International Horror Films to Look Out For at SXSW 2023

todayMarch 14, 2023 71

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By Jared Dudley

Music Director


The South by Southwest film festival began this weekend, and while the spotlights are on high-profile releases with star-studded casts like Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and indie darlings which have generated a substantial amount of industry buzz like Emma Seligman’s Bottoms, SXSW is a festival that encompasses a wide range of films from around the world that vary drastically in genre and production budget. For attendees looking to see something more unsettling than the big crowd-pleasers, this year’s festival won’t disappoint. Here are some internationally-made horror films premiering later this week at SXSW.


Aberrance – Directed by Baatar Batsukh

This movie about a city-dwelling couple arriving at a cabin in the woods for a peaceful getaway seems to be setting up a classic horror tale. However, instead of the couple being terrorized by undead monsters or a crazed murderer wearing a hockey mask, the horror comes from within, bubbling to the surface as the film goes on. Aberrance marks the directorial debut for Mongolian filmmaker Baatar Batsukh, who has already made a name for himself thanks to his extensive cinematography work. The film released in Mongolian theatres last year to critical and commercial success. Its premiere at SXSW will be the film’s first showing outside of its country of origin.


Furies – Directed by Veronica Ngo

Furies is a bloody action thriller from Vietnam that follows Bi, a country girl who survives a brutal childhood and escapes to the city of Saigon, where she is recruited by a mysterious woman to take down a human trafficking crime lord. Filmmaker Veronica Ngo’s past works include directing, producing, and acting in American films such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Old Guard. Furies serves as a prequel to one of Ngo’s previous films, Furie, which follows a similar plot. For those who enjoy action from Asian cinema, Furies is a must-see at the festival. For those looking for a home release, the wait will not be too long, as Furies premieres on Netflix on March 23rd.


Talk to Me – Directed by Danny and Michael Philippou

This horror flick from Australia follows a group of friends who discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand. The group is enticed by the new thrill until one of them goes too far and unleashes malevolent supernatural forces. Talk to Me seems to offer an interesting spin on the typical ghost movie, even beyond the highly interesting and creative prop of a supernatural embalmed hand in a jar. As opposed to Furies, this movie focuses on an eerie atmosphere and an overwhelming sense of dread, as opposed to consistent thrills. Fans of Hereditary should keep this one on their radar.


Late Night With the Devil – Directed by Cameron and Colin Cairnes

Late Night With the Devil takes place on Halloween night, 1977. The syndicated talk show ‘Night Owls’ airs a Halloween special like no other in a last-ditch effort to gain ratings, but no one expects that the airing will unleash evil into the homes of America. Writers/directors Cameron and Colin Cairnes hail from Australia and capture the hectic and fast-paced nature of live television with their film which is framed as archival footage of the late-night broadcast.


Featured Image from Jared Dudley.

Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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