Nighstream Film Festival Recap

With the first edition of the Nightstream Virtual Film Festival winding down, many of the events are still available on-demand until tomorrow, Oct. 14, and the same can be said for many of the festival’s on-demand titles, too! You can find those tickets and films still available here.

I wanted to do a link round-up post for the films I was able to watch at this year’s Nightstream that are still available on demand, as well as some of the same films that are playing at Nightstream that I caught at Fantasia in August, and some of the short films that are playing at this year’s festival, as well, and the ones I’m highlighting will have played at Fantasia.

Here’s the recap, with review excerpts and links to the full reviews.

Anything for Jackson (full review here) – “The way director Justin G. Dyck brings this all to life in either very funny ways or thrilling ways in the horror sequences, makes Anything for Jackson a treat. I don’t know if I’d label it as a traditional horror comedy because it truly doesn’t feel like the traditional horror comedy. I find horror comedies put an emphasis on the comedy and forget the scary; Anything for Jackson accomplishes the rare feat of delivering on both. Quite devilish of them, really, and I’m glad to report I liked this film even more the second time.”

Bloody Hell (full review here) – “Director Alister Grierson’s style that he brings to Bloody Hell is also genuinely fun, as it’s always fun and zany and never takes itself seriously. That’s why the dual role with Rex is more believable, as it’s obvious he’s unhinged even before the bank robbery. The horror and comedy are balanced well, making this a truly entertaining ride. There are some surprisingly brutal moments but it’s always fun, and the fair amount of gore and fun kills makes this live up its name of Bloody Hell.”

Bloody Hell
Ryan Tarran in Bloody Hell. (Courtesy of Nightstream.)

Frank and Zed (full review here) – “I totally had a blast with this film, as the set-up is honestly brilliant and the world created here for these puppets feels so real. One of my favourite aspects of this film are the puppets in general, as their character design is so cool. This is especially the case for both Frank and Zed. Their design is so memorable and they completely feel alive. As characters I was super interested by their co-dependent dynamic.”

An Unquiet Grave (full review here)– An Unquiet Grave is carried by two great performances by Jacob A. Ware and Christine Nyland, who also co-writes this film with director Terence Krey. And when I say the film’s carried by these two performances, they’re virtually the only ones in the film and are there in every scene. With that said, it’s great that these performances are so compelling.” Full review here:

Links to other great films I watched that are not available on demand: the hysterical and heartfelt Dinner in America, My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell it To which is a great addition to the vampire genre without straight-up vampire horror, and Reunion, a psychological/haunted house ride with strong performances.

The following are also great films I saw at Fantasia that are still on demand including, John Hsu’s Detention, Natasha Kermani’s Lucky, Anthony Scott Burns’ sci-fi gem Come True, as well as the one-setting horror Bleed with Me which I hope you enjoy more than I did.

Dinner in America
Emily Skeggs and Kyle Gallner in Dinner in America. (Courtesy of Nightstream.)


Besides features, Nightstream has a wide variety of shorts from the five participating film festivals (Boston Underground Film Festival, Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, North Bend Film Festival, The Overlook Film Festival and Popcorn Frights Film Festival).

There’s a great variety but I’ll only highlight the ones I have seen (all of which were at Fantasia), and I’ve listed links to coverage below.

Reviews of Darling Pet Monkey (playing in Boston Underground’s short programme called Highly Illogical) and Eyes of Eidolon (playing at North Bend’s Cinema Vista Programme) can be found here.

Reviews of Don’t Text Back (playing in Brooklyn’s Slayed: LGBTQ Horror Shorts co-presented by Newfest), Laura Hasn’t Slept (playing in the Overlook’s Short Program Two), Peter the Penguin (playing in Popcorn Frights’ International Midnighters) and Suspense (playing in Boston Underground’s Highly Illogical and Popcorn Frights’ Midnighters) can be found here.

Reviews of A Strange Calm (playing in Overlook’s Short Program Three), and Regret (playing in Overlook’s Short Program One) can be found here. As well, keep an eye out on my site for an interview with filmmaker Austin Rourke for his film A Strange Calm.

A Strange Calm 2
Giovanna Bush in A Strange Calm. (Courtesy of Nightstream.)

Here are some interviews, as well, which came out of Fantasia:

Here’s an interview I was able to do with Julia Sarah Stone, the star of the film Come True. 

A review and interview with filmmaker Joanna Tsanis for her film Imagine a World (also playing in Overlook’s Short Program Two), can be found here.

As well, interviews with Ben and Jacob Burghart for their film Suspense can be found here.

And a conversation with filmmaker Andrew Rutter and star Chris Butler for their film Peter the Penguin can be found here.

Okay! That was a lot of links! Suffice to say, there’s still a lot of great selections that you can still check it out in the next 30 hours until the end of day on October 14. Choose wisely… As well, keep an eye out over the coming days for my last bit of Nightstream coverage with interviews with filmmakers for the films Dinner in America (with director Andrew Rehmeier), Anything for Jackson (with director Justin G. Dyck and writer Keith Cooper), as well as Frank and Zed (as I chat with director Jesse Blanchard).

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