The IFI welcomes back Horrorthon for the 14th year in 2011, with highlights including special guest Michael Biehn.
The festival promises almost 5 days of terror this year from the 27th to the 31st October - full of the best horror new releases from around the world; a fearsome line-up of the best gruesome genre classics; a great international selection that includes breakthrough Israeli Hebrew horror Rabies and an evil Santa from the Netherlands; and a special guest line-up that includes Horrorthon Guest of Honour Michael Biehn (Alien, Terminator, The Abyss), and his wife Jennifer Blanc Biehn, presenting his directorial debut The Victim, and an old friend of the Festival Tim Sullivan.
Derek O’Connor, Horrorthon Programme Associate said “This year's Horrorthon programme is really one for the fans - anyone who loves horror movies will find something to their delectation, from beloved cult classics to the best of the new breed. And we couldn't be more excited to welcome a bona fide Horrorthon Hero - Mr. Michael Biehn, star of Terminator and Aliens, and now a fine filmmaker in his own right - to Dublin. It's going to be bloody marvellous! Happy Halloween!”
The Festival opens with The Awakening, an atmospheric investigation into a supernatural death at a boys’ boarding school. Hotly anticipated and boasting Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and Dominic West (The Wire) as the lead attractions in Nick Murphy’s feature debut. Think The Others meets The Orphanage…
Michael Biehn will be a dominating presence at this year’s Festival. The main event is catching twisted backwoods revenge flick The Victim that he wrote, directed and starred in alongside his on and off-screen leading lady Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and horror icon Scream Queen Danielle Harris. He’ll also be in Q+As in his capacity as lead actor in The Divide, Xavier Gans’ new apocalypse survival movie, and the all-time classic Aliens which will be shown in glorious 70mm.
Other highlights include The Wicker Tree Robin Hardy’s belated and thoroughly irreverent follow up to 1973s seminal The Wicker Man. There’s a lot of excitement about a sneak preview of Snowtown, a portrait of Australian serial killer Robert Bunting that has been making waves on the festival circuit. And Christmas comes early with the arrival of Evil Santa from the Netherlands in the highly regarded Saint.
In fact this year’s Horrorthon has one of the strongest international line-ups in years with Spain’s stunning Kidnapped which does very much what it says in the title, Germany’s Urban Explorers which dodges Neo-Nazi thugs in a misguided search for the Führerbunker, Canada’s The Theatre Bizarre, and Israel’s Rabies leading the pack. Domestic filmmaking is not forgotten though – check out Jason Figgis’ intriguing haunted house documentary Cathnafola and new Irish director Paul Ward’s short film adaptation of Stephen King’s One for the Road which is showing alongside the opening film.
There’s no shortage of classics with Brian De Palma’s masterful labyrinthine conspiracy thriller Blow Out, starring John Travolta and John Lithgow, and Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut Play Misty for Me, both being obvious choices to catch on the big screen. For those seeking forgotten gems there’s the ground-breaking 1970s haunted house movie Burnt Offerings and the return of an old Horrorthon favourite, the Grindhouse Movie Trailers screening. And for Hallowe'en night itself where else would you be but at Halloween II, Rick Rosenthal's brutally effective sequel to John Carpenter's classic?
If you’re looking for something to take the kids out to for a bit of Hallowe’en magic don’t forget the two Children’s Hallowe’en Screenings, The Dark Crystal which uses the amazing puppetry of Jim Henson to incredible fantasy effect and Flash Gordon, Mike Hodges’ bonkers take on the Alex Raymond’s pulp hero.
Finally there’s no screening in Horrorthon that attracts as much gossip and attention as the famed Surprise Film. Anyone who claims to know what the Surprise Film is must be lying, as its identity is known to only one man – but book early as it will sell out fast.
Here’s just a sample of the titles on offer by day – the full schedule will be online soon.
Thursday October 27th
The Awakening (Opening Film)
Friday October 28th
Play Misty for Me
The Exterminator/Maniac Cop
Saturday 29th October
Children’s Hallowe'en Movie: Flash Gordon
Sunday October 30th
Children’s Halloween Movie: The Dark Crystal
Monday October 31st
The Short Film Showcase
The opening and closing night films are €10.
All other screenings are €9.
Special festival passes are available*:
One day pass €40
Two day pass €67
Three day pass €95
Four day pass €120
Full festival pass (all 5 days) €125
*The festival pass will cover all films except in instances where film times clash, so you must choose which title you want to see.
We’ll have more on Horrorthon, including highlighting our festival choices, over the coming weeks. To book tickets call the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 or head to www.ifi.ie