Popcorn Frights announced the first wave of films for the fifth festival of genre cinema taking place from August 8 to 16, 2019, at the historic Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale.
The opening night film is the World Premiere of HAUNT, the new horror-thriller by Scott Beck & Bryan Woods, the duo who wrote the box office sensation A Quiet Place. Their latest scarefest takes place on Halloween and follows a group of friends as they encounter an extreme haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears.
Closing the Festival is Brad Michael Elmore’s BIT, a brilliant and fresh take on bloodthirsty ladies of the night. The film stars Nicole Maines (Supergirl) as a transgender teen who becomes entrenched with a mysterious group of punk feminist vampires hellbent on ridding the streets of predatory men.
The Festival will also host the World Premiere of THE DARE, a gruesome nail-biter that cuts to the bone; and the North American Premiere of THE SONATA, a fantastically feverish chamber piece starring Rutger Hauer.
A trio of new female-directed genre films will be playing as well, including Jennifer Reeder’s neon-drenched gothic teen noir KNIVES AND SKIN, Chelsea Stardust’s hotly anticipated dark comedy SATANIC PANIC, and Alice Waddington’s dazzling dystopic tale PARADISE HILLS starring Emma Roberts, Awkwafina, Milla Jovovich, Eiza González, and Danielle Macdonald.
Other Festival highlights include Joe Begos’ daring psychedelic thriller BLISS; Adam Egypt Mortimer’s stylish psycho-horror DANIEL ISN’T REAL; heralded genre-bender Larry Fessenden’s reimagining of the Frankenstein myth in DEPRAVED; the viciously twisted and deliriously fun VILLAINS starring Bill Skarsgård, Maika Monroe, Jeffrey Donovan, and Kyra Sedgwick; and the haunting phantasmagoria of Peter Strickland’s beguiling ghost story IN FABRIC.
BIT (U.S.) Director: Brad Michael Elmore
A transgender teenage girl on summer vacation in Los Angeles fights to survive after she falls in with four queer feminist vampires, who try to rid the city’s streets of predatory men. Cast: Nicole Maines, M.C. Gainey, Diana Hopper, James Paxton (East Coast Premiere)
BLISS (U.S.) Director: Joe Begos
A brilliant painter facing the worst creative block of her life turns to anything she can to complete her masterpiece, spiraling into a hallucinatory hellscape of drugs, sex, and murder in the sleazy underbelly of Los Angeles. Cast: Dora Madison, Tru Collins, Rhys Wakefield, Graham Skipper (Southeast US Premiere)
DANIEL ISN’T REAL (U.S.) Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer
When a distraught college freshman faces an unimaginable family trauma, he turns to his sadistic imaginary friend from childhood for help, hoping to unleash some long-forgotten strength. What he finds instead will change his life forever. Cast: Patrick Schwarzenegger, Miles Robbins, Sasha Lane, Mary Stuart Masterson (East Coast Premiere)
THE DARE (U.K., U.S., Bulgaria) Director: Giles Alderson
Four abducted strangers are forced to piece together clues created by their deranged captor who has brought them together to engage in a twisted battle to solve a puzzle to their past…or die a gruesome death. Cast: Richard Brake, Joivan Wade, Richard Short (World Premiere)
DEPRAVED (U.S.) Director: Larry Fessenden
Larry Fessenden’s reimagining of the Frankenstein myth (shot on the 200th anniversary of the novel’s publication) centers on a PTSD-riddled field surgeon deep in the heart of Brooklyn who decides to reconstruct an unsuspecting man out of spare body parts. Cast: David Call, Joshua Leonard, Alex Breaux (Southeast US Premiere)
HAUNT (U.S.) Directors: Scott Beck & Bryan Woods
On Halloween, a group of friends encounters an “extreme” haunted house that promises to feed on their darkest fears. But the night turns deadly as they come to the horrifying realization that some nightmares are real. Cast: Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Lauryn Alisa McClain (World Premiere)
IN FABRIC (U.K.) Director: Peter Strickland
Obliquely split between two distinct stories, this exquisitely warped tale follows the life of a cursed scarlet dress as it passes from person to person, fatally afflicting anyone who comes into contact with it at an eerie department store. Cast: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Gwendoline Christie, Julian Barratt, Sidse Babett Knudsen (South Florida Premiere)
KNIVES AND SKIN (U.S.) Director: Jennifer Reeder
A mystical teen noir that follows a young girl’s disappearance in the rural Midwest and its effect on teens and parents. Cast: Kate Arrington, Marika Engelhardt, Tim Hopper (Southeast US Premiere)
PARADISE HILLS (Spain) Director: Alice Waddington
A mysterious boarding school perfectly reforms wayward girls to fit their surroundings’ exact desires. Cast: Emma Roberts, Awkwafina, Milla Jovovich, Eiza González, Danielle Macdonald (East Coast Premiere)
SATANIC PANIC (U.S.) Director: Chelsea Stardust
A pizza delivery girl at the end of her financial rope has to fight for her life – and her tips – when her last order of the night turns out to be high society Satanists in need of a virgin sacrifice. Cast: Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Ruby Modine (Southeast US Premiere)
THE SONATA (France, U.K., Latvia) Director: Andrew Desmond
A young violinist unravels her long-lost father’s past, triggering dark forces that reach beyond her imagination. Cast: Rutger Hauer, Freya Tingley, James Faulkner, James Kermack (North American Premiere)
VILLAINS (U.S) Directors: Dan Berk & Robert Olsen
After a pair of amateur criminals break into a suburban home, they stumble upon a dark secret that two sadistic homeowners will do anything to keep from getting out. Cast: Bill Skarsgård, Maika Monroe, Jeffrey Donovan, Kyra Sedgwick (Florida Premiere)