Horror films particularly thrive at Sundance, with everything from The Blair Witch Project to Hereditary making waves after being premiered as part of the festival’s Midnight strand before going on to become cultural hits around the world.
Such films to have been unveiled this year include Presence – which sees Ocean’s Eleven director Steven Soderbergh deliver his first true horror film, and Love Lies Bleeding, the next film from Saint Maud director Rose Glass.
But the horror film receiving particularly impressive praise from critics is A24’s I Saw the TV Glow, the latest release from We’re All Going to the World’s Fair write-director Jane Schoenbrun.
The film, starring Justice Smith and Brigette Lundy-Paine, follows two teenagers whose reality begins to blur following the cancellation of their favourite TV show.
Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, with IndieWire’s David Ehrlich calling the film “major”, adding on X/Twitter: “It will go down as one of the best movies of the year.”
Fantastic Film Fans writer @jasonosia said the film ”is exactly what #Sundance2024 is about”, adding: “I need a moment to digest a movie of this artistic magnitude but bra-f***ing-vo:.
Meanwhile, Inverse’s Lyvie Scott hailed the film as a “haunting horror masterpiece”. Scott continued: “I Saw the TV Glow is daring, devastating, and best experienced cold. “
The film’s themes of sexuality and trans identity have also been commended, with Esther Rosenfield, writing for Little White Lies, stating; “It’s rare that a film attempting to tell a trans story – whether on purpose or accidentally – has any success. I Saw The TV Glow reaches even higher, and assuredly hits its mark.
I Saw the TV Glow currently has no release date, but will screen at the Berlin Film Festival in February.