The festival, which started in 2015 with four films and runs Aug. 11-17 at O Cinema Wynwood, now boasts more than 40 films that aim at scaring the hell out of you.
According to festival co-founder and co-director Igor Shteyrenberg, Popcorn Frights’ mission is to bring the “coolest, most twisted, beautiful, mind-bending, horrifying and hilarious films” to South Florida for seven nights of terror and fun.
“At a time when genre cinema had been experiencing a renaissance of sorts commercially and in popular culture, it was unfortunate that South Florida didn’t have a dedicated genre festival to call its own,” he said. “We saw there was a growing local yearning and need, and we felt compelled to fill this demand by launching a festival that showcased the best international genre films that pushed the artistic envelope and redefined all genre expectations.”
We asked Shteyrenberg and fellow co-founder/director Marc Ferman to share their don’t-miss picks. They wanted to pick every movie, of course, but we made them narrow down the list.
Here’s what they suggested. Buy tickets here.
Brooke Henderson contributed to this report.
1. "Another Wolfcop"
In this U.S. premiere, an alcoholic werewolf cop springs into action when an eccentric businessman with evil intentions seduces his town’s residents with a new brewery in this horror-comedy sequel.
11:30 p.m. Aug. 12
2. "Better Watch Out"
“Better Watch Out” kicks the exhausted genre of home invasion thrillers right in the teeth. If you’re a fan of “Funny Games,” don’t miss this fresh, wicked and witty gem. Writer Zack Kahn will attend.
9:30 p.m. Aug. 13
3. "68 Kill"
Berserk from the outset, this profane, brutal South Florida premiere focuses on infatuated nice guy Chip and his crazy girlfriend, Liza, whose relationship takes a sharp turn when they try to rob Liza’s sugar daddy – only to end up with two corpses, a hostage and $68,000 in stolen cash.
11:30 p.m. Aug. 13
4. "Sequence Break"
This sick, scary amalgam of David Cronenberg and David Lynch, premiering in Florida for the first time, is a rumination on humanity, technology, video games, entertainment and sex that will set your mind abuzz and skin a-crawl. Writer/Director Graham Skipper will attend.
7 p.m. Aug. 15
In this Florida premiere, Mary loses one of her twins during childbirth and spirals into madness. She begins to suspect a sinister force is after her surviving child. Writer/director Brandon Christenson will attend.
9:30 p.m. Aug. 16
6. "Dead Shack"
Delirious, demented, and diabolically funny, this outrageous zombie comedy uses wildly excessive gore to provoke the sort of shock that lies between a laugh and a scream. This is a U.S. premiere.
11:30 p.m. Aug. 17
7. "Homegrown: 100% Pure Fresh Squeezed Florida Horror"
Warning: The inaugural program is not for the faint of heart. It showcases the fantastic and fantastical by some of our Sunshine State’s most promising local talents and established filmmakers. Directors Jon Rhoads & Mike Marrero (“Buzzcut”), Brett Potter (“The Midnight Service”) and Luis Mendez (“Pandemonium”) will attend.
5 p.m. Aug. 12