Horror fans will converge on Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale for what organizers are sure will satisfy thrills and chills with the eighth annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival.
With its most ambitious lineup yet, the festival, from Aug. 11 to Aug. 21, features 36 feature film premieres from 20 countries, plus industry sessions, rooftop parties, an under-the-stars movie night and a Bruce Willis tribute. Add to that horror trivia, live comedy and magic shows and it's an event not to be missed, especially if fright films are your bag.
While some of the movies are show in theaters, there's a hefty virtual component, too, if you'd rather get your scares in the comfort of your own home.
From Aug. 11 through 14, the festival is at the Savor Cinema, Fort Lauderdale, then from Aug. 19 to 21, the horror event of the summer takes up residence on Miami Beach.
Here are some of picks this weekend that will be playing at Savor Cinema, 503 S.E. 6th St., Fort Lauderdale.
For the true dedicated horror fan, there's nothing like the 1922 Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror. If you've never seen the silent classic, now's the time.
It's been 100 years since the release of F.W. Murnau’s silent expressionist masterpiece, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horrors," the most influential horror film of all time with the haunting original organ score by Richard Vergez. Max Schreck is the vampire Count Orlok. " It's the screen’s first, albeit unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s "Dracula," which itself celebrates its 125th Anniversary this year. In 1997, film critic Roger Ebert said "To watch F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu" is to see the vampire movie before it had really seen itself. Here is the story of Dracula before it was buried alive in clichés, jokes, TV skits, cartoons and more than 30 other films." Savor Cinema, Friday, Aug. 12, 7 p.m.
Queer horror from writer-director Carter Smith, whose first feature film was "The Ruins" (2008) follows up with "Swallowed." After a drug run goes bad – two childhood friends must survive a horrific night in a backwoods hell of drugs, bugs, and obscene intimacy. Smith himself will be in attended to introduce the Florida premiere of the film and participate in a Q&A. After it screens at Popcorn Frights, it heads to London, England, for an Aug. 28 screening at "Frightfest." Savor Cinema, Friday, Aug. 12, 9 p.m.
Let's make Friday night a total horrorfest eve. Stay late for the 11 p.m. showing of PussyCake, described as an Argentinean gore-fest. A struggling all-girl rock band kicks off a new tour, hoping to rekindle their popularity. Things are off to a bad start, however, when they show up to their first gig to find the town deserted. Medium reviewer Eric Langberg described PussyCake this way: "This is like Josie and the Pussycats meets Slither meets 28 Days Later with the sensibility of something like Psycho Goreman." Savor Cinema, Friday, Aug 12, 11 p.m.
On Saturday, "The Loneliest Boy in the World" captures our attention. Described as a Tim Burtonesque fairytale, a boy is threatened with state custody unless he can find a new family after his parents are tragically killed in an accident. And he does just that… He digs one up at the local cemetery and when he wakes up, the corpses have come to life. Savor Cinema, Saturday, Aug. 13, at 5 p.m.
Here's another reason to stay on and see the next film in the lineup "Living With Chucky." First off, it's a documentary and a different one at that. Director Kyra Gardner, who will be onsite to introduce the film and to answer questions after the showing, explores what it was like growing up with the killer doll. That's because her father was legendary special effects designer Tony Gardner, who will also be in Fort Lauderdale, who brought both Chucky and his girlfriend Tiffany to life. Gardner, who went to Florida State University for film school, made a short documentary called "Dollhouse" in college, which spawned this larger feature. Savor Cinema, Saturday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m.
Saturday continues with "She Came From The Woods" at 9 p.m., a contemporary ode to the 1980s summer horror genre, and, speaking of summer, "Final Summer" at 11 p.m. where not everything is what it seems at Camp Silverlake.
Sunday's lineup is the Canadian film "Slash/Back" at 5 p.m. described as a thrilling and innovative take on the alien invasion scenario and "Follow Her" at 7 p.m., a suspense thriller and debut feature film from Florida director Sylvia Caminer about a social media addict who goes too far only to have the tables turned on her.
Find out about the Virtual Offerings, too, by going to watch.eventive.org/popcornfrights
For ticket prices and more info about popcorn frights, go popcornfrights.eventive.org/films