Thursday, August 27, 2015

After Dark Horrorfest 2015

After Dark Horrorfest is returning this October after a 5-year hiatus. Also known as "8 Films to Die For", Horrorfest was an annual film festival that began in 2006 and featured eight independent horror films (sometimes with a secret bonus film).

This year, After Dark Films has teamed up with 20th Century Fox to bring Horrorfest back. Here's the line-up for the return of 8 Films to Die For: 

Re-Kill - A zombie actioner with Scott Adkins. While I'm always happy to see Adkins, I would've preferred to see him in a martial arts film. I LOVE zombie movies but I usually like seeing regular people trying to survive. This reminds me of a shooting game, which I'd rather play than watch. This has got to be better than World War Z though.

Murder in the Dark - A group of young people on a camping trip are getting experimented on and presumably murdered. There isn't much to go on from the trailer but it does make me curious to see what it's about. Is it the next Human Centipede or Hostel?

The Wicked Within - A demonic possession movie that is NOT found footage! (which is funny because the trailer ends the same way the trailer for Quarantine does) I've had enough of found footage films. I was okay with them in the beginning (I even dedicated a week to them in 2012 during Halloween) but there have been too many coming out that feel too gimmicky, I applaud this one for being a straight up movie.

Lumberjack Man - A slasher movie that takes place at a camp. Not the most original idea in the world but I'm a sucker for slasher films, so you won't hear any complaints from me. If you go to the IMDb page, it lists Michael Madsen and then "the rest of the cast". Probably safe to say there won't be too many faces to recognize here. I'm all for it though!

Suspension - A babysitter is stalked by a masked, knife-wielding maniac. As I just said, I'm a sucker for slashers so I won't complain about originality here. I'm all for a bunch of new slashers coming out. Besides, it's going to come out around Halloween and sometimes I just want to get what I'm expecting. I don't need some deep, mind-bending story for why the knife-wielding maniac is killing people. Just make sure there's plenty of gore and creative kills and I'll be happy.

Unnatural - Rayden from Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is hunting a giant polar bear. Apparently, scientists tried to genetically modify polar bears so they could adapt to global climate changes and they accidentally created a Man-Eater! Oops. A combination between "Science Gone Wrong" and "When Animal Attack" movies, this is just going to be a big ass polar bear eating people. If this doesn't end with ManBearPig escaping from the lab, I'm gonna be PISSED!

Bastard - A combination of a "We're all here for a reason" movie and a slasher. The premise kinda reminds me of Identity with John Cusack. Of all the trailers we've seen so far, this is the best one. The plot itself isn't particularly mind-blowing but that trailer really got me excited. The gore looks pretty explicit but the trailer downplayed the amount of violence. I hope that means they've got a really solid story with some spectacular effects to back it up.

Wind Walkers - I really like the Native American theme of the spirit possessing people, I don't think we see enough of that. I think of horror movies as the visualization of stories we used to tell around the campfire. Not saying that's where this movie comes from but the beginning of the trailer really evokes that feeling. I also love that Zane Holtz is at the center of this piece, I think he's fantastic as Richie Gecko in From Dusk Till Dawn, the TV series. All those guys with guns running around the forest makes this feel like a cross between a zombie movie and Predator.

For their big return, it seems like they're playing it safe with their selections. We've got a zombie movie, an exorcism movie, a Friday the 13th-like slasher (Lumberjack Man), a Halloween-like slasher (Suspension), Cujo with a polar bear (Unnatural), Saw II with an actual masked killer (Bastard), Native American Evil Dead (Wind Walkers), and whatever the hell Murders in the Dark is supposed to be. I don't like to write off movies before I've seen them, so I'm definitely still excited to check them out. I hear enough complaints about remakes, here are 8 totally original (okay, maybe not totally) films hitting theaters in October. I think that's reason enough to be excited.

In case anyone was curious about the history of Horrorfest, these were the previous line-ups (Summaries from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes):

Horrorfest 2006 featured:

The Abandoned - An adopted woman returns to her home country and the family home that she never knew and must face the mystery that lies there.

Dark Ride - A group of six friends on a road trip stop off at an amusement park attraction named 'Dark Ride', unaware that a psychopath who brutally murdered two girls, has just escaped a mental institution and is seeking refuge there.

The Gravedancers - After a night of drunken exploits, Allison, Harris, and Kira are chased and terrorized by the ghosts of a child pyromaniac, an ax murderer, and a rapist.

The Hamiltons - A picture-perfect American family, making up of four very different siblings trying to get by after the recent death of their parents, is always kind, loving and respectful to their neighbors... except that they usually wind up killing them.

Penny Dreadful - Young Penny goes on a retreat with her psychologist; the intention is to help her overcome her phobia, an intense fear of cars. Unexpected events find her in a nightmarish situation where her worst fears come true.

Reincarnation - A Japanese actress begins having strange visions and experiences after landing a role in a horror film about a real-life murder spree that took place over forty years ago.

Unrest - A young pathology med student suspects that the spirit of a dead cadaver in the hospital morgue where she works is killing off all those who handle or desecrate the body.

Wicked Little Things - Karen, Sarah, and Emma Tunney are all moving to a small town in Pennsylvania where, unknown to them, in 1913, a horrid mine accident trapped dozens of children alive, underground. But there's a problem. They're still alive.

Two of the bonus films featured were Snopp Dogg's Hood of Horror and The Tripper.

Horrorfest II 2007 featured:

Borderland - On a trip to a Mexican border town, three college friends stumble upon a human-sacrifice cult.

Crazy Eights - Circumstance brings six childhood friends together to face their past, and a secret they share.

The Deaths of Ian Stone - Deaths tells the story of an all-American guy who is murdered each day by horrifying pursuers, only to wake up in slightly different lives to experience the terror of being murdered again.

Lake Dead - Three sisters and a group of their friends take a trip to the home of the recently deceased grandfather - who died a particularly grisly death - to learn more about the promise of an inheritance, only to encounter a family of psychos who have taken up residence in the old man's cabin.

Mulberry Street - A deadly infection breaks out in Manhattan, causing humans to devolve into blood-thirsty rat creatures. Six recently evicted tenants must survive the night and protect their downtown apartment building as the city quickly spirals out of control.

Nightmare Man - After receiving an African fertility mask as a gift from her husband, Ellen Morris is attacked by a mysterious being she dubs "The Nightmare Man". She takes refuge in a lakeside house where she puts the four people there in immediate danger.

Tooth and Nail - A group of people in a post-apocalyptic world fight to survive against a band of vicious cannibals.

Unearthed - An unknown creature terrorizes an archeological dig in the middle of a desolate New Mexico town.

The bonus film may have been Frontier(s).

Horrorfest III 2008 featured:

Autopsy - A young woman tries to find her injured boyfriend in a bizzare and dangerous hospital.

The Broken - A young Englishwoman is surprised to see what looks like herself, drive by one day. She follows the woman, which sets off a chain of events which leads her into a haunting, nightmare reality.

The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations - A young man with the power to time travel attempts to solve the mystery of his girlfriend's death.

Dying Breed - Australian zoology student Nina and her four friends go into the Tasmanian Forest in search of the endangered Tasmanian Tiger. What they discover, however, is a cannibalistic clan who are the descendants of a famous escaped serial killer known as The Pieman.

From Within - A small Maryland town is gripped by a curse which causes residents to take their own life one after another.

Perkins' 14 - Ronald Perkins brainwashes 14 people, in order to create an army that will defend him from his parents' killers.

Slaughter - A young woman looks to escape her abusive life by moving to a friend's farm near Atlanta. Unfortunately, she learns her place of supposed comfort offers more terrifying forms of abuse.

Voices [a.k.a. Someone Behind You] - Overnight, brutal murders become everyday occurrences as friends turn on friends, brothers turn on sisters, and husbands turn on wives.

Horrorfest IV 2010 featured:

Dread - Three college students set out to document what other people dread most.

The Final - A group of high school outcasts get revenge on the students that torment them.

The Graves - Two inseparable sister's visit to a remote mine town turns into a mind-bending fight for survival against menaces both human and supernatural.

Hidden - Painful memories arise when Kai Koss goes back to his childhood home after 19 years and inherits his dead mother's house.

Kill Theory - Whilst celebrating a graduation at a secluded vacation home, a group of college students find themselves targeted by a sadistic killer who forces them to play a deadly game of killing one another in order to survive.

Lake Mungo - A "mockumentary" featuring interviews detailing how a 16-year-old Australian girl drowned while swimming in a local lake. With a verdict of accidental death, her grieving family buries her. A series of clues and a haunting by the teen girl's spirit force her parents to learn more about her life when her secret past emerges.

The Reeds - A weekend boating party turns into a nightmare for a group of young Londoners when they stumble upon a terrifying secret hidden in the reeds.

ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction - Life is wonderful for the people in the quiet, island town of Port Gamble....until a zombie virus outbreak!