One of The Scariest Thing’s favorite genre film festivals is Popcorn Frights, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After a year where they couldn’t have a live festival, things have now opened up. It’s time to go back to the cinema in a big way!
Festival directors Marc and Igor have managed to hit the sweet spot of films that lie in the perfect space between arthouse films and the big studio productions, with many now essential modern classics in the Popcorn portfolio.
Past films include some Scariest Things favorites: Daniel Isn’t Real, The Sonata, Mayhem, Dave Made a Maze, The Endless, It Stains the Sands Red, Under the Shadow, One Cut of the Dead, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich, Satan’s Slaves, Tigers are Not Afraid, St. Agatha, Framed, Cold Skin, and Anna and the Apocalypse. WOW… what a lineup! If you’ve seen these films, that’s an indicator of what you are going to get.
Popcorn Frights will run from August 12-19, 2021. It just might be the best thing happening in Florida this year! Here is the recent press release announcing the in-theater films. (Stay tuned for the virtual films in Wave Two, which is a completely different set of films.)
POPCORN FRIGHTS ANNOUNCES FIRST WAVE OF PROGRAMMING FOR IN-THEATER FESTIVAL
Highlights include David Bruckner’s THE NIGHT HOUSE starring Rebecca Hall on Opening Night; five feature film World Premieres including SUPERHOST co-starring Barbara Crampton, the psycho slasher PRETTY BOY, and the revenge tale TAKE BACK THE NIGHT; as well as a celebration of Florida Horror headlined by the World Premiere of THE WELDER
The Seventh Annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival will be a hybrid experience offering both in-theater and virtual film offerings from August 12-19, 2021
Artwork by Kent Hernandez
July 8, 2021 // – Popcorn Frights is thrilled to unveil the first wave of programming for its in-theater festival experience to take place next month, from August 12-19, 2021. Popcorn Frights will be one of the first film festivals in South Florida to be hosted in-theater since the start of the pandemic and will design a safe and accessible festival experience where fans and filmmakers can safely come together to celebrate and discover the best genre films from around the world.
Popcorn Frights will open with the Florida Premiere of Searchlight Pictures’ hotly-anticipated supernatural thriller THE NIGHT HOUSE, the new nightmare from The Ritual director David Bruckner starring Rebecca Hall (Godzilla vs. Kong). Running August 12-15, the five-day in-theater program is headlined by five feature-film World Premieres, including the wickedly twisted chamber piece SUPERHOST starring Gracie Gillam and Barbara Crampton, the psycho slasher PRETTY BOY, the riotously cathartic revenger TAKE BACK THE NIGHT, and the gritty atmospheric thriller DITCHED.
The festival will also celebrate Florida horror with a dedicated program spotlighting the cream of Florida’s homegrown crop. Included in this special showcase is the World Premiere of THE WELDER, a gnarly thriller shot entirely in the Florida Everglades; Mickey Keating’s new southern gothic horror story OFFSEASON, a ghoulish, tense, and utterly fantastical tale set in a Florida beach town and starring The House of the Devil’s Jocelin Donahu; and the HOMEGROWN: 100% PURE FRESH SQUEEZED FLORIDA HORROR short film competition featuring the World Premieres of AMERICAN CRYPTID, AMERICAN DIABLO, IT COMES FROM OUTSIDE, and WHAT CAN BE BROKEN SHALL BE BROKEN, and the regional premieres of DEMONICA, TECH SAVVY, and TOO FAR.
Other highlights in the feature film program include the Southeast US Premieres of the nihilistically unhinged WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING starring Pat Healy, Vinessa Shaw, and Sierra McCormick; Jim Cummings’ brutal dark comedy THE BETA TEST; as well as the premiere of the hallucinatory animated thriller CRYPTOZOO.
Nothing says spooky quite like Friday the 13th, and for the first time, Popcorn Frights falls on this glorious day. To honor the fearful day, it will host a special 35th Anniversary Presentation of FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VI – JASON LIVES, which will feature several exciting surprises and giveaways to be announced at a later date.
Celebrated as the largest genre film event in the Southeast U.S. and one of “The World’s 50 Best Genre Festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine, Popcorn Frights will complement its in-theater festival program with an online virtual component for those unable to travel to the festival in South Florida. The virtual program will offer an entirely separate and unique lineup that will be available to stream throughout the United States, and which will be unveiled in the coming weeks as part of Popcorn Frights second wave announcement.
Access to the in-theater experience will be available through individual tickets or an all-access badge, which will provide an all-inclusive experience for films and special events hosted at the Silverspot Cinema Coconut Creek, Popcorn Frights official host venue this year. Separate virtual passes are also available and will provide access to every film streaming in the festival’s virtual program. To order an In-Theater All-Access Badge, click here, to order a Virtual All-Access Pass, click here.
A portion of all proceeds from the festival will go to benefit those impacted by the building collapse in Surfside, FL.
For more info about Popcorn Frights’ first wave program, visit popcornfrights.com
IN-THEATER FEATURE FILM LINEUP
The Night House
United States | 2020 | 110 Min. | Dir. David Bruckner
THE NIGHT HOUSE follows a widow (Rebecca Hall of Godzilla vs. Kong) who begins to uncover her recently deceased husband’s disturbing secrets.
The Beta Test
Southeast US Premiere
United States | 2021 | 90 Min. | Dir. Jim Cummings
Indie auteur Jim Cummings stars as an engaged Hollywood agent who receives a mysterious letter for an anonymous sexual encounter and becomes ensnared in a sinister world of lying, infidelity, and digital data in this gleefully over-the-top dark comedy.
South Florida Premiere
United States | 2021 | 95 Min. | Dir. Dash Shaw
In this richly-drawn hallucinatory animated thriller, Cryptozookeepers try to capture a dream-eating hybrid creature of legend, and start wondering if they should display these beasts or keep them hidden and unknown.
Canada | 2021 | 90 Min. | Dir. Christopher Donaldson
After a routine prison transfer crashes in the forest, a young Inuit paramedic finds herself surrounded by murderers with a mere 100 feet to climb out of a ditch to escape.
Southeast US Premiere
United States | 2021 | 83 Min. | Dir. Mickey Keating
Anchored by a mesmerizing performance by Jocelin Donahue (The House of the Devil), this southern gothic horror story follows a woman who travels to a desolate Florida island town after receiving a mysterious letter and soon becomes trapped in an unending nightmare.
United States | 2021 | 97 Min. | Dir. Marcel Walz
In this gloriously melodramatic suspense slasher, a masked killer named Pretty Boy takes a blind woman from her home in the Hollywood hills and crashes a Valentine’s Day party where the bloodshed continues as he runs amok with his butcher’s knife.
United States | 2021 | 83 Min. | Dir. Brandon Christensen
Sara Canning, Osric Chau, Gracie Gillam, and Barbara Crampton star in this wickedly twisted chamber piece about two travel vloggers who check into a vacation rental with a host that will do anything for a good review.
Take Back the Night
United States | 2021 | 90 Min. | Dir. Gia Elliot
Finding herself the victim of a violent monster attack, a young woman launches a vigilante campaign to hunt the beast that tried to kill her, even though her family, friends, and authorities question the authenticity of her account in this biting social critiques and downright gripping horror thrill ride.
We Need to Do Something
Southeast US Premiere
United States | 2021 | 97 Min. | Dir. Sean King O’Grady
With a tornado on the way, a dysfunctional family (Pat Healy, Vinessa Shaw, and Sierra McCormick) takes shelter in their bathroom, only to end up trapped. As hours turn to days, it’s clear something even deadlier is at play beyond the walls, toying with them.
United States | 2021 | 90 Min. | Dir. David Liz
In this ambitious and unsettling Florida-set horror film, a young couple travels to the Everglades for a vacation that they hope will bring them closer together. But what at first appears to be a seemingly pastoral paradise soon transforms into a sinister, dread-soaked nightmare as a vicious madman terrorizes them for his demented experiments.
IN-THEATER SPECIAL EVENTS
Friday the 13th Part VI – Jason Lives
35th Anniversary Presentation
United States | 1986 | 86 Min. | Dir. Tom McLoughlin
After an intended victim impales the corpse of Jason Voorhees with a metal pole during a lightning storm, the deranged killer is resurrected, rising from the grave to wreak havoc upon a new group of unsuspecting campers.
Homegrown: 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Florida Horror
This film showcase is designed to be a springboard for new filmmakers from Florida and a space that helps forge a new direction for Florida’s genre scene by further cultivating and nurturing its growing film community
United States | 2021 | 5 Min. | Dir. Erynn Dalton
Campfire stories, passed down for generations, may give you a thrill… but you never know who (or what) is listening.
United States | 2021 | 10 Min. | Dir. Juan Carlos Castaneda
A police checkpoint turned awry takes an undocumented, deaf woman on a downward spiral into the underworld hiding beneath Miami.
Southeast US Premiere
United States | 2021 | 22 Min. | Dir. Miguel Angel Ferrer
A former gang member must recruit a Jesuit priest in order to help her save her younger sister, not only from the ruthless prostitution ring she fell into but from the demon that’s possessing her body.
It Comes from Outside
United States | 2021 | 10 Min. | Dir. Jack Kierski
After she sees a mysterious figure staring at her from the window, a curious but skeptical woman goes outside in her back patio area to find who it is. Is it human or something supernatural?
South Florida Premiere
United States | 8 Min. | 2020 | Dir. Scott Vasey
A mom discovers her Photoshop program can make changes that become permanent in real life. After some friendly fun, she destroys a photo of her Ex’s prized car, inadvertently creating a disaster in need of an “undo” button.
South Florida Premiere
United States | 15 Min. | 2020 | Dir. Juan Alonso
A jokester tries to pull a prank on his girlfriend with the help of his two friends, but when a masked figure sabotages the prank, they quickly learn that someone has been the punch line of their jokes for way too long and now is taking matters into their own hands.
What Can Be Broken Should Be Broken
United States | 20 Min. | 2021 | Dir. Steve Vaynshtok
A mob hit gone awry embroils two mobsters in a series of unfortunate events too calculated to be a coincidence, leading ultimately to ruin and an act of savage revenge.
ABOUT POPCORN FRIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL
Popcorn Frights Film Festival presents the best of contemporary genre cinema from across the world as it celebrates the art of horror. The seven-day festival is Southeast U.S.’ largest genre film festival and prides itself on premiering films from emerging and established filmmakers, enabling the industry and general audiences to experience the power of storytelling through genre film.