Genre studio Welcome Villain Films (the folks behind this year’s Malum) have just acquired their first festival horror hit, Invoking Yell. This acquisition marks the studio’s third this year and their first Spanish-language film. The found footage horror is co-written and directed by Patricio Valladares with co-writer Barry Keating, and after premiering at the Unnamed Footage Festival, has enjoyed a successful festival run at several other genre film festivals including PanicFest, Chattanooga Film Festival, with a Popcorn Frights screening later this Summer. Shot on location in May of 2022 in Los Lleuques, Ñuble, a small town near Valladares’ home in Chillán City, in the South of Chile, Invoking Yell sits at the intersection of found footage and black metal. Check out the official synopsis below to see what I mean.

Set in 1997 south of Chile, Invoking Yell is a love letter to black metal that follows a trio of metalhead twenty-something girls who venture into the woods to shoot the demo tape for their black metal band, Invoking Yell. However, things take a sinister turn as they document their disturbing and unorthodox process of recording paranormal phenomena to be used in the album’s final track.

“This film was always meant to be an ode to the found footage films of the 90’s, but with a black metal twist,” says Director and Co-Writer Patricio Valladares. “I’m a big fan of The Blair Witch Project and many other found footage films from that era, and I am also a metalhead, so the subject matter came easy to me. I was lucky enough to shoot the film in my home country of Chile, taking advantage of the region’s natural splendor while also giving audiences a unique perspective into our local music scene that will feel both familiar and new to metalheads and music fans alike. It is incredibly exciting to be teaming up with the amazing group at Welcome Villain to release this special film to the world. We couldn’t be happier with this partnership.”

Invoking Yell Still 1

María Jesús Marcone, Macarena Carrere, and Andrea Ozuljevich star as the members of titular band, Invoking Yell, who go to extreme lengths to ensure their demo is the most evil tape ever made. With cinematography by Vittorio Farfan and Evelyn Belmar serving as the art department, this was absolutely a bare-bones crew. What’s more metal than that?

“We are massive fans of the found footage subgenre, and what Patricio and team created is a genuinely unnerving nightmare that stuck with us long after the credits rolled. This is the type of exciting creative vision that not only breathes new life into the subgenre but also proves there are still plenty of terrifying stories to be told in the found footage style,” says Luke LaBeau, Welcome Villain’s Head of Development. 

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Welcome Villain’s Head of Creative, Eric Kleifield, was equally taken by the indie project. “Invoking Yell brought back that feeling of seeing films like The Blair Witch Project for the first time – the mystery, the unpredictable plot twists, and the overall raw, gritty aesthetic really make this film effective and creepy in surprising new ways, and we are exceedingly proud to be releasing the film under the Welcome Villain label.”

Welcome Villain Films is distributing the film domestically, with an exact release date yet to be announced, and will also be handling international sales for the film. You can catch Invoking Yell at Popcorn Frights next month, as well as Sanfic19 in Chile for its Latin America premiere. Otherwise, keep you eyes peeled for more info on that upcoming domestic release date.

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