This article was last modified on October 1, 2020.


Let’s be blunt: Covid-19 ruins EVERYTHING. But the horror community has found a way to turn lemons into lemonade and that sweet nectar is named NIGHTSTREAM. Five film festivals, each strong in their own way, have combined like Voltron to become a sum greater than their parts. And it’s all virtual, allowing YOU to enjoy the best new genre cinema from the comfort of your couch.

Boston Underground, Brooklyn Horror, North Bend, Overlook, and Popcorn Frights Festivals combined are bringing you NIGHTSTREAM from October 8-11th (2020). For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here:

Although I haven’t seen any of the titles in the lineup yet, more than a few have me salivating. Here are just FIVE I think are absolutely must see:

MANDIBLES (North American Premiere), Dir. Quentin Dupieux. Dupieux (RUBBER) returns with his most accessible and hilarious film to date, a tale of two simple-minded friends who find a giant fly stuck in the trunk of a car and set themselves up to train it to earn money with it. Nobody blends horror, humor and the absurd like Dupieux.
BLACK BEAR, Dir. Lawrence Michael Levine. Punctuated with outstanding performances from Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbott, and Sarah Gadon, Levine‚Äôs Kaufman-esque BLACK BEAR tells the story of a filmmaker who arrives at a rural retreat and discovers that the unpredictable behavior of her hosts will be the source of her most inspired work yet. Not gonna lie… I’d watch Ms. Plaza do just about anything, so I already like this one.
FRANK & ZED (World Premiere), Dir. Jesse Blanchard. Lovingly crafted entirely with hand puppets, this hilarious, blood-drenched practical marvel sees the peaceful, secluded lifestyle of two monsters threatened when a group of desperate villagers come to repay an age-old pact to a wretched demon. Let’s be frank (and zed), there hasn’t been a good puppet genre film since MEET THE FEEBLES (1989). This could be the remedy.
MY HEART CAN’T BEAT UNLESS YOU TELL IT TO (North American Premiere), Dir. Jonathan Cuartas. Dwight (Patrick Fugit, GONE GIRL) and Jessie (Ingrid Sophie Schram) go to unimaginable, morally decrepit lengths to medicate their sick younger brother Thomas (Owen Campbell, SUPER DARK TIMES), who desperately needs blood to survive. This one grabs me on the title alone — not since 1970 giallo films have titles been so evocative.
LEAP OF FAITH: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON THE EXORCIST, Dir. Alexandre O. Phillippe. In perhaps his most penetrating interview ever, director Phillippe (78/52) ploughs deep into the filmmaking process of director William Friedkin through the tumultuous and terrifying production of one of the most iconic horror films ever made. I adore documentaries, and Phillippe’s 78/52 is by far the best examination of PSYCHO ever made; can he do it again?

Beyond the feature films, this festival is PACKED tighter than a crypt with endless events. Dozens upon dozens of short films, a number of live podcasts (including one of my favorites — SWITCHBLADE SISTERS) and all kinds of after hours fun. The guest list includes Joe Dante, Ernest Dickerson, Axelle Carolyn, Mike Flanagan, Tom Holland, John Landis, William Malone, Tommy McLoughlin, Mary Harron, Mick Garris and Elijah Wood… to name a few. This isn’t the event of the season, but the event of the year.

This Halloween the only thing to fear is the fear of missing out, so grab your tickets now:

Also try another article under Film Industry
or another one of the writings of Gavin.

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