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Sundance Film Festival

The Verge
Two Sundance favorites are in theaters this weekend.

There was a lot of great stuff at the festival this year, and you can check out a pair of excellent features in theaters starting on August 18th: a harrowing reimagining of Frankenstein called Birth/Rebirth, and Landscape With Invisible Hand, which envisions a different kind of alien invasion.

birth/rebirth is the most haunting horror you need to see this summer.

Director Laura Moss’ birth/rebirth — a monstrous, moving, Frankenstein-inspired thriller starring Judy Reyes and Marin Ireland — was one of the most impressive films featured at this year’s Sundance film festival.

If the movie wasn’t already on your radar, this new trailer does a damn good job of showcasing why it needs to be ahead of birth/rebirth’s theatrical debut on August 18th.

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Apple jumps into the Sundance frenzy.

Not be outdone by Amazon and Netflix, both of which have scooped up new films at Sundance, Apple is now getting in on the action. Deadline reports that the company has acquired the rights to the musical drama Flora and Son from director John Carney. It’s particularly notable because a previous Sundance acquisition from Apple, CODA, went on to win best picture at the 2022 Oscars.

Netflix keeps shopping at Sundance.

After picking up the rights to the horror film Run Rabbit Run, Netflix has made another acquisition at the Sundance Film Festival, snagging the psychological thriller Fair Play, helmed by writer and director Chloe Domont. Deadline reports the deal is “in the $20 million range.”

A still image of Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich in the film Fair Play.
Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich in Fair Play.
Image: Netflix
Polite Society looks like it might be Sundance’s most kick-ass debut.

Out of context, the concept of bending it like John Wick might not make all that much sense, but that’s exactly the energy all throughout a new trailer for director Nida Manzoor’s debut film Polite Society premiering at Sundance this year.

Set in London, Polite Society tells the story of a young woman who sees her sister’s sudden and inexplicable impending wedding as an opportunity to finally become an action movie stuntwoman — the kind capable of saving a loved one from a marriage they don’t really want.

Hey so, Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out?

There might not actually be any extraterrestrials in director Jake Van Wagoner’s Aliens Abducted My Parents and Now I Feel Kinda Left Out. But a new trailer that’s dropped ahead of its Sundance debut makes the movie’s story about a space-obsessed boy convinced that his parents have been taken off-planet, and a neighbor who’s willing to hear him out seem like a heartwarming, Spielbergian sort of affair.

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Netflix is calling dibs on Daina Reid’s Run Rabbit Run.

Ahead of its midnight premiere at this year’s Sundance, the rights to XYZ Films’ Run Rabbit Run from director Daina Reid (The Handmaid’s Tale, Space Force) have reportedly been acquired by Netflix.

The Australian psychological horror tells the story of a woman and her daughter struggling to hold onto one another after a mysterious and ominous rabbit turns up one set, and a series of strange happenings begin to tear the family apart.

Let the Sundance acquisitions begin.

The Sundance Film Festival isn’t just a great place to catch the latest indie films, it’s also where companies — include the big streaming services — go shopping for new content. This year’s edition just started, and we already have one acquisition: Amazon bought the rights to Filipino horror fairy tale In My Mother’s Skin, which is due to hit Prime Video by the end of 2023.

A photo from the Filipino horror movie In My Mother’s Skin.
In My Mother’s Skin.
Image: Sundance Institue
The 2023 Sundance Film Festival kicks off tomorrow.

And I’ll be covering it alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, so expect plenty of reviews and thoughts over the next 10 days, as we gorge ourselves on movies. One of the premieres I’m most excited about is Birth/Rebirth, from director Laura Moss, a reimagining of Frankenstein that just got a very cool poster that has me even more intrigued.

A poster for the horror film Birth/Rebirth.
Image: Shudder