10 films sure to spook us at Fantasia 2022

A few films to thrill the blood and stir the loins at Montreal’s premiere genre film festival.

While it’s always nice to cover the prestige-y, hoity-toity fests like Sundance or TIFF, we at The Spool hold an extremely soft spot in our heart for Montreal’s mid-year extravaganza of action, horror, gore, and more, the Fantasia Film Festival. We’ve covered it every year we’ve been in operation, and we don’t intend to stop now!

Running from July 14th to August 3rd, with more than 130 feature films and two hundred shorts(!) ranging from around the globe, Fantasia this year is set to be another cavalcade of genre delights. There’s something for every flavor of weirdo here, from queer body horror to Takashi Miike’s latest to experimental films from the darkest reaches of the micro-budgeted mind. (Also: a bajillion South Korean detective thrillers, if that’s your speed.)

Keep eyes peeled at The Spool for coverage throughout the fest, but for now, here are ten films we can’t wait to see, whether in person or on their virtual platform. [Clint Worthington, editor-in-chief]

Country Gold

Country Gold (2022 Fantasia

We’re big fans of Oklahoma City native Mickey Reece’s idiosyncratic, horror-adjacent curiosities: last year’s Agnes starts out like a standard exorcism horror movie (albeit with some darkly comic twists), before turning into something else entirely in its second half. His latest, Country Gold, is similarly quirky, following an aging country singer (Reece himself) on one last night on the town before cryogenically freezing himself. One part Angel Heart, one part Walt Disney conspiracy theory — sign us up. [CW]

Demigod: The Legend Begins

Demigod: The Legend Begins (Fantasia 2022)

Budaixi is a centuries-old tradition of Chinese glove puppetry that’s survived thanks to the efforts of generations of the Huang family. Their latest gambit to keep the tradition alive, of course, is to use it to tell a gore-tastic, high-flying martial arts fantasy. That’s enough of a hook to get us interested, even before the Team America meets wuxia vibes the stills give off. [CW]

Freaks Out

Freaks Out (Fantasia 2022)

Why yes, I would like to see a period film about “freaks” confronting fascism, merci beaucoup. In what promises to be something between HBO’s Carnivale and Inglorious Bastards, Mainetti Gabriele’s new film uses folklore and liminal people to explore nuances in the fight against fascism. This big-budget Italian fantasy action looks like it trapezes for the tent poles without a net and I for one can’t wait to see the circus. [B.L. Panther, staff writer]

La Pietà

La Pieta (Fantasia 2022)

Vomit and camp violence reveal themselves in Eduardo Casanova’s La Pietà. This weird and wicked tale of a mother and son is said to be as sublime as it is brutal. Starring Almodovar regular, Ángela Molina, this film is sure to reach the peaks of telenovela performance and the ecstasies of melodrama. If successful, La Pietà will be a marble example of the complementary pleasures of camp and the grotesque. [BP]


Opal (Fantasia 2022)

Alan Bidard’s second film, Opal, is about a magic princess whose happiness supports the land. This Afro-Caribbean fairy tale seems poised to offer ecofeminist lessons that will teach us how to respect and appreciate the land and each other through a woman-focused lens. This is one film that doesn’t look like it will shy away from darker, more mature content. And with nature getting more and more volatile and unhappy, we shouldn’t shy away from such content. It’s my hope that Opal, like her namesake, offers a solid but colorful example for us all. [BP]

Please Baby Please

Please Baby Please (Fantasia 2022)

Amanda Kramer’s got two films in Fantasia this year, a double-feature sending up Beatnik culture and variety shows, respectively. But while Give Me Pity! also looks full of acidic cringe humor, I’m more excited for Please Baby Please, in which a Beatnik couple (Andrea Riseborough and Harry Melling) start reevaluating their boho lifestyle (and their sexualities) as they intersect with a group of gender-fluid greasers. Pride Month may be over, but the fun never stops, darling. [CW]


Describing something as a “documentary fairy tale” is a sure way to get me into a seat. The brilliant Japanese director Nao Yoshigai makes her feature film debut with this nonfiction look at the natural, expressive, and fantastical elements of a remote Japanese village. Folklore tells us so much about ourselves and Shari looks like Yoshigai takes that lesson to heart and has woven a conceptual tale that will confront the wonder and terror of life amongst the fantastic. [BP]

Shin Ultraman

Shin Ultraman (Fantasia 2022)

Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi’s Shin Godzilla was easily one of the best kaiju movies of the 21st century, effortlessly updating the classic monster for a modern world crippled by bureaucracy and public perception. Now, the chrome-domed sentai hero Ultraman is getting the same treatment, presumably with a similar eye for the horrifying scale of his adventures and its deep impacts on the microscopic human world. As a big Ultraman fan for years, I can’t wait to see how the master behind Neon Genesis Evangelion tackles another iconic figure. [CW]

Timescape: Retour Aux Dinosaures


In recent years, Qubequois filmmakers have embraced surrealism as a mode in which to tell exciting and provocative stories. Aristomenis Tsirbas’ new film Timescape combines this emerging sensibility with existing 1980s nostalgia to tell a time travel tale of two kids trying to escape the dinosaurs and get back to the future. I love anything that combines cinema and dinosaurs and this looks like a heartfelt and visually provocative narrative that is sure to leave a giant footprint in its stride. [BP]



With the lingering specter of climate change and its inevitable impact on our ecosystems, eco-pocalyptic horror is ever more fascinating of late. And Kristina Bouzyte and Bruno Samper’s sci-fi thriller is already getting good notices out of Karlovy Vary this year, an immersive tale of a father (Richard Brake) and daughter (Raffiella Chapman) struggling to survive in a world now hostile to humans. All signs point to a painstakingly realized world, which is all to rare outside of blockbusters these days; I can’t wait to see what this world of fungi and fear looks like. [CW]

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