The next big horror film festival is coming to Fort Lauderdale next month!
Our readers probably know by now, we here at The Scariest Things are big fans of horror film festivals. This is your chance to get advance screenings of good horror movies that have been curated and reviewed for their quality is one of the best ways to binge the scary. Have you seen St. Agatha yet? Probably not, if you haven’t been to a festival. It’s not available on streaming yet, but it will be playing at Popcorn Frights, and it’s a good movie worth seeing on the big screen. How about Framed? Or The Ranger? Or Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich? All great films not yet streaming yet, and all of which again, will be on display in at the Popcorn Frights Film Festival in Fort Lauderdale in August.
I also appreciate that the Popcorn Frights folks are providing a couple of crowd-pleasing classic favorites. The Blob and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (arguably the best of the series) will be there to provide some home cooking fare for those of you who may wish to have something familiar to mix in with your independent fare. I, unfortunately, won’t be able to make the trip to Florida (this year) but if I was going to go, here’s what I would be checking out:
Tigers are Not Afraid. I’m still kicking myself for missing this one at the Overlook Film Festival. This movie got raves in New Orleans and looks like a wonderful dark fantasy. There’s a little Dickens here, with the roaming bands of Mexican street urchins, and a dash of Del Toro’s fantastical flair, and a pinch of Sicario drug cartel stuff all woven into a grimy tapestry of survival in the megalopolis that is Mexico City. The Popcorn Frights site equates this with City of God, which is about as brutal as a film gets. That tiger has me totally curious… does that stuffed tiger become a real tiger? I’m not sure how long I’ll have to wait. The movie has been released in Mexico already, but has not yet had a US Theatrical release… so this is one to catch on the circuit for sure!
What Keeps You Alive: Director Colin Minihan and actress Brittany Allen return for another round of horror moviemaking following their underseen gem It Stains the Sands Red. This time they explore a young married lesbian couple, celebrating their one year anniversary, but some deep dark secrets come out when they go to (wait for it) a cabin in the woods. One of them turns out to harbor something very sinister. Given the previous track record that Minihan and Allen did the last time, this could be a very taught thriller. If you can’t make it to the Popcorn Fright Festival, this film will be released on August 24.
The Summer of ’84: This film is certainly capitalizing on the 80’s horror nostalgia trip that Stranger Things and It brought to the table. This has all the makings of a great gateway horror piece, full of the junior high camaraderie so prevalent in the source materials. A group of teenage boys, in trying to solve the mystery of a child serial killer suspect a local cop (Rich Sommer from GLOW and Mad Men) This might be a bit too much of a bandwagon piece, but it feels right, and the chemistry of the boys seems spot on. This film is being released the same weekend as the festival, on August 10. But hey, why not catch a whole bunch of other films while you’re at it, right?
Anna and the Apocalypse: Horror movie musical! We do have some precedents here… Little Shop of Horror, Sweeny Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Evil Dead The Musical (Terrible… saw that in Vegas), and of course, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Are any of them scary? Nope. Does this one look scary? No, not really. But it looks like a helluva lot of fun. I am a huge fan of musicals as well as horror, so count me in! (If it ever gets shown in a theater near me…)
Of course, I would also guide you to St. Agatha, The Ranger, Framed, and Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, great horror films that I watched on the festival circuit, and ones that I would vouch for. It appears that the way Popcorn Fright handles the short films is by pairing each one of their feature films with a short film, which is a great way to spread the viewing out. The short films are the lifeblood of these festivals, and a film festival like this would likely get hundreds to sort through, and they will have picked the best ones for your viewing. I noticed that We Summoned a Demon will be one of the shorts, and that is worth admission alone! Amy, Coyote, The Bloody Ballad of Squirt Reynolds, and Acide are all fantastic shorts to check out as well, plus many more that I haven’t yet seen.
If you’re interested in that fare, the price is pretty good for a seven-day festival, with passes for $99! My guess is what might get expensive is housing for that long… and vacation days off… but if you are a Fort Lauderdale resident you are in so much luck!