Full lineup announced for Stanley Film Festival; SpectreVision team to be awarded
The haunted hotel that inspired Stephen King’s THE SHINING opens its doors to four full days of horror in the form of the 2014 Stanley Film Festival later this month. The complete and very impressive list of movies has been announced, with the founders of an up-and-coming genre company set for special honors.
The fest, produced by the Denver Film Society and presented by Chiller, takes place at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO Thursday-Sunday, April 24-27. Among the guests will be Elijah Wood, Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller of SpectreVision, the outfit behind COOTIES, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT and more upcoming fear fare. They’ll be presented with the Visionary Award at a special presentation, followed by a screening of Nacho Vigalondo’s Wood-starring otherworldly thriller OPEN WINDOWS. The full slate of features is as follows:
• THE BABADOOK (Australia, 2013; Director: Jennifer Kent, featuring Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney): A breakout hit at the Sundance Film Festival, Jennifer Kent’s terrifying debut about an unhinged child, his suffering mother and a sinister spectre that may or may not exist offers sophisticated scares and commanding tension.
• BLOOD GLACIER (Austria, 2013; Director: Marvin Kren, featuring Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Brigitte Kren, Hille Beseler, Peter Knaack): A group of scientists stationed in the German Alps discover a melting glacier that leaks a strange red liquid. When that liquid begins producing rapidly increasing biological monstrosities, all hope may be lost in this environmental chiller.
• DEAD SNOW: RED VS. DEAD (Norway/Iceland, 2014; Director: Tommy Wirkola, featuring Vegar Hoel, Martin Starr, Jocelyn DeBoer, Ingrid Haas): In the follow-up to his cult hit, director Tommy Wirkola brings back Colonel Herzog to lead his Nazi zombie army on their unholy quest. Although this time, a Russian battalion is wakened for the fight.
• DOC OF THE DEAD (U.S., 2014; Director: Alexandre O. Philippe, featuring George A. Romero, Simon Pegg, Bruce Campbell, Max Brooks, Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero, Robert Kirkman): Could there be a real zombie outbreak? If so, DOC OF THE DEAD can help you prepare. This definitive guide to all things undead delves deep into the evolution of the zombie genre in film and literature, as well as its impact and influence on pop culture, to deliver a comprehensive, fast-paced, highly entertaining look at a contemporary social pandemic of global proportions.
• HOUSEBOUND (New Zealand, 2014; Director: Gerard Johnstone, featuring Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru): An unruly hooligan sentenced to house arrest at her childhood home must contend with her family, police handlers and the spectral frights that may be haunting the property in this tautly written comedy/thriller.
• LATE PHASES (U.S., 2014; Director: Adrián García Bogliano, featuring Nick Damici, Ethan Embry, Lance Guest, Tina Louise, Rutanya Alda): When a no-nonsense war vet moves into a secluded retirement community that’s fallen victim to a series of violent beast attacks, he vows to stop the creature once and for all. Stanley Film Festival alum Adrián García Bogliano (HERE COMES THE DEVIL) returns with his English-language debut.
• LESSON OF THE EVIL (Japan, 2012; Director: Takashi Miike, featuring Ruth Sundell, Takayuki Yamada, Fumi Nikaidô): The notorious and prolific Takashi Miike (AUDITION, ICHI THE KILLER), one of the living legends of genre, tackles his most controversial subject matter yet in this story of a charismatic teacher with an extreme and violent plan to stop the rash of bullying at his school.
• MOEBIUS (South Korea, 2013; Director: Kim Ki-duk, featuring Jae-hyeon Jo, Eun-woo Lee, Young-ju Seo): Kim Ki-duk’s Freudian breakdown of the family unit sees a wife take revenge upon her adulterous husband by dismembering their son. And then things really take a turn to the extreme as the family falls into complete destruction.
• NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN (Germany, 2013; Director: Katrin Gebbe, featuring Julius Feldmeier, Sascha Alexander Gersak, Annika Kuhl, Swantje Kohlhof): Christian devotee Tore has his faith put to the ultimate test after moving in with a religious skeptic and his family. This tension-building game of cruelty explores just how often one can turn the other cheek.
• OPEN WINDOWS (Spain, U.S., 2014; Director: Nacho Vigolando, featuring Elijah Wood, Sasha Grey, Neil Maskell): This year’s Stanley Film Festival Visionary Award co-recipient Elijah Wood stars in an otherworldly new thriller from cult filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo (TIMECRIMES). Extreme technical bravado and frenetic energy create the sensation of REAR WINDOW for the digital age.
• RAGNAROK (Norway, 2013; Director: Mikkel Brænne Sandemose, featuring Pål Sverre Hagen, Nicolai Cleve Broch, Bjørn Sundquist, Sofia Helin, Maria Annette Tanderød Berglyd): An archeologist obsessed with ancient Viking myth stumbles upon the discovery of a lifetime in this good old-fashioned creature-feature adventure that’s fun for the whole family.
• R100 (Japan, 2013; Director: Hitoshi Matsumoto, featuring Nao Ohmori, Lindsay Kay Hayward, Hairi Katagiri): Renowned cult director Hitoshi Matsumoto crafts a bizarre tale of a mysterious S&M club where dominatrixes can strike at any time and its participants can’t escape their leather-clad relentlessness.
• RIGOR MORTIS (Hong Kong, 2013; Director: Juno Mak, featuring Anthony Chan, Siu-hou Chin, Kara Hui, Hoi-Pang Lo, Richard Ng): Produced by the director of the J-horror-sensation series THE GRUDGE, a viscerally charged, beautifully realized and relentlessly surreal interpretation of traditional tales of supernatural forces guaranteed to attack the sense
• THE SACRAMENT (U.S., 2013; Director: Ti West, featuring Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen, Kentucker Audley, Amy Seimetz, Gene Jones): The Stanley Film Festival’s inaugural Visionary Award winner Eli Roth produces indie horror icon Ti West’s slow-burn take on the Jonestown Massacre, a smart blend of found-footage style with excellent performances that instill true fear.
• STARRY EYES (U.S., 2014; Directors: Dennis Widmeyer and Dennis Kölsch, featuring Alexandra Essoe, Amanda Fuller, Fabianne Therese, Noah Segan, Shane Coffey, Natalie Castillo, Pat Healy): From the producers of CHEAP THRILLS and JODOROWSKY’S DUNE: Struggling actress Sarah will give anything to land her dream role in cutthroat Hollywood. But when a storied production company gives her that chance, she learns the true cost of fame.
• THE STRANGE COLOUR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS (Belgium/France/Luxembourg, 2013; Directors: Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, featuring Klaus Tange, Ursula Bedena, Joe Koener, Birgit Yew): In this visual bounty of a thriller, a man searches for his wife through a kaleidoscope of stained glass windows, sliced flesh and sexual intrigue.
• WITCHING AND BITCHING (Spain, 2013; Director: Álex de la Iglesia, featuring Hugo Silva, Mario Casas, Pepón Nieto, Carolina Bang): Cult director Álex de la Iglesia (THE LAST CIRCUS) is in top form with this hilarious and gory tale of thieves who find themselves in over their heads when faced with a coven of bloodthirsty witches.
• WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (New Zealand, 2014; Directors: Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, featuring Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement, Jonathan Brugh): Living with roommates can always pose quirky challenges. But when you’re a vampire cohabitating with your fellow kind for a few hundred years, things get a bit tricky. From Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement (FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS) comes a hilarious mockumentary about a house of vampires trying to get back in touch with modern society.
• WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? (Spain, 1976; Director: Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, featuring Lewis Fiander, Prunella Ransome, Antonio Iranzo, Miguel Narros): Presented by SpectreVision in cooperation with Channel Z, this rarely seen Spanish horror finds an English couple vacationing on an island where the children are murdering all the adults.
There will also be a secret screening of highly anticipated new film from a modern master of gore, retrospective showings of Stanley Kubrick’s EYES WIDE SHUT, Jean Epstein’s silent THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (with a live score), Joe Dante’s GREMLINS, Mick Garris’ SLEEPWALKERS and Tobe Hooper’s THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE in its 40th-anniversary restored version, a free family screening of Henry Selick’s THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and a pair of shorts programs. How can they cram all this into four days? Find out at the fest’s official website and Facebook page.