The Chicago International Film Festival heads into its 55th year for the 2019 season, running October 16th-27th. This year’s After Dark horror program holds an impressive slate of genre films from around the world with seven features and a short film block.
Chicago horror fans will be pleased to know the program is kicking off with the highly-anticipated ZOMBIELAND: Double Tap, which comes after an excruciatingly long wait (a decade!) for this sequel to happen. Head to the premiere in your best undead outfit for a chance to win prizes! (Editor’s note: I attended the original ZOMBIELAND Chicago premiere 10 years ago, decked out with oozing flesh bites and black goo drooling down my chin. That night was a top highlight in my experience of Chicago horror events, as they gave undead fans the red carpet treatment and the film was introduced by Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg!).
There are two productions in the After Dark list that were filmed, produced, and cast in the Chicago area. Indie film producer Travis Stevens’ feature directorial debut, GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR, stars MMA fighter and Chicagoan CM Punk as a man intent on renovating an old Victorian house, only to soon find out that it isn’t too keen on allowing that business, and gruesome body horror ensues! Feminist LGBTQ teen noir KNIVES AND SKIN (directed by University of Illinois professor Jennifer Reeder) was a favorite at Frightfest, about an unsolved case of a missing Illinois high school girl (Twin Peaks vibes) in a small town where dark forces may be at large.
The Shorts Film Block “Up at Night” offers a unique selection of genre goodies filled with flesh-hungry animals, nightmares, and more. Brandon Cronenberg (Antiviral) directed Please Speak Continuously and Describe Your Experiences as They Come to You, a body horror short that is said to rival his father’s penchant for bodily atrocities.
Features include: A SOUTH AFRICAN HORROR STORY (South Africa), DEERSKIN (France), GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR (U.S.), JESUS SHOWS YOU THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY (Spain), KNIVES AND SKIN (U.S.), THE VAST OF NIGHT (U.S.), and ZOMBIELAND: Double Tap (U.S.).
The Shorts 3: Up at Night program includes: Monster God, Roadkill, Who’s a Good Boy, All Inclusive, Stucco, White Echo, and Please Speak Continuously and Describe Your Experiences as They Come to You (Total running time 85 minutes).
For information on all films in the After Dark program, please visit this link. TICKETS are available starting Friday, September 27th at 10am! The festival is located at AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St., Chicago, IL.
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