Fantasia 2021: Five Fright Films We Can’t Wait to See

August 6, 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.

Montreal’s vaunted Fantasia International Film Festival continues its reputation of being North America’s largest fest highlighting genre-film fabulousness with this year’s 25th edition, which runs online August 5–25. Science fiction, thriller, dark comedy, action, animation, and other exciting genres are all on tap, and as always, horror is a huge part of Fantasia. Here are five of Fantasia’s exciting fright-fare features for this year’s edition, with descriptions from official press materials and the fest’s website, along with comments in italics from yours truly.
Brace yourself for THE LAST THING MARY SAW, a breathtaking period occult drama set in an isolated farmhouse in the winter of 1843, where a young woman is under investigation following the mysterious death of her family’s matriarch. It soon becomes apparent that ageless forces are at play, from within and without. An eerie and hypnotic nightmare vision from debuting writer/director Edoardo Vitaletti, starring Stefanie Scott (INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3), Isabelle Fuhrman (ORPHAN), Judith Roberts (YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE), and Rory Culkin (LORDS OF CHAOS). WORLD PREMIERE. 
Period occult horror movies have been killing it during the past few years, and this offering looks to continue that terrific trend — and just look at that cast listing!
Spain. 1876. A young girl (Haizea Carneros) is severely injured when a religious orphanage is bombed during the third Carlist war. On the verge of death, she is healed by a mysterious woman (Itziar Ituño) whom she perceives to be an angel. They are soon separated, the child left to fend for herself – for decades upon decades. With ALL THE MOONS, director Igor Legarreta masterfully employs the tenets of vampire lore as the basis for an intimate epic dealing with themes of life and death, love and loneliness, devotion and intolerance. Impeccably crafted, it ranks among the best of vampire cinema. INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE. 
Take what I said above about period supernatural horror, add Eurohorror to the mix, and color me absolutely excited to watch this fine-sounding film!

An occult, coming-of-age film unlike any you’ve seen, HELLBENDER is the extraordinary new creation from the Adams Family (John Adams, Toby Poser, Zelda Adams), the gifted filmmaking family behind 2019’s indie sensation THE DEEPER YOU DIG. It further affirms their stature as singular poets of the genre, making soulful and wholly original works with a one-of-a-kind look and feel, this time in the dreamy story of a lonely teenage girl (Zelda Adams) who finds guidance in her family’s suppressed supernatural lineage. HELLBENDER imaginatively explores questions of identity, instinct, and power roles in youth and parenthood alike. An uncanny film that’s all at once haunting, heartfelt, freakish, and fun. WORLD PREMIERE.  
I am a big fan of the Adams’ family’s The Deeper You Dig, and am thrilled to see what the trio has up their cinematic sleeves with this incredible-sounding follow-up!  
12 years after BURATINO, SON OF PINOCCHIO, Rasmus Merivoo has returned to filmmaking with KRATT. In a small Estonian village, two kids (Nora and Harri Merivoo, the director’s own children), hoping to get out of farm work, bring the local legend of The Kratt – a Terminator-like demonic spirit that must always be fed work, or else – to life so they can escape their chores, but in doing so they may bring about the destruction of all human life on earth! It’s pretty safe to say that no other movie at Fantasia 2021 will reach KRATT’s delightful preposterousness— unless another Estonian dry comedy/fantasy/political commentary comes along to outplace it. NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE. 
I’m a major enthusiast of horror comedies, and this one promises all sorts of lunacy and menace!
Actor turned director Mark O’Brien (READY OR NOT, ARRIVAL) makes his feature debut with the slow-burn, character-driven occult chiller THE RIGHTEOUS, one of the year’s most thrilling genre discoveries that takes full advantage of Newfoundland’s maritime otherworldliness while blending timeless themes with an inventive and exciting filmmaking approach. A former priest who left the church to start a family is gripped by tragedy after his child’s death, and the life of him and his wife are thrown into further chaos upon the arrival of a mysterious young stranger. The film is written and directed by O’Brien, who also co-stars in the film alongside his READY OR NOT castmate Henry Czerny and a terrific Mimi Kuzyk (LOST AND DELIRIOUS). WORLD PREMIERE.
This one ticks all the boxes for what I love in occult horror films, and that maritime setting adds an extra element of intrigue to my curiosity.
For more information, visit

Share This Article

You May Also Like…