[Article] Sundance 2021 – Horror Films To Keep Your Eye On

Sundance Film Festival has always been a good indicator of what’s going to be a hit or miss moving forward in the film season. This fest has led to many of our favorite horror films being put at the forefront of our minds. Some notable horror examples come to mind like The Babadook to Get Out to last year’s Possessor, Promising Young Woman, and Scare Me. With how much this year’s festival has to offer across the board, we here at Nightmarish Conjurings have decided to go through and give our suggestions of horror/thriller movies to keep your eyes out for as we move into 2021.

[Article] Sundance 2021 - Horror Films To Keep Your Eye On
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Blending horror and fantasy elements, Carlson Young’s feature debut has many intrigued leading up to its world premiere at Sundance on January 31. A visually stunning film, the film appears to focus on unresolved trauma and the internal journey that can transpire when conquering the demons that arise as a result of said trauma. Given the psychological focus of the film, there’s so much that could happen that it makes it exciting to think about. It is easily one of our most anticipated films to see at Sundance and, just from the visuals alone, we are hyped.

[Article] Sundance 2021 - Horror Films To Keep Your Eye On
Courtesy of Sundance Insitute

Harking back to a time in movie viewing where intensive work was put into censoring films to protect audiences, Director Prano Bailey-Bond makes her directorial debut with CENSOR. It serves as an ode to the ’80s as well as a deep dive into character Enid’s psyche as she still grapples with the impact of her sister’s disappearance so many years ago.  For horror fans everywhere, this may be a strange balm for the soul. The film premieres at Sundance on January 28.

As a general note, the film does contain strobe effects, extreme violence, and gore. 

Courtesy of Sundance Institute


In James Ashcroft’s feature debut, audiences will be taken through the wilderness of New Zealand (which is fricking gorgeous) as we follow characters Alan, Jill, and their teenage sons on a hiking trip. Alas, as one would expect in a horror-thriller scenario like this, the family encounters two drifters at a resting point and violence ensues. With high stakes and the promise of past secrets coming home to roost in this film, COMING HOME IN THE DARK has the potential to make our hearts race. We’ll see if it does so when the film premieres on January 30 at Sundance.

Courtesy of Sundance Institute


In the horror community, we’re always hungry for more werewolf content. In this latest from Director Sean Ellis, we see a new take on the werewolf legend, with elements that will remind of the horror classic, The Wolfman. Taking place in the late 1800s, there’s much to debate regarding reparations, land ownership, and more in this latest werewolf horror. Anticipation is high, so we’ll be interested to see what people think post-viewing. EIGHT OF SILVER has its world premiere on January 30th.

[Article] Sundance 2021 - Horror Films To Keep Your Eye On
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Based on the synopsis alone, KNOCKING seems guaranteed to provide viewers with some mindfuckery. Combining a heatwave, auditory stimulus -cough knocking cough- and the character Molly’s own unresolved trauma, everything comes together to try to convince Molly that she is crazy. But what if she isn’t? What if she is, in fact, hearing someone in distress? With a relatively short runtime for a feature, this film is definitely one to look out for. The film will premiere at Sundance on January 29.

Courtesy of Sundance Institute


Coming off of his efforts with the reimagining of Rebecca, director Ben Wheatley‘s latest dives into viral apocalyptic dystopia. You know, something light and not all too familiar to the audience right now at all. This is sarcasm. The film focuses on a time-sensitive quest to reach a test center while a deadly virus is rampaging around the globe. Things quickly go awry and nothing appears to be as it seems. While we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, IN THE EARTH looks promising and fresh. The film will premiere at Sundance on January 29.

Courtesy of Sundance Institute


It has Nicholas Cage and Bill Moseley in it, which means that PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND is probably going to be super extra, crazy, and everything we need to get ourselves through 2021. With a mash-up of Western, samurai, and post-apocalyptic flair, this thriller from Sion Sono is sure not to disappoint. And there’s the sweet promise that this film will mark Cage’s most unhinged performance to date. If we look back on everything he has done in his career, this seems easily like something we have to see. The film will premiere on January 31 at Sundance.

Make sure you check out Nightmarish Conjurings for all of the coverage on this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The 2021 Sundance Film Festival starts tomorrow and will run through February 3, 2021. You can go get tickets here!

Sarah Musnicky
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