Horror has come to Knoxville, at least for the weekend.
The Knoxville Horror Film Festival will debut with the short creature comedy, "Grabbers" Oct. 25th at the Relix Variety Theatre.
For the main event on Saturday, screenings of other ghoulish comedy films, such as "A Bad Milo" and "A Field in England" will follow at the Regal Downtown West cinema theater. Each feature is paired with short films.
The festival will conclude Sunday, Oct. 27 at the Variety Theatre with the awards party and costume contest, where the winner of this year's Grindhouse Grind-out will be announced.
This year's festival is previewed to be the biggest event since the KHFF started in 2009, with numerous contestants participating in the Grindhouse Grind-out – a contest where film-making teams are given six days and 66 minutes to produce a three-minute grindhouse-style film trailer.
"This year's festival is much bigger," said William Mahaffey, festival director. "Last year we did three features and this year we have five. Two of the films we're showing don't even have release dates in the U.S. and won't be seen in theaters except for festival screenings until next year. Besides that, we are doing a whole day at Regal Cinemas Downtown West, whereas last year we only did our opening night there."
Mahaffey emphasized the growth that the horror film festival has seen since its inception in 2009.
"We started out in 2009 as a short film festival only and now we're growing into something that will hopefully screen even more features next year," Mahaffey said. "Grindhouse Grind-out is probably my favorite part of the fest. We give them a bunch of crazy genres and it has always resulted in a lot of fun."
This year's line up includes Bobcat Goldthwait's intimate Sasquatch thriller "Willow Creek," a film that is similar to "Paranormal Activity," with a "real" couple that goes to investigate Bigfoot, found footage style. The film also features unique aspects, such as experienced Sasquatch experts. Ben Murphy, last year's horror film festival award winner, said the film festival is truly a unique experience that offers something for every horror enthusiast.
"The event includes many local, national and international films, and you get to see horror films that usually don't come to movie theaters," said Murphy, a junior in journalism and electronic media. "I won the Knoxville Horror Film Festival award at the Knoxville 24-hour film festival, which was a few months prior to last year's horror film festival, and my short film was shown at the festival."
Murphy said he also enjoyed the Grind-out.
"Teams drew their own genres, and it was really fun competing in the event because we tried to make it as fun for us as possible," Murphy said. "My trailer honestly was not scary at all and was more comical than horror."
Overall, Murphy said he has a positive view of the festival and all that it brings to Knoxville during the month of October.
"The festival itself was really enjoyable as I got to watch not only gruesome short films but also feature-length films including 'John Dies At The End' and 'V/H/S,'" Murphy said.
Weekend passes can be purchased for $40, which includes three nights worth of events. Single film tickets can also be purchased for $10, which includes the film of your choice. Tickets to the awards party can be purchased for $5.