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What is it about blood, guts and gore that keep audiences coming back for more? Festival Director Dean Betram shines the light on this dark genre.

A little birdie told us that The Tunnel is the opening night film. Could you tell us a little about it and why it was chosen to open the festival? Not only is The Tunnel a terrifying and fantastically realised independent horror flick, but it is a testament to the incredible audacity of the indie filmmaking spirit,  in so far as the filmmakers developed an internet savvy fund-raising and promotional campaign to make the film a reality. Come to opening night and hear them tell their incredible story at the Q&A to follow the screening!

What films are you excited for the audience to see? Obviously the entire program excites me, but to list just a few: Dead Hooker in a Trunk is a heck of a lot of subversive fun, directed by and starring two of the genre’s hottest up and coming directors: twin sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska (pictured). The festival’s audience is also going to love Absentia, one of the most original and effective monster movies that I’ve seen in the last decade. The horror comedy The Last Lovecraft, already an international festival hit, delivers an hilarious take on the writings of cult horror author H. P. Lovecraft (Reanimator, Dagon, Call of Cthulhu) and is going to be a massive fan favourite. The highly anticipated Chilean feature Descendents will tick all the right boxes for zombie aficionados. And finally, genre legend Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Millennium) stars in his best role in years in Wilderness, an edge of your seat creature feature cum psychological mind trip that is going to blow the audience away!

What is about horror films that people just can’t get enough of? I think it is part of human nature to want to sit in the dark and be scared by a horrific story. Once we gathered around campfires to experience scary storytelling, now we huddle in cinemas for the same chills.

What’s the difference between horror and thriller? As the names of the two different genres suggest, a horror film should evoke a sense of horror in the audience, while a thriller should thrill. Also, if a film deals with overtly supernatural themes, or contains a decent helping of blood and guts, it definitely moves from the realm of thriller to horror. Obviously there is some crossover between the two.

What are your top five horror films of all time? Tough call, but John Carpenter’s Halloween, George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and Ruggero Deoadato’s Cannibal Holocaust.

Mar 31 – Apr 8, Dendy Cinema, Newtown. 261-263 King St, Newtown, 8594 9000,


One Comment

  1. Renegade Video’s #12 will be screening at the festival. Here’s a link to the trailer for this film:

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