16th A Night of Horror International Film Festival Announces First Programming Wave

January 26, 2024

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at josephperry@gmail.com. He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

For its 16th edition, A Night of Horror International Film Festival moves from Australia to the United States — Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to be exact — from March 1–3, 2024, and the fest’s first wave announcement promises something for horror fans of every stripe. Following is the official press announcement. 

A Night of Horror International Film Festival announces its first programming wave for 2024 today. Long known as Australia’s premier genre film event, the festival now takes place in the United States. This year, the festival’s 16th edition – and first in the US – screens from March 1-3, at the Micon Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

“To move a fest I co-founded in Sydney, Australia, back in 2006, to America feels surreal”, says festival director Dean Bertram. “A Night of Horror has long taken pride in being recognized for its excellence in showcasing the best and bloodiest new horror films from around the globe. And this year’s program is already shaping up to be one of my favorite line-ups yet. In the first wave alone are some of the most original, terrifying, and at times hilarious genre offerings that you’ll see this year: A bloody buffet of zombies, online serial killers, vampiric burlesque dancers, masked slashers, Japanese monsters, Lovecraftian terrors, and compelling found footage. Each film twisting and playing with genre expectations.  I can’t wait to share them all with the festival’s new audience in Eau Claire.”

Discounted festival passes are now on sale here: https://www.anightofhorror.com/tickets

Individual tickets to each film will go on sale closer to the festival; both on the fest’s website, and from the Micon Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Full program details and filmmaker guests will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The first seven feature films announced follow:

BAKEMONO (dir: Doug Roos) A multitude of guests visit the same cheap Tokyo airbnb at different times, unaware of the gruesome monster waiting for them. A terrifying, gore-drenched, and unique creature feature, told with a disjointed and unsettling narrative structure: Think PULP FICTION or MEMENTO as a bloody Japanese horror film. Loaded with incredible practical FX (and no CGI), the film delivers a visceral and unsettling experience.

BLOODY BRIDGET (dir: Richard Elfman) Voodoo deity Baron Samedi transforms a down on her luck burlesque dancer (Anastasia Elfman) into a “Valentine Vampire.” But blood only whets her appetite; to satiate her gory desires she must eat her victims’ beating hearts! A bloody – and bloody fun – horror comedy from director Richard Elfman, music by Danny Elfman and Ego Plum. Fans of comedic horror and camp will delight! 

#BLUE_WHALE (dir: Anna Zaytseva) Rebellious schoolgirl Dana grieves for her younger sister, a once-happy kid who suddenly stepped in front of a train. Desperate to learn what happened, she explores her sister’s online history, discovering a sinister social-media game. A non-stop, brutal, and twisting thriller that draws you into a sinister and masterfully crafted online world.

H.P. LOVECRAFT’S THE OLD ONES (dir: Chad Ferrin) In 1930, sea captain Russel Marsh saw the light, and for 93 years his body was not his own. Inhabited by a Great Old One, he committed unspeakable acts in the name of the Esoteric Order of Dagon. Now free, he is in search of a way to go back in time to reverse the horrors wrought upon the world. But the cult has other plans and will stop at nothing to destroy him. The latest gore-drenched nightmare from fest alum, and modern master of the genre, Chad Ferrin (PARASITES, NIGHT CALLER, THE DEEP ONES).

HE NEVER LEFT (dir: James Morris) After hearing strange noises coming from an adjoining motel room, a federal fugitive and his girlfriend inadvertently become targets of the notorious “Pale Face” killer, whose legend has consumed and haunted the local community for decades. The most impressive, inventive, and refreshing take on the slasher sub-genre that A Night of Horror’s programming team have seen in over a decade.

IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS (dir: Rachel Kempf & Nick Toti) Blending fact and fiction, this compelling found footage horror film features nearly 20 years of archival video. When filmmakers Nick Toti and Rachel Kempf buy an abandoned duplex to shoot their next indie horror film in, they are delighted to find random strangers are drawn to the building, gathering outside to stare at it in a zombie-like trance. What begins as an effort to document the cult quickly escalates into an increasingly ecstatic quest to see just how scary their real-life horror movie can get. You’ll find yourself trying to work out what, in this enthralling film, is real and what is fiction.

M (dir: Vardan Tozija) In a secluded forest, young Marko lives under the watchful eye of his overprotective and mysterious father. Their sheltered existence is all he knows. Marko seeks solace in his cherished picture book, finding comfort and answers within its pages. One day, an encounter with a kind-hearted boy with Down Syndrome named Miko, brings a glimmer of warmth and connection into Marko’s isolated world. As his curiosity grows, Marko yearns to uncover the secrets that lie beyond the confines of the wilderness. A cruel turn of events grants him his wish sooner than he expects. A grim journey awaits him, filled with unknown dangers, unexpected twists, and a glimpse into a world forever changed.

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