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: ANOTHER EVIL
My second day of the festival started with another horror/comedy, but this one was not as light as Ibiza Undead was yesterday. The programmer who introduced the film stated that this film came from one of the writers of HBO’s Eastbound and Down. You can tell. While this film is more of a comedy than a horror movie, its a pitch black comedy, that of which I would expect from someone within the Jody Hill camp. The story is simple. A family’s vacation home is being haunted by ghosts so they call in a “spirit assassin” to rid their home of the otherworldly beings. When the tension ramps up, and the ghost hunter seems to be more terrifying then the ghosts, the movie really gets good. I laughed from start finish, and I consistently felt uncomfortable so I think the movie accomplished what it set out to do.
After making the difficult decision to see either this or Spring Break Zombie Massacre, I was happy I went with this world premiere screening. I do still want to check out Spring Break Zombie Massacre, but I’m hoping it makes its way to Chicago soon enough so I can. #Screamers was the rare found footage movie that works. It features great actors, an engaging story, and actual camerawork which is usually lacking in typical found footage fare. The film follows an internet company who begins receiving “screamer” video submissions and what happens to them when they begin to investigate where they’re coming from. Being a movie about “screamer” videos, there are still a fair amount of jump scares, but the film is smarter than that and finds a way of really getting under your skin as well.
Event: Pig Roast
After the movie, I ran over to the event being held at the base of the town’s gondola. I’m not a big pork fan, but I definitely wanted to check out “the pig” even if I wasn’t going to eat it. The line was long, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t smell tantalizing. This was a nice break from the films where fans and filmmakers could congregate and share dinner together.
Movie: SADAKO VS. KAYAKO
After running to snap a quick pic of the pig, I ran back to the theater to catch what was one of the most fun, and campy films I’ve seen all year. This is indeed the showdown between Ringu’s Sadako and Ju-on’s Kayako. I love camp. I eat it up. This film dishes it out in spades. It knows that bringing these two ghostly figures together to fight is ridiculous and it revels in the concept. I had a big, stupid smile on my face from start to finish with this movie. No spoiler here, but the two ghosts do fight and its amazing. Can’t wait to watch this one again.
Movie: TERRIFIER (with Q&A with director Damien Leone)
After a quick break, I ended my Saturday night with the new film from All Hallow’s Eve and Frankenstein vs. The Mummy director Damien Leone. Leone’s career started off with a short film called Terrifier that featured a silent killer clown being terrifying. Now, he’s expanded upon his creation, Art the Clown, and gave him his own movie. What works best in the movie is when the Art the Clown is taunting his future victims. The clown is absolutely horrifying, up there with Pennywise from It. So seeing him manipulate and get under his victim’s skin is completely unnerving. The movie didn’t work for me when it went into full blown slasher mode, not because I don’t like slasher films, but because I felt like this movie was better than that. Thankfully it doesn’t rely too heavily on the slasher movie formula. Terrifier ends up being a pretty cool and unique little movie. After the film, Damien Leone talked about the 5 long years it took him between the short to make this movie, as well as how it all came together with one financier who took a chance on it. It was inspiring to here him talk about this passion project, and I can’t wait to see what else Leone has up his sleeve and if it will include the return of Art the Clown.
Keep your eye here tomorrow for coverage of the third and final day of the Telluride Horror Show plus full reviews of some of the movies.