Shriekfest Update

I'll be heading out to Shriekfest this evening to check out their final screening (of a film called UNREST, which is supposed to be good) and to see the awards presentation afterward.

So far, I've found a few good films that I will try to write about in more detail later. Rolfe Kanefsky's NIGHTMARE MAN is a good cult movie, mixing laughs and scares. PENNY DREADFUL is a slick combination of psycho-thriller and slasher movie, with an impressive performance by Rachel Miner in the lead role.

So far, the highlight has to be THE OTHER SIDE, an action-packed horror-thriller that takes elements from THE TERMINATOR, THE HIDDEN, and even SUPERMAN II, and places them in a supernatural context. The basic story is about a young man who is murdered, then returns from the dead along with a batch of souls escaping from Hell. With the help of his new comrades, he sets out to unravel the mystery of his death, but there's a big complication: Reapers - a trio of undead hunters whose job is to recapture the souls that belong in Hell.

The stunning action, stunts, make-up and special effects belie the low-budget of writer-director Gregg Bishop's independent film (which was shot in Georgia). But even more impressive is the way the flashy camera work serves the story, which juggles several plot elements without dropping the ball. The film features great performances all around, and even without star power, this is at least one entry at Shriekfest that deserves to go on to a theatrical release. Are you listening, Hollywood?

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