Chicago’s premiere genre film festival Cinepocalypse is back this year for another edition of spooks, ghouls and gore from June 13th-20th at the Music Box Theatre. Amongst its slate of horror premieres, guest attendances, short film slate and even a lecture from Joe Bob Briggs, Screen Queens were pleasantly surprised by the amount of women-directed feature films screening at this year’s festival; proving that women behind the camera are thriving in every genre.
So here are SQ’s five picks for women-directed films at Cinepocalypse 2019
Just one of a handful of premieres at this year’s festival, Caryn Waechter’s (The Sisterhood of Night) sophomore feature Deadcon will put the fear of social media in any young influencer’s mind. Her film focuses on an influencer’s convention called ViewCon, where bloggers, YouTubers and social media stars gather in a hotel to meet fans and create content. Unfortunately though, this hotel is haunted. And it’s haunted by social media stars of the past. While the time frame for such an occurrence might seem unclear before you actually see the film, Waechter proved with her debut The Sisterhood of Night that she is very in tune with youth culture and the minds of young people. With Sisterhood she envisioned a hyper-modern re-telling of the Salem Witch Trials and what better way to push that vision further than with a focus on the rise of social media and its impact on teenagers?
Deadcon has its World Premiere at Cinepocalypse on Saturday June 15th with Caryn Waechter in attendance. You can get tickets here.
After premiering at Sundance in January to rave reviews, with a current 81% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, directing duo Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala (the twisted minds behind 2014 Austrian horror Goodnight Mommy) return with their first English language feature The Lodge, enjoying its Midwest Premiere at Cinepocalypse.
The film stars Riley Keough as a soon-to-be step-mother who agrees to take her would-be step-children to a remote winter cabin. Touted as a slow-burn psychological thriller things begin to go wrong in the cabin not long after their arrival, dark secrets are unearthed and mental states decline rapidly. Keough has enjoyed quite a burst within genre film as of late having recently starred in Lars Von Trier’s highly controversial The House That Jack Built and this could prove to be a career-making performance for her.
Franz and Fiala previously explored the idea of motherhood in Goodnight Mommy and their crisp visual style and chilling horror imagery isn’t something you can easily shake. They’ve also been known to throw in a good twist now and again, making The Lodge an absolute must see for any horror fan this year.
The Lodge screens at Cinepocalypse on Saturday June 15th. You can get tickets here.
Star of The Walking Dead Pollyanna McIntosh has stepped into the directors chair to make a direct sequel to Lucky McKee’s 2011 feral woman horror The Woman, in which McIntosh played the titular role. Taking the film to a new generation is feral teenager Darlin’ who is found and taken in by the church and forced to rehabilitate in the normal world; but her mother, The Woman, is never far behind.
The 2011 film saw McIntosh spend the majority of her role chained up in a rich family’s cellar, shackled, abused and tortured. Seeing McIntosh herself behind the camera, controlling that narrative and taking back up her infamous role too will certainly be a fresh take. Part coming of age story and part horror, the sequel definitely isn’t one to miss.
Darlin’ screens at Cinepocalypse on Sunday June 16th with Pollyanna McIntosh in attendance. You can get tickets here.
Satanic Panic, one of the few comedy-horror offerings from Cinepocalypse’s programme, will be having its Midwest premiere at the festival. The sophomore feature from Chelsea Stardust (who has extensive credentials as an assistant on numerous Blumhouse productions) focuses on a pizza delivery girl who gets caught up at the house of some Satanists that are looking for a virginal sacrifice.
Given its comedy credentials, one could easily draw some comparisons with Netflix’s The Babysitter and A24’s under-the-radar Splice, which is sure to be an incredibly campy, fun (and hopefully gory) time. The promotional still alone exudes luxury and high glamour and who wouldn’t want to see a group of Satanists similar to the end of Rosemary’s Baby have a party?
Satanic Panic screens at Cinepocalypse on Sunday June 16th with Chelsea Stardust in attendance. You can get tickets here.
The Last to See Them
For those that like their run times short, Italian first-time director Sara Summa’s The Last to See Them clocks in at only 79 minutes. Enjoying its North American premiere at Cinepocalypse the film is screening twice during the festival’s duration. It focuses on a family living on a farm who are preparing for the eldest daughter’s wedding. The film takes place in one day: the day that will be the families last on earth.
Sound like a simple premise? It certainly is. But the idea of mystery seems completely sustained even from this brief description, with more questions raise that answered. For fans that are less inclined to endure more violent, bloody films, The Last to See Them’s mystery drama might just be the one for you.
The Last to See Them screens at Cinepocalypse on Wednesday June 19th and Thursday June 20th. You can get tickets here.
by Chloe Leeson
Chloe Leeson is the founder of Screen Queens. She hails from the north of England (the proper north that people think is actually Scotland but isn’t). Her life source is Harmony Korine’s 90s Letterman interviews and Ezra Miller’s jawline. She is a costume designer for hire who spends way too much time watching bad horror movies. Her favourite films are Into The Wild, Lords of Dogtown, Stand by Me and Pan’s Labyrinth. She rants about cinema screenings @kawaiigoff and logs them on letterboxd here
Categories: Anything and Everything