15 feature films (including a few classics shown in their full glory on the big screen once again) and a number of entertaining shorts spread over a schedule that ran from Thursday night to Sunday night. Oh yes, it was time for me to see if I could survive Dead By Dawn once again. There are two, strangely opposing, reasons that I enjoy this festival so much. One is the fact that I KNOW I will usually find a new favourite or two amongst the line up (this year I will now spend the next few months raving about Lobos De Arga until more people start to become aware of it) and my excitement starts to build as soon as I start receiving the first scraps of news about the screenings. Reason two – even the stuff I don’t like I either tend to enjoy or find interesting. Adele Hartley, the festival director, always takes a moment or two to explain just why she thinks each entry deserves to be shown and just what she sees in it that she thinks is so special. Sometimes I disagree but that’s just as good as always sharing the same taste. I see things I wouldn’t normally see and I take the time to think about even the films that haven’t quite succeeded, in my view. Having said that, nothing was shown this year that I actually disliked and seeing the likes of Demons, Creepshow, Deliverance and The Omen on the big screen provided me with a cinematic memory I will cherish for a long, long time. Hearing that bombastic Jerry Goldsmith score through the speakers in the Filmhouse gave me goosebumps.
Here is everything shown, and subsequently reviewed by me for Flickfeast.
The Cabin In The Woods (2011)
The Puppet Monster Massacre (2010)
Lobos De Arga (2011)
Below Zero (2010)
Nightmare Factory (2011)
The Short Program
Juan De Los Muertos (2011)
Red Nights (2009)
Red Tears (2011)
The Fields (2011)
The Omen (1976)
Thanks go, as they do every year, to Adele and everyone who helps her make the festival happen – the helpful Dead By Dawn staff who must surely be exhausted by the end of it all, the film-makers who turn up and/or submit their works, the audience who all focus on having a great weekend enjoying some great cinema and, last but by no means least, the wonderful staff of the Filmhouse, who kept us supplied with coffee and smiles while we invaded the bar and screen 1 for a long weekend.
Next year is the 20th year of Dead By Dawn and that’s a milestone that can’t pass by without some attempt being made to somehow make things even MORE memorable so if you can make it along to show your support then do try to get along next time – what better way to celebrate 20 years of a quality movie festival dedicated to horror fans than to ensure that each screening is sold out. Who knows, if you find me in the crowd then I might even buy you a pint. I said “might”.