Last year was somewhat of a rough start for the After Dark Horrorfest, and I'm basing that statement solely on the movies the event had to offer. The eight "official" titles were The Abandoned, Dark Ride, The Gravedancers, The Hamiltons, Penny Dreadful, Reincarnation, Unrest and Wicked Little Things. I've seen 'em all and I'd call The Gravedancers the best of the bunch, with the dry-but-passable The Abandoned a close second. The rest ... meh.

So it is with much geeky excitement that I share a new opinion: Horrorfest 2007 is guaranteed to be an improvement over last year -- and I can say that with some confidence because I've already seen three of the chosen flicks, and all three of 'em are worth seeing. Regarding the other five, I heard good things about some and really negative things about others ... but here's what the overall slate looks like for this year. (Synopses are taken from the official Horrorfest website.)

Borderland -- "When three Texas University students travel to a Mexican border town on the eve of their graduation, the last thing they expect is to face their own deaths. Without warning, they fall prey to an ancient blood cult hellbent on finding candidates for human sacrifice. Based on true events, Borderland tells a story which blends the raw fear of Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the stark reality of In Cold Blood, evoking a world soaked in paranoia, fear, and dread." (Starring Rider Strong, Jake Muxworthy, Brian Presley and Sean Astin, directed by Zev Berman) ** I saw this one last March at SXSW. It's southern-fried survival horror with a splash of satanism mixed in. Full review here.

The Deaths of Ian Stone -- "On an otherwise ordinary night, the young Ian Stone encounters a mysterious creature and is forced into the path of an oncoming train. Rather than facing certain death, Ian finds himself reborn into a new life that feels strangely familiar. After his second death, it becomes apparent that Ian is being hunted by an evil presence, and will be forced to die every day until he can solve the mystery of his own life." (Starring Mike Vogel and Christina Cole, directed by Dario Piana) ** I know next to nothing about this one.

Frontier(s) -- "When a small gang of criminals takes refuge in an isolated country inn, their welcome is less than warm. As the evening wears on, the young outlaws are subjected to a macabre nightmare where blood flows and screams flood the night." (Starring Karina Testa and Sameul Le Bihan, directed by Xavier Gens) ** Caught this last month at Toronto. Full review here.
categories Cinematical