Standout Horror Films of 2014 South by Southwest

Austin, Texas’ annual South by Southwest Film Festival, is in full swing (runs from the 7th through the 16th), and as always, the festival will see the premiere of a plethora of new horror films that will soon be on the radars of us fans, but that we probably haven’t yet heard too much about.

With SXSW already in full swing, we shine the spotlight on ten horror movies that are premiering at the festival. What do we have to look forward to, in the near future of the horror genre? Look no further than this list, which highlights ten upcoming flicks to keep an eye on!


Described as a ‘slasher musical,’ Stage Fright is written/directed by Jerome Sable (The Legend of Beaver Dam) and stars big name talents like Minnie Driver and even musician Meat Loaf. The film centers on a young girl with Broadway aspirations, intent on following in the footsteps of her deceased mother. Her dreams soon turn to nightmares when she lands a role in a play, and a masked maniac begins stalking and slashing her fellow castmates. This one looks like a blood-soaked blast from the past, and a much needed slasher flick, in today’s horror landscape.

Among the Living


If you’ve seen the previous films from the French filmmaking duo of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, then you need not even hear anything about this one, in order to be excited about it. Maury and Bustillo have done nothing but impress, with films like Inside and Livide under their belts, and Among the Living is their latest writing/directing collaboration. In it, a group of three young kids are hanging around an abandoned movie set when they see a creepy clown dragging a woman through a field. To make matters worse, the clown also sees them. The police don’t believe the young troublemakers, and they soon find themselves being picked off, one by one.


I think we can all agree that vampire movies have worn out their welcome in recent years, almost as much as zombie movies have. Why then should you be keeping an eye on this one, you ask? Well, because this one was written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, the man behind gems like Dead Man and Broken Flowers. Only Lovers Left Alive is the very first horror film from Jarmusch, and it centers around a centuries-spanning vampire love story that’s sure to be unlike any we’ve seen in the past. The film boasts an all-star cast, including Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and John Hurt.


Mike Flanagan follows up his critically-acclaimed 2011 film Absentia with Oculus, a supernatural thriller that’s executive produced by paranormal powerhouse Jason Blum (Blumhouse Productions). The film takes place 10 years after a young boy named Tim killed his parents, and his sister Kaylie firmly believes that it was a demonically haunted mirror that is to blame for the murders. When Tim is released from prison, Kaylie sets out to prove that it was the mirror that made him kill, discovering that subsequent owners suffered similar fates.



Jason Blum and his company Blumhouse Productions also produced Creep, which premieres alongside Oculus at the festival. Though we haven’t yet seen a trailer for the film, we do know that it’s about an out of work videographer who answers a Craigslist ad, which promises $1,000 for a single day’s work. Eager to make some money, he drives to a cabin in a remote mountain town, where he realizes that his client isn’t quite who he seems to be. This one stars and was produced by Mark Duplass, the writer of Black Rock and director of Jeff, Who Lives at Home.


Elijah Wood has really been making an impact on the horror scene of late and he heads back into genre territory once again with Open Windows, which also stars pornstar-turned-actress Sasha Grey. Written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes), the flick centers on Wood’s character Nick Chambers, who wins an online contest to have dinner with his favorite actress, Jill Goddard (Grey). While he at first feels like the luckiest man alive, Chambers soon finds himself in a twisted web of horrors, when the dinner is cancelled and he’s instead provided with a live feed into Goddard’s private life. A mysterious man threatens to kill Goddard if Chambers doesn’t do exactly as he says, and the film is being described as Rear Window for the 21st century.


There’s no doubt that zombies have taken over in a big way in recent years, becoming an integral part of the pop-culture landscape. From the creators of The People vs. George Lucas comes the documentary Doc of the Dead, which sets out to be a comprehensive look at the evolution, influence and impact of the zombie genre, in both film and literature. The documentary features interviews with some of the biggest names in zombie history, including George Romero, Bruce Campbell, Simon Pegg and Robert Kirkman.


German filmmaker Christopher Behl writes and directs The Desert, a post-apocalyptic love story that doesn’t quite have a happy ending. Axel, Jonathan and Ana once formed a perfect love triangle, but in the days since the world went to the zombies, Ana and Jonathan formed a bond of their own, leaving Axel all alone. Things take a turn for the horrifying when Jonathan and Axel return from an expedition with a zombie friend, which throws a big ole wrench into the already dysfunctional proceedings. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?!


Last Exorcism director Daniel Stamm returns with 13 Sins, which stars Ron Perlman and True Blood‘s Rutina Wesley. In it, a man receives a strange phone call one night informing him that he’s been selected to be a part of a live game show, with cash prizes being awarded for each of the 13 tasks he’s asked to complete. While the challenges start out innocent enough, like swatting a fly, they get a whole lot more sinister as the prizes increase, and the man soon finds out that he’s not the only one playing the game.


Described as ‘an occult tale of ambition, possession, and the true cost of fame,’ Starry Eyes tells the story of Hollywood hopeful Sarah Walker, who wants nothing more than to be an actress. After a series of strange auditions, she finally lands the leading role in a movie… but her dreams quickly turn to nightmares. This one’s sure to make you careful what you wish for!

To learn more about the festival, and each of these films, head over to the South by Southwest website. And drop us a comment below, letting us know which of these you’re most looking forward to seeing!