For the third straight day this Sunday, I found myself inside the Cinema Village in Manhattan for the FEARnyc film festival. The festival, which lasts through Thursday night, is directed by John Capo and features over 65 horror films ranging from world premieres to classics. General admission tickets are only $12 ($8 for seniors), and the festival pass is $125 for all events.
Sunday afternoon started with a double shot of Stephen King love, but not in the way you’re probably expecting. Rather than show King adaptations, FEARnyc presented the NYC premieres of both the short documentary Resurrecting Carrie followed by the feature-length doc Unearthed and Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary. Resurrecting Carrie was directed by Michael Stever and is about the revival of Carrie: The Musical. While the Carrie novel and film were some of King’s biggest hits, the musical was an all-time bust when it debuted in the 80s. The 13-minute documentary features interviews with film star Piper Laurie, King collaborators, and cast and crew of the updated musical.
Unearthed and Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary is a must-watch for anyone who loves the novel, but especially for fans of the 1989 film. Written and directed by John Campopiano and Justin White, the duo wrangled together almost everyone from the cast and crew of Pet Sematary to deliver the ultimate overview of the film from the battle to greenlight it in the early to mid 80s when “the time had come and gone” for Stephen King adaptations. King wrote the adaptation’s screenplay and had a cameo in the film, but demanded that the production take place in his home state of Maine rather than California. Everyone interviewed, including director Mary Lambert, and stars Denise Crosby and Dale Midkiff, raved about the shooting locations in Maine, and several locals were cast as extras and in supporting roles.
The highlight of day 3 came with the NYC premiere of first-time writer/director Colin Adams-Toomey’s Lost Creek. Co-written with Dan John Witherall, Lost Creek was a genuine and original ghost story featuring three child stars in the lead roles. Oliver Stockman, Brynna Bartoo, and Henry Stockman are reminiscent of great child casts of past and present. The plot focuses on Peter (Oliver S.), who moves to a small town where children are sparse. He befriends Maggie (Bartoo) down by the creek that legend says is haunted by ghosts and monsters. With Halloween approaching, the town and specifically the kids are targeted by something out in the darkness. The film resonates with anyone old enough to remember going out without cell phones and exploring their neighborhood. The screening was followed by a Q&A with director Colin Adams-Toomey and the three leads, who were accompanied in the crowd by their families. One of my favorite parts of FEARnyc has been watching these new horror films, with the filmmakers and casts present. This took the cake, as the three kids were charming and funny. Look for my full review of Lost Creek coming tomorrow.
FEARnyc continued Sunday night with a showing of F.W. Murnau’s Faust, a silent visual masterpiece that was accompanied by a two-person orchestra. That was followed by the Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho and then the night ended with Hocus Pocus.
The festival continues as the work week begins. Today, catch showings of the original vampire, Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) at 3:00pm, puppet slasher movie Head at 5:00pm, Fred Dekker’s The Monster Squad at 7:00pm, and more.
For a full list and schedule go to FEARnyc. Wednesday night will feature a tribute to the late great Wes Craven, and on Thursday, the timely classic Halloween will bring everyone’s favorite silent killer, Michael Myers, to the big screen once more.