David Gordon Green's Halloween and Jeremy Saulnier's horror-thriller Hold the Dark will both host their U.S. premieres at Fantastic Fest 2018 next month. The former is currently scheduled to begin its domestic theatrical release in October (just under two weeks before the titular holiday), whereas the latter will become available for streaming through Netflix at the end of September.
While fast-approaching events like the Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals typically focus on would-be awards season contenders and prestigious director-driven films with their lineups, the annual Fantastic Fest usually highlights genre fare instead (specifically, of the horror and thriller variety). That will continue to be the case in 2018, as evidenced by Green's Halloween (a direct continuation of John Carpenter's 1978 slasher classic of the same name) and Saulnier's followup to his cult hit Green Room being part of this year's roster. The Bad Robot-backed WWII horror-thriller Overlord will also bow at the event, ahead of its release in U.S. theaters this November.
According to THR, Halloween's own Laurie Strode, Jamie Lee Curtis, will be present for Halloween's U.S. premiere at Fantastic Fest, having only just attended the movie's San Diego Comic-Con panel back in July. Curtis will be joined at the event by several of the film's producers, including (naturally) Blumhouse Productions' Jason Blum. Meanwhile, Halloween itself will be among the most widely-promoted genre features debuting at the festival, along with Hold the Dark, Overlord, and titles like Gaspar Noé‘s horror-musical movie, Climax.
Interestingly enough, Halloween will actually have its worldwide premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, before it bows at this year's Fantastic Fest. That suggests the film's backers are confident about what Green has done with the property and want to use these festivals to generate as much positive buzz for the movie as possible, ahead of its theatrical release. This should further come as promising news to the many fans of the Halloween franchise that have been holding out hope that Green's installment (a sequel that ignores everything but Carpenter's original Halloween) would be something special, after years of under-whelming followups and Rob Zombie's not-so-beloved reboot of the franchise in the 2000s.
Similarly, Netflix's decision to bring Hold the Dark to Fantastic Fest a week before it launches on the streaming service speaks well of Saulnier's latest creepy offering. The filmmaker has a handful of critically-beloved cult genre features under his belt already, between his revenge crime-thriller Blue Ruin and his punk musicians vs. Nazis flick Green Room. Judging by the early signs, Hold the Dark may prove to be another critical success for the writer/director that keeps his career on the up and up (and makes him more of a household name among cinema buffs, in the process).
The 2018 Fantastic Fest will take place in Austin, Texas from September 20-27.
- Hold The Dark (2018) release date: Sep 28, 2018
- Halloween (2018) release date: Oct 19, 2018