Screamfest LA seems to be a rousing success so far. While Diary of the Dead was kind of crummy, it was a cool way to open the festival. On Saturday sold out crowds got to see Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D, which was an incredible blast. I went to the first showing, and the crowd was filled with friends of the guy who played Shelly, the nerd who gave Jason his signature hockey mask, and it was a fun audience participation experience. Also fun: at the Q&A after the screening the guy who played Jason seemed to be stinking drunk. I didn’t see any of the films on Sunday, but my friend Brian, proprietor of the Horror Movie a Day blog, saw Paranormal Activity, a film that he says actually scared him. Hardcore horror nerds know how rare that is, so I’m trying to get my hands on a screener of the film to see for myself (email me if you’re involved in this movie!).
The fun continues tonight with a very unique screening of Return to House on Haunted Hill. This direct to DVD picture is notable for a very odd feature: it has 96 possible storyline permutations and a number of different endings, all depending on choices made by the viewer while watching. It’s a gimmick, but it’s one in the hallowed tradition of William Castle, whose name and films inspired Dark Castle Entertainment, the folks behind this movie. The screening tonight will be hosted by Jeffrey Combs, who returns to play Dr. Richard B. Vannacutt in the film, and who will be polling the audience when it’s time to choose what happens in the movie. Considering how psyched and positive the Screamfest crowds have been so far, I am sure this is a recipe for a whole lot of fun.
And a note to those who are considering going to the premiere of 30 Days of Night at Screamfest: don’t. But if you really want to see this very good looking but essentially moronic movie, buy your tickets online now, since you can’t buy them at the door and they’re selling out like nobody’s business.