2022’s Popcorn Frights has finally come to an eerie close! Just like last year’s version of the festival, the film crop was teeming with gory delights and spooky haunts. Check out out full coverage of the festival after the jump!



Full review at the link.


Creepy Duck Design can truly sell any title thanks to their immaculate poster concepts. Final Summer first went on my radar by means of a post on Creepy Duck’s Instagram page—the killer’s look had all the makings of a classic new icon. The opening suggests a VHS-quality throwback title similar to two of the festival’s other offerings, the Third Saturday in October slasher flicks. In 1991, a terrible tragedy leaves one young camper dead, and counselor Lexi (Jenna Kohn) seemingly taking the blame. As a result of this unfortunate event, Monday morning, Camp Silver Lake Retreat is being sold off to developers. The counselors get together for their final night of partying, but find themselves unfortunately stalked one by one by a masked maniac. The plethora of chase scenes make it somewhat palatable, even if the amateurish acting is constantly threatening to ruin it all. As the group first encounter the killer, a one-two punch of murders and pursuit had my heart racing. There is barely any blood or gore though, and what exists is heavily shadowed or masked by the framing of scenes. Every imaginable Friday the 13th cliche is here, including a Mrs. Vorhees stand-in—I realize that was supposed to be part of the fun, but it’s hard to care when Final Summer lacks an aura of authenticity. Writer/director John Isberg attempts to sprinkle in final girl Lexi’s backstory by way of harrowing flashbacks of her younger self (Nora Yates). Unfortunately, Lexi’s story isn’t as interesting as one would hope. Mostly stalk-and-slash and not much else, Final Summer is also missing the signature bite of a final scare. 


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.


Iconic actor Stephen Lang (the villain from 2009’s Avatar, the blind old man from 2012’s Don’t Breathe) plus horror mainstay director Lucky McKee (May, The Woman) made Old Man an instant must-watch in my eyes. Lang of course plays the titular “old man” who awakens with a rattle, utterly paranoid and ready to snap. A hiker with a heavy Tennessee accent named Joe (Marc Center, The Lost, The Devil’s Carnival) comes to his door claiming to have gotten lost in the woods. The old man isn’t buying it, though, and instantly takes him inside by gunpoint. “I’ll put a hole in you the size of a buffalo!” Lang snarls menacingly. I have to assume this project only came to fruition due to the pandemic, as only these two actors share the screen for the majority of the runtime. Nothing about their exchange is scary or tense—Old Man is essentially just one long boring therapy session. 


(Written by Intern, Jesse Clopton) They Wait in the Dark opens abruptly, introducing us to what we’ll later learn to be our main character. It is a shocking beginning to an overall crazy story, full of twists – some predictable, some shocking. The predictability I feel was largely in part due to the lead character of Amy (Sarah McGuire). Her true, cold personality starts to slip through the cracks early on into the film, making her very unlikeable (for a good reason) but giving very obvious hints at what you’ll quickly learn. Amy’s relationship with her son, Adrian (Patrick McGee) is interesting. The wholesome dynamic they have is overshadowed by the dark undertones of running away from abusive ex-girlfriend Judith (Laurie Catherine Winkel). Early on, we meet Jenny (Paige Maria) who provides help and a safe haven for Amy and Adrian to lay low. But when the safe haven begins to crumble, so does Amy’s story, in a series of several twists and turns. Once they start, they don’t stop, and it felt like the second half of the film just had a few too many of these moments for the length of the movie. These twists may leave you scratching your head, but they at least provide for a thrilling ending that I was honestly cheering for.


Full review at the link.


Full review at the link.

This year, three films really ripped my heart out! The Loneliest Boy in the World, Living With Chucky, and The Barn Part II were fantastic, and honorable mention goes to uber quirky, The Third Saturday in October Part V. We can’t wait to cover the festival again next year–see you then, boils and ghouls!

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