AFI Fest Explores Horror’s Dark Horizons


New docs on William Castle, Val Lewton!

Beginning November 1st, the AFI Fest returns to Hollywood with its usual eclectic celebration of cinema overseas and domestic. In keeping with tradition, this year’s fest (wrapping on the 11th of the month) is cradling a handful of titles – under a category monikered “Dark Horizons” – deserved of respect but are skewed towards those with, shall we say, atypical tastes

A tad anemic in the straight scare fare, the only two titles worth the coverage around these parts are Ekko, from Denmark, and Adam Wingard’s Pop Skull written by Wingard, Lane Hughes and E.L. Katz. The former concerns a policeman whose scheme to kidnap his son turns nightmarish, “Skull” tells of “a prescription drug addict who lives in a house haunted by a terrible event in the past.”

Old school genre lovers will get a kick out of two flicks in the documentary showcase. On Thursday, November 8th, Jeffrey Schwarz’s Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story is having its world premiere. Focusing on the life and career of horror’s master showman (pictured), the doc features interviews with Joe Dante, Leonard Maltin, Stuart Gordon, John Landis, and the John Waters. Turning to the more subtle and gothic, Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows is Kent Jones’ examination of the man who brought us Cat People, The Seventh Victim and other gloomy thrillers. Martin Scorcese co-produced and narrates.

For the full schedule and ticket info, visit

Source: AFI Fest