After Dark III is now come and gone and despite the festival's subtitle "8 Films to Die For", I've somehow lived to tell the tale. Three years running and in my own humble opinion, this was the best year yet.
As with all of the previous years, there were winners and losers and a few in-betweens. Overall, the quality of films felt as if the scale was starting to tip more towards the positive side. Perhaps it was a result of more films landing in the middle of the road category that helped to bolster the festival in my eyes. In previous years there was always a film or two that I outright despised; this year I was able to find something I liked in all of the movies.
There is no real news as of yet on what After Dark IV will bring us, or even when we'll be seeing it. As the film festival grows older, I can only hope it comes back bigger and better. While it may not be a box office champion, it is a champion of the genre, bringing exposure to the young and eager filmmakers and writers out there.
With remakes being the head of the class as of late, we could certainly use some fresh blood and new ideas. There are many low budget and indie crews out there telling quality stories that sadly fade away into obscurity in direct-to-DVD land. The After Dark Film Fest goes a long way towards giving these people a chance to having their films seen. This is a far more effective tool than any made-up cable awards show will ever be, and far less embarrassing to watch.
I say give this year's After Dark Horrorfest titles a shot, but just remember that you will have to take the bad with the good. Since my reviews have been trickling in on all 7 films over the last three weeks, I've made a handy list below. Also note: I state 7 films as unfortunately I ran into technical problems on my disk of "Voices", and since I do not know how to speak Korean, I was a bit confused!