It’s clear Nightmares Film Festival (Oct. 19 to 22) wasn’t clowning around.
As the “Cannes of horror” prepares to open its 2017 edition, it has unmasked its Friday, 4 p.m. secret screening title to reveal the sure-to-create-a-frenzy “Gags,” the feature based on the viral phenomenon short accused of creating the “clown roaming” craze that gripped the U.S. for much of 2016.
That year director Adam Krause used a few grainy pictures of a clown under and bridge in Green Bay, Wisconsin as a marketing stunt to promote his short, Gags, about a killer clown. Those photos became the epicenter of a clown madness that swept the United States, with clowns lurking on treelines, under streetlamps and in seemingly every small town.
The feature version of Gags, kept under tight wraps until now, stars Lauren Ashely Carter and intertwines four stories of people terrorized on the same night during the height of the Gags the Clown pandemonium in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
“Horror hounds like me have been tracking Gags since the short last year,” said NFF co-founder and programmer Jason Tostevin. “When (producer) Sarah (Sharp) and (co-writer/editor) John (Pata) and I realized we could make it work at Nightmares this year, we were all thrilled for the audience. I can’t wait for them to experience the film.”
Gags himself will attend the screening, and will be lurking around Gateway Film Festival, the host venue for Nightmares 17. Cast and crew will also attend. Audience members will have an opportunity to share their reactions to the film directly with the production team to help fine tune it for its eventual release.
Nightmares Film Festival runs Thursday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 22 at the film center in Columbus, Ohio. Other features in the lineup include Hatchet sequel Victor Crowley with Adam Green in attendance; the world premiere of Tom Holland (Child’s Play, Fright Night)’s newest, Rock Paper, Dead; one of 10 U.S. screenings of Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (Inside)’s new film Leatherface; and the theatrical premiere of Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass.