The Screamfest Horror Film Festival is an arts organization committed to the support and development of independent filmmakers and screenwriters of the Horror genre.The Screamfest Horror Film Festival is an arts organization committed to the support and development of independent filmmakers and screenwriters of the Horror genre.
Do you like Pixar? You’re a human with feelings, so I assume you do. Although, if you’re reading the blog of a page called Screamfest, it’s possible it is not your cup of tea. Regardless of your opinion on animated fish, their tradition of playing a short film before their main features has proven to be a tradition enjoyed by many a generation. On a more historical note, it was not uncommon for short films to screen before feature films quite a bit in theaters and drive-ins, as far back as the 1950’s.
There are countless, highly diverse horror films from across the globe that Screamfest has showcased at its festival events. However, our organizers always make room to shine a light on the classics. On February 20th 2018, we held a 30th anniversary screening of 1988’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, accompanied not only with a highly illuminating Q&A session with the cast and crew, but a special performance by John Easdale of Dramarama!
If 2017 has taught us anything; it is that horror films could finally be on track to becoming more universally respected. Those of us who have been fans of the genre for years have always been well aware of its artistic and social significance. However, with not one but two genre films receiving Oscar nods for Best Picture this year, the Horror genre finally seems to be getting some of the high-brow acknowledgement that it has long since deserved. But with 2017 being as strong as it was, it may prove to be a tough act to follow.
Often considered to be the master of “body horror”, David Cronenberg has spent the last four decades constructing a signature style that is often copied but rarely matched. His visceral visual style and directing talent make for a great filmmaker but Cronenberg’s ability to creatively and critically observe humanity through his films make him as close to a contemporary philosopher as filmmakers really get. Exploration seems to be the goal of his films.
All right folks, as promised, I wanted to follow up last week’s list with five more picks of films that take place in movie theaters. Just a warning, I do go off the rails a bit on this list. A couple of the films are not single location and stray quite a bit from the theater setting, but bear with me.
As the largest and longest running horror film festival in the United States, we here at Screamfest are no strangers to the power of the theater going experience. Most of us cinegeeks recall some of our best memories as those spent in the darkness of movie theaters. Even now, as streaming becomes the standard, I’m optimistic for the staying power of the theater. Watching films at home, although convenient, does not quite compare to the energy of a crowd, especially in regards to genre films.
Seeing as how we are counting down the last few days of February, I’m going to take this opportunity to celebrate one more woman who has recently popped back into the zeitgeist, cult film extraordinaire, Jackie Kong. At this point the difficulties women face in Hollywood have been more than expressed, but as an Asian American woman making sleazy horror comedies in the 1980’s, writer/director Jackie Kong sure as hell had her work cut out for her. Despite her relatively few directorial ventures, she quickly established a signature style all of her own.
What’s better than a scary movie? A much shorter scary movie! Well okay, maybe not, but it will impinge on your highly coveted spare time much less. So, in honor of the weekly releases of short films on the Screamfest Youtube page, and of course Women in Horror month, here are five spine-tingling short films directed by women:
Growing up with the admittedly ambitious dream of becoming a horror filmmaker, I accepted pretty early on that female role models were few and far between. Not that I was particularly seeking them out, I idolized all the great male directors just the same, however I would still find myself subconsciously scouring the credits of scary movies for potentially female names because, for me, that made my goal that much more attainable.
It’s that time again! It is time for the Twisted Twins’ annual Blood Drive PSA. For those who are unfamiliar, The Massive Blood Drive PSA is the brainchild of filmmaking duo, Jen and Sylvia Soska. Each year the twins and a handful of other talented up and coming filmmakers, release a series of blood-centric, NSFW shorts throughout February in honor of Women in Horror Month.