The in-person festival will kick off with the North American premiere of THE RETALIATORS
Los Angeles, CA – Screamfest® Horror Film Festival, the largest and longest-running horror film festival in the United States, today announced their first-wave lineup of competitive features and shorts for its 21st edition. Running October 12th through 21st at the TCL Chinese Theater, Screamfest® welcomes audiences back to the big screen for a collective experience they won’t soon forget.
Tickets can be purchased here: https://screamfestla.com
The Retaliators will open Screamfest® LA on October 12th for its North American premiere with a red carpet prior to the screening. The film follows an upstanding pastor who uncovers a dark and twisted underworld as he searches for answers surrounding his daughter’s brutal murder. Directed by Bridget Smith and Samuel Gonzalez Jr. and written by the Geare brothers, The Retaliators also features a high-octane original soundtrack and cameos from some of the biggest names in rock music, including Five Finger Death Punch, Tommy Lee, Papa Roach, The Hu, Ice Nine Kills, Escape The Fate, and more appear on screen. Marc Menchaca (Ozark), Michael Lombardi (Rescue Me), and Joseph Gatt (Game of Thrones) star in this horror-thriller which reveals a game of revenge played using a new set of rules.
Considered the “Sundance of Horror,” Screamfest® is proud to showcase new work from independent filmmakers from across the globe. Highlights from this year’s program include the World Premieres of Father of Flies, the haunting tale of family life and the supernatural and Teddy Grennan’s Wicked Games where a long weekend at a country estate is turned into a nightmare when a group of masked intruders invades the property. Little do they know one guest has a surprise for them.
Four films will be making their North American debuts at the festival. In addition to The Retaliators, Richard Waters’s dark folk horror Bring Out The Fear traps its protagonists in an unsolvable maze where a sinister presence awaits; Clare Foley stars in the sci-fi horror The Changed where an alien presence takes possession of the hearts and minds of her city; and Isolation depicts nine tales of terror which are woven together as remote people work to survive an increasingly deadly outbreak.
US premieres at the festival include Russia’s #Blue_Whale produced by Timur Bekmambetov, which follows Dana as she works to uncover the truth behind her sister’s suicide; Argentina’s fantasy horror film Nocturna: Side A- The Great Old Man’s Night which depicts one old man’s journey to rethink his past and present and question his reality; and Kratt by Rasmus Berivoo in which children stumble upon an instruction manual to create a supernatural being.
West Coast premieres at the festival include a joint production between the US, Mexico, and Venezuela, Exorcism of God which follows an American priest working in Mexico who, due to a botched exorcism, carries a dark secret with him; hailing from Ireland, Let the Wrong One In dives into the complications of family ties when a vampire is discovered in the family; Erik Bloomquist follows twins who spend a night at a remote inn to investigate their missing father in Night at the Eagle Inn; North American distribution rights to the Argentinian The Returned (Los Que Vuelven) – which follows a woman in 1919 prays to a mythical deity to resurrect her stillborn son – were acquired in a new venture between Peter Block of A Bigger Boat and Seth Nagel, Scott Einbinder and Garrick Dion of 5X Media; What Josiah Saw explores a farmhouse haunted by the past; Alone With You stars Emily Bennett, Emma Myles, and fan-favorite Barbara Crampton in a twisted tale of memory and horror unfolding over a romantic homecoming for a distant girlfriend; and When I Consume You by Perry Blackshear where two siblings get more than they bargained for when hunting a shadowy stalker.
The festival will also feature a Special Presentation of Daniel Farrands’s Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeyman starring Peyton List and Lydia Hearst, which follows the notorious killer through a little known chapter of her life in Deland, Florida.
Festival founder Rachel Belofsky says,
“After a challenging year for cinema, we are excited to return to our home at the TCL Chinese Theatre for our latest lineup of frights,”
“While last year’s drive-ins allowed us to continue to celebrate horror films as a community, we have missed the magic of the traditional theatrical experience.”
Formed in August 2001 by film producer Rachel Belofsky, Screamfest Horror Film Festival is a female-run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that gives filmmakers and screenwriters in the horror and science fiction genres a venue to have their work showcased in the film industry.
Please find the 2021 Screamfest feature line-up below:
Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeyman (US, 2021) – Special Presentation
Written and Directed by Daniel Farrands
Produced by Lucas Jarach, Daniel Farrands, Meadow Williams, Swen Temmel, Luke Daniels, Daniel Davila
Executive Producer(s) Nicolas Chartier, Jonathan Deckter, Lydia Hearst, Alan Pao
Cast: Peyton List, Lydia Hearst, Tobin Bell, Nick Vallelonga, Swen Temmel, Meadow Williams, Andrew Biernat
Based on a little-known chapter in the life of America’s most notorious female serial killer, “Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeyman” takes place in 1976 when 21-year-old Aileen (Peyton List) arrives in Florida attempting to escape her tragic past. Soon she marries wealthy yacht club president Lewis Fell (Tobin Bell) who offers her the chance to become part of Florida’s high society. Ultimately, the victimized Aileen surrenders to her murderous impulses and wreaks havoc on the peaceful seaside community of Deland, Florida.
Alone With You (US, 2021) – West Coast Premiere
Directed by Emily Bennett & Josh Brooks
Written by Emily Bennett & Josh Brooks
Produced by Andrew D. Corkin & Theo James
Cast: Emily Bennett, Emma Myles (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK), Dora Madison (BLISS, VFX),
and Barbara Crampton (RE-ANIMATOR, YOU’RE NEXT)
Charlie (Emily Bennett) is setting the atmosphere in her sleek, two-story apartment in Brooklyn for a romantic homecoming for her distant girlfriend Simone (Emma Myles) who’s been away for work. There are past glimpses of visual tension between the two, so we’re led to feel that this meticulous setting of mood may be a peacemaking gesture. Enamored beyond all good sense, Charlie begins to experience a myriad of unsettling incidents, and the horrors of what has transpired are slowly revealed in the shards of Charlie’s resistant memory.
#Blue_Whale (Russia, 2021) – US Premiere
Directed by Anna Zaytseva
Written by Evgeniya Bogomyakova, Anna Zaytseva, Olga Klemesheva
Produced by Timur Bekmambetov, Anna Shalashina, Igor Mishin
Cast: Anna Potebnya, Timofey Eleckii, Ekaterina Stulova, Diana Shulmina, Olga Pipchenko, Polina Vataga, Daniil Kiselev
After her younger sister Julia commits suicide, troubled adolescent Dana decides to find out what led to her death. Examining her sister’s computer, Dana finds a secret chat group where adolescents are encouraged to kill themselves through a challenge called “Blue Whale”. Dana’s investigation leads her ever closer to the truth, but to really discover what happened, she herself must play the deadly game. #blue_whale // #I_want_to_play_the_game is inspired by real events that happened in Russia in 2015 and 2017.
Bring Out The Fear (Ireland, 2021) – North American Premiere
Written and Directed by Richard Waters
Produced by Alison Scarff & Richard Waters
Cast: Ciara Bailey, Tad Morari, James Devlin
Rosie and Dan are a couple in a doomed relationship. While taking a final walk in their favourite forest, they find it has trapped them in an unsolvable maze. The paths lead nowhere, the trees never end, the sun never sets, and a sinister presence stalks and torments them, trying to drive them insane… There is no escape. But what exactly are they hiding? This dark folk horror will leave you questioning what is real and what is malicious trickery.
The Changed (US, 2021) – North American Premiere
Written and Directed by Michael Mongillo
Produced by Taylor Warren and Eloise Asmuth
Cast: Clare Foley, Jason Alan Smith, Carlee Avers, Doug Tompos, introducing Olivia Freer, with Kathy Searle, and Tony Todd
Something has taken possession of the hearts and minds of the populace. Kim (Clare Foley), Mac (Jason Alan Smith), and Jane (Carlee Avers) try to convince themselves it’s paranoia, but before long the city is besieged by the changed. By the time they realize an alien intelligence has merged with their neighbor, Bill (Tony Todd), a horde of changed is amassing outside their suburban home.
Exorcism of God (US/Mexico/Venezuela, 2021) – West Coast Premiere
Directed by Alejandro Hidalgo
Written by Alejandro Hidalgo, Santiago Fernández Calvete
Produced by Alejandro Hidalgo, Joel Seidl, Karim Kabche & Antonio Abdo
Cast: María Gabriela De Faría, Will Beinbrink, Joseph Marcell
Peter Williams, an American priest working in Mexico, is considered a saint by many local parishioners. However, due to a botched exorcism, he carries a dark secret that’s eating him alive until he gets an opportunity to face his own demon one final time.
Father of Flies (USA/UK, 2021) – World Premiere
Directed by Ben Charles Edwards
Written by Kirsty Bell
Produced by Kirsty Bell, Phil McKenzie
Cast: Nicholas Tucci, Camilla Rutherford, Davi Santos, Page Ruth, Keaton Tetlow, Colleen Heidemann
A haunting tale of family life. A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her.
Isolation (US, 2021) – North American Premiere
Directed by Larry Fessenden, Andrew Kasch, Dennie Gordon, Bobby Roe, Alix Austin & Keir Siewert, Christian Pasquariello, Alexandra Neary, Zach Passero, Adam Brown & Kyle I. Kelley
Written by Larry Fessenden, Cody Goodfellow, Dennie Gordon, Zack Andrews & Bobby Roe, Kyle I. Kelley & Adam Brown, Keir Siewert, Zach Passero, Alexandrea Neary, Christian Pasquariello
Produced by Nathan Crooker, James P. Gannon
Cast: Larry Fessenden, Dennie Gordon, Graham Denman, Damien Gerard, Bobby Roe Sunny Roe, Bodhi Roe, Adam Brown, Alix Austin, Hannah Passero Marieh Delfino, Alex Weed, Fine Belger, Hans Gurbig
Woven together are nine tales of terror that follow isolated citizens from around the world as they confront their darkest fears in an attempt to survive an increasingly deadly outbreak.
Kratt (Estonia, 2020) – US Premiere
Written and Directed by Rasmus Merivoo
Produced by Rain Rannu, Tõnu Hiielaid
Cast: Mari Lill, Ivo Uukkivi, Jan Uuspõld, Paul Purga, Nora Merivoo, Harri Merivoo
When children are left at Grandma’s without smartphones they’re bored to tears. That is until Granny finds them loads to do. She also tells them about a magical creature named KRATT that’ll do whatever its master says. When they stumble upon an instruction on how to build one they don’t hesitate. All they have to do now is to buy a soul from the devil…
Let The Wrong One In (Ireland, 2021) – West Coast Premiere
Written and Directed by Conor McMahon
Produced by Trisha Flood, Ruth Treacy, Julianne Forde, Michael Lavelle
Cast: Karl Rice, Eoin Duffy, Anthony Head, Mary Murray
Let the Wrong One In follows young supermarket worker Matt, who is a little too nice for his own good. When he discovers that his older, estranged brother Deco has turned into a vampire, he’s faced with a dilemma: Will he risk his own life to help his sibling, with blood being thicker than water? Or will he stake him before he spreads the infection further? The film stars upcoming Irish talent Karl Rice and Eoin Duffy, along with Buffy the Vampire Slayer icon Anthony Head, in the role of Henry; a taxi driver with a sideline in vampire hunting.
Night at the Eagle Inn (US, 2021) – West Coast Premiere
Directed by Erik Bloomquist
Written by Erik Bloomquist, Carson Bloomquist
Produced by Erik Bloomquist, Carson Bloomquist
Cast: Amelia Dudley, Taylor Turner, Beau Minniear, Greg Schweers, Erik Bloomquist
Fraternal twins spend a terrifying night at a remote inn to investigate the last known whereabouts of their father. As they dive deeper, the property’s dark secrets ensnare them in a hellish labyrinth they must escape before dawn.
Nocturna: Side A – The Great Old Man’s Night (Argentina, 2021) – US Premiere
Directed by Gonzalo Calzada
Written by Gonzalo Calzada
Produced by Alejandro Narváez, Javier Diaz
Cast: Pepe Soriano, Marina Artigas, Lautaro Delgado
Synopsis – Ulysses is a hundred-year-old man, he lives alone and is on the verge of death. The last night of his life, he will experience something that will force him to rethink his past, his present and his view about his reality.
The Retaliators (US, 2021) – North American Premiere – OPENING NIGHT
Directed by Bridget Smith, Samuel Gonzalez, JR.
Written by The Geare Brothers
Produced by Allen Kovac, Michael Lombardi, Mike Walsh
Executive Producer(s) Dan Lieblein
Cast: Michael Lombardi, Marc Menchaca, Joseph Gatt, Jacoby Shaddix, Katie Kelly, Abbey Hefer, Ivan Moody, Zoltan Bathory
In THE RETALIATORS, an upstanding pastor uncovers a dark and twisted underworld as he searches for answers surrounding his daughter’s brutal murder. A high-octane original soundtrack and cameos from some of the biggest names in rock music set the tone as this horror-thriller reveals a game of revenge played using a new set of rules. Marc Menchaca (Ozark), Michael Lombardi (Rescue Me), and Joseph Gatt (Game of Thrones) star. Five Finger Death Punch, Tommy Lee, Papa Roach, The Hu, Ice Nine Kills, Escape The Fate, and more appear onscreen and on THE RETALIATORS Original Soundtrack, coming soon via Better Noise Music.
The Returned (Los Que Vuelven) (Argentina, 2021) – West Coast Premiere
Directed by Laura Casabe
Written by Laura Casabe, Paolo Soria, Lisandro Colaberardino
Produced by Alejandro Israel
Cast: Maria Soldi, Lali Gonzalez, Alberto Ajaka
South America, 1919; a landowner’s wife is desperate for a child of her own, having suffered through multiple miscarriages. She finds hope, however, in a seemingly outlandish plan: she’ll pray to a mythical deity to resurrect her stillborn son. The plan works, but along with the child comes something else…something evil.
What Josiah Saw (US, 2021) – LA Premiere
Directed by Vincent Grashaw
Produced by Ran Namerode, Vincent Grashaw, Bernie Stern, Angelia Adzic
Executive Producer(s) Cole Payne, Scott Haze
Written by Robert Alan Dilts
Cast: Robert Patrick, Nick Stahl, Scott Haze, Kelli Garner, Tony Hale, Jake Weber
Everyone in town knows about the haunted Graham Farm on Willow Road. You’ll hear there’s a bad history to it. Josiah and his youngest son, Thomas, are all that remain of this estranged family. But after experiencing terrifying visions from beyond, Josiah decides they must change their ways to right a great wrong. After being away for over two decades, Eli and Mary, Josiah’s eldest children, are enticed to sell the property and reunite at the old farmhouse in hopes of closing this haunting chapter of their lives for good. Sins of the past will be paid in full.
When I Consume You (US, 2021) – West Coast Premiere
Written and Directed by Perry Blackshear
Produced by MacLeod Andrews, Perry Blackshear, Evan Dumouchel, Libby Ewing
Cast: Libby Ewing, Evan Dumouchel, MacLeod Andres, Margaret Ying Drake
Siblings Daphne and Wilson Shaw practically raised one another. They’ve protected each other from everything life has thrown their way. Daphne’s professional life is soaring and she’s looking to adopt a child. Wilson is interviewing for a position at a local school, hoping to become a teacher. But Daphne has an unsettling, dangerous stalker whom she can’t seem to shake, and now threatens to destroy them both. They hunt for their tormentor through the shadowy streets of Brooklyn, honing their bodies and minds for a showdown. But this foe may prove to be more than they can handle. They will break and rebuild themselves if necessary to save each other, and protect the light they know is in this world for them… if only they can persevere.
Wicked Games (US, 2021) – World Premiere
Written and Directed by Teddy Grennan
Produced by Bennett Krishock, Heath Franklin, Burton Gray, Teddy Grennan, Christopher Walters
Cast: Christine Spang, Markus Silbiger, Michael Shenefelt, Conner Ann Waterman
When Harley joins her new boyfriend for a long Halloween weekend at his country estate, they’re invaded by a bank of masked freaks and forced to play a Wicked Game. To the intruders’ unpleasant surprise, Harley’s hard-boiled history has endowed her with a bag of tricks which give the game a surprise ending. Standing out as one of the top tastemakers in the genre of horror, Screamfest has been a launchpad for top tier franchises and storytellers. Among the numerous films that have been discovered and/or premiered at the festival include box office hit The Wretched, Tigers Are Not Afraid, We Summons the Darkness, Pledge, The Master Cleanse, Tragedy Girls, American Mary, Paranormal Activity, 30 Days of Night, Trick ‘r Treat, and The Human Centipede.
Screamfest selects award winners at the close of the festival. Film entries are accepted in the categories of Best Feature, Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Special Effects and Musical Score. In addition, there are special categories for Best Animation, Best Short, Best Documentary and Best Student Film as well as a Screenplay competition.
Screamfest® takes the health and safety of its guests seriously and proof of vaccination or negative COVID test with a temperature check will be required for entry. Masks are required at all times while inside the venue. Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the theater and lobby with special cleanings in between screenings. Screamfest® will comply with all LA County regulations and policies are subject to change.
For more information or the latest news, visit screamfestla.com