Last weekend (October 14-16 2016) , I had the pleasure of attending the Telluride Horror Show in the picturesque town of Telluride, Colorado. One of the most beautiful places on earth got invaded by one of the coolest film festivals out there right now. With a jam packed schedule and a slew of great new horror to discover, let’s delve into some of the highlights of the festival.
Movie: IBIZA UNDEAD
The Friday of the festival started off light with this breezy comedy about friends who unwittingly get caught up in the zombie apocalypse while trying to enjoy a weekend of debauchery. The film starts out with a bang and features some impressive zombie makeup effects. Once we meet our lead group of guys the laughs in the film really start. Their banter starts to get old by act 2 of the film, but at least the film keeps up with it’s breezy tone. It all leads to a somewhat disappointing finale, but zombie fans will have fun with this one which is sure to receive comparisons to Shaun of the Dead while never really reaching the greatness of that film.
Event: ICE CREAM SOCIAL
The crew of the film festival introduced themselves to fans in the absolute sweetest way possible, with an Ice Cream Social. Located inside the check-in room in one of the festival three screening venues, the fest treated everyone to free ice cream to butter us up for the night of fright flicks that was yet to come. This was quite the fun little event, and I loved standing outside the theater on a beautiful Colorado day among like-minded fans before stepping back into the dark for more horrors.
Movie: MAN UNDERGROUND
I followed up Ibiza and ice cream with the film that ended up being my favorite film of the festival. While not quite a horror, I would say this film belongs more in the sci-fi category. Even sci-fi is stretching it a bit for this conspiracy theory drama. The film features a man who used to work for the government and knows some of its deepest, darkest secrets who decides to make a film about the truth when he meets a charming would-be actress at a roadside diner. The conspiracy aspect of the film made this film feel sort of like an X-Files episode and I mean that in the best of ways. I was gripped both by this films compelling story but also by its engaging performances by its whole cast. This film is a must see.
Event: CREEPY CAMPFIRE TALES WITH JOE LANDSDALE
While I wasn’t able to catch all of this amazing event (I had to do that annoying thing called eating dinner), what I was able to see was a once in a lifetime, special experience. The festival had set the Cold in July author in front a giant fire pit in the middle of a park directly across the street from one of the theaters. A beautiful day turned into a beautiful night as Landsdale an excerpt from one of his chilling stories. After the reading, I made sure to take a picture of the vibrant moon before heading back inside for more movies.
photo by Aurélie Slegers
Movie (with director Nick Jongerius Q&A): THE WINDMILL
I settled back into the dark to enjoy another favorite of the festival, The Windmill (formerly The Windmill Massacre). Ultimately, this film is a slasher film featuring a group of tourists getting picked off by a severely burned killer. However, there’s more to it than that. To reveal more would be going into spoiler territory. If you like slasher movies, especially super gory ones, you’ll like this one that has more going on than it originally lets on. The director gave a hilarious and informative Q&A about the making of the film, which is set in Holland. I hope he’ll be doing a commentary on the DVD because I hope to hear more from him about the film.
Movie: WE ARE THE FLESH
This was the final film I checked out at the festival on Friday. While I tend to like “shock” films, I like mine without the side of pretension. We Are the Flesh ended up being my least favorite movie of the festival. The film aims to be confrontational in its depictions of sex and violence, but ultimately it ends up being hollow. Keep your eyes on Horror Society as I plan to write a full, in depth review on my thoughts on this movie since there’s a lot to unpack here.
That wrapped up the first night of this exciting film festival. Check back later for a recap of the jam packed Day 2 of the festival.
Also, stay tuned right here to Horror Society for more reviews of some of these films.