Here at the Newport Beach Film Festival, there are films that cater to just about every moviegoer. There are featured dramas, comedies, action sports, international films, and more. But there is one genre that hasn’t gotten the same exposure: Horror. However, that changed last year when we introduced a new horror showcase to the program.
Devin Bunch, an Associate Shorts Programmer for the festival with a love of horror and a background in making haunted houses, is spearheading the shorts side of the freshly minted Horror Program. The aptly named “Nightmare on Short Street” will return again next year to join the planned second annual induction of chiller flicks.
Sitting down with Devin, he talks about how this program is meant to specifically cater to the creepy and disturbing. In a town such as Newport Beach, one might not think there is much of a taste for the frightful, but thankfully that couldn’t be more wrong.
The featured shorts were an eclectic group of high quality, independent films. These films, as Devin puts it, were not your typical mainstream style of terror. Following on last year’s success, he plans to make it bigger and better this coming year.
The horror shorts program has its own distinct to flair compared to the others, not just in subject matter, but as an altogether experience. Devin crafted props and costumes that were featured in each of the shorts, and had actors in costume preform as an introduction to the program, featuring characters from Stephen W. Martin’s Dead Hearts, Jason Kupfer’s Invaders and Jeroen Dumoulein’s The Pond.
As for the future of the Horror Showcase’s shorts program, Devin imagines it becoming even more of an interactive experience for the audience; as it grows, the program has the potential to become ever more frightening. Devin wants you to attend the showcase and leave scared. Ideally, he would love to have an accompanying haunted house that would run alongside the seven day festival.
Clearly, there is no foreseeable end to terror in Newport Beach. As long as the audience demand persists, the Newport Beach Film Festival (and Devin) will continue to horrify in the best way possible for years to come.