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Horror Lives Through After Dark Films

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but my favorite thing to do on a Saturday night is to head over to my local Blockbuster and browse the movie shelves. Since I see a lot of films in theatres, when it’s time to rent something new, I try to stay away from mainstream releases. This is sometimes a difficult feat because Blockbuster doesn’t carry too many independent films. In fact, if they do have a lesser known film, it’s usually one copy and already rented out.

Still_03_7 On a recent visit to the movie Mecca to find something new, I was in the mood to rent something scary. I must confess I am a horror film fanatic. I see just about every scary movie that comes to theatres and will rent anything that appears to be the slightest bit creepy. So, as I combed the new releases in search of something frightastic, I came across The Abandoned, a lesser known film about an American woman, who in searching for information about her birth patents, discovers she has inherited a house in the middle of the woods in Russia. Trying to piece her past together, the woman decides to visit the property and soon discovers that the house holds many devious secrets to her past.

I didn’t know it at the time, but The Abandoned is part of a series put out by After Dark Films for Horrorfest, a weekend festival that releases movies that are too graphic or disturbing to general audiences. To any horror genre admirer, this is like finding gold. Every weekend thereafter I rented another film in the eight-film-series and each held my attention to the very end. Some were so suspenseful that I even found myself shouting “Look behind you!” at the TV. If you're like me and enjoy hiding your face behind a pillow as a psychotic killer stalks some foul-mouthed teenager, than I really recommend renting all of these movies. They may not be high-budget quality, but their plot-lines are original and unlike most films in their genre, they don't try to be over the top.The 2006 series includes Unrest, Penny Dreadful, The Gravedancers, The Hamiltons, Reincarnation (from the director of The Grudge and The Grudge 2), Dark Rides, and Wicked Little Things.

If you’ve already seen these movies, than you will happy to learn that the 2007 Horrorfest is coming up. The festival will invade 350 theatres across the United States Nov. 9-11 and Nov. 16-18. Tickets, locations and info on the new films can be found at www.horrorfestonline.

And for any of you interested in becoming more involved in this series, After Dark is seeking a new Miss Horrorfest to travel and reign as the horror goddess he or she may be. Auditions are being held in NYC TODAY. For audition info, click here.

--Diana DiSilvestro

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