Ethereal Thrills and Nostalgic Zeal: Day Three of Nightmares Film Festival 2022

I’ve crossed the halfway point and have yet another day of Nightmares Film Festival behind me. It was once again a day packed to the brim with movies and events. Things kicked off with the festivals annual panel discussions: Social Progress Through Horror and The New Distribution. The latter is pretty self-explanatory, but also a deeply important subject. Since the dawn of cinema, horror has always been a vessel for social (and political) commentary. It’s an ever-evolving beast, one that must adapt and be nurtured from moment to moment – year to year.

Distribution is similarly an ever-sifting sea, especially in today’s fast-paced digital ages. Whether you like or not (although I don’t much care if you don’t), these are important topics worthy of repeated discussion and I love attending these panels. The insights gained from them are invaluable.

Of course, there were also plenty of films to watch throughout the day – too many to catch. While I primarily stuck to short blocks and the aforementioned panels, I was lucky enough to see the WNUF sequel, Out There Halloween Mega Tape. This was a special cut of the film crafted specifically for Nightmares Film Festival and contained an additional 4 minutes of faux throwback commercials. Anyone who has seen the original WNUF Halloween Special knows that those satirical doses of nostalgia are half the fun, so getting to finally see this highly-anticipated sequel with a bit extra footage was a wonderful Halloween season treat.

Other features that played throughout the day included the comedic HeBGB TV, the thrilling Influencer, the wild Austrian selection Razzennest, the fourth entry in The FP sagaFP: 4EVZ, and the already much-talked about midnight madness that is All Jacked Up and Full of Worms. I heard nothing but good things about each and every once of them, so I’m eager to catch up with them all in the future.

In addition to the stellar programming, Saturday was the day that Nightmares Film Festival gives out its awards. Who took home a coveted Night Mare Award this year? I’m glad you asked…

Ohio Film

Horror Feature
The Barn Part II

Thriller Feature

Midnight Feature
All Jacked Up and Full of Worms

Horror Comedy Feature
Scare Package II: Rad Chad’s Revenge

Supporting Performance, Feature
Kaya Coleman, Float

Lead Performance, Feature
Hesse Deni, Brain Death

Cinematography, Feature
Wolf Meyer, Moon Garden

Writing, Feature
Chris LaMartina, Out There Halloween Mega Tape

Director, Feature
Johannes Grenzfurthner, Razzennest

Supporting Performance, Short
Kenyada Davis, The Tunnel

Lead Performance, Short
Angela Wong Carbone, Check the Locks

Recurring Nightmare

Horror Comedy Short
Prom Night ’91

Horror Short
Nite Flirt

Thriller Short
Black Creek Trail

Midnight Short
Love is a Fire

Cinematography, Short
Justin Moore, Velma

Writing, Short
Andres Rothschild, Unbidden

Director, Short
Sam Fox, Bad Acid

Short Screenplay
Rafael De Leon Jr., Three Baths
Jerry Ochoa, Mermaid (1st Runner Up)
Rakefet Abergel, Still (2nd Runner Up)

Feature Screenplay
Michael Thai & George Ding, Influencer
Brian Smith, Dean’s List (1st Runner Up)
Kevin Sluder, First Girl (2nd Runner Up)

Etheria Spirit Award
Victim No. 6

Overall Short

Overall Feature
Walking Against the Rain

The Film from Hell
Brain Death

Innovation in Film
Sophia Cacciola & Michael Epstein

Esprit de Gore
Jason Trost

Dread Central would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners, as well as all of the nominees. The horror community is at its best when we’re all lifting each other up in unison and that holds true just as much as festivals. It might sounds (candy) corny to say “everyone’s a winner”, but hey, it’s true!

Speaking of winners, I had the pleasure of speaking with actor/producer Heather Brittain O’Scanlon, whose period piece serial killer short film Victim No. 6 won this year’s inaugural Etheria Spirit Award. This award is the result of a new partnership between Nightmares Film Festival and the illustrious Etheria Film Festival

“I want to thank Stacy Pippi Hammon and Etheria Film Festival for this award, but more importantly for their mission to showcase the genre talent of female filmmakers and their goal of one day becoming obsolete once industry equality has been achieved. I also want to thank my writer/director and co-producer Nancy Menagh. We are honored to be the first recipients of this award!”

I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing Victim No. 6, as it plays during the Sunday programming slate, but I’m very much looking forward to viewing it and countless other films during the final day of the festival. Be sure to keep an eye out for that short and all of the other shorts & features listed above. Like I said during Friday’s coverage, if you want to truly place your finger on the pulse of grassroots indie genre cinema, remember the names and titles above… because they’re it!



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