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Monster Fest Is Back for Another 2022 Lineup of Weird, Wild, Strange and Surreal Genre Films

Australia's showcase of dark, twisted, offbeat and out-there cinema is back with bloody Christmas movies, Swissploitation flicks and films about gatecrashing aliens.
By Sarah Ward
November 24, 2022
By Sarah Ward
November 24, 2022

For cinephiles who like their movies dark, twisted, offbeat and out there, Monster Fest has been a beloved name on Australia's festival circuit for more than a decade. The event started back in 2011 as a Melbourne-only showcase of weird and wild cinema, and has expanded to hit up Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, too — because everyone deserves a strange and surreal (and sometimes chilling and horror-fuelled) night or several at the pictures.

In 2022, Monster Fest is back for another whirl, although you're forgiven if that idea sounds familiar: earlier in the year, it hosted weekender mini fests to sate movie buffs' appetites. Now, it's time for the full festival experience, which unfurls over 11 days in Melbourne and four days at its other stops, all highlighting the latest and greatest in genre filmmaking. If it's a horror, sci-fi or thriller movie and it's destined for a cult following, you'll likely see it here first.

When it gets things started at Carlton's Cinema Nova from Thursday, November 24–Sunday, December 4, Monster Fest 2022 will kick off with the Yuletide terrors of Christmas Bloody Christmas, which features a robotic Santa malfunctioning, then going on a murderous rampage. 'Tis the season and all that. In fact, the film will launch the fest countrywide, including when it runs at Event Cinemas George Street in Sydney, Event Cinemas Myer Centre in Brisbane, Event Cinemas Marion in Adelaide and Event Cinemas Innaloo in Perth between Thursday, December 8–Sunday, December 11.

From there, other standouts include Stephen Dorff- and Emile Hirsch-starring The Price We Pay, which begins with two criminals on the run and gets deadlier from there; The Offering, about a family battling an ancient demon; and Swissploitation flick Mad Heidi, which has its namesake fight fascist rule in a grindhouse frenzy. Or, there's On the Edge, the latest from American Mary filmmakers Jen and Sylvia Soska; Subject, the sophomore release by Australian Watch the Sunset filmmaker Tristan Barr; and Ribspreader, another Aussie effort, this time about getting rid of smoking — and smokers.

Closing night features Kids vs Aliens, a coming-of-age sci-fi/horror effort that sees a house party gatecrashed by visitors from another galaxy as directed by Hobo with a Shotgun's Jason Eisener. Elsewhere on the lineup, even though the idea of people fighting to survive their way through a building isn't new by any means — see: High-Rise, Dredd and The Raid, for starters — French film Lockdown Tower is giving it another go.

Different cities have different exclusives, too, with more movies on the bill in Melbourne given the longer season. A must-see for everyone, however, is the special presentation of Friday the 13th Part III to celebrate its 40th anniversary, as screening in 3D and 4K.

A word of warning: if you like your movies happy and chirpy, this clearly isn't your kind of festival. For everyone else, settle in.


Thursday, November 24–Sunday, December 4 — Cinema Nova, Melbourne
Thursday, December 8–Sunday, December 11 — Event Cinemas George Street, Sydney
Thursday, December 8–Sunday, December 11 — Event Cinemas Myer Centre, Brisbane
Thursday, December 8–Sunday, December 11 — Event Cinemas Marion, Adelaide
Thursday, December 8–Sunday, December 11 — Event Cinemas Innaloo, Perth

Monster Fest runs across late November and early December around Australia. Head to the festival's website for further details.

Top image: Photo courtesy of Shudder and RLJE Films.

Published on November 24, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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