After a year hiatus due to the untimely passing of its founder and ringleader, Michael J Hein, the NYC Horror Film Festival has bounced back with a stunning array of films and special guests for this November's festival. This year's festival is doubly exciting for us at All Things Horror as a number of filmmakers and movies we've grown to love via our own events have been accepted into what we consider the best exclusively horror film festival in the United States.
Two very special guests will be on hand. On Friday November 9th Rob Zombie will attend and accept the first Michael J Hein Award for Personal Achievement in Direction. He'll also screen one of his films with the odds on it being his latest The Lords of Salem.
The following evening the festival honors master of horror Wes Craven with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Along with a Q&A session Craven will screen one of his classic films.
Of course the main draw of the festival remains the opportunity to see an orgy of ballsy, no holds barred horror features and shorts way before the general public. This year promises to be no exception with a damn fine line up:
Thursday November 8th
Nailbiter (dir. Patrick Rea) Anyone who reads this site knows this was one of our favorite screeners of the past year. The story of a mother and her three daughters getting caught in a tornado seems like horror-lite kid friendly fare (albeit the kind with a bucketload of charm) before it takes a drastic swerve towards dark and horrific territory in the last act. Throw in fantastic creature effects, a breezy score and a final girl that evokes memories of Buffy Summers and you've got a winner. Also playing are the short films Facing Rupert and Survivor Type
Spider (dir. Tibur Takacs) I'm not going to lie. I know nothing of this movie outside the poster art, which features a massive spider dwarfing the city skyline. I could be talking out my ass and be completely wrong that this is the right movie. Also playing are the short films Night of the Pumpkin, Dr. Grordbort Presents: The Deadliest Game and Bug Chaser
Friday November 9th
Nightscape (dir. David W Edwards) The extended trailer for this film plays like a gothic short all on its own. What's odd is the trailer, which features a little girl wandering first through barren woods before entering a dilapidated murder shanty looks like it has nothing to do with the film's premise where a drifter comes face to face with a supernatural killing machine on four wheels. Also showing are the short films The Captured Bird, Amelia and Negative Image
TDB Rob Zombie Film and Award Ceremony plus the short films Deer Head Valley, Sandwich Crazy, Plush and Show Me
Saturday November 10th
Game of Werewolves (dir. Juan Martinez Moreno) If I were on the fence at all, the trailer won me over with its closing snippet where a group try to evade a hungry pack of werewolves by tossing a stick and imploring them to “Fetch!” This Spanish B-movie features a hell of a lot of men in rubber and yak hair suits and looks like its going to be a cheesy, fun time. Also playing are the short films Rotting Hill,Torture Porn and Hierarchy
It's In The Blood (dir. Scooter Downy) Another one of our favorites form the past year, It's In The Blood features a prodigal son and his cantankerous father (Lance Henriksen) attempting a reconciliation on a hunting trip after tragedy drives them apart. They soon find themselves stalked and trapped by unseen forces while the past comes up to a boil. This is a film where the devil lies in the details, and despite its micro budget Downy provides some stunning visuals. This one is going to win over a lot of fans. Also playing are the short films Child Eater, The Ribbon and Mother Died
Gut (dir. Elias) This looks like the kind of slow burn that creeps into the corners of your brain only to make itself known during the late hours of night when you're struggling to find that peaceful frame of mind when trying to sleep. Two friends-one married and settled into a comfortable but dull middle class life and the other single and a bit of a dufus, come across a series of DVDs that picture women strapped to a table then tortured in slow, exquisite detail. The cumulative effects of these videos take their toll on their state of mind and hamper their surrounding relationships. Also showing are a pair of our favorite short films Alice Jacobs is Dead and Familiar
Unannounced Wes Craven film, Q&A and Awards Ceremony plus the short films Foxes and Tell.
Sunday November 11th
Mimesis (dir. Douglas Schulze) I don't know too much about this one, but from the look of the trailer it appears that a group of friends head out for a party when chaos breaks out and they begin living through scenes from their favorite horror films. Lots of nods to Hooper and Romero in the trailer. This might be the kind of comfort food that helps nurse one back from the edge of a wicked hangover. Also playing are the short films Demented, Love Bug, Testament of Karma and Deviling
Devoured (dir. Greg Oliver) I've wanted to get my hands on this film for a while now. A young immigrant mother with a sick child back hime takes a low wage job in a NY restaurant to try and raise funds for his medication. Alone in the city, harangued by her asshole boss and fearful of her child's well being she begins to see a dark figure that follows her around at all times. This looks like a moody, suspenseful chiller. Here's hoping it delivers. Also playing are the short films Anorexia, Between Friends, Sleepwalk and Chucking Amy
Gallery of Fear The NYC Horror film fest seems to have a tradition of closing things out with a Z-Grade B Movie in either the slasher or William Castle tradition. They're the kind of films you'd turn your nose up at any other time, but given the setting: a lubed up crowd all hopped up on a weekend of gore and gristle, the choice makes for a fun communal experience. Gallery of Fear, starring indie stalwart Debbie Rochon, looks like it continues the tradition.
The NYC Horror Film Fest will be held at the Tribeca Cinema. We'll post a ticket link as soon as we know more.