Movie News & Reviews

Boise’s spooky film festival returns for its fifth year

For the fifth year in a row, Boiseans have a chance to supplement their Halloween season with four days of terror.

The fifth annual Idaho Horror Film Festival features horror films from local and international artists. Boiseans can attend viewings, meet the artists or learn more about films through a series of educational workshops.

The festival kicks off at 4 p.m. Thursday and ends Sunday. Individual tickets cost $10, weekend passes are $50, and $100 gets you a VIP pass, with hosted adult beverages, snacks and exclusive access to celebrity guests.

“I’ve been doing film for about 10 years now, and generally I have to go elsewhere to screen my work,” said Christian Lybrook, a Boise filmmaker whose new short film “Split Rail” will be shown during the festival. “(Idaho Horror Film Festival) brought something to Boise that really brings different people and artists together.”

“Split Rail” tells the story of a woman who returns to a remote farmhouse at which she was held captive. It premiered in March at the Columbus (Ohio) International Film Festival and will play during the midnight showing block Friday night at The Egyptian.

The festival has steadily grown from its first iteration in 2014, seeing about 4,600 attendees last year. It will feature 39 sessions compared with last year’s 21. Film showings will vary from a family-night showing of “Casper the Friendly Ghost” to “The Ranger,” this year’s featured horror film from New York filmmaker Jennifer Wexler.

The festival’s roster has expanded to explore other subjects. It includes a Women in Film panel, a poetry confessional and showings of horror-themed music videos.

The festival also partnered with Boise’s Woodland Empire Brewery to create “Draculager,” a limited-time beer available at many of the festival’s venues such as The Owyhee, 1109 W. Main St., and The Olympic, at 1009 W. Main.

“Not everybody has to love horror, but everyone can love film,” said Molly Deckart, the festival’s executive director. “One of the things the festival does is try to increase education opportunities around film.”

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Along with short and feature-length horror films, this year’s festival will also feature panels, parties and other events covering subjects even outside of horror. Elm Street Photography

Idaho Horror Film Festival Partnered with Woodland Empire Brewery to produce “Draculager,” a limited-time beer available at several of the festival’s venues. Provided by Elm Street Photography

The showings will include the results of Idaho Horror Film Festival’s 48 Hour Film Contest last week, where 16 teams created their own horror films in two days.

“This festival is more about the ‘why’ than the ‘what,’” Deckart said. “I want to see a stronger film culture in Idaho. My long-term goal is to get more creative people to stay in Boise by making more creative jobs. This festival is the first step.”

The festival’s educational panels are free to attend.

Tickets and the full schedule of events can be found on the festival’s website.

Brandon Rasmussen: 208-377-6486, @brandonrasmus1