While the full schedule will not be revealed until December, this week the Sundance Film Festival revealed their “Midnight” lineup consisting of the following films (directors name in parenthesis):

-31 (Rob Zombie)
-Antibirth (Danny Perez)
-Carnage Park (Mickey Keating)
-Outlaws and Angels (JT Mollner)
-The Blackout Experiments (Rich Fox)
-The Greasy Strangler (Jim Hosking)
-Trash Fire (Richard Bates Jr.)
-Under the Shadow (Babak Anvari)
-Yoga Hosers (Kevin Smith)

Most people are probably familiar with the work of Rob “Horror Metal” Zombie and Kevin “New Jersey” Smith, but a quick review of the plot summaries piqued my initial curiosity about several films in particular. Carnage Park (Mickey Keating) is described as such:

  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.

OK, I’m interested. Although IMBD lists this movie as being filmed in California, I imagine a film like this could have easily been filmed in Nevada. Besides, once you get in I-15 head to Los Angeles, it all looks like desert no matter what state you are in. And nothing lets the imagination wander like miles of empty desert….

The other movie that drew my initial curiosity is Under the Shadow (Babak Anvari). It’s basic premise is described as follows:

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.

I always enjoy historical movies, and the Iran-Iraq war is a fairly recent historical event which still (unfortunately) has repercussions on today’s geopolitics. I’m definitely interested in checking this movie out. The 32nd Annual 2016 Sundance Film Festival will take place January 21-31 in Park City, Utah.

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