What can you expect from the most unexpected ﬁlm festival event of the year? As our crew prepares to party with Park Chan-wook, we attempt to predict some highlights of Austin’s annual Fantastic Fest.
Genre fans will soon be making their way to the triangle of happiness that is the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, The Highball bar next door, and Austin’s famous Zilker park just down the road—the best place to soak up some much-needed Vitamin D after the screenings and parties of Fantastic Fest 2022.
Whether you’re in Austin for the week of 22 to 29 September or you’re feasting deliciously at home, it will be a ride like any other Fantastic Fest week: gory, stupid, hilarious, inclusive, provocative, irresistible, can’t-look-away and very, very weird. And hugely international, with a particularly strong showing from Spain this year (Piggy, Amazing Elisa, Everyone will Burn, The Elderly, García!, La Pietà, Manticore among them).
Beyond the movies, the festival hosts events such as “the barely coherent game show institution known as the Fantastic Feud” (in which two trivia teams answer super obscure genre questions) and, this year, a live reading of Back to the Future and a lifetime achievement award for Park Chan-wook, whose Cannes award-winning Decision to Leave will be showing.
In the spirit of ensuring the very best festival experience, our Fantastic Fest correspondents—Annie Lyons, Katie Rife and Gemma Gracewood—attempt the impossible: a loose guide to what you can expect from the most unexpected festival event of the year. Take notes!