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Updated by Luke Rodriguez on May 17, 2018
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9 New and Promising Horror Movies Are About to Premiere

Typically speaking, film festivals take a long time to catch on and become a success. But that hasn't stopped the Chicago-based CINEPOCALYPSE from quickly becoming one of the most important genre festivals in the country.

2018 marks only their second year, and they've already amassed an incredible lineup of fresh horror films that have never been seen before. Check out the 9 new horror movies that are about to premiere:

1

The Domestics (World Premiere)

USA, 2018 | Dir: Mike P. Nelson
We’re kicking off Cinepocalypse 2018 with a thunderous bang in what will certainly be one of the most talked about genre films of the year. It’s Mad Max meets The Purge in The Domestics, an absolutely savage survival love story following a young couple (Kate Bosworth and Tyler Hoechlin) as they fight to return home through a post-apocalyptic, mid-western wasteland ravaged by terrifying and sadistic gangs. The Domestics is an action spectacle, boasting explosive set pieces and nonstop action, culminating in a suspense-filled finale that will leave your shattered jaw on the floor. With his feature length debut, writer/director Mike P. Nelson establishes himself as a breakout filmmaker, weaving together incredible performances from Bosworth, Hoechlin, Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina), and Lance Reddick (John Wick), into an epic, white-knuckled, roller coaster ride, destined for badass cult status.

2

Boogeyman Pop (World Premiere)

Boogeyman Pop (World Premiere)

USA, 2018 | Dir: Brad Michael Elmore
Set over the course of one summer weekend, a bat-wielding, masked killer in a rusted-out black Cadillac weaves in and out of three interlocking stories awash in sex, drugs, punk rock, black magic, and broken homes. Starring James Paxton (son of the late, great Bill Paxton) and produced by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story screenwriter Chris Weitz, who discovered writer/director Brad Michael Elmore’s micro-budget debut The Wolfman's Hammer on Youtube, the film was eventually brought to the prolific Blumhouse team who hopped on board enthusiastically. That’s one hell of a creative force, and because of it Boogeyman Pop oozes with everything we love about genre cinema. Our favorite festival moments are the ones when we get to discover the emergence of a talented and unique filmmaker. This is punk rock filmmaking at its finest, and it’s one of those festival moments you won’t want to miss.

3

Empathy Inc. (World Premiere)

Empathy Inc. (World Premiere)

USA, 2018 | Dir: Yedidya Gorsetman
In this twisted, sometimes-brutal, black-and-white work from director Yedidya Gorsetman, hotshot venture capitalist Joel (Zack Robidas) has a multimillion-dollar deal go up in smoke, and he and his actress wife Jessica (Kathy Searle) are forced to move in with her parents and start from scratch. At the lowest and most desperate moment in his life, Joel meets old friend Nicolaus (Eric Berryman) and his business partner Lester (Jay Klaitz), who are seeking investors in a new technology known as XVR - Xtreme Virtual Reality - from their company Empathy, Inc., which is said to offer the most realistic and moving experiences for users by placing them in the lives of the less fortunate. Joel gets the startup its funds but soon discovers that the tech’s creators have far more sinister uses in store for their creation and that the reality it provides its customers isn’t virtual.

4

Gags (World Premiere)

Gags (World Premiere)

USA, 2018 | Director: Adam Krause
Remember the photos of a horrifying clown in Wisconsin that went viral and ended up on the nightly news scaring the hell out of Gags all across the world? This marketing stunt for Adam Krause short film, GAGS, sparked a nationwide resurgence in the clown-roaming phenomenon (yes, that’s a thing). Now a feature film designed to send those with coulrophobia (look it up) into a life-threatening panic, a mysterious clown named “Gags” appears in Green Bay, setting off a night of madness in which four separate subplots -- involving a reporter, a right-wing podcast pundit, a pair of cops, and a trio of troublemaking teens -- converge to solve the creepy case. Fans of “killer clown” cinema (clownsploitation?) will appreciate this flick’s new wrinkles, as well as its sly sense of humor that takes aim at socio-political issues and the news media (as represented by indie horror star Lauren Ashley Carter).Yes, you will be scared shitless, especially when you discover Gags’ true intentions.

5

Malicious (World Premiere)

Malicious (World Premiere)

USA, 2018 | Dir: Michael Winnick
When young college professor Adam (Josh Stewart of The Collector and Insidious: Chapter Four) and his pregnant wife Lisa (Drag Me to Hell's Bojana Novakovic) suffer a traumatic event, they find themselves along with Lisa’s sister Becky (Melissa Bolona) haunted - and connected - to a malicious entity. Only when Adam calls upon colleague Dr. Clark (Delroy Lindo), a professor of parapsychology, does the true horror of what is happening become clear. From Executive Producer Shaun Reddick (Get Out).

6

Await Further Instructions (World Premiere)

Await Further Instructions (World Premiere)

USA, 2018 | Dir: Johnny Kevorkian
Take the techno-paranoia of Black Mirror, add the intergalactic body horror of John Carpenter’s The Thing, adapt them into a VHS board game, and wrap it all up in a bitingly satirical Christmas-movie package, and what do you get? Await Further Instructions, the new film from British director Johnny Kevorkian that makes its world premiere at Cinepocalypse. David Bradley of Game Of Thrones, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter fame co-stars as a crotchety old grandpa in the story of a family that wakes up on Christmas morning to find their house surrounded by a mysterious, seemingly alien substance and a cryptic message on their TV: “Await Further Instructions.’

7

Hover (World Premiere)

Hover (World Premiere)

USA, 2018 | Dir: Matt Osterman
Set in a near-future where environmental strain has caused food shortages around the world, Hover envisions a world where technology provides a narrow path forward, with agricultural drones maximizing the yield from what land remains. Two compassionate care providers, Claudia (The Last Man on Earth star Cleopatra Coleman, who also wrote the screenplay) and her mentor John (Craig muMs Grant), work to assist sick farmland inhabitants in ending their lives. But after John dies under mysterious circumstances, a group of locals helps Claudia uncover a deadly connection between the health of her clients and the technology they are using. Shane Coffey, Leo Fitzpatrick, and Beth Grant co-star in this science-fiction thriller.

8

The Russian Bride (World Premiere)

The Russian Bride (World Premiere)

USA, 2018 | Dir: Michael S. Ojeda
A Russian woman (Oksana Orlan) travels with her 11-year-old daughter (Kristina Pimenova) to America, with plans to marry an eccentric billionaire baron (Corbin Bernsen) offering them hopes for a better life. Arriving at his luxurious estate in the dead of winter and miles from civilization, the two are quickly enchanted by the reclusive man’s charm. But the promise of a fairy tale existence ends as the rich man’s tragic secret past is revealed and his resulting madness surfaces, turning their lives into a living hell. In a shocking final act, the baron’s sinister plans are exposed, and the mother and daughter find themselves fighting for survival.

9

The Appearance (World Premiere)

USA, 2018 | Dir: Kurt Knight
Mateho (Jake Stormoen), an officer of the Inquisition and rational man of science, visits a remote monastery to investigate a bizarre murder of a monk. And you guessed it: something evil is afoot. But is the terror man-made or the result of witchcraft? You’ll have a gnarly time finding out in this incredibly eerie, evocative medieval thriller. Plus, Game of Thrones fans should keep an eye out for Kristian Nairn (aka Hodor), who pops up as the Inquisitor’s loyal sidekick Johnny. The follow-up work from the director of the zombie-infused family drama We All Fall Down.