One of the biggest media events of the year is about to begin.

This week brings the 30th edition of the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX, from March 10-19, with a jam-packed lineup brimming with genre offerings. 

No, seriously, the programming for this year’s fest is packed with horror movie and television premieres and activations that allow fans to get immersive through interactive experiences.

In anticipation of the fest, here are 13 world premieres and SXSW-exclusive experiences that we can’t wait to check out. 

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Directors: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Producers: Jeremy Latcham, Brian Goldner, Nick Meyer, Screenwriters: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Michael Gilio

A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people.

Cast List: Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Chloe Coleman, Daisy Head and Hugh Grant (Opening Night World Premiere)

Why We’re Excited: Snappy humor, an impressive cast, monsters, and horror-action fun seems like a great time at the movies. If you’re on ground at the fest, look for the Tavern Experience that will recreate the world of D&D.

Evil Dead Rise

Director/Screenwriter: Lee Cronin, Producer: Rob Tapert

Evil Dead Rise tells a twisted tale of two estranged sisters, played by Sutherland and Sullivan, whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable. Executive Producers include Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell.

Cast List: Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland, Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols, Nell Fisher

Why We’re Excited: A new Evil Dead, need we say more? Then how about about five more words: “Mommy’s with the maggots now.”

The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster

Director/Screenwriter: Bomani J. Story, Producers: Jack Davis, Darren Brandl, Bomani J. Story

Death is ever present in Vicaria’s world – violence, police brutality, substance abuse – and after watching her mother and brother succumb, she’s had enough. Vicaria is going to put an end to all this death… by bringing the dead back to life.

Cast: Laya DeLeon Hayes, Denzel Whitaker, Chad Coleman, Reilly Brooke Stith, Keith Sean Holliday, Amani Summer Boyles, Edem Atsu-Swanzy (World Premiere)

Why We’re Excited: Most horror movies that draw from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein focus on the mad scientist’s creation. This one reinterprets the “mad scientist.”

Brooklyn 45

Director/Screenwriter: Ted Geoghegan, Producers: Seth Caplan, Michael Paszt, Pasha Patriki, Sarah Sharp

“In the months following World War II, five old military friends are talked into an impromptu séance, which brings to troubling light each of their haunted pasts.”

Cast List: Anne Ramsay, Ron E. Rains, Jeremy Holm, Larry Fessenden, Ezra Buzzington, Kristina Klebe (World Premiere)

Why We’re Excited: It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Ted Geoghegan movie, and a haunted séance that doubles as a touching tribute to the filmmaker’s father seems like a winsome recipe for scares and tears.

It Lives Inside

Director: Bishal Dutta, Producers: Raymond Mansfield, Sean McKittrick, Screenwriters: Bishal Dutta, Ashish Mehta

“An Indian-American teenager struggling with her cultural identity has a falling out with her former best friend and, in the process, unwittingly releases a demonic entity that grows stronger by feeding on her loneliness.”

Cast List: Megan Suri, Neeru Bajwa, Mohana Krishnan, Betty Gabriel, Vik Sahay (World Premiere)

Why We’re Excited: A demon with an insatiable appetite sounds like the perfect recipe for a chilling new horror metaphor.

Late Night With the Devil 

Directors/Screenwriters: Colin Cairnes, Cameron Cairnes, Producers: Derek Dauchy, Steven Schneider, Roy Lee, Adam White, Mat Govoni

“A live television broadcast of a popular late night talk show in 1977 goes horribly wrong during a demonstration of demonic possession, unleashing evil into the nation’s living rooms.”

Cast List: David Dastmalchian (World Premiere)

Why We’re Excited: David Dastmalchian playing a Johnny Carson-like talk show host is enough of a sell. Adding demonic chaos to the mix? Yes, please.


Director: Matt Vesely, Producer: Bettina Hamilton, Screenwriter: Lucy Campbell

“All you have to do is listen. A disgraced journalist turns to podcasting to try and rebuild her career – but her rush to generate headlines soon uncovers a strange artifact, an alien conspiracy, and the lies at the heart of her own story.”

Cast List: Lily Sullivan (International Premiere)

Why We’re Excited: Alien conspiracy plus the star of Evil Dead Rise? We’re intrigued.

“Mrs. Davis”

Showrunner: Tara Hernandez, Directors: Owen Harris, Alethea Jones, Screenwriters/Producers: Tara Hernandez, Damon Lindelof

“Mrs. Davis is the world’s most powerful Artificial Intelligence. Simone is the nun devoted to destroying Her. Who ya got?”

Cast List: Betty Gilpin, Jake McDorman, Andy McQueen (World Premiere)

Why We’re Excited: Betty Gilpin as a butt-kicking nun, aiming to take down A.I. As if that’s not enough, look for a mysterious “Mrs. Davis SXSW experience” that will see nuns invade the fest.

Mrs. Davis is recruiting SXSW attendees to join her Quest! Each day from Saturday, March 11 – Tuesday, March 14, a crowd of nuns will appear at SXSW hotspots to immerse attendees in the series’ epic battle of faith versus technology. Anyone who spots the nuns is encouraged to snap a photo, post it on social media, and tag @Peacock and #MrsDavisGiveaway for a chance to win exciting prizes. Keep an eye on that hashtag or the roaming nuns!

Satan Wants You

Directors/Screenwriters: Sean Horlor, Steve J. Adams, Producers: Michael Grand, Melissa James

The shocking story of how a young woman and her psychiatrist ignited the global Satanic Panic with their bestselling memoir Michelle Remembers. (World Premiere)

Why We’re Excited: We love a documentary that blends horror with true crime, and we suspect anything highlighting the Satanic Panic era will include a shocking surprise or two.

“Shatter Belt”

JJ Nolan and Maury Sterling react to an unsettling truth in Shatter Belt Episode 2 “Immotus.” | Credit: SXSW

Showrunner/Director/Screenwriter: James Ward Byrkit, Producers: James Ward Byrkit, Alyssa Byrkit, Olaf Carlson-Wee, Tom Cline, Laura Evans

From director James Byrkit (Coherence) comes a collection of stories from the other side of consciousness. A modern mindbender for a new generation, it dives head first into the deep end of emotional questions about our relationship to reality.

Why We’re Excited: You had us at “from director James Byrkit (Coherence).”


Cast: Abigail Spencer, Patton Oswalt, JJ Nolan, Maury Sterling, Elimu Nelson, Julie Zhan, Dale E. Turner, Annie Ruby, Richard Follin, Catherine Lidstone, Shannon Timberlake, Ryan Keem, Bobby Foley, Isayas J. Theodros (World Premiere)

Showrunner: Janine Nabers, Directors: Donald Glover, Adamma Ebo, Screenwriters: Janine Nabers, Jamal Olori, Producers: Donald Glover, Janine Nabers, Stephen Glover, Fam Udeorji, Steven Prinz, Michael Schaefer

Cast: Dominique Fishback, Chloe Bailey, Damson Idris (World Premiere) (Opening Night TV)

Why We’re Excited: The trailer for this upcoming series teases intense fandom, and that it might get a bit bloody.

Camp Yellowjackets, Brought to You by Showtime®

Brave the wilderness with Showtime and dig up all of your favorite camp memories – rituals, fireside chats, survival skills, and team building. There is nothing quite like bonding with friends in the great outdoors, especially when there is good music… and don’t worry, BBQ & drinks are not scarce here. Check Camp Yellowjackets out for yourself. You’ll never want to leave.

Why We’re Excited: This activation running throughout opening weekend goes all out to give fans a taste of the “Yellowjackets” survival experience, recreating sets in the process. It runs March 11-12, and details on where to find this experience can be found here.

“Y’all Are Welcome to Prime, Texas” Experience

“Just like Prime Video transports you to different worlds with its hit shows, Prime, Texas is a portal to the Lone Star State of your dreams. Enjoy cocktails at The Boys XXXclusive Bar, Southern hospitality from the Academy of Country Music Awards, and harmonic vibes inside Daisy Jones & the Six’s recording studio, all set to some “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” from DJs Disko Cowboy, CRG, Kimmy K, and more.

“Come *grow* with the flow in Harlem, unleash your inner strength with The Power, and find your otherworldly side with Carnival Row. After you get a made-to-fade, semi-permanent tattoo repping your favorite show, swing by Prime Denim Co. for a customized vintage stitch-shop experience. Finally, don’t forget to indulge at The Summer I Turned Pretty pie stand, and cruise next door to Austin Motel for snacks and lotto prizes at our Swarm Mini Mart popup.”

Why We’re Excited: This Prime Video activation offers up experiences for all tastes and preferences, but we’re especially excited for anything related to “The Boys” and a peak at “Swarm.”

Details can be found here.

John Squires

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