The After Dark Horrorfest has been around for a few years now but it hasn’t been any less of a joke. Mostly releasing movies that (rightfully) would have been direct to dvd and failing to do anything to promote the good movies that were showing, they’ve been fairly poorly managed as well, leaving both critics and fans with not much of an idea of what films were playing or when people could see them.

This year though things already seem to be better. They’re sending out press releases well in advance of the fest, which has been pushed back to 2010, and they just announced the first truly hotly anticipated film in perhaps the fest’s history.

Clive Barker’s Dread.

Anthony DiBlasi’s directorial debut is already getting acclaim from a ton of people in the horror biz and will be getting a theatrical release thanks to the fest. Check this previous article for some footage from the film. The After Dark Horrorfest will run from January 29th through February 5th across the US, so there’s a very good chance that you’ll be able to check it out, which is pretty awesome. This is not the kind of film that would normally have gotten any kind of release.

“Anthony, Clive, Joe and I couldn’t be more excited about After Dark featuring DREAD in this year’s festival, and handling its national release,” said Jorge Saralegui of Midnight Picture Show.  “Their legendary, provocative marketing campaigns make them the perfect partners for a sexy and intense psycho-thriller like DREAD.”

Check out for more on the fest.