Return of the Living NIGHTSTREAM

October is full of amazing horror events, and NIGHTSTREAM is back for the second year to make sure you can enjoy them safely at home. The Boston Underground Film Festival, Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, North Bend Film Festival, and Overlook Film Festival have joined forces to produce a virtual genre film festival from October 7-13, 2021. In addition to some truly incredible panels featuring discussions of the year’s best fantasy and horror films, NIGHTSTREAM has a collection of highly anticipated new releases and retro screenings to make sure horror fans have the best spooky season possible. It’s hard to narrow down the choices available at the festival, but I’ve highlighted the five films I’m most excited to see (along with two I already know I love!) to help you plan your viewing schedule.

Visit the NIGHTSTREAM website for more information and to purchase badges.

A still from After Blue (Dirty Paradise). A blonde woman turns to the camera and holds her hands on the shoulders of another blonde woman, who has a large bloody hole in the center of her face through which shows the background behind her.

After Blue (Dirty Paradise), dir. Bertrand Mandico

On a strange planet habitable only by women, a teen and her mother embark on a fantastical journey in pursuit of a murderous criminal named Kate Bush in an effort to reverse their exile.

A still from Stanleyville. A man in a suit holds an odd device and smiles at someone off camera.

Stanleyville, dir. Maxwell McCabe-Lokos

Locked inside a large room, five eccentric strangers take on a series of bizarre challenges in what could be described as “if Quentin Dupieux remixed Sartre’s No Exit.”

A still from Boardinghouse. A blonde woman holds something bloody in her hands and gnaws on it maniacally.

Boardinghouse, dir. John Wintergate — a NIGHTSTREAM Retro film

A bizarro and hallucinogenic gore fest following Jim (played by writer/director John Wintergate), a psychic playboy who rents out an old L.A. boardinghouse — once the site of gruesome murders — to a group of “beautiful women with no ties.”

A still from Hellbender. A young woman standing under a leafless tree holds a pagan totem made of twigs in her hands and regards it stoically.

Hellbender, dir. Toby Poser, Zelda Adams, and John Adams

Sheltered by her mom from the outside world, Izzy’s daily routine consists of chores and jam sessions for their mother-daughter rock band. As Izzy grows up and starts to break free, her interactions with strangers send her hurtling down a dark path her mom was trying desperately to protect her from.

A still from Shapeless. A woman lies underneath a mountain of food wrappers and smiles enigmatically.

Shapeless, dir. Samantha Aldana

A young musician threatens her mental health and physical safety by keeping her eating disorder a secret in this visceral, Cronenbergian thriller.

A still from Alien on Stage. A group of people stand in low-budget Alien costumes and smile at the camera.

Alien on Stage, dir. Danielle Kummer, Lucy Haley — I love this one and can’t wait to rewatch it!

Bus drivers from southwest England attempt a most ambitious stage adaptation of Alien in this overwhelmingly charming, hilarious, and inspiring documentary.

A still from We're All Going to the World's Fair. A young person with black light-reactive makeup all over their skin holds up a glass toy eye to their face and looks into the camera.

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair, dir. Jane Schoenbrun — Another film I can’t wait to revisit!

Escaping into an elaborate online game, a shy teenager begins to lose her grip on reality in this uniquely empathetic and unsettling genre hybrid.

Your turn — what are you most excited to see at NIGHTSTREAM?

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