For the second year in a row, our favorite film festivals were presented to us in a streaming format (though some festivals had theatrical releases). This has allowed the Scariest Things to watch lots of horror from the comfort of our own homes, with some (mostly) pretty awesome content. We recap the best and the worst of the Summer Festivals from 2021.
Perhaps we’re lucky in the pandemic. Instead of having to travel to our favorite horror festival locations, horror fans are getting to stream movie after movie after movie, and this Summer we were able to enjoy quite a few films from home. We were invited to be part of the press pool for Popcorn Frights, The Portland Horror Film Festival, PanicFest, and The North Bend Film Festival. All told, we saw dozens of films… not all of them great, mind you as there were some real stinkers, but as always the festivals delivered some of the best independent horror content we could ask for!
A bit of an update, since this is posting after we recorded, but we also got to see Nightstream and The H.P. Lovecraft film festival at the beginning of October. Nightstream actually disappointed this year, as last year it had an amazing slate, but I did enjoy Cosmic Dawn, and it also featured a favorite from earlier this year with Alien On Stage, as well as the epic documentary Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror.
The Lovecraft Festival this year kept it very close to its core, with the highlights being the H.P. Lovecraft Horror Society re-release of The Whisperer in Darkness as well as the tantalizing promise of Black Goat, which is hopefully going to get picked up as a Lovecraft-Universe TV Show.
We will admit that this year, the number of available films for the festival circuit was certainly affected by trying to make movies in the pandemic. Consequently, we saw more than our fair share of duds, unfortunately. But hey, we did it so you won’t have to! There weren’t as many mid-budget films (the Night House was probably the best studio film that showed in the festivals) as usually show up at these events. It did prop up the independent features, and there were certainly some good ones.
We are ready for the next round of festivals, Eric just did his festival jury selections for the Guignol Fest 2021 (stay tuned!) and hopefully Another Hole in the Head later in December. We will be looking to broaden our reach in 2022! So keep it here for the latest in Horror Festival news and reviews!
The Scariest Things recommends all the following films we saw on the festival circuit this year:
AND: Beware these stinkers!