A Night of Horror International Film Festival Makes Its U.S. Debut Next Week

After 15 successful, spooky years in Australia, A Night of Horror makes its initial run in the United States from March 1–3, 2024, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Supernatural films, slashers, and creature features aplenty are on tap. Following is the official press announcement.

A Night of Horror International Film Festival is taking place for the first ever time in the United States next week. Originating and operating for years in Sydney, Australia, the 16th edition of the festival will take place March 1-3, 2024 at the Micon Downtown Cinema, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. This year it will be running parallel with Eau Claire’s much loved MidWest WeirdFest, with each festival having its own cinema screen at the Micon.

A Night of Horror’s reputation of championing and screening the best and bloodiest new horror films continues, with another stellar line-up of feature films and shorts from around the world. Including several world, international, and US premieres. One such film is MYSTERIOUS WAYS, an irreverent and bloody hilarious horror comedy, world premiering at the fest on Saturday, March 2, at 4pm.

“Getting MYSTERIOUS WAYS from the initial germ of an idea I had in 2019 to the finished movie we have now was equal parts exhausting and therapeutic,” says the film’s writer/director Tyler Eaton.

“I grew up a home-schooled pastor’s kid in Texas churning through Left Behind books, praying that demons would attack my youth group so I could save the day while the rest of the world read Harry Potter. So this movie allowed me to process a lot of childhood weirdness while also fulfilling a super normal fantasy. It was 11 overstuffed shoot days with a phenomenal crew and supportive friends all hellbent on making the funniest, most demonic movie we could. We truly can’t wait to premiere the movie for the first time ever at A Night of Horror.”

MYSTERIOUS WAYS is just one of a bevy of amazing feature films to be showcased at the festival next week, along with dozens of films.

This feature films screening at the festival include:

THE ACTIVATED MAN (dir: Nicholas Gyeney) MIDWEST PREMIERE

As Ors Gabriel struggles with the grief and pain from losing his best friend and beloved dog, Louie, to cancer, the shock from the trauma brings on strange visions only Ors can see. While he questions whether his mind has fractured or if it’s actually real, a mysterious rise in murder-suicides takes hold of the city, and Ors becomes haunted by images of a shadowy figure known to many as “The Fedora Man”. Evoking a mood akin to the best 80s “nightmare” films, THE ACTIVATED MAN thrills and chills with a killer cast including horror icons Tony Todd and Kane Hodder.

BAKEMONO (dir: Doug Roos) MIDWEST PREMIERE

A multitude of guests visit the same cheap Tokyo airbnb at different times, unaware of the gruesome monster waiting for them. A terrifying, gore-drenched, and unique creature feature, told with a disjointed and unsettling narrative structure: Think PULP FICTION or MEMENTO as a bloody Japanese horror film. Loaded with incredible practical FX (and no CGI), the film delivers a visceral and unsettling experience.

BLIND COP 2: (dir: Alec Bonk ) THEATRICAL WORLD PREMIERE

A sequel to a film that doesn’t exist, this is a riotous homage and parody of 80s action cinema. Blind Cop, the former beacon of justice, is consumed by grief after the mysterious death of his partner in the first movie. (Again there is no first movie.) His once-illustrious career has been reduced to drunken disorderly conduct, putting him at odds with the police force.  Fired for his reckless behavior, Blind Cop ventures into the dark underworld of the city to continue his investigation into his partner’s death. The truth he seeks may not be what he expects, but he will stop at nothing to avenge his fallen partner and bring the criminals responsible to justice.

BLOODY BRIDGET (dir: Richard Elfman) WISCONSIN PREMIERE

Voodoo deity Baron Samedi transforms a down on her luck burlesque dancer into a “Valentine Vampire.” But blood only whets her appetite; to satiate her gory desires she must eat her victims’ beating hearts! A bloody – and bloody fun – horror comedy from director Richard Elfman, music by Danny Elfman and Ego Plum. Fans of comedic horror and camp will delight! 

#BLUE_WHALE (dir: Anna Zaytseva) MIDWEST PREMIERE

Rebellious schoolgirl Dana grieves for her younger sister, a once-happy kid who suddenly stepped in front of a train. Desperate to learn what happened, she explores her sister’s online history, discovering a sinister social-media game. A non-stop, brutal, and twisting thriller that draws you into a sinister and masterfully crafted online world.

EROS THANATOS (dir: Felipe Eluti) US PREMIERE

Eros Thanatos is a self-destructive journey, narrated in a choral way in which each character is dominated by their emotional shortcomings. Florencia, Gustav, Judith and Martin are incomplete people who bond in a sickly affective and sexual way. The encounter of each of them with Joseph, who carries a supernatural secret, will force them to fight with an entity that will bring out their worst demons. This film disturbs and resonates, striking the audience at the most visceral of levels.

H. P. LOVECRAFT’S THE OLD ONES (dir: Chad Ferrin) MIDWEST PREMIERE

In 1930, sea captain Russel Marsh saw the light, and for 93 years his body was not his own. Inhabited by a Great Old One, he committed unspeakable acts in the name of the Esoteric Order of Dagon. Now free, he is in search of a way to go back in time to reverse the horrors wrought upon the world. But the cult has other plans and will stop at nothing to destroy him. The latest gore-drenched nightmare from fest alum, and modern master of the genre, Chad Ferrin (PARASITES, NIGHT CALLER, THE DEEP ONES).

HE NEVER LEFT (dir: James Morris)

After hearing strange noises coming from an adjoining motel room, a federal fugitive and his girlfriend inadvertently become targets of the notorious “Pale Face” killer, whose legend has consumed and haunted the local community for decades. The most impressive, inventive, and refreshing take on the slasher sub-genre that A Night of Horror’s programming team have seen in over a decade.

IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS (dir: Rachel Kempf & Nick Toti)

Blending fact and fiction, this compelling found footage horror film features nearly 20 years of archival video. When filmmakers Nick Toti and Rachel Kempf buy an abandoned duplex to shoot their next indie horror film in, they are delighted to find random strangers are drawn to the building, gathering outside to stare at it in a zombie-like trance. What begins as an effort to document the cult quickly escalates into an increasingly ecstatic quest to see just how scary their real-life horror movie can get. You’ll find yourself trying to work out what in this enthralling film is real and what is fiction.

M (dir: Vardan Tozija) MIDWEST PREMIERE

In a secluded forest, young Marko lives under the watchful eye of his overprotective and mysterious father. Their sheltered existence is all he knows. Marko seeks solace in his cherished picture book, finding comfort and answers within its pages. One day, an encounter with a kind-hearted boy with Down Syndrome named Miko, brings a glimmer of warmth and connection into Marko’s isolated world. As his curiosity grows, Marko yearns to uncover the secrets that lie beyond the confines of the wilderness. A cruel turn of events grants him his wish sooner than he expects. A grim journey awaits him, filled with unknown dangers, unexpected twists, and a glimpse into a world forever changed.

MYSTERIOUS WAYS (dir: Tyler Eaton) WORLD PREMIERE

After a family tragedy sends them spiraling in opposite directions, Charlie and Denise Dobbins attempt to save their struggling church by re-energizing their youth group with an End of Days-themed Tiktok dance they hope will go viral. Instead, the dance accidentally possesses their pastor’s teenaged daughter Bethany with the demonic dancing spirit Ashgaroth who vows to usher in the apocalypse and spread its dancing plague to 666 more people on Halloween night.  This is one of the best horror comedies in years. Hilarious, irreverent, bloody, and unique. 

The full line-up of visiting filmmakers will be announced in the coming days.

A Night of Horror’s full 2024 program and schedule can be viewed here:  https://www.anightofhorror.com/2024-program

Tickets to all films, along with discounted festival passes, are available to purchase here: https://www.anightofhorror.com/tickets

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.