This year has been challenging for many industries, and the film community is no different. Nothing motivates innovation like necessity. Fortunately for fans, film festivals have adapted quickly to virtual platforms. Nightstream is a collective online initiative organized by several top-tier American genre festivals into a singular experience. Boston Underground Film Festival (MA), Brooklyn Horror Film Festival (NY), North Bend Film Festival (WA), The Overlook Film Festival (LA), and Popcorn Frights Film Festival (FL) have joined with an exciting schedule of films including several premieres.
Here are just a few that we’re excited to catch:
Run (World Premiere)
Nightstream will start off strong with the opening night film, Run. Described as Hitchockian, this new thriller by director Aneesh Chaganty (Searching) sets us down in the isolated life of a doting mother, Diane, and her wheelchair-bound teenage daughter, Chloe (played by newcomer Kiera Allen). Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story, Ratchet) shines as Diane, who seems to be hiding dark secrets that could threaten the life she has delicately built with her daughter.
32 Malasaña Street (North American Premiere)
32 Malasaña Street is a not uncommon tale of a family finding a home for a price that is too good to be true. Its 1976 and the Olmedo family decides to move from the country to the big city, Madrid, in the hopes of building a better life. What at first looks promising soon becomes a nightmare as the family realizes the home they moved into wasn’t exactly vacant. Haunted house stories can fall into well worn territory, but when done right its a path worth going down. 32 Malasaña Street looks tense, spooky and promising!
Honeydew (World Premiere)
Director Devereux Milburn makes his feature film debut with Honeydew. When couple Sam (Sawyer Spielberg) and Riley (Malin Barr) find themselves broken down on a rural road trip they seek shelter and assistance from an aging farmer and her unusual son. They soon find themselves suffering from strange cravings and hallucinations. This should be an unsettling and intriguing ride.
My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To (North American Premiere)
My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To asks the question: How far would you go to help your family? For sensitive Dwight, played by Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous, Gone Girl), the task of dealing with his younger brother Thomas’ mysterious illness is feeling like too much weight to bear. On the other hand their sister Jessie (Ingrid Sophie Schram) will stop at nothing to keep the family together, even if what Thomas needs is blood.
The Queen of Black Magic
Two of Indonesia’s modern masters of horror, screenwriter Joko Anwar (Satan’s Slaves) and director Kimo Stamboel (Headshot) have teamed up for The Queen of Black Magic. This relentlessly gory revenge story follows a family on a visit to the orphanage the father was raised in as a child. The children’s home has a dark history though and someone sinister wants retribution for the harms committed.
Boys From County Hell (North American Premiere)
The past couple of years have given us a wealth of fantastic Irish horror movies. Writer/Director Chris Baugh brings us another to look forward to in Boys From County Hell. Strapped for cash a crew of hardened road workers take a job building a road through the desolate Irish wilderness. When a prank goes wrong they’ll have to work together to survive the night after disturbing an ancient bloodthirsty ghoul. This outlandish and hilarious horror comedy is based on a 2012 short film of the same name.
If the stacked line up of feature films wasn’t enough, each individual festival has also curated a short film program. One could make a pretty full weekend on shorts alone considering the wealth of the offerings–But wait, there’s more! There are also very exciting podcasts, performances, parties, and of course panels featuring notable players in the horror genre. Director Nia DaCosta (Little Woods, Candyman) will be taking part in a Virtual Fireside chat that promises to be a deep dive into the state of the industry as well as a chance to hear more about her upcoming adaptation of Candyman. Another intriguing offering will be Lopez & Benson & Moorhead’s Home Movies where Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead (Synchronic, The Endless), and Issa Lopez (Tigers Are Not Afraid) take a look, through the lens of hindsight, at their early work. They’ll discuss their mistakes and successes via real time commentary, which should be interesting, and possibly embarrassing!
Modern Horrors will be posting additional coverage of the Nightstream offerings, so stay tuned.
Nightstream runs October 8 through October 11th, 2020. Additional information can be found here.