Idaho Horror Film Festival: A fest full of frights

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With Halloween right around the corner, the Idaho Horror Film Festival (IHFF) returned to Boise, bringing all sorts of spine-tingling events to Downtown Boise. The event was hosted at The Egyptian Theatre and lasted three days, starting Thursday, Oct. 12, and ending on Saturday, Oct. 14.

This year’s festival hosted film screenings, Q&A panels, mixers and special guests, including actress Adrienne King, filmmaker Izzy Lee and effects artist Mick Strawn.

The IHFF is a non-profit organization that focuses its spotlight on young and prosperous filmmakers from Idaho, while incorporating films and individuals who have cemented horror as the infamous genre it is today. The goal of this showcase-style event was to help local filmmakers who are striving to succeed through the use of film.

On Thursday, Oct. 12, the first day of IHFF began. The kickoff event was the hilarious, yet competitive Pinewood Coffin Derby located at PreFunk Beer Bar. Participants of this event made small coffin-shaped cars and competed against fellow festival-goers. Afterward, specific Horror flicks such as “The Lost Boys,” “American Werewolf in London,” “Poltergeist” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” were screened at bars and breweries around Boise.

On Friday, Oct. 13, the first screenings of films created by young filmmakers began at 5:30 p.m. These independently made films fell under four film categories: feature-length, animated, short films and finally “Spud and Guts,” showcasing works by locals. Deadpan comedy, gore, conscious evil computers and demonic cats made each and every short something truly extraordinary.

“This is actually the third time I’ve screened a project I’ve worked on or directed at IHFF,” said Will Tebo, student director of the short film “Black & White.” “Horror is my genre of choice so I thought from the beginning that if my film is going to be horror, then I’d want it to be at IHFF because I love the festival. I really liked the idea of making a film that was dark yet quirky.”

The most anticipated event of the night was the screening of “Friday the 13th” and the appearance of lead actress Adrienne King. The energy of the theater throughout the film was so tense that at one point a sneeze caused the audience to jolt in fear.

During an interview with Adrienne King, she expressed her excitement about the event. She explained how much she loves being a part of it and that she plans on returning to future festivals as a guest.

“It’s always something else to see so many young filmmakers come together at an event like this, especially in a community that seems very close-knit,” King said.

Saturday, Oct.14 marked the final day of this year’s festival with the Women in Horror Panel, an interactive Q&A with special effects master Mark Strawn and mixers with live music.

“This is the third year The Record Exchange has run a booth at IHFF. We love providing the merchandise that promotes the horror theme because it’s right up our alley, and we truly love the event,” said Rachel, an employee for the company.

The Record Exchange and similar businesses are what keep the event alive year after year. In addition to private businesses, educational partners such as Boise State University play a huge role in the function and success of this event. The contribution of student-made films allows the film community of Boise to witness these talented student filmmakers work in a fun festival setting.

“We love to help BSU because BSU sponsors us, and we really appreciate the student body and a lot of their work, there is a lot of new creativity going on there,” said Molly Deckart, founder of IHFF.

This event brought fans and Idahoans alike into the filmmaking atmosphere through the horror genre. There is no better way than getting into the Halloween mood than watching horror flicks and that is exactly what the IHFF allowed community members to do through this festival.

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