Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

[Review] Slashlorette Party (Grindsploitation Film Fest 2021): Slashers, Strippers, and Psychos Topline This ‘80s Horror Homage

Eighties slasher throwback Slashlorette Party is a valentine to direct-to-video horror fare of that decade. It’s chock full of gory kills and naked gals, and is an impressive independent effort that rises above being mere pastiche. Brie (Molly Souza) is engaged to controlling, full-on chauvinist jerk Dolph (Andrew Brown). After consulting with her therapist Dr. […]

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[Review] HISTORY OF THE OCCULT (Fantaspoa 2021): Real-Time Telecast Approach Adds Immediacy to Argentinian Horror Outing

Argentinian horror offering History of the Occult (Historia de lo Oculto; 2020) is a tantalizing puzzle that takes place just before and during the final broadcast of a television news show. Cristian Ponce makes an intriguing feature-film debut as a writer/director, combining elements of fear fare, film noir, and mystery. Sixty Minutes Before Midnight is […]

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[Review] Bloodshot Heart (Fantaspoa 2021): Trippy Australian Chiller Delves into a Man’s Anguish over Loss

Writer/director Parish Malfitano’s Australian feature film debut Bloodshot Heart examines the themes of obsession, loss and the trauma it can cause, depression, visions of grandeur, and other psychological issues in its tale of the downward mental spiral of lonely Italian driving instructor Hans (Richard James Allen). The film uses multiple actors in one role à […]

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Fantasia Announces Virtual Event for Its 25th Edition; Opens with Québécois Zomcom “Brain Freeze”

After its wildly successful online edition last year, The Fantasia International Film Festival will once again go the virtual route as it celebrates its 25th edition from August 5 through August 25, 2021. The festival has announced its opening night feature film, the world premiere of Julien Knafo’s Québécois zombie comedy Brain Freeze, and revealed […]

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[Review] The Moogai (SXSW Online 2021): Child-Stealing Supernatural Entity Terrifies an Indigenous Couple in Eerie Australian Horror Short

Australian short film The Moogai won this year’s SXSW Jury Prize in the Midnight Short section, and for good reason. Writer/director Jon Bell’s harrowing short film is rich in spine-tingling atmosphere, with a gripping, meaningful story and solid performances. Sarah (Shari Sebbens) and Fergus (Meyne Watt) have a newborn baby, and Sarah begins seeing haunting […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

[Review] Echoes of Violence (Cinequest Cinejoy): Paths of Three Different Strangers Cross in Smart Revenge Thriller

Writer/director Nicholas Woods’ Echoes of Violence is a taut revenge thriller with occasional moments of dark humor. It is headier than the usual offerings in this subgenre, looks great, is well acted and directed, and offers some intriguing subplots. Job-hating real estate agent Alex (Heston Horwin) is trying to show a remote property in Sedona, […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

[Review] Lady Usher (MidWest WeirdFest): Poe Gets a Lurid Modern Psychological Horror Update

Winner of this year’s MidWest WeirdFest Best Horror Film award, writer/director George Adams’ Lady Usher is an outré, warped modern reimagining of the Edgar Allan Poe story “The Fall of the House of Usher.” It’s a delirious psychosexual trip featuring solid performances and an auteur vision. Roderick (John Tupy) takes a break from college to […]

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[Review] Alien Abduction (MidWest WeirdFest): Experimental Short Film Takes Unique Approach Regarding an Encounter with Extraterrestrials

No matter the number of extraterrestrial contact documentaries you have watched in the past, the chances are good that you have never seen one quite like the short film Alien Abduction (2021). It hovers somewhere in the planes of the experimental, pop art, and the outré. AV Super Sunshine and Philomena, members of the Wisconsin […]

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[Review] The Thing That Ate the Birds (SXSW Online 2021): U.K. Horror Short Combines Creature Feature and the Drama of a Crumbling Marriage

The tension between Abel (Eoin Slattery) and his wife Grace (Rebecca Palmer) is palpable, but their strained relationship takes a back seat when the titular creature comes calling in the U.K. horror short The Thing That Ate the Birds. It’s obvious from their terse interactions that the couple has had problems for a long time, […]

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Brazil’s Fantaspoa Film Festival Announces First Half of Its 2021 Slate

Returning to the free, online format that worked so successfully for it last year, Brazil’s Fantaspoa Fantastic Film Festival will again hold a free online version for its 2021 edition. The fest has announced the first batch of its scheduled offerings for this year, including international horror films and horror comedies galore. Following is the […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Features

Vienna’s SLASH Filmfestival Announces New 2021 Dates and Opens Submissions

Vienna, Austria’s SLASH Filmfestival showcases horror, science fiction, fantasy, and other genre films from around the world and the fest has planned two exciting events this year. SLASH Filmfestival is currently open for submissions for both features and shorts. Following is the official press announcement.    SLASH Filmfestival, Austria’s leading festival for Fantastic Film and the […]

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[Review] Your Monster (Final Girls Berlin Film Festival): An Ailing Woman Finds Support from an Unlikely Place

Writer/director Caroline Lindy’s horror comedy Your Monster is a sharp, sweet short film that explores relationships with lovers and friends — while wryly commenting on social topics such as gender neutrality — through the eyes and mindset of a young woman and the monster that has lived in her bedroom closet since she was a […]

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Long-lost Found Footage Film from “The Revenant” Director World Premieres at MidWest WeirdFest

Director Kerry Prior, who helmed the 2009 horror film The Revenant, will see his previously lost 1999 found footage feature The Blare Rabbit Project receive its world premiere screening at Wisconsin’s MidWest WeirdFest this March. Details follow in the festival’s official press announcement. A found footage feature film, thought lost for over 20 years, is […]

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Cryptids, Alien Abductees, and Reimagined Poe Are Among MidWest WeirdFest’s First Wave Highlights

Wisconsin’s MidWest WeirdFest reliably features some of the most unusual, exciting, and entertaining narrative features and documentaries from around the world, and the fest’s first wave announcement for this year shows that the tradition continues. From Lovecraft and Poe to Mokele-Mbembe and far, far beyond, the first seven features announced are something to look forward […]

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MidWest WeirdFest Announces Indiegogo Campaign to Support the Festival’s Fifth Edition

Fans of cinematic delves into the paranormal, UFOs, cryptids, and the like should absolutely love what Wisconsin’s MidWest WeirdFest has to offer. Each year, the fest features top-notch narrative and documentary features and shorts from around the world, and this year, the fest has launched an Indiegogo campaign to help continue its tradition of bringing […]