Monday 14 February 2011


One of the first posts on this blog was about a horror festival in Manchester, Grimfest 2. Now, Empire Cinemas is running a small horror festival in a couple of weeks time.

After 4 hugely successful years in the US, AFTER DARK: HORRORFEST comes to EMPIRE CINEMAS with the AFTER DARK ORIGINALS; a horror festival weekend around the UK through UK distributor G2 PICTURES – famous for providing cutting edge genre films.

Starting Friday 4th March through to Sunday 6th March horror fans in key cities in the UK and Ireland will get 7 brand new original horror films and enjoy the opportunity to get dressed up and participate in exciting in-cinema activity and competitions.

Films include; Husk – starring C.J. Thomason (Harper’s Island) - about a group of friends who become stranded beside a desolate cornfield and find an old farmhouse. They soon discover the house is the centre of a terrifying supernatural ritual. Prowl, starring Courtney Hope (CSI:Miami) is a gruesome tale of a bunch of friends who accept a ride from a truck driver and find themselves taken to an abandoned warehouse where they become the prey for blood - thirsty creatures learning to hunt.

Also showing are; Seconds Apart, Scream of the Banshee, Fertile Ground, The Task and 51. See below for full synopses. Each title will also receive a separate DVD and Blu-Ray release with a complete ‘special edition’ box set scheduled for Halloween 2011.

In the US AFTER DARK ORIGINALS: HORRORFEST has been celebrated with the same enthusiasm as with the Rocky Horror Picture Show. UK fans finally get the chance to become part of one of the most important festivals in the movie calendar.

After Dark Films was formed in 2006 by director/producer Courtney Solomon (An American Haunting, Captivity), and Hong Kong based real estate magnate, Allan Zeman. In November of that year they launched HORRORFEST, playing eight never seen before acquired horror films in an annual weekend-long theatrical event in 500 theatres across the US. Along with their long-term home-entertainment and TV partners Lionsgate & Syfy, in 2010, After Dark expanded its grasp on the horror genre creating AFTER DARK ORIGINALS, tapping into the vast and innovative talent of directors and filmmakers from HORRORFEST’s four years and producing new features themselves.

Writer/Director: Brett Simmons
Cast: Wes Chatham (Brian), C.J. Thomason (Chris), Devon Graye (Scott), Tammin Sursok (Natalie)
When a murder of crows smashes into their car windshield, a group of young friends are forced to abandon the vehicle, leaving them stranded beside a desolate cornfield. Hidden deep within the cornfield they find a crumbling farmhouse – but they soon discover that instead of a sanctuary, the house is actually the centre of a terrifying supernatural ritual that they are about to become a part of…

Writer: Tim Tori (Hysteria, Trespassers)
Director: Patrik Syversen (Manhunt)
Cast: Bruce Payne (Bernard), Courtney Hope (Amber), Saxon Trainor (Veronica)
Amber dreams of escaping her small town existence and persuades her friends to accompany her to find an apartment in the big city. When their transportation breaks down, she and her friends gratefully accept a ride in the back of a semi. But when the driver refuses to stop and they discover the cargo is hundreds of cartons of blood, they panic. Their panic turns to terror when the truck disgorges them into a dark, abandoned warehouse where blood-thirsty creatures learn to hunt human prey, which, the friends realize, is what they now are...

Writer: George Richards
Director: Antonio Negret (Towards Darkness)
Cast: Orlando Jones (Det. Lampkin), Gary & Edmund Entin (Seth & Jonah Trimble)
Seth and Jonah are murderous twins who share an evil kinship. Damned from the moment of their births, the brothers possess a gruesome talent for telekinesis – a power they use in the most horrific ways imaginable. As their fellow students meet gory fates, the local law enforcement begins to suspect the twins’ connection to the depraved murders. What started as a jealous rage escalates into a supernatural showdown – pitting brother against brother, evil against evil.

Writer: Anthony C. Ferrante (House of Bones, Headless Horseman, Boo)
Director: Steven C. Miller (Automaton Transfusion)
Cast: Lauren Holly (Prof. Whelan), Lance Henricksen (Broderick Duncan)
When a college Professor opens up a strange, ornate box discovered in the basement of a University, she and her students hear a horrifying scream belonging to that of a bloodthirsty banshee. They think nothing of it, until that scream begins to haunt all that heard it in strange and surreal ways. According to Irish lore, if you hear a Banshee scream, you will die – which is what starts happening to them one by one, as the creature starts taking their lives…

Writers: Adam Gierasch & Jace Anderson
Director: Adam Gierasch (Autopsy, Night of the Demons)
Cast: Gale Harold (Nate), Leisha Hailey (Emily), JoNell Kennedy (Brittany)
Emily and Nate Weaver leave the city for the rural comfort of Nate’s ancestral home in the country. Once there, Emily is plagued by horrifying visions and haunted by the ghosts inhabiting their isolated new home. When Nate’s behaviour undergoes a strange and fearful metamorphous, Emily fears she might be the latest target in a murderous tradition.

Writer: Kenny Yakkel
Director: Simon Fellows (Malice in Wonderland, Blessed)
Cast: Texas Battle (Dixon), Alexandra Staden (Connie), Adam Raynor (Taylor)
Something diabolical is taking place on the set of “The Task” a new reality show in which players complete terrifying missions within the confines of an abandoned prison hoping to win a hefty cash prize. As six young students explore their new environment, malicious spirits make their presence known in the most gruesome ways imaginable, unable to escape the labyrinthine prison, the contestants become unwitting pawns caught at the centre of a blood-soaked night of terror.

Writer: Kenny Yakkel
Director: Jason Connery (Pandemic, The Devil’s Tomb)
Cast: Bruce Boxleitner (Col. Martin), John Shea (Sam Whitaker), Jason London (Shoes), Rachel Miner (Sgt Hannah)
Due to political pressure from the American public, the Air Force has decided to allow two well-known reporters limited access to the most secretive base on the planet. But when one of the base’s “long-term visitors” exploits this unprecedented visit as a chance to liberate himself and his fellow alien captives, Area 51 turns from a secure government base to a horrifying destination of terror.
Participating EMPIRE cinemas:
London Leicester Square/ Basildon/ Newcastle/ Poole/ Sunderland/ Swindon/ Eire (tbc)

Empire Cinemas across the UK – 4-6 March 2011

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