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Nightstream, bringing five fright festivals together, reveals its full program!

Thursday, September 24, 2020 | Events, News

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

World premieres and many other fear flicks will be showcased by Nightstream, a joint venture between several of the country’s top horror festivals next month. Read on for the complete lineup of features!

Nightstream, organized by the Boston Underground, Brooklyn Horror, North Bend, Overlook and Popcorn Frights film festivals, takes place October 8-11, with the movies available to view on the Eventive platform through October 14. The film screenings will be geolocked to the U.S., while non-film events will be accessible worldwide (with an Events Only badge available for purchase). This is a fundraising event, with all proceeds going directly to the participating filmmakers and artists, the festivals to recoup COVID-19 related financial setbacks and to charities and small businesses local to each headquartered city.

The feature films showing in Nightstream are:

OPENING NIGHT: RUN
World Premiere; 
U.S./2020/90 min./Dir. Aneesh Chaganty
Sarah Paulson and newcomer Kiera Allen shine in director Aneesh Chaganty’s (SEARCHING) nail-biting, Hitchcockian new thriller about a wheelchair-bound teenager whose fragile, isolated existence with her doting mother is threatened when she begins to notice strange occurrences around her house. A Hulu Original Film.

32 MALASAÑA STREET
North American Premiere; 
Spain/2020/105 min./Dir. Albert Pintó
The Olmedo family gets more than they bargained for when they move into a suspiciously low-priced apartment in Madrid, circa 1976, and quickly find themselves in a living nightmare in this intense and stylish Spanish answer to James Wan’s THE CONJURING. A Shudder Original Film.

ANYTHING FOR JACKSON
U.S. Premiere; 
Canada/2020/97 min./Dir. Justin G. Dyck
Satanists Audrey and Henry Walsh had the best of intentions when they kidnapped a young pregnant woman in the hopes of performing a resurrection ritual for their recently deceased grandson. What could go wrong?

AV: THE HUNT
North American Premiere; 
Turkey/2020/87 min./Dir. Emre Akay
To escape the murderous wrath of her oppressive and patriarchal family after being caught with her lover, Ayse must go on the run through the backroads of modern-day Turkey in his absurdly primal fight for survival.

BLACK BEAR
U.S./2019/104 Min. Dir. Lawrence Michael Levine
Punctuated with outstanding performances from Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon, Lawrence Michael Levine’s Kaufman-esque BLACK BEAR tells the story of a filmmaker who arrives at a rural retreat and discovers that the unpredictable behavior of her hosts will be the source of her most inspired work yet. A Momentum Pictures release.

BLEED WITH ME
Canada/2020/79 min./Dir. Amelia Moses
A lo-fi and subtly creepy chamber piece, Amelia Moses’ debut BLEED WITH ME follows Rowan, an insecure girl spending a wintry retreat at a remote cabin with her best friend, Emily, and Emily’s boyfriend, Brendan. When Rowan’s anxiety around being an unwanted guest starts to get to her, mounting paranoia gives way to hallucinations, making this trip into something chillingly sinister. An Epic Pictures release.

BLOODY HELL
North American Premiere; 
Australia, U.S./2020/95 min./Dir. Alister Grierson
In this relentlessly energetic, pitch-black horror/comedy, an ex-bank robber fleeing the country after a video of him goes viral, heads to Helsinki only to find there’s something in store for him there that is much more difficult to escape.

BOYS FROM COUNTY HELL
North American Premiere; 
Ireland/2020/89 min./Dir. Chris Baugh
The tourist-pranking antics of a group of hardy Irish road workers are turned against them when they discover that they’ve accidentally awoken an undead bloodsucker sleeping beneath the town’s soil in this uproarious and freaky horror/comedy. Originally scheduled to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

BREAKING SURFACE
U.S. Premiere; 
Sweden, Norway, Belgium/2020/81 min./Dir. Joachim Hedén
An emotional deep-water diving trip for two sisters turns disastrous when a landslide causes one of them to be pinned to the ocean floor in this heart-rending and fear-inducing survival thriller. A Doppelganger Releasing Film.

CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER
U.S./2020/90 min./Dir. Mickey Reece
Prolific underground director Mickey Reece’s oddball humor and otherworldly retro flair are on full display in this delightful tale of two sisters whose love-hate relationship is stirred up when they reunite with a childhood friend who they suspect may or may not be a vampire. A Dark Star Pictures release.

COME TRUE
U.S. Premiere; 
Canada/2020/105 min./Dir. Anthony Scott Burns
In this ambitious sci-fi gem, a troubled teenager tormented by nightmares enters into a mysterious sleep study that unlocks the truth about her surreal dreams and the dark shadowy figure within them.

DARKNESS
U.S. Premiere; 
Italy/2019/98 min./Dir. Emanuela Rossi
Under their father’s tyranny, three siblings are forced to remain indoors, with all views of the outside world blocked off, leaving the eldest to suspect something isn’t right in this cleverly constructed look at domestic abuse under the guise of postapocalyptic paranoia.

DETENTION
Taiwan/2019/103 min./Dir. John Hsu
Set during the Tawainese martial law of the 1960s, this shockingly gruesome and terrifying coming-of-age drama based on a hugely popular video game sees two classmates who go looking for their missing friends and teachers, all of whom took part in an illegal book club, only to come face to face with ghosts and deformed monsters that have taken over their school.

DINNER IN AMERICA
U.S./2020/106 min./Dir. Adam Carter Rehmeier
A punk rocker arsonist on the run (Kyle Gallner, VERONICA MARS) and his number one fan embark on a series of misadventures through suburbia, finding unexpected love along the way in this absolutely electric, thoroughly anarchic, misfit stoner rom-com you didn’t know you needed.

THE DOORMAN
World Premiere; 
U.S./2020/93 min./Dir. Ryûhei Kitamura
As visually stylish as it is graphically violent, this punishing action-thriller from the legendary Ryûhei Kitamura (VERSUS) stars Ruby Rose (JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 2, BATWOMAN) as a former Marine turned doorman at a luxury New York City high-rise who must outsmart and battle a group of art thieves and their ruthless leader (Jean Reno, LÉON: THE PROFESSIONAL)–while struggling to protect her sister’s family. A Lionsgate release.

EMA
Chile/2019/107 min./Dir. Pablo Larrain
In the latest from acclaimed Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (JACKIE), adoptive parents Ema (Mariana Di Girolamo) and Gastón (Gael García Bernal) are artistic free spirits in an experimental dance troupe whose lives are thrown into chaos after their son is involved in a shockingly violent incident. A Music Box Films release.

FRANK & ZED
World Premiere; 
U.S./93 min./Dir. Jesse Blanchard
Lovingly crafted entirely with hand puppets, this hilarious, blood-drenched practical marvel sees the peaceful, secluded lifestyle of two monsters threatened when a group of desperate villagers come to repay an age-old pact to a wretched demon.

HONEYDEW
World Premiere; 
U.S./2020/106 min./Dir. Devereux Milburn
A couple, Sam (Sawyer Spielberg) and Riley (Malin Barr), on a backwoods road trip find themselves descending into a hallucinatory hell when they accept auto repair help from an elderly farmer and her peculiar son in this unhinged and unforgettable directorial debut. Originally set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

HUNTED
U.S. Premiere; 
Belgium, France, Ireland/2020/96 min./Dir. Vincent Paronnaud
Acclaimed filmmaker/comic artist Vincent Paronnaud (director of Cannes Jury Prize and Academy Award nominee PERSEPOLIS) returns to the screen with an exhilaratingly ferocious survival horror flick that follows Eve, a woman who encounters a seemingly charming man at a bar, only to uncover that his true sociopathic nature will spark a dire, life-or-death chase through the wilderness. A Shudder Original Film.

IT CUTS DEEP
World Premiere; 
U.S./2020/77 min./Dir. Nicholas Payne Santos
While on Christmas vacation, Sam’s world begins to close in around him in horrifying and hilarious ways when his girlfriend’s announcement that she wants to start a family coincides with the sudden reappearance of an old acquaintance who alludes to Sam’s violent past. A Dark Sky Films release.

JUMBO
Belgium, France/2020/93 min./Dir. Zoé Wittock
Noémie Merlant (PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE) gives a fearless performance as a shy amusement park worker whose life changes when a new star attraction shows up and immediately enthralls her with “his” magnificent machinery in this fantastical and heartfelt debut from writer/director Zoe Wittock. A Dark Star Pictures release.

LAPSIS
U.S./2020/108 min./Dir. Noah Hutton
In order to pay for his ailing brothers’ medical bills, a seasoned scam artist takes a not-so-above-board job running a new kind of sophisticated cable through miles of wood, only to discover dire truths about this new vocation in this prescient and grounded science-fiction feature. A Film Movement release.

LEAP OF FAITH: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN ON “THE EXORCIST”
U.S., Spain/2020/105 min./Dir. Alexandre O. Phillippe
In perhaps his most penetrating interview ever, director Alexandre O. Phillippe (78/52) ploughs deep into the filmmaking process of director William Friedkin through the tumultuous and terrifying production of one of the most iconic horror films ever made.

LUCKY
U.S. Premiere; 
U.S./2020/81 min./Dir. Natasha Kermani
Self-help author May Ryer finds herself the victim of increasingly violent home intruder attacks that no one, including her husband, seems all that worried about. What results is a cutthroat feminist thriller from director Natasha Kermani and screenwriter/star Brea Grant where May must face down the threat alone. Originally set to premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. A Shudder Original Film.

CLOSING NIGHT: MANDIBLES
North American Premiere; France/2020/77 min./Dir. Quentin Dupieux
Visionary director Quentin Dupieux (RUBBER, DEERSKIN) returns with his most accessible and hilarious film to date, a tale of two simpleminded friends who find a giant fly stuck in the trunk of a car and set themselves up to train it to earn money with it. Originally set to premiere at the Telluride Film Festival. A Magnolia Pictures Release.

MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU TOO (pictured above)
International Premiere; 
Indonesia/2020/110 min./Dir. Timo Tjahjanto
Director Timo Tjahjanto returns for more propulsive and chaotic possession horror with this direct sequel to his hit MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU. This time, series star Alfie is once again forced to wage war against hell’s dark forces when a group of teenage orphans unleash the demonic spirit of their former caretaker. A Shudder Original Film.

MY HEART CAN’T BEAT UNLESS YOU TELL IT TO
North American Premiere; 
U.S./2020/90 min./Dir. Jonathan Cuartas
Dwight (Patrick Fugit, ALMOST FAMOUS, GONE GIRL) and Jessie (Ingrid Sophie Schram) go to unimaginable, morally decrepit lengths to medicate their sick younger brother Thomas (Owen Campbell, SUPER DARK TIMES), who desperately needs blood to survive. Originally set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. A Dark Sky Films release.

THE NEST
Italy/2019/103 min./Dir. Roberto De Feo
A young boy, suffering from paraplegia and trapped away in an isolated mansion under the rule of his domineering mother, has his life turned upside down when the arrival of the new teenage maid exposes him to his family’s darkest secrets in this beautifully shot, Italian Gothic horror.

THE NIGHT
North American Premiere; 
U.S./2020/105 min./Dir. Kourosh Ahari
Kourosh Ahari’s transfixing submission to the ranks of hotel-stay-from-hell horror is an endlessly unnerving tale of a couple and their infant forced to confront their darkest secrets after choosing the wrong place to sleep for the night. An IFC Midnight release.

THE OBITUARY OF TUNDE JOHNSON
U.S./2019/104 min./Dir. Ali Leroi
Director Ali Leroi and screenwriter Stanley Kalu present one of the best and most radical uses of the time loop narrative device in the story of a gay black teenager forced to continuously relive May 28th, a date on which, no matter what he does differently, Tunde Johnson finds himself unarmed and shot by the police at the end of the day.

PELICAN BLOOD
Germany, Bulgaria/2019/121 min./Dir. Katrin Gebbe
Nina Hoss delivers a daring performance as a mother who suspects there are sinister supernatural forces at play when her newly adopted daughter turns from shy and charming to menacing and dangerous, threatening her idyllic country life in Katrin Gebbe’s (NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN) engrossing and cerebral horror-drama.

THE QUEEN OF BLACK MAGIC
Indonesia/2019/99 min./Kimo Stamboel
In this terrifying and gory tale of supernatural revenge from two of Indonesia’s modern masters of horror, screenwriter Joko Anwar (SATAN’S SLAVES) and director Kimo Stamboel (HEADSHOT), a middle-class family journeys to visit the terminally ill director of the orphanage where the father was raised as a child, only to encounter sinister and terrifying events as the dark history of the children’s home begins to reveal itself.

REUNION
World Premiere; 
U.S./2020/95 min./Dir. Jake Mahaffy
A pregnant woman reconnects with her estranged mom (Julia Ormond) in this emotionally charged and quietly audacious psychological horror chiller that slowly and brutally lays bare the dark and horrific sins from a family’s shared history. A Dark Sky Films release.

THE RETURNED
North American Premiere; 
Argentina/2019/92 min./Dir. Laura Casabé
In 1919 South America, a landowner’s wife, desperate to have a child after several miscarriages, decides to pray to a mythical deity to resurrect her stillborn son, unleashing something truly evil in this impactful horror allegory that gives power to the oppressed through eerie supernatural storytelling.

ROSE PLAYS JULIE
Ireland, UK/2020/100 min./Dir. Christine Molloy, Joe Lawlor
What begins with a young woman persistently tracking down her birth mother takes a dark tonal shift as she turns her sights to her odious blood father (Aidan Gillen, GAME OF THRONES) in this eerie thriller. A Film Movement Release.

SURVIVAL SKILLS
U.S./2020/84 min./Dir. Quinn Armstrong
Presented as a lost police training video from the 1980s, an at-first comedic look at the early days on the force for a newly minted, naive officer quickly turns into a dark, satirical critique on the way our society and law enforcement institutions fail us in this timely, clever and unexpectedly sobering examination of a broken system.

TIME OF MOULTING
U.S. Premiere; 
Germany/2020/80 min./Dir. Sabrina Mertens
Spanning over 10 years in 1970s Germany, this chilling debut from Sabrina Mertens follows Stephanie as she’s raised in isolation by her cold father and emotionally distraught, bedridden mother. Suffocated by the weight of her family’s lifestyle, Stephanie’s mind gradually veers towards darker thoughts and, inevitably, troubling habits and actions.

AN UNQUIET GRAVE
World Premiere; 
U.S./2020/72 min./Dir. Terence Krey
Unable to come to terms with the death of his wife, a man and his sister-in-law return to the scene of the car accident to perform an ill-fated ritual in this two-handed chamber horror that terrifyingly shines a light on the dangers of extreme grief: unrelenting desperation, loss of self and the evil that exists in our darkest moments of despair.

There will also be retrospective screenings of Shinichi Fukuzawa’s BLOODY MUSCLE BODY BUILDER IN HELL, the world-premiering restoration of Mario Philip Azzopardi’s DEADLINE, James Bond III’s DEF BY TEMPTATION and SHOCK VALUE, a collection of student short films by John Carpenter, Dan O’Bannon et al. Among the panels and other events are a Virtual Fireside with Nia DeCosta, director of the upcoming CANDYMAN; a 20th Anniversary Celebration of AMERICAN PSYCHO with director Mary Harron; Adventures in the Screen Trade with A QUIET PLACE writers Scott Beck & Bryan Woods; The Future of Horror Is Female, presented by Arrow; a Horror Queers Podcast taking on THE CELL; Making COVID Work: How to Create During a Global Pandemic; Benson & Moorhead’s Home Movies, with the directors of RESOLUTION, THE ENDLESS and the new SYNCHRONIC exploring their early works; Dinner With the Masters of Horror, a tribute to Mick Garris with Mike Flanagan, Joe Dante, John Landis and many others; a Horror Homecoming Soirée with Peaches Christ; a special round of Final Exam Trivia hosted by Ted Geoghegan and yours truly; and many more.

In addition, each participating festival will present a curated slate of short films. It’s a big and diverse event no horror fan should miss; for further details, head over to Nightstream’s official website.

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.