Nightmares Film Festival is held annually in mid-October at the Gateway Film Center in Columbus, OH. Considered one of the more prestigious horror fests, Nightmares focuses on independent flicks and promises a deadly block of programming for 2018. Nightmares “sets itself apart from other genre fests by its deep year-round connection to the horror filmmaking community, which gives it the first line on the rarest, scariest, most daring and most unsettling films being created around the country.”

Suffice it to say, we are very excited to see who makes the cut this year. Today they announced their ‘early 13’ – the first 13 films premiering at the event. The list includes both shorts and features, and everything from Stephen King adaptations to indie pics about sadistic clowns.


1. The Final Interview (Thriller Feature | USA | World Premiere)
Toetag Pictures’s Fred Vogel (August Underground) returns with a sophisticated thriller. A fading newscaster desperate for ratings lands an interview with a mass murderer the night before his execution. But what he thinks will be an easy ratings boost turns into a dangerous psychological showdown between the two. Trailer:


2. The Bad Man (Horror Feature | USA | World Premiere)
From director Scott Schirmer (Found, Harvest Lake) – his most disturbing film yet.
A sadistic clown kidnaps a young couple, Mary and PJ, and tortures them to transform them into servile sex slaves. When PJ goes mad, Mary becomes the couple’s only hope of survival and escape. Trailer:

3. The FP 2 – Beats of Rage (Midnight Feature | USA | Midwest Premiere)


The long anticipated follow-up to Jason Trost’s 2011 cult smash, The FP. JTRO suits and boots back up for a quest deep into The Wastes to find the legendary Beat-Beat tournament, “Beats of Rate,” where he’ll face AK-47 and, he hopes, save the world. Trailer:


4. Skeletons in the Closet (Horror Feature | USA | World Premiere)
The first and only planned festival screening of this ‘80s-style anthology from Tony Wash (The Rake). Eleven-year-old Jamie loves the late-night horror series, “Skeletons in the Closet.” But when she sits down for the latest episode on a night when her parents are out, she and her babysitter will have to survive some horrors closer to home.


5. Confessions of a Serial Killer (Horror Feature | USA | Midwest Premiere)
Lost for 20 years in Roger Corman’s New Horizons vault, and passed around on bootleg tapes, this legendary 1985 film has been rediscovered, remastered and presented as the director intended. It tells the story of the chilling life and crimes of the notorious real-life serial notorious Henry Lee Lucas, whose reign of terror came to an end on July 11,1983.


6. Mystery Box (Horror Short | Sweden | U.S. Premiere)
The newest short from Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund – directors of Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich. While fishing, a woman drags up a bizarre metal box, only to discover that, no matter what she does, she can’t be rid of it.


7. Wyrmwood: Chronicles of the Dead (Horror Short | Australia)
The Roache-Turner brothers (Wyrmwood: Road of the Damned)present a new story in their post-apocalyptic universe. A girl, trapped in an underground bunker with a psychotically evil doctor and a group of zombie-blending soldiers, must orchestrate a fantastically daring escape before her brains are sucked out of her skull.



8. Never Hike Alone (Horror Short | USA)
A rare theatrical screening of what’s been called the “best Friday the 13thfan film ever made” (Bloody Disgusting) and “better than most of the real Friday the 13thmovies” (Letterboxd). A hiker’s survival skills are put to the test when he stumbles upon the remains of an old abandoned camp and discovers its long dark secrets.


9. A Death Story Called Girl (Horror Short | USA)
From new filmmaker Bas-tzion Beahan. A nihilistic girl enjoys the wealth of suburbia.


10. I Am The Doorway (Horror Short | England)

–Adapted from the short story by Stephen King through his Dollar Baby program. A former astronaut believes himself the doorway to a terrifying alien invasion. Trailer:


11. Offerings (Horror Short | Canada | World Premiere)
From Torin Langen (3 Dead Trick or Treaters) comes this expanded cinema project, presented with live, in-theater musical accompaniment. The short is a nightmarescape of the rituals of a mysterious cult and the spaces they inhabit.


12. Bathroom Troll (Horror Short | USA)
When a clique of mean girls bully Cassie for not “looking like a girl” in the school bathroom, they awaken a dangerous rage deep within her.


13. Masks (Thriller Short | Canada | U.S. Premiere)
Coming to us from its world premiere at Toronto After Dark. Two actors preparing for a show in an old theatre find the dress rehearsal isn’t going to go as planned.


Selections are still being considered on FilmFreeway and Withoutabox until late September, so filmmakers and screenwriters hoping to be part of the final lineup can still submit. Nightmares Festival passes are still available while they last at


nightmares film festival
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