The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Horrible Imaginings Film Festival: September 1st-7th, 2020

While film lovers continue to wait for movie theaters to re-open and enjoy the art of cinema with others, they can quench that thirst by enjoying the eleventh chapter of the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival, which will be held virtually this year. The festival, which has been held at The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana the last two years, usually spans three days. But this year it will be held online from September 1-7 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Horrible Imaginings Film Festival has quickly grown in the ranks of genre festivals (despite being relatively young) because of its unique genre-blending showcases of horror, science fiction, and fantasy films during the festival with screenings, panels, parties and networking sessions that celebrate the filmmakers.

While the festival is still awaiting final confirmation for some movies, they have already scheduled 11 new feature films and 97 new short films for its 2020 virtual festival. There’s Repossession, a Singaporean film about a man who hides from his family that he had recently been fired until his life devolves into a surreal nightmare.

Another film is the Panamanian movie Diablo Rojo (PTY), which tells the story of a bus lost in the jungle and its riders who try to survive the dangers of the night.

There’s also Darkness in Tenement 45, an American thriller about a 1980s family forced to quarantine in their home because of a biological attack from the Soviet Union. Sounds…too relevant. But that’s Horror, folks!

The Horrible Imaginings Film Festival will also have fantasy films for film lovers to enjoy. Luz: The Flower of Evil, a Colombian fantasy film, will be available to watch virtually at the festival. However, this film will only be available to watch for a 24-hour period on Sept. 4. 

The festival will also have some documentaries such as Hail to the Deadites: A Documentary of The Evil Dead Fans. Film lovers need no introduction to Sam Raimi’s iconic horror franchise, but this documentary looks beyond the films and focuses on its most passionate fans. 

There will also be plenty of short films to explore, which is my personal favorite part of the festival. These are broken up into specific short blocks and programmed thoroughly to ensure the best/most entertaining new films from filmmakers maybe you haven’t heard of yet.

For movie fans who want to watch any of these films from home, they have several options. For just $8, you can purchase a ticket to watch one movie at the festival. But film festivals are meant for film lovers to watch as many movies as possible so viewers can purchase a $30 ticket-pack that allows them to watch ten movies or they can buy the all-access festival pass for $50 that lets them watch all the movies and their accompanying Q&A sessions during the festival. 

There are several other options if viewers want some accessories such as pins, t-shirts, and snacks to bring the film festival experience into their homes. These options’ prices range from $80 to $130. 

The film festival’s goal is to expose audiences to genre films that cause them to explore their emotions. 

“We sincerely believe in the sharing and exploring of our deepest fears, desires and anxieties in a community setting. This festival allows audience members to not only explore those complex emotions but also exorcise them,” according to the festival’s founder and operator Miguel Rodriguez. 

Over the past 10 years, the festival has screened over 750 genre films and hosted over 8,000 attendees. The festival has also gained recognition as Moviemaker Magazine placed the festival in its Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2018 and 30 Bloody Best Genre Fests in the World in 2019 and the website FilmFreeway placed the festival on its Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals of 2018. 

While film lovers will have to stay at home to watch these films, attending the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival virtually will not only allow them to watch new and unique movies, but will also allow them to continue to engage with other cinephiles over their love of film. 

We’ll see you there!