Running April 30 through May 3, the Stanley Film Festival makes its return to the infamously haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. The Stanley, made famous by Stephen King’s “The Shining,” is the ideal location for the annual horror-themed festival, which for 2015 will feature over 20 contemporary movies, a series of retrospectives, and almost 30 film shorts.
Opening the festival is the horror-comedy “Cooties” starring Stanley Film Festival favorite Elijah Wood. Rainn Wilson (“The Office”), and Alison Pill (“The Newsroom”) costar. Last year Wood won the second-annual Visionary Award, along with his SpectreVision partners Daniel Noah and Josh Waller. This year the festival will honor Tom Quinn, co-president of RADiUS-TWC as its 2015 Visionary Award Winner. Quinn is behind this year’s breakout horror title, “It Follows,” which quickly went from limited release to 1,200 theaters thanks to accolades from critics and theatergoers alike.
In addition to films, the festival will feature a number of panels, events and award presentations. But first, a look at the main feature lineup:
- “Body” The loyalty between three young, female friends is tested when an evening of drinking turns into a nightmare after they accidentally commit murder.
- “The Boy” Produced by 2014 SFF Visionary Award recipients Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller and Elijah Wood, ’The Boy’ is a chilling feature debut offers an unnerving glimpse at a boy’s growing fascination with death.
- “Deathgasm” A pair of metal heads start a band, find a piece of music that accidentally unleashes an ancient evil, then have to stop the apocalypse from overtaking everything in this energetic action-comedy.
- “The Final Girls” Max and her friends find themselves trapped in the famous 80’s slasher flick that made her late mother a scream queen. The millennial gang joins the throwback camp counselors with raging libidos to battle the psychotic killer.
- “Goodnight Mommy” Following a complex, facial reconstructive surgery, a young actress returns home to find that her twin sons don’t believe it is her behind the bandages. Determined to exorcise the imposter, the duo rebel against her, but their suspicions may have grave consequences.
- “The Hallow” When a British conservationist unwittingly disturbs a horde of demonic forces in a remote wilderness, he must protect his family from their relentless attacks in this gory creature fable.
- “Hollow” A little girl drowns in a river, then awakens in the morgue and returns to her family. But whatever has returned possesses secrets to a mystery that once unraveled reveals terrors far more sinister than spirits.
- “The Invitation” Two years after a tragic loss ended his relationship, Will accepts an invitation from his ex-wife to attend a mysterious dinner party held at his former house. As the evening progresses, the dread bubbling under the surface is slowly revealed.
- “Let Us Prey” Tightly wound horror/thriller taking place one fateful night in a remote Irish town. Sinners will repent and blood will be shed as a mysterious stranger with telepathic powers unravels the local police station with blistering results.
- “The Nightmare” The scariest documentary ever made. Rodney Ascher explores the lives of eight poor souls who suffer from extreme sleep paralysis, uncovering and recreating the deepest subconscious creation of terror the mind can offer.
- “Over Your Dead Body” Legendary horror maestro Takashi Miike brings his fervent interpretation to a traditional ghost story from his native Japan with this nuanced tale of a theater production that awakens vicious spirits to possess its unsuspecting actors.
- “Scherzo Diabolico” Returning to the festival for the third time in three years, Adrian Garcia Bogliano’s all new tale of dread concerns a seemingly mild-mannered man who enacts a disturbing plan for vengeance.
- “Shrew’s Nest” In the tradition of MISERY comes this razor-sharp Spanish thriller about an unfortunate man who finds himself trapped in the apartment of his obsessive, shut-in neighbors after taking a debilitating tumble down the steps in their building.
- “Some Kind Of Hate” When a troubled teen is subjected to severe bullying, he accidentally conjures Moira Karp. Once a teenage girl pushed to suicide, Moira is now an unstoppable force on a mission of gruesome retribution. But when she goes to far, he must prevent her from spiraling out of control.
- “Stung” A swanky dinner party at a secluded villa is cut short when a gardening mishap involving a toxic fertilizer accidentally breeds a pack of oversized, blood-thirsty wasps. Now a underdog caterer must lead a pack of guests and employees in a fight for survival.
- “Sun Choke” Janie’s just trying to get well. As she recovers from a violent psychotic break, she’s subjected each day to a bizarre holistic health and wellness regimen designed, and enforced, by her lifelong nanny and caretaker.
- “The Treatment” Echoing tones of great nuevo-European thrillers like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, this hard-boiled Belgian mystery tells the story of a hot-headed cop who finds himself caught in a web of deceit when a nine-year-old boy goes missing.
- “We Are Still Here” A quaint New England town’s dark history returns when a couple trying to start over moves unknowingly into a storied haunted house.
For more information on each of these films and to purchase tickets to the festival, visit StanleyFilmFest.com. Individual tickets to events and film screenings will be on sale throughout the festival while available.