Expect anything.


That’s the tagline for What The Fest!?, which the IFC Center created in 2018 and is about to launch its second year tonight in Greenwich Village. Running through March 24th, the festival is dedicated to shining a spotlight on “smart, bold and inventive films from the world of genre and beyond for an audience of the creative and curious”.


This year, they are starting with  a bang, as the opening night film will be DEPRAVED, a FRANKENSTEIN riff that marks the first film in six years from indie horror legend Larry Fessenden (HABIT, WENDIGO, THE LAST WINTER), starring Joshua Leonard (THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT), Addison Timlin (THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN) and Chloe Levine (THE RANGER) This marks the world premiere of Fessenden’s latest, which translates the Mary Shelley-inspired myth into a Brooklyn loft.


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Among the other notable films showing over the next five days are the frontier Western-horror THE WIND, Swedish doomsday thriller THE UNTHINKABLE and the heartfelt Japanese zomcom ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, all of which caused a stir at last year’s Fantastic Fest; DARLIN’, the THE WOMAN sequel that marks that directorial debut of actress Pollyanna McIntosh; the feature directorial debut of indie super-producer Roxanne Benjamin, BODY AT BRIGHTON ROCK; SATANIS: THE DEVIL’S MASS and HAIL SATAN?, a pair of documentaries that take us into the Church of Satan; the eccentric and oddball dark-side-of-Suburbia comedy GREENER GRASS; and the paranoid Emile Hirsch/Bruce Dern sci-fi thriller FREAKS.


And, on top of all that, there’s a book signing with author Grady Hendrix for his latest, We Sold Our Souls and “Female Trouble: Fearless Women Leading the Way in Horror, Fantasy, and Suspense” a panel, co-sponsored by Shudder, about women in horror filmmaking, featuring Benjamin, DEPRAVED producer Jenn Wexler, THE WIND director Emma Tammi and film journalist Meredith Alloway, moderated by culture writer Meredith Graves.


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If you’re going to be in New York, the What the Fest!? can be seen over the next few days at the IFC Center at Sixth Avenue and West 3rd Street.


–Johnny Donaldson (@johnnydonaldson)

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