Sinister Six: A Half-Dozen Films We Can’t Wait to See at Panic Fest

March 30, 2021

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

The ninth annual edition of Kansas City’s Panic Fest grows closer, as the hybrid edition takes place from April 8–18, 2021. I mentioned in Horror Fuel’s previous article about the festival that I have seen — and can highly recommend — some of the films scheduled, including Canadian horror comedy Vicious Fun, killer stuffed animal comedy Benny Loves You, and Australian horror comedy An Ideal Host, the unsettling An Unquiet Grave, folk horror The Old Ways, and Canadian science fiction feature Parallel Minds. Now I want to share six films on offer for Panic Fest that I can’t wait to watch. The official festival descriptions follow, with my thoughts in italics after each listing.

The Carnivores
D: Caleb Michael Johnson
Regional Premiere, 1h 17min
Alice and Bret’s dog Harvey is dying, and he’s ruining everything. What had been a bright little family is quickly getting consumed by clouds of self-doubt, suspicion, and a disturbing amount of ground beef.
Dramedy and horror meet in this quirky feature, which has received positive reviews and strong word of mouth during its festival run.

The Djinn
D: David Charbonier, Justin Powell, Clayton Scott
North American Premiere, 1h 22min
A mute boy is trapped in his apartment with a sinister monster when he makes a wish to fulfill his heart’s greatest desire.
IFC Midnight has been releasing stellar horror films lately — including The Vigil, The Night, and Hunter Hunter — so I am fully on board for their newest release, and the fact that a monster is promised in the description simply sweetens the deal for me. 

Jakob’s Wife
D: Travis Stevens
Regional Premiere, 1h 38min
Anne, married to a small-town minister, feels her life has been shrinking over the past 30 years. Encountering “The Master” brings her a new sense of power and an appetite to live bolder. However, the change comes with a heavy body count.
This film had me at Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden starring.

The Last Matinee
D: Maximiliano Contenti
U.S. Premiere, 1h 28min
It’s a soaking wet day with rain pouring down and one of the best things to do is to go seek refuge in a great old cinema. There’s only one problem: A scary murderer is on the loose and he also has taken refuge there.
This Uruguayan slasher comes with giallo sensibilities, and sounds like a fun little chiller.

Prisoners of the Ghostland
D: Sion Sono
Regional Premiere, 1h 40min
A notorious criminal must break an evil curse in order to rescue an abducted girl who has mysteriously disappeared.
Nicolas Cage starring with Sion Sono directing?!? Say no more!

Red Snow
D: Sean Nichols Lynch
World Premiere, 1h 20min
A struggling vampire romance novelist must defend herself against real-life vampires during Christmas in Lake Tahoe.
I’ve seen Pee Wee Herman, Cher, and Tony Orlando and Dawn in Lake Tahoe, but never vampires, so here’s my chance!
Get your tickets here.
Panic Fest Links


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