For Anatomy of a Scream, summer means long bike rides, the occasional boozy patio, and the Fantasia International Film Festival. While we’ve missed out on the last couple of years due to the pandemic, we’re thrilled to be returning to Montréal to experience the long-running festival’s 25th edition in person (and nosh on some exquisite cupcakes from Cocoa Locale).

This year, Fantasia features an especially rich collection of female-directed genre films from around the world—we’ve highlighted five picks below!

Employee of the Month (Belgium, 2021)

A dark comedy directed by Véronique Jadin and written by Jadin and Nina Vanspranghe, Employee of the Month follows the trials and tribulations of Ines (Jasmina Douieb), a model employee at a cleaning products company. After her request for a much-deserved raise takes a sharp left turn, Inès and young trainee Mélody (Laetitia Mampaka) need to put their heads together to clean up one hell of a mess.

Piggy (Spain, 2022)

The horror of persistent bullying and the trauma that it begets are amply explored in Carlota Pereda’s Piggy. When Sara (Laura Galán) is violently harassed at a community pool and forced to walk home wearing only her bikini, she stumbles upon a chilling crime—and needs to make some lifechanging decisions.

The Girl From the Other Side (Japan, 2022)

A gorgeously animated dark fairy tale based Nagabe’s manga series The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún, The Girl From the Other Side explores the growing friendship between a young human girl and a cursed demon. Directors Yutaro Kubo and Satomi Maiya deliver a simple and elegant story of acceptance and self-discovery.

Sissy (Australia, 2022)

A confident debut from co-directors Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes, Sissy explores the ramifications of childhood—and adult—bullying as mental health influencer Cecilia (Aisha Dee) comes face-to-face with her vindictive former bully during a mutual friend’s bachelorette weekend…with horrifying results.

Compulsus (Canada, 2022)

Tara Thorne’s queer revenge fantasy follows the story of spoken word poet Wally (Lesley Smith), who decides to stand up for straight women victimized by abusive men and embarks on a righteous crusade of vengeance.

More information about Fantasia, including this year’s full schedule, can be found on their website.