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Sunday Scaries: Horror Films That Played At Sundance (Revisited)


The Sunday Scaries are upon us once again! Yes, as the weekend concludes, most of us feel an oncoming sense of anticipatory dread about the week ahead. Anxiety about work manifests itself into a feeling that’s known as the Sunday Scaries. However, we at Awards Radar are here to combat that, by taking back the name. Now, we want you think about a horror-centric piece on the site when you hear the term. So, let us continue on with another installment of the Awards Radar Sunday Scaries! Today, with the Sundance Film Festival having just wrapped up, there’s an obvious topic that we’re going to be tackling once again…

Artisan Entertainment

As I said last year, Sundance is a place where horror often does very well. As you’ll see once again in today’s piece, the genre gets to play at the festival. No budget? No problem. Whether it’s gore, psychological terror, or the supernatural, this fest allows endeavoring filmmakers to have a playground. So, it makes perfect sense to list some of the best scary movies that have shown their stuff over in Park City.

Below, you’ll find some of the best fright flicks ever to play at Sundance. Special Citations to The BabadookHereditaryThe Night HouseV/H/S, and V/H/S/2, which just missed the cut. Now, on to some of the fest’s primo horror offerings!

Red State

The Blair Witch Project – The indie horror title that all but launched the found footage movement, this movie is absolutely iconic. In fact, it took over the Sundance Film Festival so thoroughly that some folks thought it was real. When your found footage flick is seen as a legit documentary, even with supernatural elements going on, that’s something. The Blair Witch Project is a horror king for good reason.

Get Out – Oscar winning horror? That’s rare. Debuting as Sundance as its Surprise Screening, right before release, Get Out began its awards run here. Jordan Peele was still an unknown in a way, genre-wise, but that immediately changed. He’s an A-list auteur now, but Park City was where everyone first learned that fact.

Red State – Ignore the shenanigans surrounding its Sundance screening. Red State is one of Kevin Smith‘s best films (as I detailed here in a prior Sunday Scaries). Since I’ve previously raved, I’ll let that article speak for itself, but once again, for real life horror, this one slaps. As always, I urge you to seek this one out if you can.

Saw – Franchises don’t tend to begin at the Sundance Film Festival. Saw, obviously, is the notable exception. Another title that I and other staff members have previously talked about (herehereherehere, and here), the original is its own beast. Go back and watch it. It fits well as something the fest would have featured. The sequels got bigger, but this one remains better.

The Witch – In terms of elevated horror, this Sundance fright flicks is one of the best. The Witch mixes big ideas with some incredibly creepy imagery. Some might consider it pretentious, but it’s just trying to scare you in a bigger way. Of all the titles here on my liist, this is the one that may well freak you out the most.

Do you have a favorite horror movie that has played at the Sundance Film Festival? Let us know!


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Written by Joey Magidson

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