The third annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival (http://www.popcornfrights.com/), Floridaâ€™s largest and most respected genre film event, looks to be an exciting event for fright fare fans, with 40 film premieres from 8 countries, special guests, and live DJ sets inspired by iconic horror film music. The fest takes place in Miami from August 11-17. Popcorn Frights prides itself on premiering films from emerging and established filmmakers alike, which allows both industry and general audiences to experience the power of storytelling through genre film.
Â â€œWe couldnâ€™t be more thrilled with this yearâ€™s Popcorn Frights Film Festival program, as it offers something exciting for every horror lover,” said Igor Shteyrenberg & Marc Ferman, cofounders & codirectors of the Popcorn Frights Film Festival. “These films brilliantly showcase the breadth and quality of genre work being produced worldwide, and serve as a great reminder that the genre form is both thriving and continuously evolving. Weâ€™re honored to share the vision and voices of this remarkable group of American and international filmmakers and look forward to them creating many memorable moments this year,â€
For the first time in the festival’s history, 0pening night will fea ture a triple-bill of premieres: the slasherfest Tragedy Girls, the Final Cut presentation of the All Hallowâ€™s Eve spinoff Terrifier, and the North American premiere of the 1980s-set psychological thriller Jackals, starring Stephen Dorff.
Popcorn Frights prides itself on providing a fertile ground for new and emerging filmmakers, and is renowned for its exciting film premieres. This year includes the United States premiere of the gory horror comedy Dead Shack starring Lauren Holly,the North American premiere of the Russian gothic nightmare The Bride, and the North American premiere of The Hatred, produced by Malek Akkad (Halloween) and based on the award-winning short Hush, which the festival premiered at its inaugural edition. Featured as the Festivalâ€™s centerpiece is the Florida premiere of Mayhem, starring a hammer- wielding Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) in a pedal-to-the-metal savage thriller that presents a wonderfully violent middle finger to corporate culture.
Other buzz-generating titles presented by Popcorn Frights include theÂ Florida Premieres of the mind-bending sci-fi thriller The Endless, the Cronenbergian horror romance Sequence Break, the savage social satire Happy Hunting, and the 1990s-set, dark coming-of-age tale Super Dark Times, as well as the South Florida premiere of the breakneck, non-politically correct pulp noir 68 Kill. Also slated areÂ the Final Cut U.S. premiere of the outrageous horror-comedyÂ Another Wolfcop, home invasion genre-bender Better Watch Out starring Olivia DeJonge (TheÂ Visit), Mickey Keatingâ€™s slasherfest Psychopaths, zombie love story It Stains the Sands Red, head-splitting gore flick Game of Death, horror rom-com Dave Made A Maze, and the spellbinding thriller Still/Born.
This year also sees 20 extraordinary short films on tap, including the world premiere of the mind-melding thriller Level, the North American premiere of the remarkably brutal animated film Fierce, the North American premiere of the eerie found-footage film IMedium, and the Florida premiere of the award-winning short Great Choice. The inaugural sidebar “Homegrown: 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Florida Horror” is dedicated to renewing and reinvigorating the audience’s engagement with Miami’s local filmmakers and Floridaâ€™s homegrown talent. It is toplined by the Florida premiere of Rodney Ascherâ€™s Primal Scream.Â Also included are the short films Midnight Service, Buzzcut, It Began Without Warning, and Pandemonium.
Joining Popcorn Frights for the first time is Miami-based record label Bribery Corporation, which will curate a live aural journey highlighting the marriage of music and horror with DJ sets from Mystvries and Dr. Mofongo. These performances will shine a spotlight on iconic theme music from John Carpenter, Goblin, Steve Moore, S U R V I V E, and Disasterpeace, as well as darkwave, synthwave, and retrowave music from across the spectrum of classic and modern horror films.
All films will screen at the O Cinema Wynwood (90 NW 29th Street, Miami, FL 33127). Festival Premiere Badges are on sale for a limited time for $120 per person and $180 for couples. Single screening tickets will be available June 26. To purchase badges and view the festival schedule, visit www.popcornfrights.com. Follow the Popcorn Frights Film Festival on Facebook (/popcornfrights), Twitter (@popcornfrights), or Instagram (@popcornfrights) for updates with the latest information about the Festival. Following is the official lineup of films, as announced in two waves by Popcorn Fright.
FESTIVAL LINEUP (FIRST WAVE)
Directed by Lowell Dean
Canada | 82 minutes | 2017
Final Cut U.S. premiere. Alcoholic werewolf cop Lou Garou springs into action when an eccentric businessman with evil intentions seduces his townâ€™s residents with a new brewery in this outrageous horror-comedy sequel.
BETTER WATCH OUT
Directed by Chris Peckover
US | 85 minutes | 2017
Florida premiere. On a quiet suburban street tucked within a “safe neighborhood,” a babysitter (played by The Visit star Olivia DeJonge) must defend a twelve-year-old boy from strangers breaking into the house, only to discover that this is far from a normal home invasion.
DAVE MADE A MAZE
Directed by Bill Watterson
US | 80 minutes | 2017
South Florida Premiere. Driven by an inner need, frustrated artist Dave begins building a fort in his living room. But as he completes construction, Dave becomes trapped inside by the dangerous creatures he’s designed, forcing his girlfriend to mount a rescue mission.
Florida premiere. When seven suburban millennials play the “Game of Death,” they soon get caught up in its high stakes, which are literally life or death. Confronted with a grim choiceâ€“kill or be killedâ€“the friends gruesomely realize that none of them are safe.
GAME OF DEATH Directed by Sebastien Landry & Laurence Morais-Lagace
France-Canada-USA | 73 min
Florida premiere. In the throes of a zombie apocalypse, a troubled woman from Las Vegas with a dark past finds herself stranded in the desert with a lone and ravenous zombie on her tail. MAYHEM Directed by Joe Lynch US | 86 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. What happens when people lose all their inhibitions? This blood-soaked gonzo thriller offers a glimpse as a virus that erases impulse control breaks out at a law office, where a disgruntled employee and a dissatisfied client go looking for some justice.
IT STAINS THE SANDS RED
Directed by Colin Minihan
US | 92 minutes | 2017
Directed by Mickey Keating
US | 85 minutes | 2017
Florida premiere. When an unidentified madman is sent to the electric chair, it triggers a sort of Mischief Night for a group of serial killers out in an entire city. An escaped mental patient, a beautiful seductress, a strangler who preys on unsuspecting women, and an enigmatic masked contract killer run amok in Mickey Keating’s new slasherfest.
Directed by Brandon Christensen
US | 84 minutes | 2017
Florida premiere. When Mary loses one of her twins during childbirth, she feels a devastating loss that spirals her into madness. She begins to suspect a sinister force is after her surviving child that will stop at nothing to take it from her.
Directed by Tyler Macintyre
Canada-US | 96 minutes | 2017
Florida premiere. Budding social-media stars Sadie and McKayla are desperate for greater fame. But big ambitions require big plans, and the two think they’ve hit on a good one: force a serial killer to tutor them in his craft so they can become horror legends. HOMEGROWN: 100% PURE FRESH SQUEEZED FLORIDA HORROR PRIMAL SCREAM Directed by Rodney Ascher US | 30 minutes | 2017
Florida premiere. Acclaimed filmmaker Rodney Ascher (Room 237, The Nightmare) has created a singular hybrid of documentary and horror that explores how pop culture can scar you for life.
Directed by Jon Rhoads & Mike Marrero
US | 9 minutes | 2017
Miami premiere. Jane is out to get a buzzcut and ends up dealing with apocalyptic matters of a special kind while trying to fix the haircut her barber botched so that she can get laid before she dies.
IT BEGAN WITHOUT WARNING
Directed by Jessica Curtright & Santiago C. Tapia
US | 6 minutes | 2017
Florida premiere. A body horror-tinged tale that crawls.
THE MIDNIGHT SERVICE
Directed by Brett Potter & Dean Colin Marcial
US | 10 minutes | 2017
Florida premiere. A true-crime home invasion episode about an urban legend, notorious criminal, occult pop culture, and first-hand account of the unknown. PANDEMONIUM Directed by Luis Mendez US | 15 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. As a catastrophic epidemic devastates the world, a man survivor fights to save his daughter from the mysterious virus that has already consumed his wife.
FESTIVAL LINEUP (SECOND WAVE)
South Florida premiere. This southern-fried caper focuses on infatuated nice guy Chip and his crazy girlfriend, Liza, whose relationship takes a sharp turn into homicide when they try to rob Liza’s sugar daddy â€“ only to end up with two corpses, a hostage, and $68,000 in stolen cash. THE BRIDE Directed by Svyatoslav Podgayevskiy Russia | 93 minutes | 2017 Russian with English subtitles
68 KILL Directed by Trent Haaga US | 93 minutes | 2017
US | 93 minutes | 2017
North American premiere. A young woman travels with her soon-to-be husband to his family home in the outskirts and becomes increasingly suspicious of their strange behavior. Sheer psychological terror soon overwhelms her as she starts witnessing terrifying visions when his family prepares her for a mysterious ritual ceremony.
DEAD SHACK Directed by Peter Ricq Canada | 85 minutes | 2017 U.S. premiere. Three kids on a weekend getaway are holed up at a run-down cottage in the woods and must save their hard-partying parents from a shotgun-toting psycho (Lauren Holly) who wants to feed them to her slavering zombies. THE ENDLESS
Directed by Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead US | 111 minutes | 2017
Florida premiere. A mind-bending delight from the directors of Spring, The Endless follows two brothers who return to the death cult from which they fled a decade ago and discover that there might be some truth to the groupâ€™s otherworldly beliefs.
HAPPY HUNTING Directed Joe Dietsch & Louie Gibson US | 91 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. A gory thrill ride about an alcoholic drifter who gets stranded in a one-horse town deep in the American desert. It turns out that the townâ€™s psychotic rednecks celebrate a gory pastime rounding up drifters and hunting them for sport. THE HATRED Directed by Michael G. Kehoe US | 90 minutes | 2017 North American premiere. From the producer of Halloween comes the terrifying new feature centering on four young women who travel to their college professorâ€™s new country home for a weekend getaway, only to discover that the house has a malevolent past. Featuring Andrew Divoff (Wes Cravenâ€™s Wishmaster), David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London), and Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare on Elm Street). JACKALS Directed by Kevin Greutert US | 90 minutes | 2017
North American premiere. A potent 1980s-set psychological thriller that centers on an estranged family who hire a cult deprogrammer (Stephen Dorff) to get back their teenage son from a murderous cult, only to find themselves under siege when the cultists surround their cabin, demanding the boy back. LAKE BODOM Directed by Taneli Mustonen Finland | 85 minutes | 2017 Finish with English subtitles Florida premiere. A smart, slick, savage slasher that riffs on a notorious real-life Finnish murder still unsolved. More than 50 years later, four teens get some gruesome surprises when they camp out at the site of the grisly massacre. SEQUENCE BREAK Directed by Graham Skipper US | 80 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. A loner video arcade technician experiences bizarre bio-mechanical mutations and Cronenbergian hallucinations when a mysterious new arcade game appears in his shop. Reality itself threatens to fracture as he works to solve its mystery and the new chaos that has entered his life. SUPER DARK TIMES Directed by Kevin Phillips US | 100 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. An incinerating and strangely dream-like teenage nightmare set in the leafy American suburbs of the early 1990s, when a group of best friends get caught up in an abrupt and violent accident that results in a gruesome death. TERRIFIER Directed by Damien Leone US | 82 minutes | 2017 Final Cut southeast premiere. Itâ€™s Halloween night and Art the Clown, the cold-blooded killer who also stalked the omnibus All Hallowâ€™s Eve, is not wearing a creepy costume just for show. He terrorizes three young women and everyone else who stands in his way in this gritty and jarringly depraved new cut.
2AM Directed by Huseyin Hassan Australia | 16 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. A man awakens in an unusual asylum when supernatural events begin to unfold right in front of our eyes. A KNOCK ON THE DOOR Directed by Katrina Rennells & Wendie Weldon US | 8 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. Moments after a bloodcurdling scream disrupts a normally peaceful neighborhood, a frantic knocking at one residentâ€™s door triggers events that unknowingly alter his fate forever. BORN AGAIN Directed by Jason Tostevin US | 7 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. When a group of bumbling Satanists has their summoning ceremony go terribly right, they’re left to face the decidedly holy shit consequences. THE CLEANSING HOUR Directed by Damien LeVeck US | 19 minutes | 2016 South Florida premiere. Two failed filmmakers get in over their heads when their latest staged hoax, an elaborate exorcism, turns out to actually be demon-possessed. COUPLEâ€™S NIGHT Directed by The Summers Brothers US | 4 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. A coupleâ€™s night goes off the rails when one couple reveals theyâ€™re blood sacrificing devil worshippers. And then things get weird . . . CURVE Directed by Tim Egan Australia | 10 minutes | 2016
South Florida premiere. Clinging to a smooth, curved surface high above an abyss, a girl tries to cover the few feet back to safety without falling to her death. DIE! SITTER! DIE! Directed by Lee & Sam Boxleitner US | 25 minutes | 2016 Florida premiere. A young girl takes a job looking after an infant for the night. Little does she know her night is about to get more horrifying than she could have ever imagined. FIERCE Directed by IzuÌ€ Troin Switzerland-France | 15 minutes | 2017 French with English subtitles North American premiere. A young corporate executive is kidnapped from his apartment and wakes up in the middle of a forest, only to be stalked by a mysterious hunter. FUCKING BUNNIES Directed by Teemu Niukkanen Finland | 18 minutes | 2017 Finish with English subtitles Florida premiere. Raimoâ€™s comfortable, middle-class bubble is burst when a Satan-worshipping sex cult moves in next door. GREAT CHOICE Directed by Robin Comisar US | 7 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. A woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial. HELL FOLLOWS Directed by Brian Harrison US | 11 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. Betrayed by his clan and murdered for his past evil deeds, a sadistic killer’s soul possesses his identical twin’s body and sets out onto the road of vengeance for one final crusade of extermination. Everywhere he goes . . . Hell Follows.
IMEDIUM Directed by Alfonso GarciÌa LoÌpez Spain | 7 minutes | 2017 Spanish with English subtitles North American premiere. A mourning mother has lost all hope of finding her missing daughter alive, so she decides to subscribe to an app that connects directly with dead people. LEVEL Directed by Andrew Hunt US | 19 minutes | 2017 World premiere. Trapped inside a never-ending nightmare, a cat and mouse game plays out between a man and a hellish beast lurking in the shadows. NECK AND NECK Directed by Shaun Clark UK | 5 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello, this animated short presents a dark surreal take on the relationship between the deceived Othello, the innocent Desdemona, and the mendacious Iago. NIGHTMARE Directed by James Mansell UK | 3 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. Put on a headset and step inside a frighteningly immersive environment, where all is not as it seems. OVERTIME Directed by Craig D. Foster Australia | 9 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. No one likes working late on a Friday night . . . especially if it’s a full moon and you happen to be a werewolf. SAVOR Directed by Marc Cartwright US | 1 minute | 2017 Florida premiere. A man discovers the horrors of dining alone.
THE THIN PLACE Directed by Alexander Mattingly US | 15 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. A mother and daughter are haunted by a terrifying presence in this supernatural suspenser. THE TICKLE MONSTER Directed by Remi Weekes UK | 4 minutes | 2017 Florida premiere. A quiet night in for an aspiring grime artist and his girlfriend takes a dark turn when she reveals her room is haunted by the tickle monster.