MONSTER FEST returns to Cinema Nova from December 2 – 12 to celebrate their 10th Anniversary with 10 Days of the latest and greatest genre and cult cinema programming from around the world along with Filmmaker Q&As, Panel Discussions and Special Events.
Opening Monster Fest 2021, RESIDENT EVIL: WELCOME TO RACCOON CITY, directed by Monster Fest alumni Johannes Roberts (THE STRANGERS – PREY AT NIGHT, 47 METRES DOWN) and starring Kaya Scodelario (CRAWL) and Robbie Amell (THE BABYSITTER), this instalment returns to the very roots of the RESIDENT EVIL franchise.
With equal lashings of laughs and gore, Danishka Esterhazy‘s satirical slasher SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE can join a short list of films that includes THE BLOB (1988), HOUSE ON HAUNTED HIL (1999) and MANIAC (2012) as rare reimaginings that genuinely work and arguably eclipse their original source.
Devon Sawa (IDLE HANDS), Michael Jae White (DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE) and genre legend Bruce Campbell (EVIL DEAD) lead a motley crew of embattled retail employees who must rise against bloodthirsty bargain-hunters in Casey Tebo’s BLACK FRIDAY.
Kiah Roache-Turner & Tristan Roache-Turner‘s highly anticipated follow up to 2014’s WYRMWOOD, WYRMWOOD APOCALYPSE follows Rhys (Luke McKenzie, WENTWORTH), a soldier who in a dystopic zombie-infested Australia, has dedicated his life to tracking and capturing survivors for the Surgeon General in hopes of finding a cure.
As if puberty weren’t enough, imagine discovering at such a formative age that you’re also a witch, such is the case for Izzy (Zelda Adams), in the Fantasia Film Festival award-winner, HELLBENDER, the latest work from the auteur family of filmmakers John Adams, Zelda Adams & Toby Poser (THE DEEPER YOU DIG).
From Oscar-winning visual effects artist and filmmaker Phil Tippett, comes his highly anticipated masterwork MAD GOD, an experimental stop-motion extravaganza set in a Milton-esque world of monsters, mad scientists, and war pigs.
Every year Monster Fest attempt to program at least one film in which the violence, gore and obscenity is that visceral and extreme that it may give even the most seasoned Monster Fest patron pause. This year, that film is THE SADNESS, fresh from its Fantastic Fest win for ‘Best Horror Film’, Rob Jabbaz‘s debut feature sees a nation fall as a rampant plague turns it citizens into depraved, unconscionable and ruthless sadists.
What do you get when you cross two New York City hipsters, a surprisingly affordable apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and Jeffrey Epstein’s ghost? Dasha Nekrasov‘s Berlinale award–winning THE SCARY OF SIXTY-FIRST, a giallo-infused and conspiracy-fuelled pitch-black comedy.
NOVA STAR is the long-awaited and highly anticipated fifth feature from Monster Fest alumni Daniel Armstrong (TARNATION), an intergalactic comedy that sees Mack, a space janitor, tasked with saving the universe from Kill-Bots, Space Pirates, Bounty Hunters and an evil Space Queen who plans to flush the entire cosmos out of reality through a black hole.
Passion, hope and destiny collide when two men from opposite sides of the world work together to bring Wakaliwood’s unique blend of action and comedy not only to screens throughout Africa but to the wider world in Cathryne Czubek & Hugo Perez‘s crowd-pleasing documentary ONCE UPON A TIME IN UGANDA.
Filmmakers Sarah Appleton & Phillip Escott explore the origins, impact and legacy of a sub-genre of cinema that despite its popularity and strong box office, rarely gets it due, in the gripping documentary THE FOUND FOOTAGE PHENOMENON.
BAFTA-winner Paul Andrew Williams‘ BULL is a brutal, subversive and wickedly suspenseful story of a wronged man (Neil Maskell, KILL LIST) who returns home after a decade-long absence to seek revenge on those who double-crossed him and left him for dead.
Following on from sold-out screenings at TIFF, Fantastic Fest and Beyond Fest, Ruth Paxton‘s A BANQUET is an unsettling, thought-provoking and hyper-tense psychological thriller about mother attempting to cope with a sudden and terrifying change in her daughter’s behaviour.
OFFSEASON is the latest offering from prolific genre filmmaker Mickey Keating (DARLING), that follows Marie (Jocelin Donahue, DOCTOR SLEEP) who ventures to a remote island to see to some family business but soon realises that may never be able to leave.
Australia has had many entries in the found footage sub-genre but to date none have equaled the sheer scale and genuine scare of 2011’s critically acclaimed THE TUNNEL. Now ten years on, go behind-the-scenes of the film that helped redefine a sub-genre globally and discover not only how the film was made but the impact its had since its release in THE TUNNEL: THE OTHER SIDE OF DARKNESS.
When two cocky door-to-door salesman happen to call upon the wrong household, what ensues is an escalation dark comedy of the highest order in director Josh Wallace‘s KEEPING COMPANY.
Filmmakers Samuel Gonzalez Jr. & Bridget Smith‘s THE RETALIATORS craft a refreshingly original and unsparingly brutal tale of a pastor on the hunt to find his daughter’s murderer/s but will his faith in God prevent him from extracting the revenge he rightly deserves.
Horny jocks, battle-hardened nerds and hot milfy mums abound in Pierce Berolzheimer‘s CRABS, a loving ode to the OTT eco-horror movies of the 70s and 80s.
Kevin Kopacka‘s DAWN BREAKS BEHIND THE EYES is an experimental horror with the gothic chills of Mario Bava and the visceral excess of Lucio Fulci that sees a couple inherit a rundown castle from which they find time and reality shift around them.
Twists and tension collide in writer/director Christopher Donaldson‘s DITCHED, that finds an ambulance crew besieged by a mysterious and malicious presence in the woods.
Adam Stilwell‘s sophomore feature, THE FREE FALL, is psychological horror that follows Sara (Andrea Londo, NARCOS) who wakes from a coma to a life she doesn’t remember and perhaps is best not to.
Following a robbery, an expectant mother searches for her family’s stolen dog but soon finds her hunt leading to the seedy and dangerous underworld of illegal dog fighting, in Samuel Galloway‘s MUTT.
THE DUNES is a psychological thriller from writer/director Martin Copping about a journalist who returns to his hometown to investigate a disappearance but encounters a mysterious figure who threatens his very own existence.
Josh Conn‘s survival thriller CROW VALLEY follows Benny, who after suffering from a hit and run, wakes to find himself in a cabin with a woman whose grip on reality and edge of sanity is slowly slipping away.
They say you can’t go home again and for Lily she will soon wish she hadn’t. Filmmakers Paul Anthony Nelson & Perri Cummings‘ APPARITIONS is a multi-layered suspense horror that explores fear, family and identity.
Zeke Dixon-Kitt‘s debut feature THE LONESOME ROOM is a single-location thriller that follows an author suffering writer’s block who finds herself trapped in a scenario not too dissimilar to one from her novels.
If there were any good to come out of Melbourne’s seemingly never-ending lockdowns, it may just be that it afforded the time to search, discover and assemble Cameron McCulloch‘s thought-to-be-lost debut feature, SCAM. Shot in the early 2000s, this loving ode to and entry in a bygone era of crime capers centres around Kim (Kesti Morassi, WOLF CREEK), a small-time scam artist looking to level up in the underworld, which is unfortunately run by her disapproving father.
Monster Fest dare you to experience producer Andy Warhol & director Paul Morrissey‘s BLOOD FOR DRACULA & FLESH FRANKENSTEIN as a Double Feature on the big screen with all-new 4K Restorations from their original camera negatives.
In honour of its 10th Anniversary, Monster Fest is pleased to host a celebratory screening of the Australian found footage classic THE TUNNEL, that finds a tv crew on the hunt for a story that quickly becomes clear is hunting for them.
Alright you Tapeheads, listen up! Monster Fest is pleased to premiere VIDEO HOARDERS SEASON 3 in its entirety, all five episodes back-to-back up on the big screen. Series creator and host Rob Taylor is headed north…North America, Canada in fact, as he raids the VHS stashes of some serious Canuck collectors and gives us an inside look at their convention scene too.
When you think of canine companions as seen in cinema, instantly you are reminded of loving and loyal best pals however in the horror film, dogs serve a very different purpose. Film critic and author Lee Gambin will take you on a walk through the history of Dog-Horror cinema with his lecture THEY’RE NOT PETS ANYMORE: DOGS IN THE HORROR FILM.
Following on from Lee Gambin’s fascinating talk, Monster Fest is beyond excited to showcase three of the finest examples of Dog-Horror ever made with our DOGSPLOITATION MARATHON. The films themselves are, at present, a closely guarded secret but suffice to say there will be enough gnashing of teeth, slobbering jaws and high-pitched barks to satisfy all comers. And if that’s not enough, intersperse between the screenings will be a little thing they like to call MONSTER FEST TRIVIA.
FROM SHORT TO FEATURE: THE CREATIVE JOURNEY OF BUTTON MAN presents not only the Worl Premiere of the BUTTON MAN Short but will also be a Filmmaker Q&A and Panel session to discuss the journey of the film so far and the next steps the filmmaking team will take to get the feature to market.
As always Monster Fest are thrilled to bring you the very best Short Films from around the world. With one Short playing prior to all Feature programming and two dedicated sessions of Shorts this year: MONSTER FEST SHORTS & MONSTER FEST STUDENT SHORTS.
And no Monster Fest would be without Dick Dale’s TRASHARAMA. Bursting at the seams with gross-out horror, bad taste comedies, sick n’ twisted animations, science-fiction scat and other genres not even invented yet, Trasharama is Monster Fest tradition and not to be missed. Trash ain’t trash when it’s in Trasharama!
Finally Monster Fest have a SURPRISE SESSION. We’ve been working furiously behind the scenes to bring you a super special addition to this years’ program. Take a leap of faith and grab a ticket now or wait until all is revealed, either way they guarantee it’ll be worth it.
VIP Pass – $330 Valid for 28 sessions including Opening Night, Closing Night and Special Events at Monster Fest from Thursday December 2nd through Sunday December 12th. It cannot be used for multiple tickets to the same session or for sessions that run concurrently.10 Film Pass – $150 The 10 Film Pass may be used for any 10 Monster Fest film sessions from Thursday December 2nd to Sunday December 12th including Opening Night, Closing Night and Special Events. It cannot be used for multiple tickets to the same session or for sessions that run concurrently.5 Film Pass – $75 The 5 Film Pass may be used for any five Monster Fest film sessions from Thursday December 2nd to Sunday December 12th including Opening and Closing Night but excluding ‘The Andy Warhol 4K Double Feature’ and ‘The Dogslpoitation Marathon’. It cannot be used for multiple tickets to the same session or for sessions that run concurrently.SPECIAL EVENTS
Summary: Camille, a young woman who arrives at the Fairfield Academy following one of the student’s untimely and violent death
Cinema Release Dates: 21st May 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: 29th September 2021 (Australia), 29th September 2021 (UK)
Director: Simon Barrett
Screenwriter: Simon Barrett
Cast: Djouliet Amara (Rosalind Carlisle), Madison Beaty (Bethany), Megan Best (Kerrie), Alexis Erickson-Sliboda (Alicia Kane), Colleen Furlan (Ms. Duncan), Marina Stephenson Kerr (Mrs. Landry), Jade Michael (Lenora), Seamus Patterson (Trevor Landry), Inanna Sarkis (Alice), Ella-Rae Smith (Helina), Stephanie Sy (Yvonne), Suki Waterhouse (Camille Meadows)
Running Time: 92 mins
Classification: MA15+ (Australia), R (USA)
OUR SEANCE REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Seance Review:
I always love to support film directors who are creative enough to do things differently to what everyone else is doing. Filmmaker Simon Barrett is one such director. Barrett quickly established himself as a screenwriter in the horror genre with his ability to take familiar horror tropes and spin them around to something quite original.
I first stumbled upon his work after watching V/H/S at Monster Fest, a number of years ago. I’d never really been a fan of the horror anthology style of film – to me it always felt like a lazy way to group short films together and call them a feature, but with V/H/S Barrett showed creativity and somehow the film worked. Soon after I saw the very brilliant-but-bloody You’re Next and I was hooked.
Now with Seance Barrett brilliantly melds horror genres together in a way that shouldn’t work – but does. Yes, Seance is part slasher, part teen horror but ends up falling alongside those brilliant commercial teen horrors of the 90s and 2000s like The Faculty, Halloween: H20 and Disturbing Behaviour.
The film follows the events at an elite private school, called Fairfield Academy, after one of its students dies after ‘falling’ from a window. While the school’s staff are quick to reassure new student, Camille Meadows (Suki Waterhouse – Love, Rosie), that the students death was in fact an accident she soon learns after talking to fellow student Helina (Ella-Rae Smith – The Stranger) that the death actually followed immediately after a cruel prank pulled by the very popular Alice (Inanna Sarkis – After).
As Camille looks more into how he girl she finds that the school itself appears to be haunted while she soon finds herself in her own confusing situation as she draws closer to Helina but also seems to be developing feelings for the school’s handyman, Trevor (Seamus Patterson – Guest Of Honor).
I think what I loved the most about Seance was the fact that because Barrett plays with so many horror tropes and ‘inner genres’ within the film you never really know what is going to happen next. At the beginning the film feels like a mix between Harry Potter, Ouija and Mean Girls and from there it meanders in such a way that you are never really sure where the film is going to end up being a supernatural film or simply just a serial killer film.
The film is written in such a way that there are even questions over the hero herself, Camille. She seems to quick to label Alice and her clique the enemies while little things about her past just don’t seem to add up with who she says she is.
Barrett’s screenplay does take the audience on a winding path of discovery and to its credit it doesn’t trip itself up at any time. The only thing I didn’t really like was the fact that I thought the film pulled away a little from the budding relationship between Helina and Camille. If it had become more a centre point to the film it could have allowed the film itself to develop more tension and suspense when the two love-birds lives were placed in danger.
Clearly the star of this film though is Suki Waterhouse. She is very good in the role of Camille – although her character is at times standoffish Waterhouse portrays the character in such a way that she is still likable to the audience. Waterhouse also plays Camille in a way that you can see that she is tough and ready for the next stoush but at the same time has a vulnerability to herself that could end up being her downfall.
Really serious horror fans may not like the fact that Seance feels like a throwback to films like Urban Legends but for those of us who grew up with Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer posters on our wall it is a worthy watch.
Director Scott Derrickson returns to his terror roots and partners again with the foremost brand in the genre, Blumhouse with a new horror thriller. Finney “Finn” Shaw, a shy but clever 13 year old boy, is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of little use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims. And they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.
The film stars Ethan Hawke, Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, James Ransone and Jeremy Davies.
Summary: Ian Boldsworth and Barry Dodds visit the most haunted village in the world, the home of the world’s most violent poltergeist, the underground labyrinths of Edinburgh, and everywhere in between.
Cinema Release Dates: 7th January 2020 (UK)
VOD Release Dates: TBA
Director: Ian Boldsworth
Screenwriter: Ian Boldsworth
Cast: Ian Boldsworth (himself), Barry Dodds (himself), Carol Fieldhouse (herself), Chris Finch (himself)
Summary: During a power outage, two strangers tell scary stories. The more Fred and Fanny commit to their tales, the more the stories come to life in their Catskills cabin. The horrors of reality manifest when Fred confronts his ultimate fear.
Cinema Release Dates: TBA
VOD Release Dates: Available in all regions now.
Director: Josh Ruben
Screenwriter: Josh Ruben
Cast: Aya Cash (Fanny), Chris Redd (Carlo), Rebecca Drysdale (Bettina), Josh Ruben (Fred)
Lightbulb Film Distribution are delighted to share the poster and trailer for new psychological thriller, The Lodger. The film stars Jacqueline Bisset (“Bullitt”, “The Spiral Staircase”) and Alice Isaaz (“Elle”, “Savage State”) and was directed by Baptiste Drapeau from a screenplay written by Ollivier Briand. An elderly woman (Bisset) takes in a lodger (Isaaz), offering accommodation in return for help around the house. The eccentric woman behaves as if her long-deceased husband is still alive. But soon the lodger begins to feel his presence. The Lodger will be released on Digital Download and on DVD from Oct 18.
Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thrillers and the supernatural, has today announced that psychological thriller Dead & Beautiful will premiere on Thursday, November 4 in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The film, which is written and directed by David Verbeek, is also set to play at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX on Saturday, September 25.
Dead & Beautiful is produced by Erik Glijnis (Pleasure) and Leontine Petit (The Lobster) of Lemming Film, in co-production with House on Fire International, Nukleus Film and Woods of Light Film. Indie Sales is handling international sales. The film is written and directed by David Verbeek (R U There).