Screamfest Preview with Rachel Belofsky


The full feature film lineup

Making its return to the Chinese 6 Theater in that pantheon of commerce known as the Hollywood & Highland complex in, you guessed it, Los Angeles, Screamfest will get underway October 10th and continue is reign of terror with a rapid-fire assault of the latest horror films poised for discovery until the event comes to a close on the 19th.

“We started [looking for films] right after the festival ended last year, and around the first of the year, but everything started to come in towards the end this time,” founder Rachel Belofsky says, sighing with relief now that she’s got all of her films booked for the fest. She’s in the midst of sorting out this year’s schedule, but makes time for to preview what’s to come. “This year was hard to find films, I’m not sure what it was. The end result was good, but it was definitely harder.”

Screamfest kicks off on an appropriately festive start with Trick ‘r Treat, Michael Dougherty’s anthology film currently languishing in purgatory at Warner Bros. “I was jumping up and down when we got Trick ‘r Treat,” Belofsky enthuses. “I’ve been chasing that one since the beginning of the year. Because the release date wasn’t set, [the studio wasn’t] sure if it was right to play in the festival or not. We did the dance but because [Michael had been] in our festival before, we got it. We’re stoked. It’s one of the best horror-comedies I’ve seen, my ribs hurt.” The L.A. premiere of Trick ‘r Treat will attract the cast, crew and a black carpet entrance. A party follows the screening.

This year’s centerpiece picture is Splinter (review), which opens in theaters on October 31st courtesy of Magnet Releasing, but L.A. movie-goers get a chance to catch it early at Screamfest on October 15th. “I’m excited about having Toby Wilkins back in the festival with Splinter. We had him in 2005 with one of his short films, Staring at the Sun. His feature is cool. It’s low budget, but he did a great job.”

At the time of this writing, it’s looking like the French shocker Martyrs, from director Pascal Laugier (interview), is going to close out the fest. And Belofsky is eager to see the audience reaction that stems from the film.

Other she says you should put on your radar: Keepsake is a gem. You sift through tons and tons of movies, then you pop one in and you’re like Wait, hold on. It’s out of Southern Virginia. It’s about a woman who breaks down in her car and this guy takes her back to his place and puts her in his cellar. She has to fight her outer demons and inner demons. It’s a contained movie, but very, very good.” The Disappeared hits out shores from the UK “and is a little supernatural and Sixth Sense-ish in a way. That’s cool. There’s a thriller we have called The Collective, I thought that was solid. It’s not completely horror, but it’s thriller.”

From Australia comes Acolytes and, again, from England Eden Lake which Belofsky describes as “a hard one, not exactly a feel good movie.”

Screamfest will also host Dance of the Dead, Eric Red’s 100 Feet, The Burrowers, Boogeyman 3, Feast 2, Dante 01, King of the Hill, Let the Right One In, Parasomnia, The Season, Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story, The Alphabet Killer and a bevy of short films.

For a full schedule with ticket info, click here!

Source: Ryan Rotten