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Screamfest Horror Film Festival just announced its first-wave lineup of competitive features and shorts for its 21st edition. Screamfest will run this year from October 12th through 21st at the TCL Chinese Theater.  The Retaliators will open Screamfest LA on October 12th for its North American premiere. The film follows an upstanding pastor who uncovers a dark and twisted underworld as he searches for answers surrounding his daughter’s brutal murder. Directed by Bridget Smith and Samuel Gonzalez Jr. and written by the Geare brothers, The Retaliators also features a soundtrack and cameos from some of the biggest names in rock music, including Five Finger Death Punch, Tommy Lee, Papa Roach, The Hu, Ice Nine Kills, Escape The Fate, and more appear on the screen. Marc Menchaca (Ozark), Michael Lombardi (Rescue Me), and Joseph Gatt (Game of Thrones) star in this horror-thriller which reveals a game of revenge played using a new set of rules.

The Retaliators

Other highlights from this year’s program include the World Premieres of Father of Flies, the haunting tale of family life and the supernatural, and Teddy Grennan’s Wicked Games where a long weekend at a country estate is turned into a nightmare when a group of masked intruders invades the property. Four films will be making their North American debuts at the festival. In addition to The Retaliators, Richard Waters’s dark folk horror Bring Out The Fear traps its protagonists in an unsolvable maze where a sinister presence awaits; Clare Foley stars in the sci-fi horror The Changed where an alien presence takes possession of the hearts and minds of her city, and Isolation depicts nine tales of terror which are woven together as remote people work to survive an increasingly deadly outbreak.


The US premieres at the festival include Russia’s #Blue_Whale produced by Timur Bekmambetov, which follows Dana as she works to uncover the truth behind her sister’s suicide; Argentina’s fantasy horror film Nocturna: Side A- The Great Old Man’s Night which depicts one old man’s journey to rethink his past and present and question his reality; and Kratt by Rasmus Berivoo in which children stumble upon an instruction manual to create a supernatural being. West Coast premieres at the festival include a joint production between the US, Mexico, and Venezuela, Exorcism of God which follows an American priest working in Mexico who, due to a botched exorcism, carries a dark secret with him; hailing from Ireland, Let the Wrong One In dives into the complications of family ties when a vampire is discovered in the family; Erik Bloomquist follows twins who spend a night at a remote inn to investigate their missing father in Night at the Eagle Inn; North American distribution rights to the Argentinian The Returned (Los Que Vuelven) – which follows a woman in 1919 prays to a mythical deity to resurrect her stillborn son – were acquired in a new venture between Peter Block of A Bigger Boat and Seth Nagel, Scott Einbinder and Garrick Dion of 5X Media; What Josiah Saw explores a farmhouse haunted by the past; Alone With You stars Emily Bennett, Emma Myles, and fan-favorite Barbara Crampton in a twisted tale of memory and horror unfolding over a romantic homecoming for a distant girlfriend; and When I Consume You by Perry Blackshear where two siblings get more than they bargained for when hunting a shadowy stalker. The festival will also feature a Special Presentation of Daniel Farrands’s Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeyman starring Peyton List and Lydia Hearst, which follows the notorious killer through a little-known chapter of her life in Deland, Florida.

“After a challenging year for cinema, we are excited to return to our home at the TCL Chinese Theatre for our latest lineup of frights,” says festival founder Rachel Belofsky. “While last year’s drive-ins allowed us to continue to celebrate horror films as a community, we have missed the magic of the traditional theatrical experience.”

Formed in August 2001 by film producer Rachel Belofsky, Screamfest Horror Film Festival is a female-run 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that gives filmmakers and screenwriters in the horror and science fiction genres a venue to have their work showcased in the film industry.

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