Bust out your old Freddie Krueger mask for the second annual Sacramento Horror Film Festival, held at the Colonial Theatre at 3522 Stockton Blvd. in Sacramento. The festival will be held tomorrow until Sunday, and will include over 50 film screenings, workshops and various horror-related festivities.
Festival director and filmmaker Tim Meunier said that he saw a need for a horror film festival in Sacramento. By networking with other festival directors and filmmakers, Meunier created the festival to showcase talented individuals who are often unnoticed because of their interest in horror.
“Horror is the underdog of film genres,” he said. “I saw an opportunity to finally get people with the same interest to show their talent.“
Though the horror genre is “not taken as seriously by many critics and the general public, it’s still popular,” Meunier said. “It’s like a bad child that won’t go away.“
While the film festival is only in its second year, the weekend-long celebration of horror is already finding its place as a well-respected genre festival. Director Blake Reigle saw his film Beneath the Surface go from an underground online campaign to the shelves of Blockbuster after it took the prize of best feature in last year’s festival.
“The festival is well respected,“ Reigle said. “It’s in the top 10 of horror film festivals. Winning a genre festival is a major accolade. The Sacramento Horror Film Festival provided a solid boost in its legitimacy and helped secure its distribution.“
The film festival will feature a range of screenings, from music videos to full-length horror films. While the films have an underground following as of yet, some films have already gotten acclaim. Paper Dolls, which is to be screened on Saturday at 8 p.m., was hailed by Rotten Tomatoes as the “scariest Sasquatch/Big Foot movie that … has ever been unleashed on the general public.“
For features seeking distribution like Paper Dolls, film festivals are an important way to spread the word. In light of the potential competition and mud slinging, Paper Dolls co-director and actor Adam Pitman appreciates the Sacramento Horror Film Festival’s supportive atmosphere.
“Some festivals are in it because it’s a business,“ Pitman said. “The Sacramento Horror Film Festival stood out because it is about the art. It’s not about the buck.“
Part of the appeal for horror film festivals is the passionate fan base that a unique genre like horror attracts. Reigle was moved by the support for his winning film last year and hopes to return the support by making future films, he said.
“The fans care about the genre,“ he said. “They’re not there to tear people down.“
Pitman appreciates the festival because of the fans‘” love and affinity for horror movies.“
“Genre festivals get crazy people that are into horror,“ he said. “They come in costumes and are so into it. That’s the fun of genre festivals.“
This year’s film festival will feature special guests like the Chiodo Brothers, creators of the cult classic Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and Adrienne King, who played Alice in Friday the 13th. While costumes are not required, the festival will include a zombie beauty contest, along with live music and other events to help keep fans involved.
“Just come and have a really good time,“ Reigle said. “‘Tis the season for a horror film festival.“
CHRIS RUE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org