Welcome, reader, to a very special cutting room feature. This was the fourth year of the Idaho Horror Film Festival, and for the first time ever A-Z Horror was in attendance! The IHFF focuses on highlighting the talent of Idaho film-makers, and doing so behind an entirely woman-lead organization. Not only do they facilitate horror movie screenings across Boise, they also curated 8 different screener blocks, multiple panels with industry professionals, and a special guest appearance by one of the first final girls in horror history. We get into it after the break, but if you’re really more of the listening type you can check out our very special episodes dedicated to the festival by clicking on the button below.
Reviewed by: Mark and Jack
Throughout the festival, feature length films were screened at many of Boise’s breweries. Denizens of the city came out in droves (sometimes in costume, sometimes just wanting to wet their whistle) to these showings. There was Poltergeist, American Werewolf in London, The Shining, The Rocky Horror Picture Show… hell there was even a coffin themed pinewood derby. Really something for everyone. The real star of the show though, was the Egyptian Theater. The Egyptian is one of our favorite things about Boise, and it hosted many of the festival's screenings. Just look at this ambiance…
One of the highest points of the festival was screening Friday the 13th, on Friday the 13th, while sitting in front of a bunch chatterboxes who had never seen the movie before. First off, how? How are you the type of person who goes to a horror film festival and has never seen Friday the 13th? Second off, there is nothing better in life than reliving a classic like F13 while it is being annoyingly narrated by someone who hasn’t seen it before. Yes, they were annoying and were convinced Steve was the killer for some reason, but honestly it was all worth it for their reactions to the canoe scene. To make the event even more special the movie’s own Alice (Adrienne King) was in attendance to accept an award. More on that later.
In between the feature length films there were 8 different screener blocks. We'll admit that due to some time constraints we weren’t able to see all of them, but we wish we had. If you ever have a chance to go to a short film screener block with your buddies give it a shot. Yeah, you could simulate the experience with an anthology film, but there’s something just a little bit different about these types of blocks at festivals. The screeners themselves are seemingly split into two different categories: the kickstarter mini-film geared toward illustrating a concept to garner funding and the just-for-funsies passion projects. Honestly, each of them bring their own moxie to the table, but due to the differing origins of the screeners you get a little bit of a different timbre than you would in a normal anthology. Plus, since many of them are still raising money for a larger production, or made explicitly for the festival circuit this is basically your only chance to see them.
There’s probably too many to talk about in a single post (seriously, here’s the festivals movies page and this maybe 20% of the screeners shown). So we’re just gonna touch on a few of our favorites. Operator and Escargore were both unique horror animations that caught us a little off-guard. We Summoned a Demon, Fucking Bunnies, and The Heebie Jeebies had us laughing pretty hard as nice changes of pace amid the larger, more serious screening blocks. As far as favorite traditional horror experiences? We have to go with the tandem of Your Date is Here and Black and White.
Spud and Guts
Hey, speaking of Black and White, there was a specific category of shorts highlighted by the film festival called Spud and Guts. Clever. These are the Idaho filmmakers that took their time to make a movie and submit it to the festival. These were plentiful, and peppered throughout the festival. Despite being Boise natives, we found ourselves irrationally excited every time a Spud and Guts banner flashed on screen. Another bonus for these films was that, frequently, the filmmakers were in attendance for the screener block and would answer questions on stage following the festivities. As we said above, our favorite was Black and White, but the festival’s favorite was What Metal Girls Are Into. Check either of those out if you ever get a chance.
Remember earlier when we said Adrienne King was in attendance for the showing of Friday the 13th? She was there to receive the first ever Trailblazer Award given by the festival. The award was given to commemorate Adrienne’s contributions to the industry as being one of the inaugural final girls. That’s how it works in hollywood. You create a trope, you get an award once it becomes ubiquitous.
We actually were afforded the incredible opportunity to interview Adrienne while she was at the festival. She was incredibly fun to talk to and happy to share stories about making the film. It took every fiber of our being not to start the interview with “Yo, Adrienne.” Outside of that missed opportunity we think it went pretty well… but you can judge for yourself by listening to the special episode of our podcast in the link below or finding it in our feed on whatever podcasting app you use.