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Horror Films That Wowed the Festival Circuit

On March 27th, It Follows (2014) will be released nationally in theaters. The buzz around this film has been increasing since its premiere at Cannes 2014 Film Festival and limited theatrical run. Reviews so far have been overwhelmingly positive with critics praising its 80's style teenage horror roots and old fashioned scares. At a time when Hollywood relies on mass producing sequels to well-known properties, It Follows is part of a trend of fresh new horror film franchises getting their chance to premiere in the festival circuit with hopes of gaining national distribution.

The Blair Witch Project (1999) got its big break when it screened at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. The film's popularity exploded, much from the marketing campaign teasing the idea this “found footage” movie was actually a documentary. Its reported low-cost budget and high box office returns inspired a new wave of horror movies in the 2000's.

Before premiering at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Lionsgate picked up the rights to Saw. After much fanfare it was screened at the Toronto Film Festival later that year. Originally Lionsgate wanted Saw as a direct-to-video feature, but because of the positive reviews decided to give the film a theatrical release. Since then Saw has received six sequels and is considered one of the best film franchises in recent years.

Shot by a director with no experience, unknown actors, and a very low budget, Paranormal Activity (2007) had a lot of things going against it. At the time “found footage” genre had been in a lull too. After screening at Screamfest Horror Festival in Los Angeles, it captured the attention of an agency who shopped the picture to Paramount. Two years later Paranormal Activity was given a wide release to critical praise and great box office returns, launching a new franchise.

Catch It Follows opening Friday March 27th at Hollywood Blvd. Information can be found http://hollywoodblvdcinema.com.


Private comment posted on August 28, 2016 at 12:56:26 am

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