Horror invades SXSW 2019

Noah Levine

SXSW 2019 is continuing the trend by shining a spotlight on films that feature evil doppelgängers, reanimated cats and even a sex demon, whatever that is. 

Here is some of the best horror SXSW 2019 has to offer: 


Directed by Jordan Peele 

Premieres March 8 

Arguably the most highly anticipated horror movie to premiere at the festival, “Us” is Jordan Peele’s sophomore film effort right off the heels of his successful “Get Out.” The new film follows a family as they head out to a summer home for some relaxing time in the sun. Unfortunately, their vacation goes south when an eerie group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them. The film sports an incredible cast which includes Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave,” “Black Panther”) and Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”). The new horror film also continues Peele’s effort to diversify the genre as it features a black family as the main protagonists. 


Directed by Keola Racela 

Premieres March 9 

Quite possibly the strangest film featured in SXSW’s 2019 horror lineup, “Porno” is the feature-film debut for Keola Racela. The film follows a group of movie theater employees who uncover long-lost secrets about their theater’s erotic past. Obviously, this leads to a sex demon being released that gives the group “a taste of the dark side,” according to the synopsis. The film features a slew of television actors and actresses including Robbie Tann (“Orange Is the New Black”) and Jillian Mueller (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”). 

“The Curse of La Llorona”

Directed by Michael Chaves 

Premieres March 15

Based on the Latin American urban legend of the same name, “The Curse of La Llorona” brings the terrifying child-drowner La Llorona to the big screen. Michael Chaves (“The Conjuring 3”) directs the film, which follows a social worker and a single mom become intertwined within La Llorona’s sinister agenda. The film stars Linda Cardellini (“Green Book,” “Legally Blonde”) and is produced by horror mastermind James Wan (“The Conjuring,” “Aquaman”). 

“Tales from the Lodge”

Directed by Abigail Blackmore 

Premieres March 9 

Director Abigail Blackmore, with two short films under her belt, makes her feature-film debut with “Tales from the Lodge.” The film follows a group of friends who head to a secluded lodge in order to spread the ashes of their late friend. While there, the group decides to tell a slew of scary stories, featuring creatures such as ghosts and zombies. Unbeknownst to them, the friends are actually the stars of their own scary story. The horror film features Mackenzie Crook (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”) and Laura Fraser (“Breaking Bad”). 

“I’m Just F*cking With You”

Directed by Adam Mason 

Premieres March 10 

“I’m Just F*cking With You” is the April Fool’s entry in Blumhouse’s Hulu series “Into the Dark,” where each installment revolves around a particular holiday. Directed by Adam Mason, the story is set in a secluded motel where a man and his sister have to endure a plethora of frightening practical jokes. While the synopsis may seem vague, Blumhouse surely has a twisted treat up its sleeve. The film stars Keir O’Donnell (“American Sniper”), Hayes MacArthur (“She’s Out of My League,” “Super Troopers 2”) and Jessica McNamee (“The Meg,” “Battle of the Sexes”).

“Pet Sematary”

Directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer 

Premieres March 16 

Closing out the annual film festival is the much-anticipated “Pet Sematary” remake. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, the film follows the Creed family as they move to rural Maine to start anew. Unfortunately, their new home’s listing forgot to mention the ancient burial ground deep within the woods on the property. The film features stars Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Amy Seimetz (“Alien: Covenant”) and John Lithgow (“Dexter,” “Interstellar”). Sometimes dead is better.