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[All photographs by Robyn Bobby. All images property of Screamfest LA and associated license holders.]

Greetings and salutations, fellow Fridge Nukers! Bradfield here, reporting from my car, which is currently broken down on a back road somewhere in the American South. So while I wait for the rusty tow truck with a surly, unwashed driver to arrive and take me to his killing floor…

October is upon us again, and like December, it’s a month steeped in vast and varied traditions. Trick or treating, costume parties, neighborhood spookhouses, Halloween mazes, and of course endless movie marathons, on cable and in the finer second run houses in the world. The attraction to the latter is simple: watching a great horror movie on cable is pretty much like dancing with a relative. That is to say there’s nothing wrong with it, but it just ain’t the same.

Screamfest's coveted award for new filmmakers

Screamfest’s coveted award for new filmmakers

And for over a decade, here in Southern California (Nuke the Fridge’s base of operations), we’re fortunate enough to be home to Screamfest LA – not just America’s premiere horror film festival, but arguably the world’s. To coin a (somewhat overused) phrase, Screamfest LA is the “Sundance of Slash,” exposing horror fans, die-hard and casual alike, to new voices in the world of blood and guts. Example: back in 2007, Screamfest judges, headed by Festival Director, Rachel Belofsky, thought a little indie ghost picture called Paranormal Activity had a lot of potential… Jus’ sayin’…

Screamfest LA comes by its nickname honestly. In fact, relatively speaking, Screamfest is more committed to independent and underlooked fare than its mainstream(ish) cousin. It’s hard enough to get an independent American horror film produced, yet alone distributed – and certainly, there are plenty of films in the fest that fall under that category. However, SFLA is one of the only venues at which you can catch groundbreaking films from abroad (and shorts) on the big screen, and in all sub-categories of the genre – from the darkest corners of the human imagination, to splatter comedies and future cult favorites.

A Screamfest crowd (2012) at the Chinese.

A Screamfest crowd (2012) at the Chinese.

Plus, the tickets are cheap (10$ per film, or two tiers of reasonably priced festival passes) and though it is a leading genre film festival, it is incredibly fan accessible. [Hint: don’t leave when the ending credits roll, or you’ll miss out on valuable after-party information.]  Friday’s screening of the latest in perennial Screamfest favorite franchise, Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort is even free – as long as tickets last.

If that isn’t enough, though scheduling issues last year required a change of venue to the Laemmle in North Hollywood, 2014 sees SFLA returning to it’s usual home: The Chinese Theater at Hollywood and Highland. With so many opportunities in such a close physical space, why not make an evening of dining, drinking, dancing, and of course, a little decapitation?

For more information, visit the Screamfest LA homepage, and stay tuned to Nuke the Fridge for the latest reviews of the future of horror.