Recap: ‘What The Fest!?’ Wraps Up 2nd Annual Event

The second annual What The Fest!? was back with a vengeance in 2019, boasting bigger audiences, bigger premieres, bigger events, and bigger… well, just bigger everything than last year. Check out the full film lineup here. Perhaps the most coveted prize at this year’s show was the prestigious Audience Award. That honor went to Zack Lipovsky (Leprechaun: Origins 2014) and Adam B. Stein’s Freaks, which made its New York Premiere at the show.

Check out the trailer for Freaks, then read on for the recap!

Freaks Synopsis

In this genre-bending psychological sci-fi thriller, a bold girl discovers a bizarre, threatening, and mysterious new world beyond her front door after she escapes her father’s protective and paranoid control.

An excellent choice! We really enjoyed it ourselves. Be sure to check out our Freaks review here, and catch it when you can!

So what else went down at this year’s show? Here’s a recap from the festival organizers!

What The Fest!? 2019 Wrap Up Press Release

Due to popular demand following its successful 2018 launch, the festival expanded to five days in its second outing (up from four), opening with a sold-out show of the World Premiere of Larry Fessenden’s Depraved, plus an added encore screening. Other sold out shows complemented an impressive number of premieres: in addition to the one World Premiere (Depraved), there was one Restoration World Premiere (Satanis: The Devil’s Mass), two North American Premieres (To The Night, Why Don’t You Just Die! [read the PopHorror review here]), two East Coast Premieres (Darlin’, Greener Grass), and seven New York Premieres (Body At Brighton Rock, The Dead Center [read the PopHorror review here], Freaks, Hail Satan?, Shadow, The Unthinkable [read the PopHorror review here], and The Wind [read the PopHorror review here].

Special events also included a doomsday-in-New York talk with Anna Maria Bounds, a professor and urban sociologist at Queens College of the City, preceding our The Unthinkable screening; a chat about movie zombie movies after One Cut Of The Dead [read the PopHorror review here] with Scooter McCrae (Shatter Dead), Glen Baisley (Fairview Falls), FX artist Brian Spears (The Ranger – read the PopHorror review here), as well as Female Trouble, a women-in-horror panel with journalist/filmmaker Meredith Alloway, Body At Brighton Rock director Roxanne Benjamin, The Wind director Emma Tammi, and Glass Eye Pix’s Jenn Wexler [read the PopHorror interview with her here], which was moderated by former Perfect Pussy frontwoman and current Kickstarter Music Director, Meredith Graves, and a We Sold Our Souls talk and book signing with Grady Hendrix.

What The Fest!? is made possible by Event Sponsors IFC Midnight and Shudder, and by Friends of the Festival Bloody Disgusting, Essentia, Fangoria, Magnolia Pictures, and Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies.

Fun stuff!

What The Fest!?

Final Thoughts

Looks like I missed a hell of a party this year! Bummed that I couldn’t be there, but excited about the films that were shown. My “to watch” list continues growing in leaps and bounds. Hopefully, I can catch up before the third annual What The Fest!? in 2020. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.

Did any of you make it out to this year’s What The Fest!? How was it? Which film from this year’s show are you most looking forward to finally seeing? Tell us in the comments!

About Kenn Hoekstra

PopHorror Writer. Associate Editor. @PopHorrorNews Tweeter. Also... Screenwriter. Blogger. Horror Movie Aficionado. Wisconsin Sports Fan. IT Guy. Father. Smartass. People's Champion. TIME Person of the Year - 2006.

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