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NYCHFF 2018: NYC Horror Film Festival Day 3
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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NYC Horror Film Festival 2018 NYCHFF

The NYC Horror Film Festival had a huge day planned on Saturday. The third day of the festival opened at noon and played all through the night with a main event featuring the Candyman, Tony Todd, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. The 16th year of the festival originated by the late Michael J. Hein saw packed houses this year since Thursday and already set their festival attendance record. I got to the Cinepolis Chelsea at around 4:00pm, right in time to catch two awesome programs including a feature that is likely to end up in my Top 10 horror films of 2018.

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NYC Horror Film Festival Returns Later This Month
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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NYCHFF NYC Horror Film Festival

Even though Halloween is past, it’s not safe to put away the horror films just yet. The New York City Horror Film Festival returns to the city for 4 gory days starting on Thursday, November 29th and running through Sunday, December 2nd at the Cinepolis Chelsea. This is the 16th edition of the festival started by the late Michael J. Hein and continued by his family and friends. When all is said and done nearly 40 feature-length and short horror films will be screened at the festival.

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‘The Barn’: Interview With Writer/Director Justin M. Seaman & Blu-ray Review
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Justin M. Seaman Interview

Back at the New York City Horror Film Festival in the fall of 2016, I saw a super cool poster for an original horror film The Barn. I missed it when it premiered there and it took my nearly a year to finally see a screening at this year’s New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival. At that con, I met and spoke with writer/editor/director Justin M. Seaman. Based on a story he wrote in his childhood, Seaman put his heart and soul into this film, and it was worth it. You can read my review of the film and the screening Q&A here.

With a week to go before Christmas, horror fans looking for the perfect gift can stop searching. The Barn is now on Blu-ray and would make any horror fan happy, particularly fans who grew immersed in the video store culture of the 1980s. Right before Halloween, I got to speak with the creator of The Barn about his inspirations, the challenges of independent filmmaking, and more. See what he had to say along with some thoughts on the Blu-ray release below.

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NYCHFF 2017: NYC Horror Film Festival Kicks Off This Week
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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NYC Horror Film Festival 2017 NYCHFF

With Halloween quickly approaching, most people are in full horror movie mode. Cable channels are pumping out the classics and seriously, who am I to tell you NOT to watch John Carpenter’s Halloween on Halloween?! But if you’re craving something new to fill your yearly quota for guts and gore, check out the awesome selection of new and indie genre films at this year’s New York City Horror Film Festival (NYCHFF). The Festival celebrates its 15th year in 2017 and runs Thursday night, October 26th through Sunday, October 29th at the Cinepolis Chelsea Theater in the heart of Manhattan.

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Interview: ‘Night Of Something Strange’ Director Jonathan Straiton
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Night of Something Strange movie banner

Two weeks ago I attended the New York City Horror Film Festival taking in 19 films in 3+ days. The film that won Best Feature was Night of Something Strange, co-written and directed by Jonathan Straiton. It featured some of the craziest scenes imaginable in modern horror, while telling the story of an STD that turns people in zombie-like monsters who desire to spread the disease the ol’ fashioned way. Getting caught in the middle are a group of horny high schoolers out for Spring Break. What caught my eye, was the poster which instantly transported me back to the 80s, and digging through aisles of VHS tapes in the horror section. I got a chance to speak with Straiton this week, right as the film was about to hit iTunes.

Check out the interview below.

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Movie Review: Night Of Something Strange
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Night of Something Strange movie banner

Night of Something Strange
Written by Jonathan Straiton & Ron Bonk & Mean Gene
Directed by Jonathan Straiton
Starring Rebecca C. Kasek, Trey Harrison, Wayne W Johnson, Toni Ann Gambale, Michael Merchant, John Walsh, Tarrence Taylor, Nicola Fiore, Janet Mayson, Kirk LaSalle, Billy Garberina, Wes Reid, Brinke Stevens
Hurricane Bridge Entertainment
Release Date: November 22, 2016 (VOD)

In the glorious 1980s, horror movie fans found sanctuary in the aisles of video stores. Buried on shelves of VHS tapes you could find notorious “Video Nasties,” and I would spend hours pouring over the posters and tape boxes until finally choosing one. Last weekend at the New York City Horror Film Festival, I was reminded of those great days in my childhood that sadly my kids will likely never experience. I saw a poster for a film that looked cut and pasted out of my local 80s video store. It’s not every day you see a poster where a mutated tongue is coming out from between a woman’s legs… The film was Night of Something Strange, co-written and directed by Jonathan Straiton, and it was awarded Best Feature at the festival.

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NYCHFF 2016 Movie Review: Immure
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Immure short film NYCHFF 2016 selection

Immure
Written & Directed by Conscian Morgan
Starring Michael Hanratty, Natalie Oliver
Not Rated | 20 Minutes
NY Premiere: November 10, 2016 (NYC Horror Film Festival)

Immure does in 20 minutes what most horror films wish they can do in 90 minutes. Written and directed by Conscian Morgan, Immure screened at the NYC Horror Film Festival (NYCHFF) on Thursday night and received loud applause from the audience.

“Immure” means to confine or enclose someone against their will. By the film’s end, you will question who truly is the one being confined. Morgan manages to evoke empathy for multiple characters, and bring real fear and tension, all in a shortened run time. It’s not just a great short film, it’s a great film overall.

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NYCHFF 2016 Movie Review: A Knock At The Door
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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NYCHFF 2016 A Knock At The Door

A Knock at the Door
Written & Directed by Katrina Rennells and Wendie Weldon
Starring Drew Jenkins, Kelley Mack, David Sullivan, Parker Mack
Not Rated | 8 Minutes
NY Premiere: November 10, 2016 (NYC Horror Film Festival)

Short films are important, and maybe no other genre is capable of getting to the point quickly like horror. The Saw franchise, which now contains 7 (!) films grossing almost $1 billion worldwide, is based on a short treatment by Leigh Whannell. Just this year, David F. Sandberg’s Lights Out grossed $141 million worldwide. That film was based on the 3-minute short Sandberg did back in 2013. Tonight, the NYC Horror Film Festival kicks off a 4-day extravaganza, and the short film A Knock at the Door is making its New York premiere there. The film is written, directed, and produced by an all-female team.

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