Screamfest is bringing more films to the screen and adding more jumps and chills with its bevvy of the thing we love most – thrillers!
FOLLOW HER by director Sylvia Caminer, writer Dani Barker and Classified Films brings the story of a woman who learns how quickly the tables can turn. Barker plays Jess Peters, a woman who is trying to get her foot in the door as an actress by making her living posting videos of clients and their particular lifestyles.
When Dad Richard (Mark Moses) drops the bomb that the apartment she is living in is going to be sold. Jess begins to panic knowing she needs to find a job that pays very well. That’s when she applies for a writing position. She is excited when Tom B. (Luke Cook) answers and sets up a time for them to meet.
Being cautious, Jess asks friend Kai to go along as sort of backup at the meeting. When that falls through, Jess goes anyway to meet the very handsome Tom and they hit it off immediately. All along the way Jess is documenting what she is doing through social media trying to break the top ten spot.
Going to his cabin in the woods, she comes to a barn but on the inside, it is a beautiful home. Finding a niche in the fireplace, Jess sets up a very small video camera so that her followers can see everything that is happening. Then, things take a turn as Jess is now face to face with a man who has his own agenda – and it is going to go as far as he can take it!
Barker as Jess and Cook as Tom are stunning together playing off one another. It seems like a harmless situation that is filled with attraction but that is the game. As each bit of the story goes on, the question remains – who is playing who? The back and forth between these two actors as the story unfolds is riveting to watch.
Other cast includes Cristala Carter as Detective Carter, Brian Vincent as Matt, Justin L. Wilson as Bryan, Lorraine Farris as Irina, Maayan Laufer as Talia, and Chris Gaunt as Robert.
FOLLOW HER is a lesson not just in the dangers of social media but the effect it has on those who are being streamed and those who think there should be justice for those who abuse technology. Jess believes she is in control of her life but it can all be flipped on a dime and she learns that lesson the hard way.
Then, there is DO NOT DISTURB which is a lesson in relationships from writer/director John Ainslie, 1984 Pictures, Bunk 11 Pictures, and Rechna Varma Productions. Chloe (Kimberly Laferriere) and new husband Jack (Rogan Christopher) are on their honeymoon at an adult resort. Wanting to get away, there is tension between the couple from the moment they arrive.
While waiting for their room they meet Wendy (Janet Porter and husband Wayne (Christian McKenna) who are a happy couple who want to have fun. Jack wants to indulge in fun as Chloe reminds him that this is one of the heavy reasons their relationship is in trouble. He reminds his wife that once upon a time they use to love having fun.
Giving in, Chloe decides to join Wendy and Wayne and let loose and that’s where the madness begins. Waking up after a binge, the couple begins questioning everything! Deciding to go sit on the beach, they are met by a total stranger who throws drugs at them and ranting nonsense. Jack sees it as a financial upgrade and a chance to really have some fun.
There fun begins to change when waiting up with blood and no memory of what happened and it is not going to stop there. The madness reaches a whole new level where surviving becomes everything.
Laferriere and Christopher’s characters are already having problems and marriage should have been the last thing they did in life. Chloe is ready to be a mom and Jack is afraid to say he isn’t ready to be a dad. Instead, he wants to enjoy life, sit in the sun and have no worries. That irritates Chloe to no end so giving in seems easier than standing her ground.
When the madness begins, they can not stop and take it further and further until the shocking conclusion.
Other cast include Rupinder Nagra, Patrick McNeil, Trish Rainone, Jimmie Chiverelli, and Rebeka Herron.
DO NOT DISTURB is a roller coaster of relationship emotions filled with believing this couple wants one thing yet they are doing the exact opposite. Once Chloe decides to give in and allow Jack to indulge, she joins in and each step they take brings them closer and closer to the brink of madness. Well done!
The Short Film WITCHY is a charming look at the literal witching hour as a dad Ken (John Bowie) and daughter Winter (Christine Weatherup) are going through changes. She is a young girl who feels she is outgrowing the family tradition and experiencing a break-up with boyfriend JJ.
Making a deal, they agree to go do a little trick or treating so that she can go to a party and maybe work things out with JJ. Knocking on the first door, it is answered by Francie who overhears the teens plight and invites them in for something special and a visit from Joe (Sean Wright).
What happens next changes what the teen thinks about the importance of family! The film is written, directed, cast and produced by Liz Manashil.
Screamfest continues to bring films to the festival that are thought provoking, terrifying, twisted and turned to keep the viewer on their toes. It isn’t over either so stay tuned for more!