The craziest horror movies to see at Melbourne International Film Festival 2022

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The craziest horror movies to see at Melbourne International Film Festival 2022

Melbourne International Film Festival

Not for the faint-hearted, MIFF's 2022 'Night Shift' horror program is set to terrify, unsettle and haunt the festival’s late-night cinema crowd.

Bodies Bodies Bodies

A smash hit out of SXSW, Bodies Bodies Bodies is a whip-smart horror-comedy from Dutch director Halina Reijn, working from a story conceived by Cat Person author Kristen Roupenian. Starring Rachel Sennott, Amandla Stenberg and Pete Davidson, Reijn’s English-language debut is a bloody, wildly funny Gen-Z horror-comedy that mixes the classic whodunnit with reality-show sass.


In their second feature collaboration, which premiered to raucous acclaim as SXSW 2022’s Midnighters opener, Aussie co-directors Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes indulge in lampooning the hallucinatory look and feel – not to mention ravenous excess – of aspirational social media. The Canberra-shot Sissy, starring Aisha Dee (The Bold Type), takes you on a reaction roller-coaster: from screams of “LOL” to shrieks at the gnarliest gore in this depraved, decidedly local revenge tale.

De Humani Corporis Fabrica

Visionary Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab filmmakers Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor craft a visceral hymn to life, death and the body unlike anything the cinema has ever seen. Alternately gruesome and gorgeous, De Humani Corporis Fabrica takes a literal deep dive inside the human organism, using impossibly microscopic cameras, X-rays, ultrasounds and endoscopic images to examine our complex inner ecosystems in unprecedented, sometimes harrowing detail.


Expanding her Goya Award–winning short of the same name (MIFF 2019), director Carlota Pereda’s long- form debut is a nuanced but exhilarating examination of adolescent ferocity – with a body count. Making its international premiere at MIFF, Piggy is a star-making vehicle for actor Laura Galán, who portrays the lead role of Sara with empathy and conviction in this brutally fresh and darkly comic take on the revenge genre.


Paying homage to classic voyeuristic thrillers by Alfred Hitchcock, Roman Polanski and Andrzej Żuławski, feminist horror director Chloe Okuno (Slut, MIFF 2015) injects female agency into the ‘vulnerable woman being stalked’ trope in her feature debut, Watcher, which premiered in competition at Sundance. Maika Monroe (It Follows, MIFF 2014) stars in a stylish, slow-burn psychological thriller that uses its female gaze to raise questions about who’s watching, and why.

Something in the Dirt

Much as they did in The Endless (MIFF 2017) and Spring (MIFF 2014), filmmaking duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead direct, produce, edit and star in Something in the Dirt, a DIY sci-fi mind-bender with the kitchen-sink thrown in. Against the backdrop of a semi-apocalyptic, fire-ravaged LA, the film is a COVID chamber piece of sorts that also offers a blackly comic take on filmmaking itself via a highly meta, mockumentary framework.

Crimes of the Future

David Cronenberg’s first film in eight years, Crimes of the Future, sees him returning to his body-horror (dis) comfort zone, mingling the medical, the erotic and the technological. Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart and Léa Seydoux – the last of whom also stars in MIFF 70 film One Fine Morning – all give enjoyably outré performances in this spectacular film that palpates the possibilities of how humanity will adapt to an ecosystem we’ve destroyed.