Glasgow Film Festival: Genre Highlights - SciFiNow

Glasgow Film Festival: Genre Highlights

From love affairs with rollercoasters, to dystopian futures and, of course, FrightFest Glasgow, there’s plenty of genre goodies to check out at Glasgow Film Festival 2021.

Glasgow Film Festival

Running from 24 February -7 March 2021 the Glasgow Film Festival has gone digital this year and offers a plethora of amazing films and documentaries for a wide range of audiences.

For us genre fans, GFF has plenty of thrills, chills and straight-up bonkers films for us to enjoy! See our run-down of genre films to watch at GFF21…


Director Christos Nikou’s Apples (pictured above) deftly blends deadpan comedy with soulful reflections on identity, memory and all the little things that make us human. Aris (Aris Servetalis) is the latest victim of a mysterious pandemic that causes sudden amnesia. When nobody seeks news of him, he is placed in a recovery programme. He must now complete a series of tasks designed to build confidence and construct a new identity. Social interaction and self-awareness have rarely seemed so difficult.


In a futuristic, post-apocalyptic landscape, K and Z roam the streets on the lookout for corpses and possibly even something more valuable: fresh meat. Undergods is an anthology film that will take you on an ill-fated journey through a dystopian Europe, where stories and characters intertwine in the most doomed way possible. Director Chino Moya weaves these stories together to present a bleak indictment of modern middle-class life imbued with dark humour. Read our review here.

In the Shadows

Erdem Tepegöz’s steampunk dystopian vision tells the story of The Miner (Numan Acar) who toils in a coal factory controlled by an omnipresent surveillance system. Is this the labour camp of a Solzhenitsyn novel? Is Big Brother watching him? Tepegöz sustains the intrigue as we follow a daily routine of brutal work, basic rations and precious sleep. When the Miner contracts a mysterious disease, he conceals his scars and contacts the Officials. It is the first step in questioning the regime and becoming a force for change.

In The Shadows tells the story of The Miner (Numan Acar) who toils in a coal factory controlled by an omnipresent surveillance system…


Jumbo is a quirky charmer of a debut from Zoé Wittock, ‘inspired’ by a true story. Awkward, painfully shy Jeanne (Noémie Merlant from Portrait of a Lady on Fire) lives with her blowsy mother (Emmanuelle Bercot) and works as a cleaner at an amusement park. Out of the blue, she finds happiness with Jumbo – the park’s newest ride. Every touch of cold metal or oil oozing from this mighty inanimate object fuels her infatuation, convincing her that her feelings are reciprocated. Can Jeanne find love and understanding with her fairground attraction?

The Masque of the Red Death

Grand guignol at its finest, The Masque Of The Red Death is the Edgar Allan Poe adaptation that united Vincent Price with legendary filmmaker Roger Corman. Price stars as Prince Prospero, a decadent Italian nobleman who lives for the pleasures of the flesh and the suffering of his impoverished subjects as a mysterious pestilence closes in on his castle. Stunningly restored by the Academy Film Archive and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, this is a chance to see the film at it was always intended, complete with the extraordinary cinematography of Nicolas Roeg.

Mekong 2030

Five Southeast Asian filmmakers present their visions and fears for the future in this anthology of stories focusing on one of Asia’s most vital waterways, the Mekong River. For the anthology, each filmmaker looks towards the year 2030 and envisions what changes might occur and how it will affect the communities that depend on it. Black Mirror-esque dystopia and cutting social commentary on the impact of climate change are just a few of the many things that you can expect from these unique collections of stories.

Mekong 2030 is anthology of future stories focusing on the Mekong River.

Welcome II the Terrordome

The first film directed by a Black British woman to receive a UK theatrical release, Ngozi Onwurah’s Welcome II the Terrordome opens with an Ibo family choosing to drown themselves rather than be enslaved. This imaginative Afrofuturist depicts a dark dystopia where Black people have been relegated to living in a slum, the Terrordome. Ahead of her time, the urgency of Onwurah’s work was not realised at the time, but 25 years later it encourages us to interrogate the contemporary experience of Black people in Britain and police brutality, from history until today.

FrightFest Glasgow

For horror aficionados, Glasgow Film Festival also incorporates Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow. The 16th edition of FrightFest Glasgow is also going digital this year but following the successful summer digital FrightFest event that took place last August, FrightFest Glasgow are following suit, presenting six tasty titles virtually over 5-7 March…

American Badger

Meet Badger. His real name, Dean, is too lame for a hitman. Like all American Badgers, he prefers to be alone, and has hardly spoken a word to anyone except his Handler. But all of this is about to change with his latest assignment: make friends with call girl Velvet, extract information about the criminal Albanian gang she works for, and then kill her. What he doesn’t know is that Velvet is like a daughter to the mob boss and all hell is about to break loose in this action thriller.

Glasgow Film Festival
American Badger follows a hitman with a very un-hitman-like name…

Run Hide Fight

Director Kyle Rankin ratchets up the suspense while boldly, and controversially, addressing a horrific reality of modern-day life by turning it into an all-action movie. A normal school day comes to a brutal halt when armed students invade on a murderous mission. As the shooting starts and the blood flows, Zoe (Isabel May) is lucky to get out alive. But then she heads back inside the building to rescue as many staff and pupils as she can.

The Woman with Leopard Shoes

First-timer Alexis Bruchon’s old school yet ultra-modern noir thriller twists, turns and twists again. A thief is engaged by a mysterious woman to steal a box from a house. The job goes well but, as he’s escaping, dozens of people arrive for a party. The thief just has time to hide in a study. Confined in this little room, he tries to flee but things take a turn for the worse when he makes a shocking discovery…

The Old Ways

From director Christopher Alender (producer of Southbound and The Mortuary Collection) comes a terror tale taken from sinister Latin American folklore. Cristina, a journalist of Mexican origins, travels to the home of her ancestors in Veracruz to investigate a story involving sorcery, witchcraft and healers. Once there, she is kidnapped by a group of mysterious locals who claim that she’s possessed by the devil and that she needs to undergo an exorcism. But as she tries to escape her nightmarish situation, Cristina starts to believe that her secretive captors may actually be right.

The Old Ways is a terror tale taken from sinister Latin American folklore.

Vicious Fun

Joel, a caustic film critic for a national horror magazine, accidentally stumbles into a secret underground self-help group for serial killers. Can he match wits with five exterminators and make it through the night alive? Kill or be killed, Joel will have to find his inner assassin and muster hidden strengths to defeat the maniacs in his midst.

Out Of The World

The very private Leo (Kevin Mischel) has issues communicating with others due to past trauma and only lives for his music. For now, not able to have a career as a composer, he works as an Uber driver and lives in his car. When Leo picks up Amélie, a deaf dancer, he sees a like-minded spirit, connected to the same remote sound universe yet cut off from the world, just like him. But Leo is hiding a dark and dangerous secret in this thriller from new director Marc Fouchard.

Glasgow Film Festival runs from 24 February -7 March 2021. For more information and for the full programme visit the GFF 21 website here.