In an unusual move, the Sundance Film Festival revealed the nine-strong genre strand line-up late on Sunday night with little warning.
The section includes Rob Zombie’s 31, Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers (pictured) — the second in his True North trilogy that began with Toronto 2014 entry Tusk — featuring Johnny Depp and Babak Anvari’s Tehran-set Under The Shadow.
Midnight selections appear below with full synopses as provided by the festival. All films hail from the US and are world premieres unless stated otherwise.
This year’s festival will include a programme of Midnight short films. Those and other Sundance selections will be announced in the weeks ahead. Sundance will run from January 21-31 2016.
31, Rob Zombie
Five friends are kidnapped on the day before Halloween and are held hostage in a terrifying place named Murder World. While trapped, they must play a violent game called 31, in which the mission is to survive 12 hours against a gang of evil clowns.
Cast: Sheri Moon Zombie, Malcolm McDowell, Richard Brake, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Meg Foster.
Antibirth, Danny Perez
In a desolate community full of drug-addled marines and rumours of kidnapping, a wild-eyed stoner named Lou wakes up after a crazy night of partying with symptoms of a strange illness and recurring visions. As she struggles to get a grip on reality, the stories of conspiracy spread.
Cast: Natasha Lyonne, Chloë Sevigny, Mark Webber, Meg Tilly, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos.
The Blackout Experiments, Rich Fox
A group of friends discover the dark underworld of the ultra-scary, psychosexual horror experience called Blackout. But what starts as a thrill ride through the unknown becomes deeply personal, developing into an obsession that hijacks their lives and blurs the line between reality and paranoid fantasy.
Carnage Park, Mickey Keating
The year is 1978. A team of wannabe crooks botch a small-town bank heist and flee with their hostage deep into the California desert, where they inexplicably find themselves in a harrowing fight for survival against a psychotic ex-military sniper.
Cast: Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck, Darby Stanchfield, James Landry Hébert, Larry Fessenden.
The Greasy Strangler, Jim Hosking
When Big Ronnie and his son Brayden meet lone female tourist Janet on Big Ronnie’s Disco Walking Tour — the best and only disco walking tour in the city — a fight for Janet’s heart erupts between father and son, and the infamous Greasy Strangler is unleashed.
Cast: Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo, Gil Gex, Jesse Keen, Joe David Walters.
Outlaws And Angels, JT Mollner
With a notorious bounty hunter closing in on their trail, a gang of cold-blooded outlaws invades the home of a seemingly innocent frontier family, where an unexpected game of cat and mouse ensues throughout the night, leading to seduction, role reversal, and ultimately bloody revenge.
Cast: Chad Michael Murray, Francesca Eastwood, Luke Wilson, Teri Polo, Madisen Beaty, Nathan Russell.
Trash Fire, Richard Bates Jr.
When Owen is forced to confront the past he’s been running from his whole adult life, he and his girlfriend, Isabel, become entangled in a horrifying web of lies, deceit, and murder. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll be scarred for life.
Cast: Adrian Grenier, Angela Trimbur, AnnaLynne McCord, Fionnula Flanagan, Matthew Gray Gubler, Ray Santiago.
Under The Shadow (UK-Jordan), Babak Anvari
Tehran, 1988: As the Iran-Iraq War rumbles into its eighth year, a mother and daughter are slowly torn apart by the bombing campaigns on the city coupled with the country’s bloody revolution. As they struggle to stay together amidst these terrors, a mysterious evil stalks through their apartment.
Cast: Narges Rashidi, Avin Manshadi, Bobby Naderi, Ray Haratian, Arash Marandi.
Yoga Hosers, Kevin Smith
Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie are teenage besties from Winnipeg who love yoga and live on their smartphones. But when these sophomores get invited to a senior party by the school hottie, the Colleens accidentally uncover an ancient evil buried beneath their Canadian convenience store.
Cast: Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith, Johnny Depp, Justin Long, Austin Butler, Tyler Posey.