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'The Menu' Wins Audience Award at Fantastic Fest 2022

The Anya Taylor Joy-Ralph Fiennes starring thriller, The Menu took home the Audience Award at Fantastic Fest

By Sean PatrickPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Top Story - September 2022
The Menu starring Anya Taylor Joy and Ralph Fiennes

Fantastic Fest, the film festival arm of Austin, Texas based cult movie theater chain, The Alamo Drafthouse, announced their award winners on Tuesday, September 27th. One of the awards to watch for was the Audience Award as voted by those who attended Fantastic Fest in Austin from September 22nd to the 29th. This year's audience award was given to The Menu, a new thriller coming to theaters nationwide from Director Mark Mylod.

The Menu stars Anya Taylor Joy as the date of a foodie, played by Nicholas Hoult who gets the unique opportunity to travel to an island restaurant where a reclusive Michelin star Chef, Chef Slowik, has a restaurant so exclusive that it is by invitation only and at an ungodly cost. Naturally, the location and the secretive nature of the restaurant are hiding a deep dark secret. The Menu has been described by some as a black comedy, perhaps a parody of both ego-driven celebrity chefs and the food snobs who worship them.

La Pieta

Of course, there were more than just the Audience Award to hand out this week as several categories of Awards were announced on Tuesday. This includes the Main Competition Award winner which went to the Spanish-Argentine production, La Pieta or Piety in English. La Pieta, like The Menu, is described as a black comedy. The film follows the toxic relationship between a mother and a son that compares favorably with the relationship between the North Korean government and the people of North Korea.


In the Best Horror Movie Category, Piggy took home the big prize. Piggy is a Spanish horror film from the brilliantly disturbed mind of Director Carlota Pereda. The film stars Laura Gelan as a teenager who is constantly picked on by three girls at her school. When she witnesses those same three girls being kidnapped, she wrestles with whether to tell the Police what she knows or follow a strange attraction she has for the man who kidnapped them.

The Five Devils

The French film, The Five Devils was honored with the Next Wave Feature award for Director Lea Myius. The film follows a strange and solitary little girl whose magical talent allows her to capture people's scent. She keeps the scents in jars in her bedroom. The scents allow her to see into the lives of the people around her including her mother played by Adele Exarchopoulos from Blue is the Warmest Color, and her Aunt, a recent parolee played by Swala Emati.

Director Ali Abbasi won the award for Best Director in the Main Competition awards, for his remarkable drama, Holy Spider. Set in Iran, Holy Spider is the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Feature Academy Award. The film stars Zahra Amir Ebrihimi as a journalist working in Iran and tracking the story of a serial killer who is killing sex workers. The Killer, dubbed The Holy Spider, is not being pursued by authorities who are looking the other way due to the nature of his victims.

Madusa Deluxe

In the Next Wave Feature Best Director Category, director Thomas Hardiman's Madusa Deluxe was the winner. It's the story of a murder mystery unfolding behind the scenes at an extravagant hairdressing competition. Famed hairdresser, Eugene Souleiman collaborated with Hardiman to give authenticity to the lavish and exotic hairstyles on display while Hardiman delivers immaculate direction of a murder mystery.

Other winners at Fantastic Fest included the much buzzed about horror feature, Satanic Hispanics which, despite being a horror anthology with five different directors, took home the best director(s) award in the Horror category for directors Mike Mendez, Demian Rugna, Eduardo Sanchez, Gigi Saul Guerrero & Alejandro Brugués .

In the short film and animation categories at Fantastic Fest, the winners were:


Best Picture: HUBBARDS directed by Kevin Ralston

Special Mention: ALEGRÍAS RIOJANAS directed by Velasco Broca


Best Picture: RINGWORMS directed by Will Lee

Special Mention: GNOMES directed by Ruwan Heggelman


Best Picture: THE DIAMOND directed by Vedran Rupic

Special Mention to A MAN TREMBLES directed by Mark Chua, Lam Li Shuen (Emoumie)


Best Picture: A GUITAR IN THE BUCKET directed by Boyoung Kim

Special Mention to HAPPY NEW YEAR, JIM directed by Andrea Gatopoulos


About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for the I Hate Critics Movie Review Podcast I am a voting member of the Critics Choice Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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Comments (8)

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  • Martha Ballabout a year ago

    I loved The Menu, so happy to see it recognized! And now I have some new movies to add to my watch list

  • Ye Er fan2 years ago


  • Horse Moro2 years ago

    The picture is so scary

  • Marl Gore2 years ago

    Very good article, I enjoyed it. Thanks!

  • Matras Dohrmann2 years ago


  • Moe Turner2 years ago

    I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. Your descriptions are so vivid.

  • Thanks for the good videos, these happen to be my favorite videos.

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