– by Daniel Tafoya

The Screamfest Horror Film Festival kicks off tonight in Hollywood. The biggest and longest-running horror film fest in the U.S., it has been home to the premieres of many movies that have gone on to box office success, most notably Paranormal Activity. There are many intriguing movies playing there this year, and the following is a list of my Top 5 most anticipated titles:

1. Trick– Director Patrick Lussier and screenwriter Todd Farmer, who made both My Bloody Valentine 3-D and Drive Angry together, make their bid to start the next hit horror franchise with Trick. It concerns a masked and murderous teen who returns every Halloween to off more innocents and the detective who feels responsible for his escape. Omar Epps, Jamie Kennedy and horror legend Tom Atkins star.

2. Immortal– Anthology horror films have been going strong in the indie horror world for the last few years, since the debut of the first V/H/S film. This anthology is tied together by the theme of immortality and stars Tony Todd (Candyman), Dylan Baker (Trick r’ Treat) and Samm Levine (Freaks and Geeks)

3. Kindred Spirits– Director Lucky McKee has been on the horror filmmaker to watch map since his 2002 Frankenstein tale May. Here he reteams with frequent collaborator Chris Sivertson to tell a gender-swapped take on Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt.

4. Rabid– Canadian twin sister directors Jen and Sylvia Soska (American Mary) take on a remake of David Cronenberg’s early career body horror classic. Dead Ringers would have seemed a better fit for the duo, but this one is still a good choice for revisiting.

5. Porno– Much buzzed about since playing at the Overlook Film festival earlier this year, Keola Racela’s film tells the story of teen movie theater employees who discover an old film in the theater’s basement which, upon playing, unleashes a sexy succubus. Based on much of my work experience, they had me at movie theater employees, so the succubus is just the cherry on top!

Screamfest runs through October 17th at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatre in Hollywood. More info on films and ticketing can be found at screamfestla.com.

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