Here’s Horror!

By Sarah Radomsky

After years of straight-to-video B-films, horror cinema has finally recovered the attention of audiences and re-emerged in mainstream theatre. However, Hollywood capitalists are using the genre to swamp local theatres with repetitive visuals and mediocre all-American story lines.

But this is your week to dodge the pointy knife of that big shiny theatre and experience a commendable collection of worldly terror. Calgary will be hosting the second Annual International Horror Film Festival–dubbed “Exofest”–beginning this Friday and continuing until March 9 at the Garry Theatre.

“Nothing hurts me more than watching a film that doesn’t excite me visually, or develop an intelligent plot,” says independent film critic, Eric Standom. “Good horror is hard to find when teen thrillers are being crammed down your throat.”

Exophagy Dot Com will be showcasing over 75 full-length features, documentaries and shorts dedicated to highlighting international horror.

Ghost stories and surreal fables have been part of every culture, confirming man’s twisted delight in the shadows of horror. The silver screen became the portal that brings human fear to life, with films from different countries shining a unique perspective on the universal emotion of fear.

“The origin of horror lies in the imagination of story tellers,” continues Standon.

Dark creatures of folklore captivated audiences in the ’50s and continued to evolve, entertaining the dark side in everyone. This trend lasted until the 1970s when a new breed of horror made its debut. Nightmare horror controlled at the box office with hits like Willard (1971) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). As the decade progressed, the horror genre was subjected to violence, sadism, brutality and graphic gore with classic slasher flicks like Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Halloween (1978). Now, we have Exofest.

Exofest boasts a diverse collection of horror, putting an emphasis on films that have not yet secured North American distribution. Offering everything from infamous gore to subtle chills, this is your chance to check out new films from around the world and rub shoulders with fans and directors alike.

For more info on Exofest, check out

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