Halloween Horror Fests

shriekfest-posters.gifFor some reason, Hollywood – the dream factory that launched the horror genre with Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and so many other classic movie monsters – does not have a truly great fantasy-horror film festival – at least, nothing on a level with the Sitges Film Festival or the San Diego Comic Book Convention. But we’re trying, and the month of October provides the perfect opportunity to put horror on display.

Two of these festivals are starting today: Shriekfest and October Scarefest. The former is a weekend event focusing mostly on new, aspiring filmmakers; the later is a weekly series of Korean horror films screening on each Thursday of the month. Get details below the fold.

Shriekfest launches tonight with a party at Joseph’s Cafe (1775 Ivar Avenue in Hollywood), starting at 7:00pm. Prices is $20, which includes one free well drink and hors d’oeurves.

The fest begins in earnest on Friday. In all, there will be seven programs of short films and nine features screened through Sunday, ending with an awards presentation and a post-fest party. Often filmmakers are in attendance for Q&A sessions afterwards. The movies tend to be low-budget and shot-on-video, but the quality at last year’s event was impressive. (Two of the films, UNREST and PENNY DREADFUL, made it into the After Dark Horror Fest, which was released nationally in November 2006; THE OTHER SIDE is wrapping up a one-week run at the New Regent Theatre in Los Angeles, having come out on DVD this Tuesday.)

Shriekfest schedule:

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5

  • Short Program #1 – 7:00pm
  • THE CHAIR – 8:45pm
  • DEVIL GIRL – 10:30pm

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6

  • Short Program #2 – noon
  • Short Program #3 – 1:30pm
  • Short Program #4 – 3:00pm
  • ATOM NINE ADVENTURES – 4:45pm
  • GHOST MONTH – 6:15pm
  • NETHERBEAST INCORPORATED – 8:15pm
  • THE CELLAR DOOR – 10:00pm
  • Party and Concert at the Knitting Factory (7021 Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles, $5 cover in advance, $10 at the door) – midnight

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7

  • Short Program #5 – noon
  • Short Program #6 – 1:30pm
  • Short Program #7 – 3:00pm
  • SOMETHING BENEATH – 4:30pm
  • HOUSE OF FEARS – 6:15pm
  • 99 PIECES – 8:00pm
  • Awards Presentation – 10:00pm
  • Post-Festival Party at Boardners (1652 North Cherokee Avenue in Hollywood, free admission)

The October Scarefest is a festival of Korean horror films put on, appropirately enough, by the Korean Cultural Center- 3rd Floor, Ari Hall, 5505 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles. Four films will screen for free, one on each Thursday of the month, at 3:00pm.

Scarefest schedule:

  • R-POINT (2004, soldiers in Vietnam encounter supernatural forces) – October 4
  • RED SHOES (2005, a mysterious pair of ballet shoes unleash a curse on those who become obsessed with them) – October 11
  • CINDERELLA (2006, a 17-year old girls friends who get plastic surgery begin to die in mysterious ways) – October 18
  • ARANG (2006, a female detective on the trailer of a series of killings is haunted by nightmares of a dead girl) – October 25.

Call 323 936-7141 for more information on the October Scarefest.

But that’s not all. Two more horror festival loom on the horizon: Screamfest 2007 and the American Cinematheque’s Halloween Horrorthon.

Screamfest - which will launch next Friday with George A. Romero’s DIARY OF THE DEAD - is the biggest and probably the best of the horror fests in Hollywood. It is not on the level of the Toronto International Film Festival of the San Diego Comic Con, but they tend to screen movies from established filmmakers, not just up-and-comers (they claim to discover the new blood of horror and honor the past masters). Each year offers a mix of new movies, foreign films, director’s cuts, unrated versions, and usually some classics. Last year’s event featured two films that made it into the After Dark Horror Fest (THE HAMILTONS and THE GRAVEDANCERS), plus the excellent HATCHET, which recently received a platform theatrical release on the way to its DVD debut from Anchor Bay. 

Screamfest schedule:

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12

  • DAY OF THE DEAD – 7:30pm

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13

  • Student short subjects – noon
  • Short film program 1 – 3:00pm
  • Short film program 2 – 5:00pm
  • DEAD IN 3 DAYS – 7:30pm
  • FRIDAY THE 13TH 3D 25th anniversary screening and reunion (followed by Q&A) - 9:30pm
  • FRIDAY THE 13TH 3D 25th anniversary screening and reunion (preceded by introduction from select cast members) – 11:30pm

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14

  • ROOM 205 – noon
  • ALONE – 1:45pm
  • DOOD EIND (DEAD END) – 3:30pm
  • PARANOMRAL ACTIVITY – 5:30pm
  • DAYS OF DARKNESS – 7:30pm
  • HELL’S GROUND – 9:30pm

MONDAY, OCTOBER 15TH

  • PLANET TERROR (Robert Rodriguez’s director’s cut) – 7:00pm
  • “30 Days of Night: Blood Trails” (short) and RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL – 9:15pm

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16

  • 30 DAYS OF NIGHT – 7:30pm in Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
  • TOOTH AND NAIL – 7:30pm
  • WASTING AWAY – 9:30pm

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17

  • “Suck” (short) and INSIDE (a.k.a. A L’INTERIEUR) – 7:30pm (followed by a party at Mood)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18

  • SYMPATHY – 5:00pm
  • FRAYED – 7:00pm
  • THE TRIPPER – 9:30pm (followed by a party at Garden of Eden)
  • SHROOMS – 11:00pm

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19

  • HALLOWED GROUND – 7:30pm
  • STORM WARNING – 9:30pm
  • THE RAGE – 11:00pm

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20

  • BURIED ALIVE – noon
  • BOOGEYMAN 2 – 2:00pm
  • HEADLESS HORSEMAN – 4:30pm
  • THE SIGNAL – 7:00pm
  • TIMBER BALLS – 9:00pm

All Screamfest screenings are at the Mann Chinese 6 multiplex theatre, except for 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, which screens in the magnificent single-screen Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

As for the American Cinematheque, only last August they were offering up their annual Festival of Fantasy, Horror, and Science-Fiction Films. Now comes October, which pretty much demands another horror fest, and they rise to the occasion with Halloween Horror & the Annual Halloween Horrorthon.

Lots of classic and cult films are on the menu for this event, which runs on the last week of the month, Thursday through Saturday, plus Halloween night (whch falls on Wednesday this year). Here is your chance to put your DVD collection away for a while and enjoy these films while surrounded by screaming frightened fans like yourself!

Halloween Horror schedule:

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25

  • THE HAUNTING (1963) and THE UNINVITED (1944) form a double bill of two great, black-and-white ghost stories.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26

  • DEMON SEED (1977) and 1978’s INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS provide ’70s sci-fi horror. 7:30pm

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27: DUSK TO DAWN HORRORTHON

  • RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985)
  • FREAKS (1932)
  • FROM BEYOND (1986)
  • THE BEYOND (1981)
  • LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972)
  • THE CHILDREN (1980)
  • THE GATES OF HELL (a.k.a. CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD, 1980)

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31: HALLOWEEN

  • THE OMEN (1976)

All Halloween Horror screenings start at 7:30pm in the Aero Theatre (including the marathon, which runs continuously). The all-night Halloween Horrorthon has  a special admission price of $20 (discounted to $18 students and seniors and to $15 for members).


While we’re talking about Hollywood horror, I just want to mention the Hollywood Cemetery walking tour. This is more historical than Halloween; nevertheless, it is appropriate for the October season, and being a Hollywood cemetery, it is film-related. I took the tour several years ago, and I recommend it. Hollywood Forever Cemetery is a fascinating place, quietly tucked behind Paramount studios. There are many monuments to Hollywood icons – including classic horror star Peter Lorre (TALES OF TERROR) and many legends to relate about them. Tours are being offered every Saturday at noon (not on Halloween itself, unfortunately, because it falls in the middle of the week). Meet at the flower shop by the entrance. Parking is available on the grounds.

If you’re interested in Hollywood horror events,  you should check out our partner website, Hollywood Gothique. It features the same kind of coverage you find here at Cinefantastique Online, but with an emphasis on local events: retrospective screenings, personal appearances, autograph signings, Q&A sessions, etc. Halloween is our busiest month of the year, but most of that coverage is related to live haunted attractions like Knott’s Scary Farm and the Queen Mary Terrorfest - material that you will not read here because it is not film related.

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

5 Responses to “ Halloween Horror Fests ”

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  2. [...] Oct 2007 at 06:02 pm | Tagged as: Hollywood Gothique, Movies Sunday was a good day for ghosts at Screamfest. A film festival can be a real crap-shoot – you watch lots of low-budget independent films, and [...]

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