ARTIK directed by Tom Botchii
ARTIK directed by Tom Botchii

Popcorn Frights Film Festival rolled out the second wave of 73 horror genre films, including 10 world premieres, from 16 countries, for its fifth year taking place from August 8 to 16.

First up is the world premiere of the crazy creature feature ITSY BITSY about a terrifying killer spider born of ancient darkness and pure instinct. Popcorn Frights will also be presenting the world premiere of Tom Botchii’s ARTIK, a gut-twisting thriller centering on a comic book obsessed serial killer.

Setting an unprecedented record at this year’s Festival, more than a dozen films directed by women will be championed at Popcorn Frights. Featured as part of this spotlight is the world premiere of South Florida-based filmmaker Erynn Dalton’s directorial debut THE GRAVEDIGGER. This beautifully wrought adaptation of the acclaimed play uses a classic horror story’s legacy as the thread for an absorbingly original tale about a tragic “Monster.”

The horror genre is the perfect delivery system for monstrous tales that illuminate and explore real-life social, economic, and political horrors. Making powerful observations about the world we live in through the metaphors of monsters is the US Premiere of the jaw-dropping zombie thriller INFECCIÓN, a ferocious new nightmare that turns the zombie canon into a broad streak of social satire that captures the turbulent air befalling Venezuela today.

Other Festival highlights include the East Coast Premieres of Keola Racela’s take-no-prisoners horror sex comedy PORNO and Brandon Christensen’s haunting and extremely atmospheric Z; the Southeast US Premieres of the edge-of-seater doomsday epic THE UNTHINKABLE and Travis Stevens’ skin-crawling and utterly warped haunted-house opus THE GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR starring C.M. Punk; the North American Premiere of the tingly and creepy ghost story QUEEN OF SPADES: THE LOOKING GLASS; and Blumhouse Production’s new serial killer saga BLOODLINE starring Seann William Scott.

Continuing Popcorn Frights’ vital commitment to celebrating the cream of the homegrown crop, presents its “Homegrown: 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Florida Horror” program that is dedicated to renewing and reinvigorating the audience’s engagement with Florida’s local filmmakers and homegrown talent. Films featured in the “Homegrown” program include the world premieres of A DOLL FOR EDGAR, ALWAYS LISTENING, THE FINAL GIRL RETURNS, and the Road Warrior-inspired THE LIMITS; as well as the US Premiere of Jon Rhoads & Michael Marrero’s (Popcorn Frights 2017 Best Short award-winners) new horror-thriller CALL FOR A GOOD TIME. Rounding out the program are FEVER, TERROR ROAD, and the Miami based Borscht Corp productions SPIRIT NO.1 and VALERIO’S DAY OUT.

Popcorn Frights Film Festival 2019 Trailer

FESTIVAL LINEUP (SECOND WAVE)

ALIVE (U.S.), Directed by Rob Grant
A severely injured man and woman awake in an abandoned sanitarium only to discover that a sadistic caretaker holds the keys to their freedom and the horrific answers as to their real identity. Cast: Thomas Cocquerel, Camille Stopps, Angus Macfadyen (Florida Premiere)

ARTIK (U.S.), Directed by Tom Botchii
A comic book obsessed serial killer teaches his son how to get away with a series of brutal murders until the boy befriends a mysterious man who threatens to expose the families horrifying secret. Cast: Chase Williamson, Jerry G. Angelo, Lauren Ashley Carter (World Premiere)

ARTIK Trailer

BLOODLINE (U.S.), Directed by Henry Jacobson
Evan (Seann William Scott) values family above all else, and anyone who gets between him, his wife, and newborn son learns that the hard way. Cast: Seann William Scott, Mariela Garriga, Dale Dickey (South Florida Premiere)

THE GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR (U.S.), Directed by Travis Stevens
A father tries to renovate a rundown mansion with a sordid history for his growing family, only to learn that the house has other plans. Cast: C.M. Punk, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Sarah Brooks (Southeast US Premiere)

THE GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR Trailer

THE GRAVEDIGGER (U.S.), Directed by Erynn Dalton
Set in the late 1700s, in one of Bavaria’s forgotten cemeteries, a lone gravedigger discovers a hideously scarred man hiding in a fresh grave. What the gravedigger doesn’t know is that the man is none other than the monster created by a mad doctor. Cast: Paul Homza, Gisbert Heuer, Arlette Del Toro, Tyler Charles Kane (World Premiere)

INFECCIÓN (Venezuela, Mexico), Directed by Flavio Pedota
A father races against time to protect his son from a deadly zombie epidemic in Venezuela that has toppled the government and put society on the brink of total collapse. Cast: Rubén Guevara, Leonidas Urbina, Magdiel González (US Premiere)

INFECCIÓN Trailer

ITSY BITSY (U.S.), Directed by Micah Gallo
Based on the centuries-old poem, a family moves into a secluded mansion where they soon find themselves being targeted by an entity taking the form of a giant spider. Cast: Bruce Davison, Denise Crosby, Elizabeth Roberts (World Premiere)

ITSY BITSY  trailer

QUEEN OF SPADES: THE LOOKING GLASS (Russia) Directed by Aleksandr Domogarov
The sinister ghost of the Queen of Spades is again thirsty for blood, and this time its victims are the pupils of the boarding school, located in an old mansion, shrouded in gloomy rumors. Cast: Angelina Strechina, Daniil Izotov, Yan Alabushev (North American Premiere)

QUEEN OF SPADES: THE LOOKING GLASS Trailer

PORNO (U.S.), Directed by Keola Racela
When five teen employees at the local movie theater in a small Christian town discover a mysterious old film hidden in its basement, they unleash an alluring succubus who gives them a sex education…written in blood. Cast: Evan Daves, Jillian Mueller, Katelyn Pearce (East Coast Premiere)

THE UNTHINKABLE (Sweden), Directed by Crazy Pictures
Sweden is under attack by an unknown force, and in the midst of the chaos, a young man tries to reunite with his girlfriend and family. Cast: Christoffer Nordenrot, Lisa Henni, Jesper Barkselius (Southeast US Premiere)

Z (U.S.), Director: Brandon Christensen
A family find themselves terrorized by their eight-year-old son’s imaginary friend. Cast: Keegan Connor Tracy, Jett Klyne, Sean Rogerson (East Coast Premiere)

HOMEGROWN: 100% PURE FRESH SQUEEZED FLORIDA HORROR

A DOLL FOR EDGAR (U.S.),Directed by Anthony Dones
Reeling from the recent death of his mother, a young boy’s fate is left in the hands of an abusive stepfather. Both will soon learn that a mother’s love is stronger than the grave. (World Premiere)

ALWAYS LISTENING (U.S.), Directed by Randy Gonzalez
Our devices are constantly listening to us. What if something even worse could do the same? (World Premiere)

CALL FOR A GOOD TIME (U.S.), Directed by Jon Rhoads & Michael Marrero
One man learns the hard way why you never call a phone number written on the bathroom wall. (US Premiere)

FEVER (U.S.), Directed by Brian Rosenthal
A dark supernatural presence stalks a sick little girl and her skeptical mother. (South Florida Premiere)

THE FINAL GIRL RETURNS (U.S.), Directed by Alexandria Perez
A driver emerges from a massacre unscathed and finds himself trapped in an endless cycle of saving the final girls. Soon he learns that one mustn’t fight the rules of horror as the past he’s been driving from catches up to him. (World Premiere)

THE LIMITS (U.S.), Directed by Ulbrecht Tomas
In the aftermath of an intergalactic war, a lone road warrior must transcend time, death, and memory in order to reach a mysterious woman named Cybil. (World Premiere)

SPIRIT NO. 1 (U.S.), Directed by Brett Potter
There’s a ghost in this hallway. Can you see him? (Florida Premiere)

TERROR ROAD (U.S.), Directed by Brian Shephard
On a dark, eerie night, a young woman makes a wrong turn through a long stretch of deserted woods. But as the night goes on, she’ll soon learn you’re never truly alone on Terror Road. (East Coast Premiere)

VALERIO’S DAY OUT (U.S.), Directed by Michael Arcos
A young jaguar goes on a killing spree when he escapes from his enclosure at a zoo. After he’s caught, sedated, and relocated he makes a video diary for his significant other. Their name is Lula. (Florida Premiere)

SHORT FILMS

APEX (U.K.), Directed by Stuart T. Birchall
Emergence of a hybrid human-alien consciousness from the void.(Southeast US Premiere)

BACK INTO THE CLOSET (France), Directed by Noémie Besombes
A blind little girl is bored living alone with her mother until one day she finds a monster in the kitchen’s closet. (US Premiere)

BLESS YOU! (Poland), Directed by Paulina Ziólkowska
Everyone gets sick of everyone. But things become really bad when you get sick of yourself. (Southeast US Premiere)

BOILERMAKER (Estonia), Directed by Risto Kütt
A surreal short animated film. (South Florida Premiere)

CATERPILLARPLASTY (U.S.), Directed by David Barlow-Krelina
Fusing elements of Kafka and Kubrick,this is a prescient, grotesque sci-fi satire that lifts plastic surgery to another level. (South Florida Premiere)

CHICHI (U.S.), Directed by David Nessl
My dog had a dream and told me about it. I made a movie about that dream. This is that movie. (Southeast US Premiere)

CHOWBOYS: AN AMERICAN FOLKTALE (Canada), Directed by Astron 6
Things seem hopeless when three mysterious cowboys find themselves stranded on the coldest night in recorded history. (South Florida Premiere)

CRY CRY SCREAM SCREAM (Germany), Directed by Alexander Iffländer
An 80’s giallo slasher set in the city of Berlin. (World Premiere)

DEEP TISSUE (U.S.), Directed by Meredith Alloway
Two strangers meet under mysterious means and discover they share a mutual fetish. (Southeast US Premiere)

THE DESECRATED (U.S.), Directed by John Gray
A young morgue attendant encounters an unwelcome visitor. (South Florida Premiere)

THE DO IT UP DATE (U.S.), Directed by Josh Fadem
Kip and Shayla go on a big date! (East Coast Premiere)

FACING IT (U.K.), Directed by Sam Gainsborough
As a man anxiously awaits a meeting in the local pub, he is forced to explore his own difficult memories and relationships in an evening that will leave him changed forever. (Southeast US Premiere)

FEST (Germany), Directed by Nikita Kiakur
Puppets on strings rave, eat and fly. (East Coast Premiere)

FIVE COURSE MEAL (Canada), Directed by James Cadden
A loving couple agree to take part in a mysterious experiment for money. Things get exceptionally messy. (Southeast US Premiere)

FROST BITE (U.S.), Directed by Andrew Hunt
A young girl lures a mysterious figure across the frozen wasteland for reasons unexplained. (East Coast Premiere)

GO BACK (U.S.), Directed by Matthew & Nathanial Barber
In the fall of 1978, a distraught commuter travels down a haunted country road only to discover that its inhabitants have other plans. (East Coast Premiere)

THE GUESSING GAME (U.S.), Directed by Zachary Wincik
A man invites two old college friends to dinner, where a simple game will have unexpected consequences. (Southeast US Premiere)

GWILLIAM’S TIPS FOR TURNING TRICKS INTO TREATS (U.S.), Directed by Brian Lonano
This is what you wanted! Gwilliam is back and offers some tips for getting special treats this Halloween. (South Florida Premiere)

HOW TO BE ALONE (U.S.), Directed by Kate Trefry
Part psychological thriller, part horror comedy, Stranger Things writer Kate Trefry’s totally clever film features It Follows star Maika Monroe as a woman whose deepest fears seem to manifest physically when her husband (Joe Keery) leaves for the night shift. (Florida Premiere)

I’M GOING OUT FOR CIGARETTES (France), Directed by Osman Cerfon
A twelve-year-old lives with his sister, his mother, and also some men, all of whom have the same face and nest in closets, drawers, TV set… (Southeast US Premiere)

INTERGALACTICE DETEKTIVE – DR. MONKULA (Germany), Directed by Alexander Iffländer
Alarm in Tokyo! Green vampire monsters from outer space are reaching for world domination! But they have not expected the fearless gorilla-vampire-detective Dr. Monkula from planet F. (North American Premiere)

KNOCKSTRIKE (Spain), Directed by Genis Rigol, Pau Anglada, and Marc Torices
Two men who bump into each other on the street accidentally take the other’s briefcase. One contains a videotape that will lead the new owner to embark on an unexpected journey to decipher what’s in it. (Southeast US Premiere)

LA NORIA (Spain), Directed by Carlos Baena
A young boy who loves to draw and build ferris wheels encounters strange creatures that turn his life upside down. (Southeast US Premiere)

LOOM (U.S.), Directed by Kevin Rothlisberger
A weekend romance between two lovers suddenly turns to horror when they are taunted and abused by a group of local bullies. But just when the bullies think they have the best of them, someone decides to show their teeth releasing the bloodthirsty beasts within. (East Coast Premiere)

MANNEQUINS (U.K.), Directed by David Malcolm
Four friends visit the abandoned Carpenter Hill Hospital but none of them can know the true darkness that waits for them, a force they find themselves inexplicably drawn toward. (Florida Premiere)

MERCURY SCREAMS (U.S.), Directed by Dan Wilder
A young couple dealing with tragedy encounter an otherworldly evil. (Southeast US Premiere)

MIEDOS (Spain), Directed by Germán Sancho
The most terrifying fears creep into a little girl in her room when the lights turn off, just before she goes to sleep. (Southeast US Premiere)

THE OBLITERATION OF THE CHICKENS (U.S.), Directed by Izzy Lee
This Herzog-inspired fever dream uses 100% stock footage to reflect on the banality of existence. (Florida Premiere)

OCTANE (U.S.), Directed by Jeron Braxton
A man’s street race through hell and back parallels the black experience in America. (Florida Premiere)

OTHER SIDE OF THE BOX (U.S.), Directed by Caleb J. Phillips
A couple receives a mysterious package from an old friend. (Florida Premiere)

THE PROCEDURE 2 (U.S.), Directed by Calvin Reeder
A man is forced to endure another strange experiment. (South Florida Premiere)

RATTLE (U.S.), Directed by Patrick Rea
Two parents try to calm their crying baby. (Southeast US Premiere)

SELFIES (Switzerland), Directed by Claudius Gentinetta
A fireworks display of grinning people who lose themselves in the abysses of human existence. (South Florida Premiere)

SKIN OF MAN (U.S.), Directed by Jimmy Roche
A drug trip in the woods begins to disintegrate and erode as does the 16mm its filmed on –an odyssey of experimental horror ensues. (South Florida Premiere)

STARLETS (U.S.), Directed by Marten Carlson
An entertainment attorney travels to an isolated farmhouse for contract negotiations and must outsmart an aging film star…If he wants to survive the night. (Southeast US Premiere)

THE SUBJECT (France), Directed by Patrick Bouchard
An animator dissects his own body, extracting memories, emotions and fears that will nurture his work. (Southeast US Premiere)

TOE (U.S.), Directed by Neal O’Bryan & Chad Thurman
A starving boy eats a toe he finds sticking out of the ground. Later that night, something ghastly comes to his bedroom wanting it back. (East Coast Premiere)

UNDER THE RIB CAGE (France), Directed by Bruno Tondeur
This is the story of a guy who’s gonna die. Maybe. (North American Premiere)

THE VIDEO STORE COMMERCIAL (Canada), Directed by Cody Kennedy & Tim Rutherford
A desperate video store owner hires a crew to shoot a commercial in his shop. But when they accidentally destroy a cursed VHS, suddenly, all their lives are in danger. (Southeast US Premiere)

WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT (Lithuania), Directed by Jonas Trukanas
A bullied boy has a dark secret of what happens when he is hurt by others. The lights go out and the monster appears. (North American Premiere)

WILD LOVE (France), Directed by Paul Autric
The heart has its reasons of which nature knows nothing. (Southeast US Premiere)

YOUR LAST DAY ON EARTH (Spain), Directed by Marc Martínez Jordán
A Fox-dressed man breaks the spacetime limits with only one goal: to spend some time with his wife. But bellow this recreational act there’s a far more complex and ambitious plan. (South Florida Premiere)

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