Last year, After Dark Films unleashed Horrorfest 2006, a film festival containing eight independently produced horror films that promised us “8 films to die for.” Not all of them lived up to that tagline, but each contained an energy and passion for the horror genre that seemed to be lacking in today’s world of remakes and sequels. The good news is that, from Nov. 9-18, Horrorfest is back for a second go around with eight new films designed to shock and entertain us.Of course, in true horror fashion there needs to be a sequel and, thus, After Dark brings us Horrorfest 2007. Like its predecessor the festival features many familiar faces including Rider Strong from TV’s “Boy Meets World” and Eli Roth’s hit “Cabin Fever.” Strong appears in not one but two of the festival’s eight films (“Borderland” and “Tooth and Nail”). Quentin Tarantino regular and all around tough guy Michael Madsen appears in “Tooth and Nail” as well. Other notables include Emmanuelle Vaugier from “Saw II” and Richard Moll of the TV series “Night Court.”
This year presents a well-rounded lineup including cannibals, ghosts and of course the obligatory monster movie. The title of “The Deaths of Ian Stone” pretty much sums up the plot of the movie, which revolves around an average Joe who is murdered one day only to wake up and be forced to endure dying over and over again. “Nightmare Man” is about a mentally unstable woman who claims to be under attack by a creature she calls “the nightmare man.” The movie revolves around the woman and those around her trying to figure out whether or not the “nightmare man” is rule or just a paranoid delusion. “Mulberry Street” is a truly original sounding film as a virus decimates Manhattan, turning all exposed to it into “rat-like” creatures.
“Unearthed” is a straightforward monster movie set in New Mexico. “Borderland” tells the story of a group of college friends who travel to Mexico only to be kidnapped and tortured by a mysterious cult. “Tooth and Nail” is set in a post-apocalyptic world where two rival factions square off ala “The Road Warrior.” The twist is that one of these groups consists of bloodthirsty cannibals.
“Lake Dead” centers on three sisters who learn that their newly inherited motel has a dark past. Last but not least, “Crazy Eights” tells the tale of a group of friends who reunite after a funeral and go on the hunt for a time capsule that they buried years earlier and find more then they bargained for.
Both this year’s and last year’s Horrorfest featured a diverse lineup. Horrorfest 2006 included such films as “Reincarnation” from Takashi Shimizu, the iconic filmmaker who also brought us “The Grudge” and its Japanese counterpart “Ju-on.” The festival also contained the great “Evil Dead”-esque film “The Gravedancers.” Moviegoers were also treated to two bonus films during select festival days. Some fans go to see David Arquette’s hippie slasher “The Tripper,” while others saw the Snoop Dogg-starring karma thriller “Hood of Horror.” The film that was voted the fan favorite, “The Abandoned,” even received a separate theatrical release so fans could enjoy it again.
Horrorfest 2007 is playing at select area theaters. Tickets may be purchased for individual films or for the whole festival. Horrorfest is a must for genre fans as well as those looking for a break from typical big budget, big studio fare. More information on the films, as well as tickets, locations and show times can be found at the Web site: horrorfestonline.com.
Colin McGlinchey is a third-year student majoring in elementary education. He can be reached at CM646588@wcupa.edu.