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The world-renowned horror film festival out of Los Angeles, Screamfest, opens today and promises a packed ten days of killer genre films.

Screamfest

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We are so thrilled to be covering Los Angeles’ Screamfest® Horror Film Festival for the first time this year, and we could not be more excited about the killer lineup.

Kicking off today, October 10th, and running through October 19th at the TCL Chinese Theater, Screamfest®  is the largest and longest-running horror film festival in the United States. The ultimate film fest for horror junkies, often referred to as the “Sundance of Horror,” the fest welcomes genre cinephiles to experience twisted tales and frightening films together on the big screen.

The festival kicks off with a screening of Utopia and Sumerian’s DIVINITY, which was one of the most talked about films at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Written and directed by Eddie Alcazar and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, DIVINITY stars Stephen Dorff, Moises Arias, Jason Genao, Michael O’Hearn, Karrueche Tran and Emily Willis, with Scott Bakula and Bella Thorne.

Set in an otherworldly human existence, DIVINITY follows scientist Sterling Pierce (Scott Bakula), who dedicated his life to the quest for immortality, slowly creating the building blocks of a groundbreaking serum named “Divinity.” Jaxxon Pierce (Stephen Dorff), his son, now controls and manufactures his father’s once-benevolent dream.

When two mysterious brothers (Moises Arias and Jason Genao) arrive with a plan to abduct the mogul, and with the help of a seductive woman named Nikita (Karrueche Tran), they will be set on a path hurtling toward true immortality.

Divinity

“For over 20 years, Screamfest has brought the best independent horror and genre films to our thriving Los Angeles film community. This October, we are excited to continue our legacy of presenting our audiences with high-caliber festival frights kicking off with the thrilling DIVINITY by visionary Eddie Alcazar,” stated festival founder Rachel Belofsky.

Another highlight of the lineup is Howdy, Neighbor! featuring former Disney Channel stars Debby Ryan, Matthew Scott Montgomery, and Alyson Stoner. Directed by Allisyn Snyder, this LGBTQ+ horror film follows a former child actor, Benjamin Caldwell (Matthew Scott Montgomery), who is recognized by his new neighbor. When the lines between friend and fan become blurred, Benjamin’s number one fan quickly transforms into his number one nightmare.

World Premieres at this year’s festival include Alone Together, from director William Kresch about a couple who flee a pandemic-ravaged city to a remote cabin to encounter a vengeful spirit Lord of Misrule, a pagan horror story from director William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside, The Boy) set in a rural English village, where a child goes missing and The Piper, directed by Erlingur Thoroddsen about a young composer who is tasked with finishing her late mentor’s concert but discovers that playing music will summon deadly consequences.

Empire V

Making its U.S. debut is the dark satire on contemporary Russian culture and global capitalism Empire V, directed by Victor Ginzburg, which is banned in its home country.

Making their North American debuts is The Well, a neo-gothic horror set in Italy about a young American (Lauren LaVera of Terrifier II) working on the restoration of a fire-damaged painting for an aging Duchess (Claudia Gerini of The Passion of Christ) and the psychological thriller Loop Track from New Zealand, written and directed by Thomas Sainsbury, about a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown who retreats to the bush, only to encounter other explorers.

Additional titles include Mimi the Prince of Darkness, about a shy 18-year-old boy, Mimi (Domenico Cuom), who is abandoned by his family because of his deformed feet, and the Japanese psycho fantasy My Mother’s Eye by director Takeshi Kushida, about a mother and daughter who share a single vision of the universe through the use of a new, futuristic contact lens device with a built-in camera inserted into the eyes and set up with VR Goggle.

West Coast Premieres at the festival include the upcoming Spanish film The Wait, directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez, which has been listed as one of ‘The 14 Most Anticipated Horror Movies of Fall 2023’ in Time Magazine. This sinister folk horror tragedy follows Eladio (Victor Clavijo), a hunting estate keeper who takes a bribe from a veteran hunter.

Additional West Coast Premieres include the blood-curdling horror The Puppetman by Brandon Christensen, about a convicted killer who claims to be possessed; Faceless After Dark, the killer clown horror film by director Raymond Wood; and The Deep Dark, the unnerving Mathieu Turi film about a group of miners who find themselves trapped in a coal mine and discover they are not alone.

Highlights from this year’s shorts program include Rezar by Carlos Garcia (Forbes 30 Under 30), Robbie Ain’t Right No More starring Madeleine McGraw (Black Phone), Abominations by Mike Fontaine (Academy Award Nominee for ‘The Batman’), Wake starring  Elliot Fletcher, Thin-Skinned by Richard Kind and Joe DeRosa, and The Green Ribbon produced by Heather Matarazzo.

Formed in August 2001 by film producer Rachel Belofsky,  Screamfest® Horror Film Festival is a female-run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that gives filmmakers and screenwriters in the horror and science fiction genres a venue to have their work showcased in the film industry.

Stay tuned for more coverage of this incredible fest coming soon!

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