The horror! Yay, the horror!

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Here I am, sitting in one of OIA's lovely-ish terminals, an hour away from returning once more to Austin, TX for the genre-centric Fantastic Fest. Rapidly growing in popularity and rightfully so, it's a film festival dedicated primarily to sci-fi, horror, action, fantasy and otherwise oddball fare.

I'm back for my third consecutive year, serving on the horror shorts jury for my first time, and just as raring to go as ever before (by which I mean I can count the number of hours of sleep I got last night on two fingers). Sometimes, you get Bill Murray attending a rave party in a cave; others, you get Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League either pummeling or getting pummeled by the likes of Uwe Boll. (This year, League is taking on Michelle Rodriguez in the boxing-centric Fantastic Debates. He will be missed.)

Anyway, before the geek-friendly festivities get underway, I thought it might behoove me to share my top five picks for flicks I hope to see there and report back on, whether here or elsewhere.

1. Let Me In (pictured) - Cloverfield director Matt Reeves has dared to remake Let the Right One In, one of the very best vampire movies in recent years, and from what I hear, he's actually done it justice in his quest to eradicate those pesky subtitles in the name of proper Amerriken consumption. Also: a score by Michael Giacchino? To quote Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I just went from six to midnight.

2. Rubber - It's a movie about a telekinetic tire named Robert that goes on a killing spree. Yes, really. With all due respect to the Enzian, I can't imagine this ever ending up on a screen in our neck of the woods. Call me crazy, but stuff like this is exactly why I go 1,000+ miles out of my way every September.

3. Sound of Noise - A group of rogue musicians infiltrate proper society with their unique brand of musical terrorism utilizing everyday instruments. You can watch the original short here and get a better idea of why I'm tickled by the prospect of a feature-length incarnation of the premise.

4. Julia's Eyes - If Guillermo del Toro has led me astray by throwing his name on as a producer, then I'm too lazy to look it up. (Splice was... Splice.) This supernatural mystery stars Belen Rueda (The Orphanage - see what I mean?) as a woman losing her sense of sight and gaining a killer on her tail. Reviews out of Toronto only seem to support my interest in this one, so there.

5. the Secret Screenings - These tend to be high-profile surprises, with years prior springing the likes of Apocalypto and There Will Be Blood on attendees extra-early. The rumored titles are part of the fun, even if nobody really wants to have the surprise spoiled for them. I could offer my guesses here, but then they'd have to kill me.

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