Looking for a good way to get into the Halloween spirit? Horror film fans need to look no further than this year’s sixth annual Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival, held tomorrow through Sunday at Artisphere in Arlington, Va.
The festival showcases films from more than 10 different countries and includes 15 features and 28 short films.
“We get 300 or so films a year and tear it down to about 40 films,” said Curtis Prather, the festival’s founder.
The festival promises the best films in its field, giving viewers a previewed glimpse of the coming year’s “next big thing.” The event also offers a wide array of topics under the umbrella of the horror genre.
“This year we have a huge selection of films,” Prather said. “There are some over-the-top comical films and then hard-core 18-and-up ones. We have provocative films, vampire films, gore and thrills, etc. Essentially, [we] got it all.”
Although many of the films are conceived on foreign soil, most of the dialogue is in English; the few exceptions (namely the French, Brazilian, Spanish and Irish films) have been outfitted with subtitles. Furthermore, fans looking for a variety of films will be pleased with the incorporation of older movies, including the 1951 classic The Thing from Another World.
“Six years ago I started Spooky Movie after looking at what was missing in the D.C. festival landscape, specifically that there weren’t really genres that were for people outside the film-fest crowd,” Prather said.
Now, the festival serves as a center for horror film fans to come together and gain a deeper appreciation for the often-overlooked genre.
As Prather envisioned, the festival operates in a fashion that creates the ultimate horror film viewing experience. This includes a reception with Scaryoke, zombies, drinks and sushi, which will be available throughout the festival. Each film block runs at about two hours each, with the feature-length films usually accompanied by two shorts. Additionally, the directors of the films will be available after screenings for a general question-and-answer session with the audience.