From LA to Scotland to the Southern coast of Australia, horror fests are popping up everywhere this season. Many are being seen for the first time ever! Wherever you are in the world, check the roundup below—chances are there’s a horror fest somewhere near you. Here’s a rundown of the recent horror news to come across our inbox.
Scottish Indie The Unkindness of Ravens a Breakout Success at FrightFest —
The Unkindness of Ravens, director Lawrie Brewster’s hotly anticipated follow up to cult hit Lord of Tears, has premiered to resounding acclaim. At first a claustrophobic tale of one man’s battle for survival in the remote highlands of Scotland, the film builds to an epic and unexpected finale which pushes the boundaries of low budget independent filmmaking with its spectacular effects and ambitious set pieces.
Immediately following the premiere, the team behind the film announced that they received an offer from an international studio distributor, which is currently under consideration. “It’s been a huge privilege to premiere our film at FrightFest, such a prestigious festival, and we’ve been blown away by the response from the fans and critics,” said Brewster. “The reaction really has been overwhelming. FrightFest is such an amazing launchpad, and thanks to the positive buzz about our film, it now has the best possible chance of getting in front of the widest audience possible… and deeply traumatising them of course!”
Watch Brewster’s FrightFest red carpet interview below:
The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies Opens New York Branch at Morbid Anatomy Museum —
With successful branches in London and Montreal, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies makes its first stateside stop at Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum with a pilot semester of horror film, literature, and pop culture classes, running from September through December 2016 and featuring classes by some of the most renowned voices in horror film, fiction, and criticism.
Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a community-based organization that offers university-level horror history and theory classes for people of all ages. The Miskatonic is a nonprofit endeavour through which established horror writers, directors, scholars, and programmers/curators celebrate horror history and culture with a unique blend of enthusiasm and critical perspective.
Monster Fest 2016 Announces Keynote Speaker Ted Kotcheff and Exciting Closing Night Film with Guests —
Monster Fest, Australia’s premier genre festival, returns to the Lido Cinema in Melbourne from Nov 24–27, 2016, for four days of premieres, special guests, repertory sidebars, short films, presentations, and more.
Monster Fest recently announced that veteran director Ted Kotcheff will appear in person to present the film that many critics regard as the greatest Australian film ever made, his 1971 outback classic Wake in Fright. Kotcheff will also be the keynote speaker at the Swinburne University Media and Communication Monster Academy, with a three-hour masterclass on Thursday Nov 24.
Closing the festival will be Sundance WTF sensation The Greasy Strangler, followed by a “Greasy Gala” with the two stars of the film, special guests Sky Elobar (Big Brayden) and Michael St. Michaels (Big Ronnie—the Greasy Strangler himself). Grease is the word!
To reserve your Monster Fest tickets or limited tickets from Kotcheff’s masterclass, go to monsterfest.com.au.
Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Announces Inaugural Lineup —
The groundbreaking new Brooklyn Horror Fest recently revealed a full round-up of features, shorts, and special events for their inaugural event, taking place October 14–16, 2016. The festival will screen feature films and short films that represent horror filmmakers from around the world. The event includes 2 world premieres, 5 US premieres, and a number of amazing East Coast and New York premiering films.
The BHFF is also dedicated to supporting the borough’s strongest homegrown cinema. The out-of-competition Brooklyn Showcase celebrates Brooklyn’s most exciting genre filmmaking, both past and present. The block will feature the world premiere of Psychotic! A Brooklyn Slasher by directors Maxwell Frey and Derek Gibbons, as well as a screening of Michael Winner’s 1977 Brooklyn-based horror The Sentinel and a shorts program highlighting Brooklyn filmmakers.
In addition to film screenings, the festival will also be hosting an opening night party, panel discussions, Q&As with filmmakers, drinking games, contests, merchandise tables, award ceremony, and a sendoff party after the final screening.
Ithaca Fantastik Announces Lineup and Bumper Contest for 2016 Edition —
The Ithaca Fantastik film festival is only two months away, happening November 9–13, 2016, and the IF team has been hard at work creating an incredible program for the event’s fifth anniversary. This year’s retrospective, The Known Unknowns, will dig into viewers’ deepest fears, including The Naked Prey, Deliverance, Aliens, and more. The IF team has also assembled a highly diversified new film lineup to respond to their expanding audience, including experimental comedies, post-apocalyptic films, and action-packed features from India.
This year’s bumper contest, Nature’s Revenge!, will draw from the theme of retrospective film Long Weekend, which proves nothing is scarier than unpredictable nature. Filmmakers are invited to submit their own 45-second original nature revenge short film to IF by October 15, 2016. The top three entries will be screened during the festival and winners will receive an Ithaca Fantastik festival pass.
Visit ithacafilmfestival.com for more information and announcements to come.
Beyond Fest Announces Full Slate for the Return of LA’s Biggest Genre Film Festival —
Beyond Fest, the highest attended genre film festival in the US, is excited to announce its full slate of 2016 programming, featuring 27 events and 23 West Coast premieres of mind-bending movie madness. Presented by Shudder, Beyond Fest returns to Hollywood’s famed Egyptian Theatre for 12 days of movies, music, and mayhem from September 30–October 11, 2016 to generate funds for co-presenter, the nonprofit American Cinematheque.