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Jeff Lieberman
Jeff Lieberman

Dead by Dawn International Horror Film Festival, returns to Filmhouse, in Edinburgh, Scotland, for it’s 26th Edition, April 18 to 21 with cult favorite, director Jeff Lieberman as the Guest of Honor. Jeff will host a retrospective of his films Blue Sunshine, Remote Control, Just Before Dawn, Squirm and Satan’s Little Helper.

Festival Director Adele Hartley says “In 26 years we’ve introduced so many amazing directors to Scottish audiences – the likes of Peter Jackson, Neil Marshall, Jim Mickle, Jaume Balaguero, Mike Flanagan, the Spierig Brothers, the Meza-Valdez brothers – and this year’s selection showcases yet more exceptional talent from all over the world.

The festival will screen 64 films from 15 countries including short film across 8 programs, totaling 53 films. Feature films include THE NIGHT SHIFTER (Brazil), CUTTERHEAD (Denmark), YOU MIGHT BE THE KILLER (USA), INCREDIBLE VIOLENCE (Canada), HEAVY TRIP (Finland, Norway, Belgium), LUZ (Germany) and TOUS LES DIEUX DU CIEL (France).

(dir, G Patrick Condon)

A film-maker finds himself funded by a mystery organization but right at the start we hear him confessing to a friend that the money is pretty much gone and he hasn’t made the film yet. Now in debt and fear of his loan sharks, the friend suggests a devious and extremely immoral way to make the film. Definitely not for the faint of heart, this fierce deconstruction is an inspired meta take on a familiar horror trope. You have been warned!

(dir, Rasmus Kloster Bro)

In a grey dawn, Rie descends in an industrial lift through colossal excavated layers to where the Cutterhead will soon break through, connecting subway works to an existing station. She asks Bharan and Ivo if she can join them in a hyperbaric chamber to get a closer look at the specialist work they’re doing. You’ll never be more aware of how every breath moves in and out your body and I promise you will need to see the sky as soon as it’s all over!

UK Premiere of HEAVY TRIP
(dirs, Juuso Laatio, Jukka Vidgren)

In the small northern Finnish town, four boys play in their black metal band – they’ve been practising for 12 years without ever quite getting up the courage to play in public.

With sweetness at its core, Heavy Trip is a deadpan metalhead comedy that pays affectionate tribute to the black metal scene whilst mocking its popular image. Things turn around for Turo and his band when they meet the man behind a major metal festival in Norway.

Scottish Premiere of THE NIGHTSHIFTER
(dir, Dennison Ramalho)

Stênio is a Brazilian morgue worker who spends his nights talking to the corpses and they talk back, but only to him. It’s when he starts taking their advice that the trouble starts.

Everything about The NightShifter is impressive, from the novel twist on an old idea, to the delightfully gooey autopsy gore, to the execution of the more emotional resonant elements of the story. Ramalho has made a very self-assured debut with this film, and he’s evidently a filmmaker to look out for.

(dir, Tilman Singer)

On a dark and stormy night, a girl stumbles into a quiet German police station and asks the receptionist “Is this how you want to live your life? Is this seriously what you want?”

In Tilman Singer’s strange supernatural horror film, a demon inhabits corporeal vessels but takes possession of the mind as well, making this paranormal movie more cerebral than visceral. Singer is one of the refreshing few genre directors who trusts his audience to interpret things for themselves, making this a positively disorienting viewing experience.

(dir, Brett Simmons)

Senior summer camp counsellor Sam is drenched in blood and holed up in a shed, calling his best friend Chuck, begging for her help. Of course the title gives the whole thing away so the point here is not mystery, it’s a chance to be smug at every slasher trope pulled into the moonlight only to be sliced and hacked into very familiar little pieces. Isolated campground? Check. Hot counsellors? Check. Hokey old legend? Check. Stupid idea to split up and hunt for haunted artefact in the dark? Check.

Scottish Premiere of TOUS LES DIEUX DU CIEL
(dir, Quarxx)

A factory worker lives alone on a decrepit farm with his younger sister, severely handicapped since a childhood game took a disastrous turn in this uncompromising and unique vision in today’s New French cinema. Its ferocity and darkness will shock audiences but it carries within it a deep and sincere love towards its uprooted characters. Even though set in a seemingly realistic rural French world, Quarxx aims to surreptitiously teleport us to a parallel world, situated right on our doorstep.

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