Chuck Russell’s Witchboard remake, Chris Stuckmann’s debut and more set for Fantasia 2024

Chuck Russell’s Witchboard remake, Chris Stuckmann’s Shelby Oaks and more are set for this year’s Fantasia Film Festival.

Last Updated on May 20, 2024


It’s almost time for the Fantasia Film Festival! North America’s premiere genre festival has become the place to be if you’re a horror aficionado, and as a proud Montrealer, I get a kick out of the fact that it all takes place in my home city. I’ve been attending the festival for many years, and I always end up seeing some incredible movies. Last year’s Fantasia featured the Canadian premiere of what’s probably the best horror movie of the last year or so – Late Night With The Devil, and this year’s program seems certain to be another winner, with Fantasia announcing the first wave of titles today. 

Here are some of the highlights:



Before directing big-budget Hollywood flicks like The Mask and Eraser, Chuck Russell made his reputation with a pair of the best horror flicks of the 80s, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors and The Blob. Now, he’s returning to the genre with a remake of the cult classic Witchboard, which, appropriately enough, was shot in Montreal. Here’s the synopsis:

Emily (Madison Iseman, ANNABELLE COMES HOME) and her fiancé Christian (Aaron Dominguez, Hulu’s Only Murderers in the Building) 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, Netflix’s Stranger Things, the TWILIGHT saga), but Babtiste has dark secrets of his own. 

shelby oaks

Shelby Oaks:

YouTuber Chris Stuckmann makes his feature debut as a director, appropriately, with a movie about a famous YouTube who investigates paranormal happenings. Mike Flanagan signed on to this one as a producer, and it’ll be interesting to see if Stuckman can make the leap to horror auteur. Here’s the synopsis:

A woman’s desperate search for her long-lost sister, a famous YouTuber who investigated paranormal happenings, falls into obsession upon realizing that the imaginary demon from their childhood may have been real. After a successful Kickstarter campaign that broke records across the platform, the highly anticipated feature debut feature from YouTube creator Chris Stuckmann is finally here and ready to scare the pants off the world. SHELBY OAKS delivers in all departments. Starring Camille Sullivan (HUNTER HUNTER), Brendan Sexton III (DON’T BREATHE 2), Sarah Durn (RENFIELD), Keith David (THE THINGNOPE), and Michael Beach (AQUAMAN). Produced by Aaron B. Koontz, Cameron Burns, and Ashleigh Snead, and Executive Produced by Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy, among others. World Premiere

Dark Match

Dark Match:

The director of Wolfcop returns with an outrageous mash-up of 80s wrestling and horror. None other than WWE superstar Chris Jericho stars, but what’s really intriguing about this one is that it has cinematography by Karim Hussain, who’s shot some of the best-looking horror flicks of the last few years, including Possessor and Infinity Pool.

The Dead Thing

The Dead Thing:

I’m a die-hard listener of the Pure Cinema Podcast, which is sponsored by Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema. One of that show’s hosts, Elric Kane, directed this movie which explores one of the scariest aspects of 21st century dating – APPS!

Other films include Rita, from the director of La Llorona, This Man (a J-Horror Western horror mashup), A Samurai in Time (from the director of Gohan), the Shudder production Hell Hole, and many more. Check out the full first-wave lineup at Fantasia’s official site.

Which movie do you think has the chance to really break out this year? Let us know in the comments!


About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.