The most wonderful time of year is right around the corner…and we don’t mean Christmas.
Yes, the spooky season of Halloween is rearing its horned head over the horizon, with the promise of everything horror to keep us feeling spookily festive all October long. Some of you have probably already started celebrating, which gets a big thumbs up from yours truly!
If you’re having trouble deciding what to add to your October watchlist, or simply want to broaden your horror horizons, the lovely folks at Salem Horror Fest have hand-picked a delightfully diverse range of viewing experiences for those attending in-person or online.
Taking place in the one-and-only Salem, Massachusetts (with a virtual programme for those who can’t make it), the 2021 edition of Salem Horror Fest is the fifth year of this celebration of creepy cinema. Starting October 1st, there’s a lineup of feature films, short films and special screenings, including a live show of Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West’s horror podcast The Faculty of Horror and ROMERO LIVES!, a series of screenings celebrating the life and works of George A. Romero.
We know as well as anybody that deciding what to check out from a festival lineup can be overwhelming, so we’ve put together a list of stand-out films that might get those hairs on the back of your neck waving in terror. The full Salem Horror Fest lineup can be found on their official site.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WILL SCARE YOU – Chris LaMartina
Chris LaMartina and Jimmy George, the team behind 2013’s WNUF Halloween Special – a wildly fun found footage thriller presented as a VHS recording of a live news broadcast from 1987 – is back with anthology flick What Happens Next Will Scare You.
“Staying late in their office on a Friday night, a motley crew of click-bait article authors are tasked with finding the top thirteen scariest online videos in preparation for a Halloween roll-out. When an early entry promises to curse whoever watches the cryptic link, our snarky writers must distinguish fact from fiction before a crescendo of paranormal disturbances lead to real-life murders.”
Anthology films are often a fun ride, even if the quality of the segments varies – and this one sounds like a good time for sure.
COCKAZOID– Nick Verdi
MA local Nick Verdi’s feature debut is Cockazoid, which might sound like a Troma-produced horny Kaiju film on paper but is another beast altogether – although undoubtedly no less controversial.
“Andrew (Jimmy Laine), a delusional loner who dreams of killing all white men, returns to his hometown in the wake of family tragedy and goes on a murderous rampage.”
Verdi co-wrote Cockazoid with B.R. Yeager, author of some of the most challenging and brilliant weird fiction of recent years including Negative Space and Amygdalatropolis. Yeager also stars.
BRAIN DEATH – WL Freeman, John Harrison
Frankly, even just the promotional website for Brain Death is worth recommending, let alone the trailer – but we’ll be looking forward to activating all the most terminally-online part of our brains to decipher whatever this duo are truly delivering in their first feature film.
“After the disappearance of her girlfriend, a young trans woman comes into contact with an ancient evil.”
That barely scratches the surface of what Salem Horror Fest 2021 has to offer, but hopefully this gets the ball rolling for your own exploration of everything the festival has to offer! Stayed tuned, of course, for reviews and other coverage out of the fest throughout October.