5 cool films you must see at the BFI London Film Festival

Check out horror and sci-fi films Citadel, Antiviral, Doomsday Book and more at the BFI London Film Festival, held 10 to 21 October 2012.

Doomsday Book London Film Festival

For the first time ever, the BFI’s annual London Film Festival (held 10 to 21 October 2012 across various cinemas) is representing cult genre cinema in a big way – just check out the full programme. Here are our must-see picks from the world of sci-fi, fantasy and horror:

Caleb Landry Jones in Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral

1. ANTIVIRAL
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Writer: Brandon Cronenberg
Cast: Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Malcolm McDowell

The directorial debit from Brandon Cronenberg has more than a hint of his father’s stomach-churning body horror about it, with a far more contemporary broadside over increasingly glass-eyed celebrity worship. Antiviral follows near-future sanatorium employee Syd March (X-Men: First Class and The Last Exorcism‘s Caleb Landry Jones) as he steals celebrity diseases to sell to obsessive fans on the black market. March finds himself transporting – in the biological sense – the disease that killed a megastar and must race to uncover the antidote and the sinister circumstances surrounding her infection.

For more information and screening times, check out the London Film Festival website.

John Dies At The End London Film Festival
John Dies At The End promises bizarre and nightmarish imagery.

2. JOHN DIES AT THE END
Director: Don Coscarelli
Writer: Don Coscarelli
Cast: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown

Already a cult proposition thanks to the viral subject matter – the source material was published online and quickly became a sensation, the dead tree edition soon followed, and already the movie looks to propel the outsider chic of John Dies At The End ever further, courtesy of Don Coscarelli, director of Phantasm and Bubba Ho-Tep. It revolves around a hallugenic attempt to save the universe from monsters and conspiracies, courtesy of new narcotic known only as Soy Sauce.

For more information and screening times, check out the London Film Festival website.

Painless London Film Festival
A harrowing scene from Painless

3. PAINLESS (INSENSIBLES)
Director: Juan Carlos Medina
Writer: Juan Carlos Medina, Luiso Berdejo
Cast: Tómas Lemarquis, Alex Brendemühl, Derek de Lint

Directed by Juan Carlos Medina and co-written by [Rec], [Rec]2 and [Rec] Genesis‘ Luiso Berdejo, a doctor working with children who can’t feel pain miraculously survives a car-crash and discovers a sinister truth that stretches all the way back to the Thirties and the Spanish Civil War, when dark experiments were performed on children stolen from their parents. An eerie horror/fantasy that, like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone, lays bare the cruelty of war through a prism of the macabre.

For more information and screening times, check out the London Film Festival website.

Doomsday Book London Film Festival
Doomsday Book’s Buddhist robot

4. DOOMSDAY BOOK (인류멸망보고서/IN-RYU-MYUL-MANG-BO-GO-SEO)
Director: Kim Jee-woon, Yim Pil-sung
Writer: Kim Jee-woon, Yim Pil-sung
Cast: Ryoo Seung-bum, Kim Kang-woo, Song Sae-byeok

The early awaited conclusion of Kim Jee-woon (A Tale Of Two Sisters) and Yim Pil-sung (Hansel And Gretel)’s long stalled three-part anthology. The three stories from the two South Korean cult directors depict a zombie outbreak, a meteor heading towards Earth and the existential plight of a Buddhist robot. Each radically different, and each brilliant.

For more information and screening times, check out the London Film Festival website.

Citadel London Film Festival
Urban paranoia runs rampant in Citadel

5. CITADEL
Director: Ciarán Foy
Writer: Ciarán Foy
Cast: Aneurin Barnard, James Cosmo, Wunmi Mosaku, Jake Wilson, Amy Shiels

The latest chapter in the great 21st Century book of urban paranoia (see Eden Lake, Tower BlockAttack The Block, Heartless etc) – agoraphobic father Tommy (Ironclad‘s Aneurin Barnard) must overcome his fears and team up with an unnamed priest (Game Of Thrones‘ James Cosmo) to rescue his daughter from the feral, supernatural youth of anonymous grey city.

For more information and screening times, check out the London Film Festival website.