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The Night House directed by David Bruckner and starring Rebecca Hall
The Night House directed by David Bruckner and starring Rebecca Hall

The Florida Premiere of the supernatural thriller The Night House from The Ritual director David Bruckner and starring Rebecca Hall (Godzilla vs. Kong) will open the 2021 Popcorn Frights film festival.

The seventh edition of the South Florida genre festival will be a combination of in-theater festival experience to take place from August 12-19, 2021 and virtual festival, running parallel to its in-theater program (August 12-15) and through the duration of the Festival (August 12-19).

The five-day in-theater program is headlined by five feature film World Premieres, including the wickedly twisted chamber piece Superhost starring Gracie Gillam and Barbara Crampton, the psycho slasher Pretty Boy, the riotously cathartic revenger Take Back the Night, and the gritty atmospheric thriller Ditched.

The festival will also celebrate Florida horror with a dedicated program spotlighting the cream of Florida’s homegrown crop. Included in this special showcase is the World Premiere of The Welder, a gnarly thriller shot entirely in the Florida Everglades; Mickey Keating’s new southern gothic horror story Offseason, a ghoulish, tense and utterly fantastical tale set in a Florida beach town and starring The House of the Devil’s Jocelin Donahu; and the Homegrown: 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Florida Horror short film competition featuring the World Premieres of American Cryptid, American Diablo, Ii Comes From Outside, and What Can Be Broken Shall Be Broken, and the regional premieres of Demonica, Tech Savvy, and Too Far.

Other highlights in the feature film program include the Southeast US Premieres of the nihilistically unhinged We Need to Do Something starring Pat Healy, Vinessa Shaw, and Sierra McCormick; Jim Cummings’ brutal dark comedy The Beta Test; as well as the premiere of the hallucinatory animated thriller Cryptozoo.

Popcorn Frights’ virtual experience is headlined by seven feature film World Premieres, including the frightening thrill ride The Accursed, the chilling paranoid thriller Dashcam co-starring Larry Fessenden, the Euro-horror inspired genre treat Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes, the claustrophobic nail-biter It Came from Below, the horror mystery Night at the Eagle Inn, the devilish dark comedy VAL, and the made in Florida horror moc-doc The Wild Man.

Documentary feature films premiering at Popcorn Frights include the World Premiere of The History of Metal and Horror, a nostalgia trip of some of the most iconic horror films told through candid conversations with John Carpenter, Tom Savini, Kirk Hammett, and Rob Zombie, among many others; as well as the East Coast Premiere of Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched, the first feature-length documentary on the history of folk horror.

Popcorn Frights is also presenting the North American Premieres of the Spanish horror anthology Apps, the juicy supernatural-thriller The Ex, and the brutal shocker Stoker Hills co-starring Tony Todd and directed by Florida native Benjamin Louis.

Other highlights in the feature film program include the US Premieres of Takashi Shimizu’s (creator of the Ju-on series and The Grudge) new nightmare Howling Village and the timely yet thoroughly unpredictable sci-fi-cum-survival-thriller Tin Can, the East Coast Premieres of the morbid dark comedy Keeping Company, the gleefully creepy Lair, and the boldly original The Yellow Wallpaper; as well as the Florida Premieres of Blood Conscious, House At The End Of The Forest, and The Last Matinee.

Complimenting Popcorn Frights’ feature film program is its first-ever Virtual Reality experience created in partnership with the O Cinema, an independent non-profit based in Miami. Hosted on AltSpaceVR, the Virtual Reality environment features live events and an exclusive selection of short films premiering in this one-of-a-kind digital experience. Visitors have the opportunity to fully explore the VR world, walk the red carpet and even fly through the space before entering each designated portal to view the short films. The AltSpaceVR platform is free to all audiences and available through Quest or STEAM headsets or on PCs.

Headlining Popcorn Frights’ short film program, which features 37 short film premieres, is a special sneak preview of Alex Proyas’ new film, Mask of the Evil Apparition, a story set in his Dark City universe. Accompanying the virtual presentation is an extended Q&A with the legendary filmmaker moderated by filmmaker, The Movie Crypt podcast host, and Popcorn Frights alum Joe Lynch.

IN-THEATER FEATURE FILM LINEUP

OPENING NIGHT
The Night House
East Coast Premiere
USA | 2020 | Dir. David Bruckner

The Beta Test
Southeast US Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Jim Cummings

Cryptozoo
South Florida Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Dash Shaw

Ditched
World Premiere
Canada | 2021 | Dir. Christopher Donaldson

Offseason
Southeast US Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Mickey Keating

Pretty Boy
World Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Marcel Walz

Superhost
World Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Brandon Christensen

Take Back the Night
USA | 2021 | Dir. Gia Elliot

We Need to Do Something
Southeast US Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Sean King O’Grady

The Welder
World Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. David Liz

IN-THEATER SPECIAL EVENTS

Friday the 13th Part VI – Jason Lives
35th Anniversary Presentation
USA | 1986 | Dir. Tom McLoughlin

Homegrown: 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Florida Horror
This film showcase is designed to be a springboard for new filmmakers from Florida and a space that helps forge a new direction for Florida’s genre scene by further cultivating and nurturing its growing film community:

American Cryptid, dir. Erynn Dalton (USA, World Premiere), American Diablo, dir. Juan Carlos Castaneda (USA, World Premiere), deMonica, dir. Miguel Angel Ferrer (USA), It Comes from Outside, dir. Jack Kierski (USA, World Premiere), Tech Savvy, dir. Scott Vasey (USA), Too Far, dir. Juan Alonso (USA), What Can Be Broken Should Be Broken, dir. Steve Vaynshtok (USA, World Premiere)

VIRTUAL FEATURE FILM LINEUP

The Accursed
World Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dirs. Elizabeta Vidovic & Kathryn Michelle

Apps
North American Premiere
Chile-Argentina | 2021 | Dirs. Sandra Arriagada, Camilo León, Lucio Rojas, José Zúñiga, Samot Marquez

Blood Conscious
Florida Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Timothy Covell

Dashcan
World Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Christian Nilsson

Dawn Breaks Behind the Eyes
World Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Kevin Kopacka

The Ex
North American Premiere
Russia | 2021 | Dir. Evgeniy Puzyrevskiy

The History of Metal and Horror
World Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Mike Schiff

House at the End of the Forest
Florida Premiere
Sweden | 2021 | Dir. Jonathan Katzeff

Howling Village
US Premiere
Japan | 2021 | Dir. Takashi Shimizu

It Came from Below
World Premiere
United Kingdom | 2021 | Dir. Dan Allen

Keeping Company
East Coast Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Josh Wallace

Lair
East Coast Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Adam Ethan Crow

The Last Matinee
Florida Premiere
Uruguay | 2021 | Dir. Maximiliano Contenti

Night at the Eagle Inn
World Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Erik Bloomquist

Stoker Hills
North American Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Benjamin Louis

Tin Can
US Premiere
Canada | 2021 | Dir. Seth A. Smith

Val
World Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Aaron Fradkin

The Wild Man
World Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Ryan Justice

Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched
East Coast Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Kier-La Janisse

The Yellow Wallpaper
East Coast Premiere
USA-Ireland | 2021 | Dir. Kevin Pontuti

VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE LINEUP

Popcorn Frights’ first-ever Virtual Reality world experience is created in partnership with the O Cinema, an independent non-profit based in Miami. Hosted on AltSpaceVR, the Virtual Reality environment will feature live events and an exclusive selection of short films that will receive their premieres in this unique digital space. The AltSpaceVR platform will be free to all audiences and available through Quest or STEAM headsets or on PCs. Short films premiering in Popcorn Frights’ VR world experience are:

Body of the Mined
South Florida Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Eric Jungmann

I’m A Vampire
Florida Premiere
Mexico | 2021 | Dir. Sofia Garza-Barba

MeTube: August Sings “Una Furtiva Lagrima”
Southeast US Premiere
Austria | 2021 | Dir. Daniel Moshel

The Wheel
East Coast Premiere
USA | 2021 | Dir. Nikhil Bhagat

SHORT FILM LINEUP

Mask of the Evil Apparition
Sneak Preview
Australia | 2021 | Dir. Alex Proyas

Animation Domination
The endless possibilities of genre animation are on dazzling display in this retina-reeling, round-the-world showcase of some of the medium’s most innovative, boundary-pushing, and mind-enhancing short films:

Le Cri, dirs. Charlotte Chouisnard, Ninon Dodemant, Baptiste Leclerc, Solène Michel, Justine Parasote, Anouk Segura-Diaz (France), The Expected, dir. Carolina Sandvik (Sweden), Expedit, dir. Baptiste Boutin (France), Mum’s Sweater, dirs. Anand Varma, Yi Chen Hsiao, Mauriziana Gualdrini, Ugo Offner, James Mann (France), Tio, dir. Juan Medina (Mexico)

International Midnighters
A celebration of some of the year’s most fantastic international short films from new emerging voices and established filmmakers:

Ad Lib, dir. Joseph Catté (France), Familiar, dir. David J. Ellison (United Kingdom), I Call Upon Thee, dir. Michael Anthony Kratochvil (Australia, World Premiere), Salmon Pink, dir. Jamy Steele (Canada, World Premiere), Sweet Mary, Where Did You Go?, dir. Michael Anthony Kratochvil (Australia, World Premiere), The Thing That Ate the Birds, dirs. Sophie Mair & Dan Gitsham (United Kingdom), Under the Lather, dir. Olivier Briand (France)

Midnighters
A celebration of new works from cinematic scaremongers that bring nightmares into waking hours with thrills, chills, and spills:

#NoFilter, Dir. Nathan Crooker (USA, World Premiere), Cutter, dir. Dan Repp & Lindsay Young (USA), Every Time We Meet for Ice Cream Your Wole F*cking Face Explodes, dir. Anthony Cousins (USA, World Premiere), Jumpin’ Jacob, dir. Alexander Deeds (USA, World Premiere), Koreatown Ghost Story, dir. Minsun Park & Teddy Tenenbaum (USA), Nagual: The Sin Eater, dir. Dan Lazarovits (USA, World Premiere), Nightmare of the Dog, Dir. Hans Stjernsward (USA, World Premiere), Poor Glenna, dir. Jean-Paul DiSciscio (USA), Significant Other, dir. Quinn George (USA), Snapper: The Man-Eating Turtle Movie That Never Got Made, dir. Jon Campopiano (USA), Specter of Weeping Hill, dir. Matthew & Nathaniel Barber (USA, World Premiere), The Tip of the Spear, dir. Travis Oberlander (USA, World Premiere), Wich, dir. Anthony Williams (USA)

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