Popcorn Frights Announces Its 2023 Wicked Weekend Spectacular

Florida’s Popcorn Frights Film Festival has announced the lineup for this year’s Wicked Weekend program, and lovers of slasher movies, supernatural stories, and other eerie cinematic offerings won’t want to miss it! Following is the official press announcement.

Batten down the hatches and gather your courage as Popcorn Frights has announced its annual Wicked Weekend program celebrating all the eerie, weird, wild, and strange things that go bump in the night! The event, running October 4-8 at the historic Gateway Theater, will feature eight film premieres and special presentations highlighted by new nightmares from Mike Flanagan, Scott Derrickson, and Joe Lynch, as well as many other surprises.

Wicked Weekend is headlined by a special presentation of the first two episodes of Netflix’s THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, genre maestro Mike Flanagan’s hotly anticipated new horror series based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe starring Mark Hamill, Carla Gugino, Kate Siegel, and Henry Thomas, as well as Paramount+’s terrifying prequel PET SEMATARY: BLOODLINES, based on the untold chapter from Stephen King’s chilling novel that reminds us why sometimes dead is better…

Rewind back to the 1980s with Shudder’s V/H/S/85 showcase featuring Popcorn Frights alumni galore from Scott Derrickson, David Bruckner, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Natasha Kermani, and more horror than you can cram onto a handheld camcorder! Get ready for a found footage compilation of five chilling tales offering a gory buffet of disembowelment, clubbing, and dismemberment — with the fake blood hose nozzle cranked up to the soak setting.

Other notable highlights include a special presentation of slasher-comedy from Prime Video and Blumhouse Television, TOTALLY KILLER, starring Kiernan Shipka as a time-traveling teen out to stop the infamous ‘Sweet Sixteen Killer,” and the Florida Premiere of Joe Lynch’s SUITABLE FLESH, a cinematic love letter to the late, great master of horror Stuart Gordon starring horror icon Barbara Crampton and an ultra-sultry Heather Graham. Delightfully unpredictable and written by RE-ANIMATOR scribe Dennis Paoli, the film is equal parts erotic thriller, body horror, and H.P. Lovecraft-minded cosmic mayhem.

From the ashes… he has risen! Wicked Weekend also celebrates the 25th anniversary of HALLOWEEN H20, the bone-chilling legacy sequel that features the return of original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis and an ensemble of 90s rising stars including Josh Hartnett, Michelle Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as well as an appearance by Hollywood legend Janet Leigh.

Rounding out the program is the East Coast Premiere of YOUR LUCKY DAY, a pressure cooker of a morality tale featuring an unforgettable final performance from the late Angus Cloud (EUPHORIA), and the Florida Premiere of WHEN EVIL LURKS, a shocking supernatural chiller about two brothers’ race to prevent the spawning of evil incarnate as an epidemic of demonic possessions spreads through their rural Argentinean community.

Access to Popcorn Frights’ Wicked Weekend in-theater experience is available through an all-access pass, which will provide an all-inclusive experience for films and special events hosted at the historic Gateway Theater in Fort Lauderdale. To order an all-access pass, click here.

The official poster for this year’s Popcorn Frights Wicked Weekend was created by South Florida artist Jason Sheppard. Jason has been responsible for crafting imagery for the event over the past three years and has now designed a new original poster for this edition.

Celebrated as one of “The World’s 50 Best Genre Festivals” by MovieMaker Magazine, Popcorn Frights recently wrapped its ninth edition this past August with more than 10,000 filmgoers and industry professionals attending its summer week of wicked films, events, and parties. The tenth annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival will take place August 8-18, 2024 across South Florida with submissions now open via Film Freeway. Shorts, features, documentaries, animation, film and video — all are welcome and can be submitted at the link: https://filmfreeway.com/popcornfrights


The Fall of the House of Usher

Special Presentation

United States | 2023 | 114 Min. | Dir. Mike Flanagan

From Mike Flanagan, the creator of The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass, comes a wicked horror series based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Ruthless siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher have built Fortunato Pharmaceuticals into an empire of wealth, privilege and power. But past secrets come to light when the heirs to the Usher dynasty start dying at the hands of a mysterious woman from their youth.

Halloween H20

25th Anniversary Presentation

United States | 1998 | 86 Min. | Dir. Steve Miner

Laurie Strode, now the dean of a Northern California private school with an assumed name, must battle the Shape one last time, as the life of her own son hangs in the balance.

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines

Special Presentation

United States | 2023 | 87 Min. | Dir. Lindsey Anderson Beer

In 1969, a young Jud Crandall has dreams of leaving his hometown of Ludlow, Maine behind, but soon discovers sinister secrets buried within and is forced to confront a dark family history that will forever keep him connected to Ludlow. Banding together, Jud and his childhood friends must fight an ancient evil that has gripped Ludlow since its founding, and once unearthed has the power to destroy everything in its path.

Suitable Flesh

Florida Premiere

United States | 2023 | 100 Min. | Dir. Joe Lynch

Psychiatrist Elizabeth Derby becomes obsessed with helping a young patient suffering extreme personality disorder. But it leads her into dark occult danger as she tries to escape a horrific fate.

Totally Killer

Special Presentation

United States | 2023 | 106 Min. | Dir. Nahnatchka Khan

When the infamous “Sweet Sixteen Killer” returns 35 years after his first murder spree to claim another victim, 17-year-old Jamie accidentally travels back in time to 1987, determined to stop the killer before he can start.


Florida Premiere

United States | 2023 | 110 Min. | Dirs. David Bruckner, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Natasha Kermani, Mike Nelson, Scott Derrickson, Mike P. Nelson

An ominous mixtape blends never before seen snuff footage with nightmarish newscasts and disturbing home video to create a surreal, analog mashup of the forgotten 80s.

When Evil Lurks

Florida Premiere

United States | 2023 | 99 Min. | Dir. Demián Rugna

In a remote village, two brothers find a demon-infected man just about to give birth to evil itself. They decide to get rid of the man but merely succeed in helping him to deliver the inferno.

Your Lucky Day

East Coast Premiere

United States | 2023 | 89 Min. | Dir. Dan Brown

After a dispute over a winning lottery ticket turns into a deadly hostage situation, the witnesses must decide exactly how far they’ll go — and how much blood they’re willing to spill — for a cut of the $156 million.

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.