This year’s HorrorHound Weekend in Indianapolis took place September 6th through the 8th, and of course, they held their annual FilmFest full of sneak peeks of horror films that have not yet been released. I was lucky enough to watch a few films this year that you won’t be able to enjoy until at least October. The first film was Dean Alioto’s Portal.
Portal has the flavor of films like Paranormal Activity and The Conjuring with a splash of Evil Dead, all mixed together to make one delightfully delicious horror film. I do not normally get scared from horror movies, but there were scenes in this one that gave me chills.
The film starts by introducing viewers to a group of ghost hunters whose TV show is not doing well. Steven (played by Ryan Merriman whom you may remember from Final Destination 3) is desperate to find the perfect haunted location to film for the season one finale. Steven and his crew Cris (Jamie Tisdale), Mason (Myk Watford), Jen (Najarra Townsend), and Raz (Reinaldo Zavarce) eventually find it and head over to film there. Unfortunately, at first it seems like the place is not what it seemed to be and they have trouble filming anything spooky enough. Cris tries to convince Steven to use artificial scares to make the episode better. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that the artificial scares lead to real ones because even though Steven is a ghost hunter, apparently he does not know some of the rules of scary movies, like don’t read weird languages out loud.
Let me be honest for a minute: while the idea of filmmakers going to a supposedly haunted house that actually turns out to be haunted is not new, the delivery makes it worth the watch. The characters are well-played and the story helps to develop them. The viewer gets to know what drives them, and I actually cared about what would happen to them.
Oh, and if you’re a fan of 80’s horror films, there is a special guest cameo towards the end of the film and she does a solid job of helping out the main characters. No, I won’t tell you who she is; you’ll just have to watch for yourself.
If you click on the link you can scroll down to see a trailer courtesy of the HorrorHound Film Fest website. Unfortunately, there is no release date yet, as it is still in post-production, but you’ll definitely want to set a reminder to yourself to keep an eye out for this film.