Five of the best, weirdest, under-the-radar films from Fantastic Fest

Savannah J Salazar

Hosted at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar, this year’s Fantastic Fest had such an amazing movie lineup that it was hard to narrow down. So, in no particular order, here are some of our favorites.

The Perfection

Wow, wow, wow — this movie. “The Perfection” stars Logan Browning and Allison Williams as protégé cellists to Anton (Steven Weber). One is off traveling and performing while the other has chosen to take care of her ailing mother. Once they reunite, the movie gets progressively more insane. In all honestly, the less you know about this film, the better. “The Perfection” is an insane piece of work with so many twists and turns that you’ll never be that surprised by a movie again. Browning and Williams are perfection and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Though “The Perfection” doesn’t have a distribution deal yet, we’re keeping our fingers crossed because this film is a must-watch.


Director Chang-dong Lee takes the audience on an enthralling journey with “Burning.” It’s a suspenseful thriller without a logical outcome because life itself is a mystery. The trio's performances are beautifully magnetic. Korean actor Ah-In Yoo plays Jong-su, an aspiring writer looking for a story to tell. He meets Hae-mi (Jong-seo Jun), a former schoolmate, and is quickly swept away. Then, Hae-mi leaves to Africa for two weeks. She returns with Ben (Steven Yeun), a Gatsby-type character — inexplicably rich, attractive and elusive. The real mystery kicks in when Hae-mi goes missing, leaving Jong-su on a twisted journey to find her. Their performances paired with Chang-dong’s story makes the slow-burn of
“Burning” captivating.

An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn

This movie is ridiculous, but in a good way. Screenwriters David Wike and Jim Hoskings, the latter of whom doubles as director, create their take on a romantic comedy by keeping all the heart but eschewing the typical rom-com tropes. With an oddball cast, Wike and Hoskings produce a weird movie that will make you cry out of laughter, but its dry humor might not land for everybody. There’s an underlying innocence in this story that is perfectly portrayed by Jemaine Clement and Aubrey Plaza as Colin and Lulu, making “An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn” one of
our favorites.

I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story

No movie will have you smiling bigger than this one. That may be an exaggeration, but “I Used to Be Normal” was the perfect palate cleanser after some of the grittier films shown at Fantastic Fest. As a love letter to fangirls, which producer Rita Walsh clarified could be anyone, this documentary focuses on four women’s relationships with their favorite boy bands. This film never teases, but instead embraces the warmth of loving something so much. Even if you aren’t a fan of boy bands, this movie will strike a chord if you’ve ever been a fan of anything. A true labor of love, this documentary will bring extreme joy to any viewer.


Director Amanda Kramer’s first feature film is a surreal, yet honest look into the complexity of female relationships. The film sets the stage with a black screen and sounds of a devastating earthquake. We soon find out that eight girls are trapped in the birthday girl’s house for a sleepover that never seems to end. “Ladyworld” breaks down the female psyche as this group of girls divides and their fear of “The Man” threatens their sanity. It shows a dark side of women that’s not shown enough in popular media. Although it may not please everyone, it’s important to see. Kramer’s “Ladyworld” is a simple marvel that is extremely intriguing.