The newly formed Overlook Film Festival has announced it inaugural year programming lineup, including 37 films (20 features and 17 short films from 16 countries), along with a bevy of location-appropriate genre-themed parties, interactive events, and live experiences. This year, the festival will also fete director Roger Corman with their Master of Horror Award. The award “was established to honor a living legend who has contributed lasting innovations to the genre throughout a long career, inspiring new filmmakers for years to come.”
The fest is styled a 4-day celebration of horror that runs from April 24 – 30 at the historic Timberline Lodge located in Mt. Hood, Oregon, featured in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” as the location of the infamous Overlook Hotel. The new festival comes from some of the same minds behind the now-defunct Stanley Film Festival, a similar horror-themed gathering based in a hotel in Estes Park, Colorado that inspired Stephen King to write his 1977 “Shining” novel. The Stanley was also chiefly programmed by Landon Zakheim (who also programs short films at Sundance and AFI) and Michael Lerman, who serve as co-directors for the Overlook.
The festival’s opening night film will be announced later this week, but the fest has revealed both its centerpiece presentation — William Oldroyd’s “Lady Macbeth” — and has hinted at an “unmissable” secret screening. The fest will also offer a number of live presentations, including their signature live event, billed as a “weekend long immersive horror game available to badge holders” and produced by Bottleneck Immersive exclusively for the festival.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time and we’re really proud of the lineup!,” said Festival Co-Director Michael Lerman. “Between the world premieres and the festival favorites, I feel like it really does justice in honoring this amazingly special location.” Added festival co-director Landon Zakheim “The festival was built from the ground up to exist as a community for fans to celebrate horror in all of its forms. We can’t wait for attendees to discover our dark carnival of interactive experiences and the artists behind them.”
Check out the full lineup below, with all synopses provided by Overlook.
“Lady Macbeth,” Centerpiece Film
Director: William Oldroyd
United Kingdom, 2016
Rural England, 1865. Katherine is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age, and his cold, unforgiving family. When she embarks on a passionate affair with a young worker on her husband’s estate, a force is unleashed inside her so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
Secret Screening, Closing Night Film
For our closing night festivities, the Overlook Film Festival proudly presents a hotly anticipated film from a bold voice in film. Come and be the first to see an unmissable work of genre art!
“The Bad Batch”
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
United States, 2016
Set in a post-apocalyptic future, this imaginative tale sees a young girl deemed longer suitable for civilized society, is forcibly put out to pasture in rugged Texas wasteland inhabited by a iron-pumping ground of blood thirsty cannibals. The sophomore effort from Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), The Bad Batch is genre-bending acid trip full of iconic imagery and evocative sequences.
Director: Álex de la Iglesia
Spanish genre maverick Alex de la Iglesia returns to form with fast paced horror-comedy about a random group of diners who get trapped together inside a bar in downtown Madrid when a sniper opens fire on the streets. As claustrophobia sets in inside, a series of bizarre occurrences take place outside, leading this mismatched bunch to extreme paranoia that may have vicious consequences.
Created by: James Roland
United States, 2017
Syfy’s new grindhouse-inspired series soaked in high-octane chaos and just barely approved for television. After Los Angeles’ last good cop is forced to join a twisted cross-country death race, his only hope of survival is a dangerous femme fatale. Oh, and forget gasoline… these cars run on human blood.
“Boys in the Trees”
Director: Nicholas Verso
Part eerie, part moving, this engrossing coming-of-age tale sees two estranged teens begrudgingly finding themselves walking home together on Halloween 1997. As the differences in the pair start bubble to the surface, the two embark on a surreal journey through their vivid memories, lurid dreams and morbid fears.
“The Dwarves Must Be Crazy”
Director: Bhin Banloerit
The most insane and hilarious horror comedy you will see this year, The Dwarves Must Be Crazy follows a village of little people as it is attacked by an evil ancient Thai spirit. When the local inhabitants feast on some poisonous fireflies, all hell breaks loose in this chaotic piece of anarchic cinema full of intestines and flatulence humor.
“Hounds of Love”
Director: Ben Young
In the mid-1980s, 17-year-old Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors, she quickly realizes she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive.
Director: Damien Power
With their hearts set on a romantic vacation, Ian and Samantha arrive at an isolated campsite, only to to find an SUV and a tent — with no sign of the occupants. The discovery of a distressed child wandering in the woods unleashes a terrifying chain of events that will test the young couple’s breaking point. The great tradition of shockers like Straw Dogs and Wolf Creek, this brutal survival thriller cuts deep.
Director: Taneli Mustonen
Every camper’s worst nightmare came true at Lake Bodom in 1960 when four teenagers were stabbed to death while sleeping in their tent. As the years passed and the case grew cold, the unsolved mystery turned into a creepy campfire story passed from generation to generation. Now, a group of teenagers arrives at the same campsite, hoping to solve the murder by reconstructing it minute by minute. As night falls, it turns out not all of them are there to play.
Director: Robert Mockler
United States, 2017
A reckless loner, desperate for human connection, sets out on a crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. Her reality quickly splinters into a surreal nightmare that escalates out of control, just in time for Christmas.
Director: Joe Lynch
United States, 2017
In this explosive new film from director Joe Lynch, a dangerous virus that prevents the infected from controlling their inhibitions is discovered in a corporate law building – the very same firm that recently cleared an infected man on murder charges. When a quarantine is issued and the building goes on lockdown, all hell breaks loose inside, leaving a disgruntled employee (Steven Yeun) and an irate client (Samara Weaving) to fight their way to the top to “have a word” with the corrupt executives who wronged them.
“Meatball Machine Kodoku”
Director: Yoshihiro Nishimura
Japanese cyberpunk is alive and well In this follow-up to the 2005 splatter comedy Meatball Machine. Taking the reigns this time is effects specialist Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police) as he puts his own independent spin on the story of the alien parasite who turns unsuspecting humans into Necro-borg – half man, half machine creatures who will stop at nothing to battle each other to the death.
Director: Natalia Leite
United States, 2017
Following the brutal sexual assault of a fellow classmate, an introverted art student sets out into the campus night to take justice into her own hands in director Natalia Leite’s terrifying and poignant revenge thriller.
Director: Mickey Keating
United States, 2017
When an unidentified madman is sent to the electric chair, it triggers a sort of Mischief Night for a group of serial killers out in an entire city. An escaped mental patient, a beautiful seductress, a strangler who preys on unsuspecting women and an enigmatic masked contract killer run amok in Mickey Keating’s new slasher fest.
North American Premiere
Director: Dick Maas
Bad boy Dutch director Dick Maas returns with this over-the-top thriller about a enormous, aggressive lion who is on the loose outside of Amsterdam. Teaming up the police and her hunter ex-boyfriend, a brilliant veterinarian is hot the trail, dead set on catching the beast before he tears through everything in site in this romp of a gore fest.
Director: Brandon Christensen
When Mary loses one of her twins during childbirth, she feels an unparalleled disconnect. As she struggles with the loss of one child, she begins to suspect a sinister force have plans for the other. Written by Colin Minihan of The Vicious Brothers (GRAVE ENCOUNTERS) and pitch perfectly directed by new comer Brandon Christensen, Still/Born is a newborn horror you won’t soon forget.
Director: Sebastian Rotstein & Federico Rotstein
On a night when the City Governor is facing the accusation of being responsible for a tragedy that led to the death of 15 persons when a building in construction fell apart, five citizens who remain disillusioned are fated to face their most terrifying fears. Based on a set of urban legends, these seedy, allegorical tales of lust, possession, revenge, and voyeurism will make your skin crawl.
Director: Dominic Bridges
United Kingdom, 2017
Hussein, a slick talking real estate agent, gets by day to day thanks to sharp wit and massive ego. Unbeknownst to him, he’s sharing his apartment with a forgotten stranger, a master of concealment who is plotting a malicious campaign of vengeance. One of the most unique voices in genre cinema this year, director Dominic Bridges crafts the darkest of comedies about class.
Director: Amat Escalante
The fragile existence of a young housewife and her working class family is thrown off balance when a mysterious stranger comes into their lives convinces them that in the nearby woods, inside an isolated cabin, dwells something not of this world that could be the answer to all of their problems. Director Amat Escalante’s shocking and controversial new film touches on themes of family values, hypocrisy, homophobia, and male chauvinism.
Master of Horror
The Overlook Film Festival’s Master of Horror Award was established to honor a living legend who has contributed lasting innovations to the genre throughout a long career, inspiring new filmmakers for years to come. This year’s recipient is the one and only Roger Corman, director and producer extraordinaire whose techniques, output and mentorships changed the face of independent film. Joining Corman onstage will be filmmaker Mick Garris (creator of “Masters of Horror” and director of Stephen King’s “The Shining” and “The Stand” miniseries events) to hold a live conversation about Corman’s illustrious career for the podcast POST MORTEM WITH MICK GARRIS. Stay for a screening of a classic Corman film.
Director: Georgia Lee
Hong Kong/United States, 2016
A young woman returns to her family in Hong Kong to tend to her ailing grandmother. Upon arriving, she begins to come into contact with strange occurrences – noises, moving objects and frequent electronic disruptions. Filming her day to day activities for her doting husband, she begins to unravel the terrifying mystery that haunts her family and its connection to her dark past. In the tradition of William Castle, this innovative feature uses app technology for maximum, real time interactivity with the film and the evils within.
Directors: Chris Butler & Sam Fell
United States, 2012
A misunderstood boy who can speak with the dead takes on ghosts, zombies and, worst of all, grown-ups, in order to save his town from a centuries-old curse in this modern animated classic from the wizards at Laika. Join your fellow children of all ages for the perfect love letter to all things that go bump in the night.
Director: Rodney Ascher
United States, 2017
Why are we simultaneously attracted to and repelled by the things that scare us the most? In his first episodic series, acclaimed filmmaker Rodney Ascher (ROOM 237, THE NIGHTMARE) explores the pop culture that left dark impressions on us as children. Ascher asks real people to look back at pop-culture artifacts that traumatized them in their youth and describe the effect they had on their lives. A singular hybrid of documentary and horror, Ascher will present the first episode of his new show with an extended talkback following.
Immersive Horror Game
Produced by Bottleneck Immersive
Unfolding over the entire festival weekend, The Overlook Film Festival’s signature event is a fully realized interactive horror mystery that bleeds seamlessly into the festival atmosphere. Open to all badge holders, The game permeates the entire weekend, featuring planted actors, hidden clues, tactile puzzles, and surprising twists that each player can engage with at their own comfort and interest. Those who follow the clues become the protagonists of an engaging and thrilling narrative that no two players will experience in exactly the same way. Details of the game’s story are not revealed until the festival begins. Don’t phone it in. And remember: discovering how to play is all part of the game.
“Tales From Beyond the Pale”
Directors: Larry Fesseden & Glenn McQuaid
Presented by Glass Eye Pix, TALES FROM BEYOND THE PALE is an ongoing series of audio dramas penned by luminaries from the world of contemporary horror from JT Petty (HELLBENDERS) to Simon Barrett (YOU’RE NEXT), and Kim Newman (ANO DRACULA), featuring players from Ron Perlman (HELLBOY), to Angus Scrimm (PHANTASM), and Mark Margolis (AMERICAN HORROR STORY). The Overlook edition will feature performers culled from the film lineup and festival guests. Join horror impresarios Glenn McQuaid and Larry Fessenden as they invite you to close your eyes and… listen. Priority entrance for badge holders.
Director: Anne Katherine Lesser
The Chalet is based on The ABC Project’s A(partment 8), an immersive performance piece for an audience of one. In The Chalet audience members take a walk in someone else’s skin for a fully immersive theatrical experience. One audience member per performance. Morbid & disturbing with a twinge of black humor, A(partment 8) was a smash hit at the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival receiving rave reviews and selling out from word of mouth within 24 hours of its opening night. Slots available exclusively for all-access badge holders.
Directors: Kristjan Thor & Josh Randall
In 2009, an underground immersive horror experience swept through the NYC art scene and began a path that would transform the international horror community. BLACKOUT is an X-rated fear experience designed for adults over 18 to walk through completely alone. Created by directors Kristjan Thor and Josh Randall, BLACKOUT has had productions in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Now at the Overlook Film Festival, BLACKOUT presents a rare and unique opportunity for the adventurous to make their way through what the NEW YORK TIMES has called the “most extreme theater event of the year.” Slots available exclusively for all-access badge holders.
Dead Right Horror Trivia
Do you consume horror as voraciously as zombies eat flesh? The hit Los Angeles horror event comes to the Overlook Film Festival! Join your hosts Ryan Turek (Blumhouse Productions) and Sam Zimmerman (Shudder) to test your horror knowledge in eight rounds of terrifyingly titillating trivia. Scare yourself with how much you actually know about horror. Registration for this event is free and open to the public, Overlook badge holders receive priority registration.
Director: Guy Shelmerdine
From virtual reality’s impresarios of horror Dark Corner Studios (creators of CATATONIC) comes a new vision of death. Piece together the choices that led to your demise, as you endure the the final hours of one very bad day. Choose your ending — do you want to be buried or cremated? MULE is a 360º immersive virtual reality experience. Not recommended for people with epilepsy or who are sensitive to portrayals of graphic violence or nudity. Slots available exclusively for all-access badge holders.
“The Pumpkin Pie Show”
Director: Clay McLeod Chapman
Come join us for a special presentation of The Pumpkin Pie Show and get ready to get icky. For 20 years, author Clay McLeod Chapman and his rigorous storytelling session The Pumpkin Pie Show have offered a view into the lives of Southern Gothic monstrosities. Sometimes darkly humorous, sometimes strangely heartbreaking, these stories explore the domestic horrors of the everyday, finding terror within our own households. This one-of-a-kind performance delves deep into the depraved minds of those madmen and women who drift along the periphery of humankind. Priority entrance for badge holders.
“One-on-Ones Presented by The Pumpkin Pie Show”
Director: Clay McLeod Chapman
Author Clay McLeod Chapman will take one audience member at a time on a dark ride through depravity in this intimate storytelling experience. Think of it as a heart-to-bleeding-heart with madmen, murderers and monsters telling their own story. No fourth wall, no escape. Sessions will last between 5 to 20 minutes. Available exclusively for all-access badge holders.
Check out more information on the fest’s official site.