The Sundance Film Festival has a long tradition of debuting movies that make an impact — including genre hits like Saw, The Blair Witch Project, Donnie Darko, 28 Days Later, The Descent, and Primer. So each year, we keep an eye on what’s playing, hoping to find the next big breakout. With the 2022 program recently announced, we’ve zeroed in on 19 sci-fi, horror, and fantasy films we think could be those exciting discoveries Sundance was built on.
The 2022 Sundance Film Festival takes place from January 20-30, both in person and virtually, and Gizmodo will be covering it. Here are the films we’re super intrigued by, presented in alphabetical order.
Colin Farrell stars as a father who joins his daughter in trying to keep a robot family member named Yang alive.
In what sounds like a film inspired by The Village (but is actually apparently based on a true story), Keke Palmer stars alongside Common and Jonny Lee Miller in the story of a woman who escapes from what she believes is a slave plantation in the 1800s — but finds she’s actually in 1973.
Brian and Charles
Shot like a documentary, this is a comedy about a man who is friends with a seven-foot robot who loves to eat cabbage. (We loved the short it’s based on.)
The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future
When her father falls sick, a woman and her kids go back to her childhood home to care for him. There, she’s greeted by the ghost of her mother.
This one sounds awesome. Karen Gillan stars as a woman who makes a clone of herself when she think she’s going to die — but then she doesn’t die, and must fight her clone in a duel to the death. Aaron Paul co-stars.
A French remake of the brilliant Japanese comedy One Cut of the Dead, from Michel Hazanavicius, Academy Award-winning director of the Best Picture-winning The Artist? Um, what?
Described as a film about “the horrors of modern dating,” Fresh is about a woman (Daisy Edgar-Jones) who battles with her new boyfriend’s (Bucky Barnes himself, Sebastian Stan) “unusual appetites.” Hmmm.
It’s not just a clever title. This is literally a movie about a young woman who discovers a mysterious egg, takes care of it, and then it hatches.
Leonor Will Never Die
When a retired filmmaker is nearly killed after a TV falls on her head, she finds herself playing an action hero in one of her unproduced screenplays.
A young boy meets a young alien girl on a mission and the two help each other traverse not just the world, but childhood in this cool-sounding Vietnamese film.
Regina Hall stars as one of three women struggling with “the insidious specter of racism” haunting a college campus in “increasingly supernatural fashion.” We have no idea what that means but it sure sounds interesting.
An undocumented nanny in New York is getting ready to bring her son to the U.S. from Senegal, which is unfortunately right when supernatural beings start haunting the family she works for.
A group of hackers living together attempt to bring down an authoritarian regime.
Piggy doesn’t sound like it’s supernatural exactly, but it sure does sound messed up. It’s about a young woman who is tormented and bullied by her peers, who are then kidnapped, and the woman has to decide to help them… or not.
It’s unclear if the “Resurrection” of the title is literal or not, but the film is about a single mum (Rebecca Hall) who thinks she has her life in order, until her horrific past returns in the form of her husband.
Something in the Dirt
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (directors of Synchronic) direct and star in a film about two neighbours who witness, then film, supernatural events in their apartment building hoping to become rich and famous.
Directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now), Summering sounds like a very Amblin-type kids movie. It follows four girls going on an adventure the weekend before middle school. It’s probably not a sci-fi adventure, but since we love Ponsoldt’s work and this type of film, we’re including it.
Maika Monroe, star of It Follows, stars in this new film that sounds a bit similar to that. She plays a woman who moves into a building with her fiancé and the pair have the fear someone is watching them from nearby.
You Won’t Be Alone
Let’s be serious. Was there really going to be a film festival that didn’t have a weird genre film starring Noomi Rapace? Is that even allowed at this point? You Won’t Be Alone features the Promethus and Lamb star as a peasant who is murdered, and then possessed, by a “young feral witch.” But the witch doesn’t want to stop at one body. She wants others.