Nightmares Film Festival: Masquerade – Day One

2020 has been an incredibly tasking and infinitely exhausting year. I don’t really need to tell you that. You already know it. We’re all living through this insane scenario together, no matter what parts of the globe we individually reside in. All of this makes it that much more important that we can come together over our love of horror and still maintain some form of shared experience within the genre. A great way to do that nowadays is to participate in virtual film festivals, like Nightmares Film Festival: Masquerade!

A non-traditional year requires a non-traditional approach to film festivals and Masquerade is no different. This isn’t the usual NFF. I’m not trekking off to Ohio to spend a weekend surrounded by horror fans and filmmakers as we marathon features and shorts for four straight days. That’s a big bummer, of course, because while I can still watch all of the films from the comfort of my own home right now, I miss all of those familiar faces.

Luckily, the founders (Jason Tostevin & Chris Hamel) and their wonderful cabal of collaborators have stepped up to make sure that the online edition of NFF maintains as much of that community spirit as possible. I only have a single day of the festival behind me and I’ve already been able to interact with other attendees on numerous occasions not only through social media, but also via Zoom meetings, virtual Q&As, and virtual workshops. It’s honestly been a blast so far and I can’t wait to keep it all up as the week continues.

I hear you though. Enough yapping, Daniel. Tell us about the movies! Here were my favorites from Day #1…

This is a great, incredibly dense documentary focused on Canadian horror that traces the birth of the 1970s movement that launched the career of David Cronenberg and many others, all the way up until the present as it covers a handful of landmark films like Cannibal Girls, Rabid, Death Weekend, Ginger Snaps, and more.

TO FREDDY (feature)
A really good slice o’ indie thriller filmmaking from Norway with a cool concept and two great lead performances. First-time filmmaker Viljar Boe is one to watch.

This film seems destined to live on Adult Swim at some point. Writer/director/actor/everything Leslie Rivera crafted this gonzo piece of handmade movie making almost entirely on his own in a storage unit and the goofy charm & enthusiasm behind it make it a one of a kind film. It’s not for everyone, but the people who love this particular type of weird entertainment are likely to cherish it forever once they lay eyes on it.

I’ll go more in-depth on my favorite shorts at a later date, but from the ones I witnessed yesterday, my absolute favorites were Karaoke Night, Godspeed, Backward Creep, and The Lemoning. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some more films to watch. Don’t forget that you could be watching them too! Just click on over to the Nightmares Film Festival site and grab yourself a pass!

Have you seen any of these films? Are you looking forward to them? Have you been to Nightmares Film Festival before? Are you attending Masquerade now? By all means, let us know all of these things and more in the comments below or on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram! You can also hit me up directly on Twitter @DanielWBaldwin.



Sign up for The Harbinger a Dread Central Newsletter