The Stanley Film Festival really came out of the gate swinging last week with a whammy of a lineup that included films like Aftershock, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, Frankenstein’s Army, Maniac, Tower Block and V/H/S/2. It’s the first year for the Fest, which will be held May 2-5 at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. That’s right, the hotel that inspired The Shining. Now they’ve added even more movies like opening night selection The Purge, Ben Wheatley’s singular horror comedy Sightseers, BD Selects title Macabre (from The Mo Brothers Timo Tjahjamto and Kimo Stamboel) and a special screening of Cabin Fever. Since Eli Roth will already be on hand for Aftershock, he’ll be hosting a screening his classic debut as well!
The mission statement, “The Stanley Film Festival is a unique opportunity to showcase exhilarating voices in classic and contemporary horror within a haunted space chosen to amplify the experience beyond the terrors shown on screen. Armed with the goal of procuring the most imaginative tales of fright from around the globe, we will proudly present short and feature films that offer a vast spectrum of tantalizing thrills and ghastly delights throughout the weekend. Like the best spooky stories told in the dark, each will be wildly distinct, inventive and unexpected. The Stanley Hotel’s ghostly history as one of our eeriest landmarks, and its inspiration for some of cinema’s most unnerving spectacles, make this the perfect place to tempt the spirits and bring out your deepest fears in a way no other venue can. Enter if you dare, and let these films stay with you forever. And ever. And ever.”
The Purge – USA – (Director/screenwriter: James DeMonaco, Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder) – In the near future, a daring new order has kept the country safer. Called simply The Purge, it is a 24-hour release from all laws. When vicious outsiders break into an innocent family’s home on the one night that crime is legal each year, everyone will find out how far they would go to protect themselves.
Sightseers – United Kingdom – (Director: Andrew Zuchero, Screenwriters: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Amy Jump, Cast: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davies) – Ben Wheatley, director of the cult hit Kill List, returns with this hilarious horror comedy about a couple vacationing in rural England who can’t seem to shake the series of graphic deaths that follow them wherever they go.
Cabin Fever – Presented by Eli Roth – USA – (Director/screenwriter: Eli Roth, Cast: Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, Rider Strong) – The inaugural Stanley Film Festival Visionary award recipient Eli Roth will present his directorial debut. This modern horror classic centers on a group of college graduates who rent a cabin in the woods, only to fall victim to a flesh-eating virus.
Macabre – Singapore/Indonesia – (Directors/screenwriters: Kimo Stamboel, Timo Tjahjanto, Cast: Ario Bayu, Shareefa Daanish, Julie Estelle) – A group of friends traveling together are lured to a house of evil run by an ageless matron and her bloodthirsty offspring. The rarely seen directorial debut of Indonesian horror-hounds The Mo Brothers delivers carnage in spades.
No One Lives - USA – (Director: Ryûhei Kitamura, Screenwriter: David Cohen, Cast: Luke Evans, Adelaide Clemens, Derek Magyar) – Gore master Ryûhei Kitamura (Versus, The Midnight Meat Train) tells the story of a brutal gang of thieves who get more than they bargained when they attempt a typical highway robbery of what appears to be an average vacationing couple.
PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED SCREENINGS:
100 Bloody Acres – Australia – (Directors/Screenwriters: Colin and Cameron Cairnes, Cast: Damon Herriman, Angus Sampson, Anna McGahan) – A trio of fun-loving tourists on their way to a music festival fall into the hands of two crazed brothers with sinister plans in this madcap comedy about trying to survive. (Narrative) US Premiere
Aftershock – USA – (Director: Nicolás López, Screenwriters: Guillermo Amoedo, Nicolás López, Eli Roth, Cast: Eli Roth, Andrea Osvárt, Ariel Levy, Nicolás Martínez, Lorenza Izzo, Natasha Yarovenko, Selena Gomez) – Modern horror maestro Eli Roth co-wrote, produces and stars as a mopey tourist whose wild vacation in Chile turns gruesome. Ravaged by a vicious earthquake, he and his friends desperately struggle to survive a living nightmare. (Narrative) Colorado Premiere/Closing Night
All The Boys Love Mandy Lane – USA – (Director: Jonathan Levine, Screenwriter: Jacob Forman, Cast: Amber Heard, Michael Welch, Whitney Able, Anson Mount) – Resurrected after a several year hiatus, this legendary splatter-fest is finally making its way back to the big screen. When the most sought after girl in school is invited to a weekend outing with friends on a secluded farm, a mysterious suitor begins to pick off the other boys one by one. (Narrative) Colorado Premiere
Berberian Sound Studio – United Kingdom – (Director/Screenwriter: Peter Strickland, Cast: Toby Jones, Cosimo Fusco, Susanna Cappellaro) – Winner of five British Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Actor, this creepy love letter to the classic “Giallo” period details the complications befalling a motion picture sound designer as he quietly descends into madness. (Narrative) Colorado Premiere
Big Bad Wolves – Israel – (Directors/Screenwriters: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado, Cast: Lior Ashkenazi, Dvir Benedek, Dov Glickman, Tzachi Grad, Rotem Keinan, Menashe Noy) – An obsessed cop, and the father of a victim take justice into their own hands when they capture a suspected killer of children. In their genre-bending follow-up to Israel’s first horror film Rabies, Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado explore an unimaginable terror. (Narrative) Colorado Premiere
Black Rock – USA – (Director: Katie Aselton, Screenwriter: Mark Duplass, Cast: Katie Aselton, Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth) – Three childhood friends have their weekend getaway on a secluded island transformed into a brutal game of cat-and-mouse with a trio of trained predators. Katie Aselton (The Freebie, star of “The League”) directs from a script by husband Mark Duplass. (Narrative) Colorado Premiere
Frankenstein’s Army – Netherlands/USA – (Director: Richard Raaphorst, Screenwriters: Chris W. Mitchell, Miguel Tejada-Flores, Cast: Karel Roden, Joshua Sasse, Robert Gwilym, Alexander Mercury) – Near the end of World War II, a platoon of Russian soldiers are given a secret mission that leads them into the lair of a Nazi mad scientist and his frightening creations in this cinematically inventive take on the monster movie. (Narrative) Colorado Premiere
Henge – Japan – (Director/Screenwriter: Hajime Ohata, Cast: Kazunari Aizawa, Aki Morita, Teruhiko Nobukuni) – Following treatment for violent spells, a young man returns home to his loving wife. But as his seizures intensify, it becomes clear something inside him is trying to get out. Part domestic drama, part sci-fi thriller, this ambitious micro-budget tragedy heralds the arrival of a bright new talent. (Narrative) Colorado Premiere
Here Comes The Devil – Mexico – (Director/Screenwriter: Adrián García Bogliano, Cast: Francisco Barreiro, Laura Caro, Alan Martinez) – Argentine director Adrían García Bogliano (Cold Sweat, Penumbra) returns with a shockingly gory erotic horror film about a couple whose children mysteriously disappear while on vacation in Mexico. (Narrative) Colorado Premiere
Maniac – France/USA – (Director: Frank Khalfoun, Screenwriter: Alexandre Aja, Grégory Levasseur, C.A. Rosenberg, Cast: Elijah Wood, Nora Amezedar) – Elijah Wood shines in this remake of the horror classic about a psychotic stalker with a habit of scalping his objects of desire. Reimagined in mostly point-of-view shots, this revolutionary horror hit from Cannes is part camp, part art and all fear. (Narrative) Colorado Premiere
The Rambler – USA – (Director/Screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder, Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Lindsay Pulsipher, Natahsa Lyonne, James Cady)
Room 237 – USA – (Director: Rodney Ascher, Featured: Bill Blakemore, Geoffrey Cocks, Juli Kearns, John Fell Ryan, Jay Weidner)
Tower Block – United Kingdom – (Directors: James Nunn, Ronnie Thompson, Screenwriter: James Moran, Cast: Sheridan Smith, Jack O’Connell, Ralph Brown, Russell Tovey) – When bullets start flying into an isolated tenement building, no one is safe from the faceless shooter who has trapped the residents there for reasons unknown. The traditional slasher film is taken to its extreme in this taut psychological thriller. (Narrative) Colorado Premiere
V/H/S/2 – Canada/Indonesia/USA – (Directors: Adam Wingard, Gareth Evans, Screenwriters: Simon Barrett, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Evans, Jamie Nash, Jason Eisener, John Davies, Cast: Cast: Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine, L. C. Holt, Kelsy Abbott, Hannah Hughes) – The latest installment to last year’s successful found-footage short anthology series aims higher, bigger and scarier with new visions from the deranged minds behind some of independent genre’s finest offerings (The Blair Witch Project, The Raid, Hobo with a Shotgun, You’re Next). (Narrative) Colorado Premiere
Vanishing Waves – Belgium/France/Lithuania – (Director: Kristina Buozyte, Screenwriters: Kristina Buozyte, Bruno Samper, Cast: Jurga Jutaite, Marius Jampolskis, Brice Fournier, Sharunas Bartas) – A hypnotic, erotic, and wildly thought-provoking cinematic odyssey into the unknown realms of the mind, this operatic sci-fi vision highlights the development of a strong psychic link between two patients in an experiment gone awry. (Narrative) Colorado Premiere
Wither – Sweden – (Directors: Sonny Laguna, Tommy Wiklund, Screenwriters: Sonny Laguna, David Lilieblad, Tommy Wiklund, Cast: Patrik Almkvist, Jessica Blomkvist, Johannes Brost) – In the grand tradition of Evil Dead and it’s progeny, this tale of a group of vacationing friends who encounter an infectious creature from the unknown delivers on the gore in this impressively made low-budget screamfest. (Narrative) US Premiere
The Apocalypse – USA – (Director: Andrew Zuchero) – Four uninspired friends try to come up with a terrific idea for how to spend their Saturday afternoon. (Narrative)
Bobby Yeah – United Kingdom – (Director: Robert Morgan) – Bobby Yeah is a petty thug who lightens his miserable existence by brawling and thieving stuff. When he steals the favorite pet of some very dangerous individuals, he finds himself in deep trouble. (Animation)
The Bungled Child – Fiji – (Director: Simon Filliot) – There’s nothing easy about mending a bungled child. (Animation)
Bydlo – Canada – (Director: Patrick Bouchard) – An allegory of mankind heading for disaster, Bydlo is a tragic vision inspired by Mussorgsky’s music. (Animation)
The Cub – USA – (Director: Riley Stearns) – Wolves make the best parents. (Narrative)
Dance Till You Drop – USA – (Directors: Juan Cardarelli & Eric Levy) – The Girl is a newly single dancer that is tasked to watch her best friend’s house. After deciding the place needs a clean, she cranks up the tunes and decides to show off her nifty moves. And that’s when things get really weird. (Narrative)
The Event – United Kingdom – (Director: Julia Pott) – Love and a severed foot at the end of the world. (Animation)
Haunted Castle – France – (Director: Georges Melies) – For our very first festival, we proudly present the very first horror film in recorded history. Master of silent cinema Georges Melies directs for your enjoyment. (Narrative)
Hell No – USA – (Director: Joe Nicolosi) – What would happen in horror movies if smart characters made quality logical decisions? Spoiler alert: everyone lives. (Narrative)
Henley – USA – (Director: Craig Macneill) – Meet nine-year-old Ted Henley, budding motel manager and road kill entrepreneur. (Narrative)
Hundred Waters – “Boreal” – USA – (Director: Lucas Leyva & Jillian Mayer) – Hundreds of years before the first Europeans land in Florida, a young Tequesta boy goes hunting in the Everglades. Meanwhile, his prey longs for deeper fulfillment. (Music Video)
IN – Sweden – (Director: Adam Berg) – A man is asked by a friend to retrieve something lost inside a train tunnel where an unknown terror lies in wait. (Narrative)
In Hanford – USA – (Director: Chris Mars) – This heartbreaking true story of a town poisoned by Cold War-era nuclear-arms manufacture is told through firsthand accounts and fantasy scenes, which empathize with the victim’s plight. (Animated Documentary)
Lazarov – France – (Director: Nieto) – Refusing to accept the decline of the U.S.S.R., a handful of Russian scientists work secretly to resurrect Soviet power through the mysterious program Lazarov. (Animation)
Legend – Spain – (Director: Pau Teixidor) – Claudia, a ten-year-old girl, leaves with her family to spend the weekend out of town. At an abandoned gas station, the appearance of a strange woman will reveal her true fate. (Narrative)
Once it Started, It Could Not End Otherwise – USA – (Director: Kelly Sears) – Terrifying and strange happenings descend on a 1970’s high school. (Animation)
The Root of the Problem – USA – (Director: Ryan Spindell) – In the candy-colored world of 1950s suburbia, a reluctant young housewife suspects that the friendly neighborhood dentist is hiding a horrible secret. Is it just the anesthesia at work, or is there something more sinister hiding below the surface? (Narrative)
Thumb Snatchers from the Moon Cocoon – USA – (Director: Bradley Schaffer) – A Texas Sheriff uses his cowboy logic to recklessly defeat a race of thumb-snatching, cocoon dwelling robo critters. (Animation)
Two Fingers – “Vengeance Rhythm” – USA – (Director: Chriss Ullens) – This is the story of a very, very angry teddy bear. (Animated Music Video)
The Unliving – Sweden – (Director: Hugo Lilja) – Thirty years after a zombie outbreak, people are taming the undead and using them as cheap labour. Katrine catches ’em and Mark lobotomizes’em. They’re an awesome team, but work is starting to bleed into their relationship. (Narrative)
When the Zombies Come – USA – (Director: John Hurst) – At a remote hardware store, fans of the walking dead have turned their love of zombies into an obsession, warping the way they see the store and its customers. (Documentary)
Yellow – Germany/United Kingdom – (Director: Ryan Haysom) – A reclusive older man is on the hunt for a vicious serial killer in neon-lit Berlin in this neo-Giallo short by Jon Britt. (Narrative)