FearCon 2014: Screenings

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Berkshire County

Dir: Audrey Cummings
Star: Alysa King, Samora Smallwood, Bart Rochon, Madison Ferguson

Kylie Winters, a bullied and self-loathing teen, reluctantly agrees to babysit at an isolated country mansion on Halloween night. When a small boy in a pig mask appears at the door trick-or-treating, she must go beyond what she ever thought possible in order to survive the night. This is the debut feature by Cummings, though far from her first film, with a wealth of acclaimed shorts previously to her name. It takes place almost entirely over one evening, with the heroine, who is already having a pretty bad day, having to decide whether fight or flight is the best response against the threat which has chosen to target her. She’ll have a hell of a story to tell at school – if she survives. Find out, in 82 minutes of expertly-ratcheted tension, beautifully shot using the Red digital camera.

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Blood Runs Black

Dir: Andrew Muto
Star: Heather Muto, Kathy diStefano, Amanda Staggs, Abra Moore

Megan Butler is an unmarried Internet celebrity with a successful series of online advice video, and an adoring fanbase. But after her boyfriend leaves on a business trip, Megan gradually becomes convinced she’s under attack by a demonic entity, and her carefully crafted fantasy life crumbles and collapses around her. It’s a chilling depiction of someone’s gradual descent into madness, with the threads of her sanity slowly being picked away, until swhe can no longer tell what’s real and what’s her imagination. A fine entry into the paranoid horror genre – but is it paranoia, if someone might actually be out to get you?

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Circus of the Dead

Dir: Billy ‘Bloody Bill’ Pon
Star: Bill Oberst Jr., Parrish Randall, Ryan Clapp, Rusty Edwards

Unlike some people we could mention (hello, FearCon social media guru Amy!), we never had a particular fear of clowns, but this is making us rethink that position. Starting with a quote from famous clown, John Wayne Gacy – “Clowns can get away with murder” – the film goes ahead to prove the truth of that. It follows Papa Corn (Oberst) and his band of painted-face psychopaths as they wreak vicious carnage on those who cross their path, in particular Donald Johnson (Randall) and his family. Oberst is brilliantly chilling, as he torments his chosen victims to a point where they have no possible way out except to become “one of us”, as previous carny horror classic, Freaks, put it. Whey-faced japes and flowers that squirt water will never seem the same again. Be sure to stay through the end credits…

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Dorchester’s Revenge: The Return of Crinoline Head

Dir: Tommy Faircloth
Star: Jason Vail, Christian James, Debbie Rochon, Kirsten Ray

Didn’t see the original Crinoline Head when it came out in 1995? Not to fear. Neither did we, and we still enjoyed this loving throwback to the slasher genre enormously. A group of students are doing a project on the serial killer known as Crinoline Head, presumed dead after the events of two decades ago, and visit his stalking ground by a lake. They’re in for a nasty shock, you will be pleased to hear. Featuring a movie-stealing turn from one of this year’s guests, Debbie Rochon as the foul-mouthed trailer-trash custodian of the property, this combines dark humor with the stalk ‘n’ kill scenarios we love so well.

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The House of Forbidden Secrets

Dir: Todd Sheets
Star: Antwoine Steele, Nicole Santorella, Lew Temple, Dyanne Thorne

Jacob Hunt needs a break to get back on his feet, and gets it when he is called to be overnight security at the old Shadowview Manor, now a commercial office and retail building. But Jacob’s first night on the job is the anniversary of the dark tragedy that has stained the building. Its past is breaking through the boundaries of time, to unleash an evil curse that will destroy everyone in the building if it’s not stopped. A loving homage to classic Italian horror, this features a soundtrack by frequent Lucio Fulci collaborator, Fabio Frizzi, and the first film appearance in 25 years by cult icon Dyanna Thorne (Ilsa).

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Mar Negro

Dir: Rodrigo Aragão
Star:
Mayra Alarcón, Carol Aragão, Kika de Oliveira, Walderrama Dos Santos

Two fishermen off the coast of Brazil find… something entangled in their net, unlike any animal they’ve ever seen before. That sets of a train of events, leading to a tidal-wave of death, blood and destruction, which threatens to envelop, not just their little rural village, but far beyond. Could it be… Satan? Easily the most blood-drenched submission for this year we’ve yet received, this appears to be a Brazilian cousin to Peter Jackson’s Brain Dead, combining over the top splatter with humor, building to an outrageous climax that has to be seen to be be (dis)believed. But even Brain Dead didn’t have a heavily-armed transvestite going berserk with a chain gun. If you were thinking of taking a vacation in Brazil for the 2016 Olympics, this might just make you think again!

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