Horror films don’t get anywhere near the respect they deserve, that’s pretty much a given, so a film festival dedicated to the genre that’s similar to Sundance is a great idea. Especially if it takes place in a haunted hotel.

The Stanley Film Festival was held at the Stanley Hotel, located at Estes Park, Colorado. If this location sounds familiar, it was where Stephen King stayed and was reportedly inspired to write ‘The Shining’ in room 217.

‘The Shining’ was shown at the Stanley Festival outdoors, and it’s believed there’s a lot of potential to have more horror festivals at the hotel. John Cullen, who owns the hotel, told the Colorado Film Commissioner, “I want to start a film festival and [I want] it to be the biggest horror film festival in the world. There’s no reason why we can’t make this into the Sundance of horror.”

This is certainly an ambitious plan, and the hotel gets a lot of business from a ghost tour they provide for guests. With horror fans tied together by their love of the genre, a festival like this could indeed be a great get together, like the Monsterpalooza or Chiller Theatre conventions that take place several times a year, with the added bonus of giving new filmmakers a great place to show their movies, and build word of mouth for what could be the scare classics of the future.

This year, Eli Roth was honored, and he also took the ghost tour as well. Films that were shown included ‘Sightseers,’ the remake of ‘Maniac’ starring Elijah Wood, and ‘VHS2,’ among others. With so many indie filmmakers breaking in with low-budget horror, this is indeed a great place to show your movie and get the word out.

Could this indeed grow into a festival to one-day rival Sundance? Time will tell, but it’s great that horror fans have yet another place to congregate, discover great new movies, and celebrate the genre together.


Source: Indie Wire