Shelby Oaks Fantasia
A still from Shelby Oaks courtesy of Fantasia

The first wave of Fantasia 2024 programming has been announced for the 28th edition of the genre fest, and the lineup so far includes Chuck Russell’s Witchboard and Chris Stuckman’s Shelby Oaks.

Including screenings, workshops, and other events, this year’s Fantasia fest will run from July 18 through August 4, 2024 at the Concordia Hall and J.A. de Sève cinemas in Montreal, with additional screens and events at Cinémathèque québécoise and Cinéma du Musée.

With Witchboard, the A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The Blob, The Mask, The Scorpion King, and Eraser director Chuck Russell returns to the horror genre with a reimagining of Kevin S. Tenney’s 1986 Canadian cult classic.

The film follows Madison Iseman (Annabelle Comes Home) as Emily and Aaron Dominguez (Only Murders in the Building) as her fiancé Christian discover an ancient Wiccan artifact, a pendulum board, as they prepare to open a bistro in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Emily becomes obsessed with the board’s powers, exposing her to the ancient spirit of the Queen of Witches. Desperate to help his fiancé, Christian seeks the advice of occult expert Alexander Babtiste (Jamie Campbell Bower, Stranger Things, the Twilight saga), but Babtiste has dark secrets of his own.

Witchboard courtesy of Fantasia

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Making its world premiere, the film was shot in Montreal by cinematographer Yaron Levy (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning) and also stars David La Haye (True North), Charlie Tahan (Ozark), Antonia Desplat (Shantaram), and Mel Jarnson (Mortal Kombat). 

Also making its world premiere is Stuckmann’s Shelby Oaks. The YouTube creator’s feature directorial debut was funded through a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign.

What Is Fantasia 2024 World Premiere Film Shelby Oaks About?

It follows a woman’s desperate search for her long-lost sister, a famous YouTuber who investigated paranormal happenings and falls into obsession upon realizing that the imaginary demon from their childhood may have been real. Shelby Oaks stars Camille Sullivan (Hunter Hunter), Brendan Sexton III (Don’t Breathe 2), Sarah Durn (Renfield), Keith David (The Thing, Nope), and Michael Beach (Aquaman). The film is produced by Aaron B. Koontz, Cameron Burns, and Ashleigh Snead, with Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House, Midnight Mass) and Trevor Macy (Hush, Oculus) among the executive producers.

Though the full festival lineup won’t be released until July 3, the new titles that have been announced so far include the aforementioned Witchboard and Shelby Oaks, as well as Miguel Llansó’s Infinite Summer, Nobuhiro Yamashita’s Confession, Tomojiro Amano’s This Man, Jayro Bustamante’s Rita, Hwang Wook’s Mash Ville, Lowell Dean’s Dark Match, Lucía Puenzo’s Electrophilia, the Adams family’s Hell Hole, Pratul Gaikwad’s Dead Dead Full Dead, and Shinji Araki’s Penalty Loop.

The second wave of Fantasia 2024 programming will be announced in early June. Tickets will go on sale after the full lineup is announced in July.

Main Image: A still from Shelby Oaks courtesy of Fantasia