England university. As the insidious specter of racism haunts the campus in increasingly supernatural fashion, each fights for survival in this space of privilege. Cast List: Regina Hall, Zoe Renee, Talia Ryder, Talia Balsam, Amber Gray (Texas Premiere)

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.