It isn’t easy being a dedicated genre fan in the south. With the majority of high-profile screenings and premieres occurring at festivals in California, New York, and Texas, it’s easy to feel left out. Luckily, the incredible team behind the Chattanooga Film Festival comes through each and every year with a standout lineup that delivers some of the very best genre films that fans and media alike will be talking about for the next calendar year or more.
Some call it the “Sundance of the south”, but I think that’s selling them short. The Chattanooga Film Festival is run by genuine fans of the horror genre, and while not all screenings fall under the horror umbrella, there’s more than enough to satiate the inner weirdo in us all. Not to mention the plethora of carefully constructed events that are made available to attendees.
All of that to say, if you’re within driving distance of Chattanooga, TN, you owe it to yourself to grab a weekend pass. Jeremy Burgess and myself will be on the ground representing the Modern Horrors team yet again this year, so if you can’t make it, stay tuned for some delicious festival coverage. If you can make it, hit us up on Twitter (@ImLukeRodriguez & @JD_Burge) and let’s grab a beer and watch some movies! Here’s a list of genre flicks you can check out if you do:
Margaret and Henry are back home in Washington DC for the holidays. At a Christmas party of old high school friends, Margaret discovers that her ex-boyfriend is now engaged. With her holiday mood ruined, Margaret and Henry ditch the party to go score some drugs. What starts as a night of debauchery evolves into a self-indulgent quest when the two friends become convinced that they are the only ones who can solve the kidnapping of a neighborhood socialite.
Body at Brighton Rock
Wendy, a part-time summer employee at a mountainous state park, takes on a rough trail assignment at the end of the season, trying to prove to her friends that she’s capable enough to do the job. When she takes a wrong turn and ends up deep in the backcountry, she stumbles upon what might be a potential crime scene. Stuck with no communication after losing her radio and with orders to guard the site, Wendy must fight the urge to run and do the harder job of staying put—spending the night deep in the wilderness, facing down her worst fears and proving to everyone—including herself—that she’s made of stronger stuff than they think she is.
In the household of Lee Gyeong-jin, a high-ranking official of Joseon Kingdom, three sons die from an unidentified horror. A woman pregnant with a child of the third son soon learns of the evil spirit that haunts the house.
After a scientific experiment goes horribly wrong and results in a zombie apocalypse, a fearless soldier named Maria has to partner up with TS-347, a man with superhuman strength, and Pedro, a survivor who battles zombies as hard as he is battling his hangover. It is up to Maria to lead a quest to a safe place, but complications will cross their paths in the form of a nuclear bomb.
Lords of Chaos
A teenager’s quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the early 1990s results in a very violent outcome.
If Harmony Korine and Luis Bunuel had taken a crack at co-directing Office Space it still wouldn’t be as bizarre as filmmaker Juan Ortiz’s crime/comedy/body horror filled debut. Featuring CFF fan favorites Jeremy Gardner (The Battery, Tex Montana Will Survive) along with Michael St. Michael’s (The Greasy Strangler) and boasting cinematography from The Battery’s Christian Stella, Fingers is truly indescribable fun!
A haunting ghost story set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store that follows the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person, with devastating consequences…
I Trapped the Devil
Christmas is supposed to be a time for peace and joyful family reunions. But when Matt and his wife Karen show up unannounced at the home of his estranged brother Steve to celebrate the holidays, they are instead greeted with a horrifying surprise: trapped in the basement is a man. But not just any man. Steve believes that his hostage is none other than the devil himself.
Hellbound (World Premiere)
Ben Winston’s feature film debut about two reckless bikers on a provocative, nightmarish journey through the mountains.
Rivalries, dark secrets, and sexual tension that emerge when three best friends find themselves stranded on a yacht in the middle of the ocean under suspicious circumstances.
After two mysterious deaths at a college on the same night, seven students, somehow connected, receive invitations to a confessional booth hidden on the campus. Their confessions slowly unveil the truth behind, not only the deaths, the booth as well. The dark, twisty, dialogue-driven and emotionally-complex mystery is entirely confined to the video confessional.
DEADTECTIVES follows a team of hapless paranormal investigators on a reality TV series who go on a quest to Mexico’s most haunted house in the pursuit of better ratings. However, when the true dark secrets of the mansion begin to reveal themselves, the hapless presenters quickly discover that this house is no hoax. With zero ghost-hunting skills (or really any other applicable skills) the team has to figure out how to bust the ghosts and escape the house with their lives.
The Girl on the Third Floor
Featuring a score composed in part by the legendary Steve Albini and a winning leading man turn by wrestler CM PUNK, Stevens’ film plays out like a horror version of THE MONEY PIT with some serious things to say about toxic masculinity and enough strange fluids to make you want to wash your hands immediately after viewing. THE GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR is a hellaciously effective debut by one of our favorite working filmmakers.
Stênio, the nightshifter of a morgue, has the ability to communicate with the cadavers that are brought to him every night.
A psychotic musician lures a fellow bandmate and an unsuspecting woman to a remote mansion for a night of romantic deceit and grinding metal mayhem.
In this genre-bending psychological sci-fi thriller, a bold girl discovers a bizarre, threatening, and mysterious new world beyond her front door after she escapes her father’s protective and paranoid control.
When a charming fare named Penny climbs into his taxi cab, Harris, her world-weary driver, finds himself engaged in the only kind of courtship he can have with a passenger — one that lasts as long as her trip. That is, right up until she disappears from the back seat without a trace. When confusion gives way to reality, he resets his meter and is instantaneously transported back to the moment when she climbed into his cab.
The Dead Center
A hospital psychiatrist’s own sanity is pushed to the edge when a frightened amnesiac patient insists that he has died and brought something terrible back from the other side.
A full schedule will be made available in the coming weeks. Until then you can get more information on additional screenings, events, buy passes, and more at the Chattanooga Film Festival website. We’ll see you there!