Something spooky is coming…
A collective online initiative has been launched to create Nightstream, a virtual horror film festival put together by the Boston Underground Film Festival, Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, North Bend Film Festival, the Overlook Film Festival, and Popcorn Frights Film Festival, which will run from October 8-11.
The festival is open to U.S. audiences and the screenings will be geo-locked to the United States (there are events being put on by the festival that will available worldwide, as well). You can go here to buy badges.
The festival is packed with a mix of horror, fantasy, science fiction, vanguard and underground films, with over 40 feature films to choose from, over 20 panels and events, as well as 20 short film programmes composed of over 160+ shorts, all curated by the different festivals involved in this initiative.
With such a selection, I wanted to highlight 11 titles at the festival that caught my eye (because I couldn’t pick just 10). I will note that I haven’t watched any of the trailers for these films, as I’m going to try to go in as blind as possible. In alphabetical order, here there are:
ANYTHING FOR JACKSON
This one’s a bit of a cheat as I saw it in September for its World Premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival, but I’m excited to watch it again for its U.S. Premiere at Nightstream. A Canadian horror film directed by Justin G. Dyck, I went in knowing very little and the film is such a delightful surprise, about grandparents Audrey (Sheila McCarthy) and Henry Walsh (Julian Richlings) who kidnap a young woman in hopes it will help bring back their deceased grandson Jackson. (My Fantasia review can be found here.)
In this North American Premiere from Australia (and the U.S.), Bloody Hell is a “relentlessly energetic pitch-black horror comedy” that follows an ex-bank robber who flees the country after a video of him goes viral. He goes to Helsinki, finding something there that’s much worse. The promotional photo for the film – a man in a Devil mask holding a shotgun at the camera – is what hooked me for this one.
BOYS FROM COUNTY HELL
Boys from County Hell is an Irish film having its North American Premiere at the festival. It’s a horror comedy that’s about a group of Irish road workers who accidentally wake an ancient vampire beneath the town. The comedy sounds like it would be really amusing, and I love a good vampire film, as well. Count me in.
In its U.S. Premiere, Breaking Surface is about a winter diving trip in Norway which turns into a desperate race against time for two sisters when a landslide causes one of them to be pinned to the ocean floor. I love the look of this film based on the pictures and I love survival thrillers like this, so this is very much up my alley.
Anthony Scott Burns’ Come True is one of my favourites of this year, as this is another film I was able to catch at the Fantasia Film Festival last month. Come True is an atmospheric film that’s high-concept science fiction and eerie horror, about Sarah (Julia Sarah Stone), a troubled teenager who enters a sleep study which unlocks the truth about her dreams and the shadowy figure within it. This film is a treat that bends genre and is psychologically fascinating if you love sleep and dreams. This Canadian gem comes highly recommended for its U.S. Premiere at NIghtstream. (My Fantasia review can be found here.)
DINNER IN AMERICA
I think this is the only comedy film on this list, but I couldn’t leave this one off. Dinner in America follows a punk rocker arsonist on the run (Kyle Gallner) and his number one fan who embark on a series of misadventures through suburbia. It looks quirky and fun, and in a field of what seems like a great choice of horror films, this looks like a really fun change-of-pace.
The Doorman is having its World Premiere at Nightstream and stars Ruby Rose (of Batwoman and John Wick: Chapter Two fame) at a former Marine turned doorman at a luxury New York City high-rise who has to battle a group of art thieves and their ruthless leader (Jean Reno), as she struggles to protect her sister’s family and is directed by Ryûhei Kitamura (Versus, The Midnight Meat Train). This is an actioner I’m very excited about, and I’d just like it injected right into my veins right now. If it’s good, it sounds like it could be something special like The Raid: Redemption, John Wick and even Atomic Blonde. Those are the action comps that come to mind, so here’s hoping that this really is good.
Ah, I love a good cat-and-mouse chase in the wilderness. Hunted, having its U.S. Premiere at Nightstream, follows Eve, a woman who encounters a charming man at a bar, only to uncover that his true sociopathic nature sparks a dire, life-or-death chase through the wilderness. I’ve always loved concepts like The Most Dangerous Game, and I love a good cat-and-mouse chase in the wilderness. This one has definitely caught my interest, and is also slated to come to Shudder in 2021.
IT CUTS DEEP
In its World Premiere, It Cuts Deep follows a couple on Christmas vacation as Sam’s world starts to close in around him when his girlfriend Ashley says she wants to start a family. This coincides with someone from Sam’s past entering the picture. The film blends comedy and horror, and I love anything horror-based being set around Christmas.
MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU TOO
In its International Premiere, director Timo Tjahjanto returns for more chaotic possession horror with this sequel, May the Devil Take You Too, as Alfie wages war against hell’s dark forces when a group of teenage orphans unleash the demonic spirit of their former caretaker. Now, I never watched the original film – it honestly went under my radar and hearing about this sequel, I will happily watch both films. I’m highlighting this film on this list because the promo photo for this looks awesome, and sequels should always have a little anticipation behind them, right?
Run is the opening night film for Nightstream, starring Sarah Paulson in a “nail-biting, Hitchcockian new thriller about a wheelchair-bound teenager whose fragile, isolated existence with her dotting mother (Paulson) is threatened when she begins to notice strange occurrences around her house.” Just some of the basic premise reminds me of 2016’s Shut In with the isolation and a teenager in a wheelchair, and this sounds like it will execute that premise way better. Also: This is Aneesh Chaganty’s second feature film after 2018’s Searching, and that was one of my favourite films of 2018, so this being Chaganty’s latest film was really all I needed to know.
There are so many other great films coming to Nightstream this year, and there are so many more I’m excited about. You can check out the rest of the lineup here.
Which films are you most looking forward to?