The Fright Meter Awards Organisation is seeking submissions to be considered for the “Best Short Film” award. To be eligible, the short film must be submitted to a film festival or available on social media outlets such as YouTube, Vimeo etc. between December 1st, 2015 and November 30th, 2016 and be available for the Fright Meter Awards Committee to view.
Now in its ninth year, The Fright Meter Awards are presented annually by the Fright Meter Awards Organisation, dedicated solely to honouring and recognising excellence within the horror genre. The nominations and winners are determined by members of the Fright Meter Awards Committee. Past winners of the Fright Meter Award include John Cusack, Chloe Grace Moretz, Rutger Hauer, and Marcia Gay Harden.
The Fright Meter Award Committee consists of horror fans, bloggers, actors, producers, directors, and others involved in the industry. The aim is to select and nominate worthy films regardless of budget, means of release, or popularity. The Fright Meter Awards Organisation intends to make the Fright Meter Award one of the most prestigious horror awards given.
If you are interested in having your short film considered, please contact us.
Individuals can visit www.frightmeterawards.com for more information about the organisation.
Michael “Mad Mike” Nagy - Senior Committee Member
Troy Escamilla - President
Fright Meter Awards Organisation
Director: Todd Nunes
Cast: Ashley Mary Nunes, Natalie Montera, Melynda Kiring, Jessica Cameron, Johanna Rae
On Christmas Eve, a neighborhood where a young girl vanished mysteriously years before is terrorized by a psychopath dressed in a Santa suit.
Christmas themed slasher films have gained quite the following among horror fans. 1974's Black Christmas remains one of the most revered and influential slasher films of all time, and beyond that, films such as To All a Goodnight, Don't Open til Christmas, Christmas Evil and of course the highly controversial Silent Night Deadly Night all have massive cult followings. Just last year, Slasher Studios released their Christmas themed slasher Dismembering Christmas to positive reception. So when fans learn of a new killer Santa or Christmas themed slasher flick they are sure to get excited, but an obvious question that arises may be: what on earth can this one do that we haven't seen already? Fortunately, All Through the House is eager to answer that very question.
All Through the House starts with a gory bang, letting viewers immediately know what they are in for in terms of gore and violence as the killer Santa brutally disposes of two unsuspecting victims. The gruesome deaths are shown in all their blood soaked glory--a trend that continues throughout the film and that will satisfy gore hounds who have become jaded by the onslaught of off screen death scenes featured in many recent horror films. After the opening scene, we're introduced to our protagonist, Rachel, who is home from college for Christmas and a few of her childhood friends. While she should be excited to be home, it seems that Christmas in her neighborhood conjures memories of the mysterious disappearance of a neighbor girl years before. Unfortunately, she is forced to confront the mystery full force when she and her friends agree to stick around a bit before a night out to help the mother of the vanished girl decorate her home for Christmas. Secrets are revealed and blood spills as the killer Santa terrorizes the neighborhood armed with a pair of hedge clippers.
What is immediately obvious is that writer and director Todd Nunes is very much a fan of the 80's slasher genre and also very much respects it. While there are definitely comedic elements to the film, the underlying tone is very serious and dark and there are very well executed homages to several slasher films from the golden age of the genre. But unlike these often formulaic and cliched films, All Through the House manages to deliver some serious plot twists and the big reveal(s) during the film's climax are satisfyingly jaw dropping. Additionally, there are some wonderfully tense and suspenseful chase scenes and killer's psycho Santa mask is unsettling; the crisp and tight cinematography add the the impact of these scenes. For instance, one of the female characters finds herself being stalked just outside the house and just out of view of her friend inside, creating some true edge of your seat suspense. Couple this with the fact that virtually every scene is replete with Christmas decor (including some unsettling Santa mannequins!) and there is a palpable creep factor and sense of uneasiness present throughout the film. The acting also needs to be praised; everyone involved does a great job with Ashley Mary Nunes as Rachel and Melynda Kiring as Mrs. Garrett being the standouts. The later especially is a blast to watch and certainly has to be one of the more memorable slasher characters of the last decade. Mrs. Garrett is truly challenging role that requires a lot of delicate balancing of emotions and intentions and Kiring bites into it with tremendous commitment and voracity. Nunes' directing is also impressive, allowing the nuances of the story and characters to be fully realized while highlighting and even improving upon the best of the traditional slasher conventions.
Of course, no film is perfect and All Trough the House does have some very minor issues. There are several scenes of random neighborhood residents becoming prey for the crazed Santa. While these scenes are fun and extremely bloody, they sometimes feel disjointed due to the lack of any effective transitions; essentially these are simply scenes inserted to up the body count and gore factor, which is perfectly fine--this is a slasher film after all! However, the pacing is slightly thrown of by these scenes, which periodically pop up. In one scene, we see the deranged Santa silently stalking our three main girls, then a quick cut to a completely different home with characters the audiences hasn't seen before who we can only assume are in the same neighborhood. It's a minor complaint to be sure, but it does slightly affect the cohesiveness of the film. Also, the climax does come very close to running out of steam and probably could have been trimmed of a few minutes. But again, minor complaints that take nothing away from the film's enjoyment factor. Make no mistake; this is a very solid film from start to finish.
Overall, I can boldly say that you perhaps will not see a better slasher film this year. All Through the House is replete with all a true slasher fan could ask for and the carefully constructed references to various genre favorites will surely garner tons of giddy grins from fans. Even non-slasher fans will find themselves immersed in unraveling the mysteries of the plot. And this is perhaps where the film deserves a ton of credit; while it's unapologetically a slasher film, the plot is by no means cliched, but instead is quite layered and complex for such a film allowing those who may not necessarily be fans of the genre to certainly appreciate it. Nunes explores some very dark and taboo themes, but is also careful not to go over the top, as the events stay grounded in reality and never feel outrageous. The climax is grimly satisfying as well and begs for repeated viewings. Along with Black Christmas and Silent Night Deadly Night, All Through the House should become a holiday tradition for horror fans; that truly is saying a lot.
Fright Meter Grade:
Labels: All Through the House
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity recently to attend the Drunken Zombie Film Festival in Peoria, IL. There was an intimacy to the event that made it feel special and both the attendees and organizers were friendly and obviously passionate about the genre. As an indie horror fan, I was thrilled that I was going to be able to see the latest offerings on the big screen from a few up and coming indie horror directors that I have been following for quite some time, including Cameron McCasland's 80's retro slasher The Lashman and Corey Norman's adaptation of the Stephen King short story Suffer the Little Children. Both of these films were great and myself and the audience had a blast viewing them. However, it was a Christmas themed slasher film featuring a killer in a Santa suit by a director I was unfamiliar with that really piqued my interest while attending the festival.
Those who know me know that my all time favorite horror film is 1974's Black Christmas. There is just something about the juxtaposition of what is proclaimed as the most joyous time of the year with bloodshed and suspense that I find intriguing. Suffice to say, I am also a fan of other Christmas themed slashers such as To All a Good Night, Don't Open Til Christmas, Silent Night Deadly Night and more recently my pal and Party Night Co-Producer Kevin Sommerfield's Dismembering Christmas. My major curiosity going into All Through the House with very little knowledge of the plot was how could it possibly be different from the films mentioned above?
Well, folks, it is. I'll save the actual review for later, but this film is one of most brutal, entertaining and downright fun slasher films I have seen in quite a long time. Fans jaded by the slasher genre seriously need to check this one out as soon as possible. Even better, I was lucky enough to get the film's director, writer and producer Todd Nunes to discuss the film and his love of the genre! So, without further ado, read on for the interview with this filmmaker who I have no doubt is going to make a huge splash in the indie horror community:
Thanks so much for taking the time to do an interview with us. For those who may be unfamiliar with you and your work, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I became obsessed with horror movies in middle school. To me, movies were magical because they could terrify an audience and evoke that kind of strong emotion. I remember writing my first slasher story in elementary school. In high school, I adapted Friday The 13th as a stage play and the process forced me to dig deeper into the story and characters so that I could adapt the film without losing its essence. The play was a huge success - even though the school administration hated it. But, three months later I was able to produce a successful sequel. By the time I graduated high school, I was writing original content for the stage, so screenwriting and directing movies was the next logical step. I have tons of homemade horror movies on VHS.
Fright Meter Films first feature film, the 80's throwback slasher Party Night is in full pre-production mode! The film is tentatively set to be filmed in the Houston, TX area this June. Fright Meter Awards President and Fright Meter Blog Editor Troy Escamilla wrote the screenplay and is serving as producer of the film, along with Slasher Studios Kevin Sommerfield and Renee Smith. The film will be directed by Timothy Sullins.
We have assembled an enthusiastic and passionate young cast. Please check out their introductions below. Additionally, we are currently in the middle of our Kickstarter campaign and could really use your support. There are some great rewards for our backers, so if this cast gets you excited about the film, please consider visiting our Kickstarter via the link below and making a pledge! Help us to ensure this film gets made. It will be greatly appreciated.
Cast Member Destinie Orndoff, Olivia
Cast Member Billy Brannigan, Travis
Cast Member Tommie Vegas, Molly
Cast Member Drew Shotwell, Nelson
Cast Member Ryan Poole, Andrew
Cameron McCasland has been making a name for himself in the independent horror community for the last several years. His first full length feature film The Lashman has garnered high praise at several film festivals as was nominated for Best Independent Feature Film at the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. The praise continue this year as he was recently nominated for an Emmy for his latest offering, the short genre film Tailypo. We had the opportunity to discuss this project, as well as the horror genre in general with him.
Check out our conversation below:
Thank you so much. We go to the awards show this Sunday. Hoping for good news. Let me see. I was born and raised in East Texas, but I live in Nashville, TN with my wife and two daughters. I produce movies, music videos and television. I directed a feature length slasher film called The Lashman about a ghostly cowboy who terrorizes with an axe and a bullwhip. My newest film that is touring festivals now and just this week was nominated for the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for best short film is titled Tailypo. Its a little cryptozoology tale of Appalachian folk lore which i heard for the first time as small child.
What films and/directors inspired you to make horror films?
When I was young, I was forbidden to see a lot of the modern horror movies, but I was able to watch things like the Universal Monster films Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman. I also had a steady dose of Alfred Hitchcock. I’m thankful for that now, as it helped me build humanity in monsters. And to be honest, it made that forbidden fruit all that much sweeter when I would catch them at a friend’s house or sneaking it in on late night TV after my parents went to bed.
As far as film makers go. Roger Corman, Robert Rodriguez, & Sam Raimi are all people that have inspired me in one way or another. I constantly ask myself how those guys would get the story told when faced with adversity.
Speaking of inspiration, what inspired you to make Tailypo?
Well it was inspired out of just basic good old storytelling. When I was a kid it was a story that was told around Halloween in our elementary school. Both Carolyn Hooks and Darlene McEnturf told it in the classroom. My mother and grandmother echoed them at some point, as did a babysitter I had named Lisa Munro (who had also went through the same school) The story just stuck with me. It was one of the first things I can recall scaring me. But in an exhilarating kind of way.
So when I met David Chattam (who stars in the film) on the Lashman it came back to life in my head. I took the bones of the story I remembered and put my own voice to it in the writing. I then turned that over to David to bring it to life in the way that actors do.
What were some of the difficulties encountered while filming Tailypo? Any interesting stories from the set you can share?
When we went back for reshoots it was winter, and David had to strip down for the bedtime scenes. It was probably in the 40s that night. He joked about having to be the only one who had to be cold, so I stripped down to shorts and shirts, and both Josh Ickes my D.P. and Kyle Kelly who assisted camera and edited the film followed suit. I think David appreciated the support.
And directing a dog was interesting. I kept a pocket full of pepperoni and beef jerky to will him to do things. He was ok with almost everything except the actual gunshots, where he would take off and hide for a half hour at a time.
You also recently finished up a full length feature horror film, The Lashman. Tell us about it.
The Lashman is a ghost story of sorts. I wanted to make a classic slasher tale that took place in a time before cell phones and GPS. We shot it at the Copper Canyon Ranch in Hopkinsville, Kentucky (where we also made Tailypo). It stars Stacey Dixon, David Vaughn, Shawn C. Phillips, Jeremy Jones, Kaylee Williams, Tim Emery, and Lee Vervoort as the title character as well as a great supporting cast. It’s a classic tales of campers who get in to more they can handle when a bullwhip wielding axe carrying killer comes knocking on their cabin door. It has been playing at genre festivals steadily now since 2014 and somehow has yet to leak online. Looking forward to a DVD release soon so more people at home can see it. But it’s been really cool seeing it up on the big screen like this. I feel like a lot of indie genre movies don’t even attempt that anymore which is a shame.
Since you have done both short films and feature length films, which one do you prefer?
Well, I’m thankful to live in a time where you can make something as long as it needs to be and people will watch it. Short films used to not see the light of day outside of film festivals, but now with the advent of the internet and everyone looking for quick content to watch on their phone during commutes, I think that’s changing. They both present certain challenges. A feature allows you more time to flesh characters out. I can’t say I prefer one to the other, but I do realize a lot of people think it odd of me to go from a feature to a short film as most people tend to graduate from one to the other. I don’t see it that way at all. I just tell the stories I want to tell, and rather than pad it out to meet an arbitrary running time.
What are some of your favorite horror films from the past few years?
I really enjoyed the Iranian vampire film from Ana Lily Amirpour A Girl Who Walks Home Alone At Night which I saw here in Nashville at our Belcourt Theatre. I thought it was just mesmerizing. I got a chance to see Corin Hardys The Hallow which I think they are now calling The Woods on Halloween at Frightening Ass Film Festival where Tailypo was playing. It was great. Honestly that’s a film festival people need to be checking out. Chris Dortch who programs the Chattanooga Film Festival puts it together every year on Halloween and it's killer.
But honestly, I’d say people really ought to be paying more mind to the indie stuff. Dustin Mills who did our Tailypo creature design has been churning out 3-4 genre bending movies a year as of late. Really subversive stuff. And Brian Williams made a movie called Time To Kill which was great. I’d like to get both him and his wife Ellie Church into something soon. They both have been working on some great stuff like Headless, Frankenstein Created Bikers, and Harvest Lake which I’m going to get to see soon at The Drunken Zombie Film Fest. Excited about that one.
Any advice you can give for new filmmakers and those thinking about making their first film?
More than anything, just get out and do it and don’t be afraid to suck at it honestly. It’s really hard to make something great right out of the gate. Takes time, practice, and patience and even then you still fall flat sometimes. You just have to start and not stop. Over time you get better. I think young film makers need to realize this. And in a way so do audiences. The one downside to modern internet distribution is that someone just started out is judged on the same level as a Hollywood film, and that’s not entirely fair. I look for potential in people and their work. For those that stick to it they usually fair out pretty well.
What's next for you? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
I'm in post production on a movie I produced for Matt Riddlehoover called What’s The Matter With Gerald that should start screening at festivals soon. I also just wrapped a short film version of H.P. Lovecraft's Beast In The Cave which should be up soon. And Josh Ickes who was the Director of Photography on a number of my projects has a new short called Heart Of The City which is coming out real soon. I worked as a producer on that. That’s the stuff thats already in the can. I’ve got both a western and a car chase movie in development. And a few more shorts i hope to collect in to an anthology hosted by Larry Underwood as Dr. Gangrene. Tailypo will probably end up in that too.
How can readers see both Tailypo and The Lashman?
My website www.cameronmccasland.com is the best place for that. That also has links to my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and is kind of the central hub to find me on the web. Tailypo is up there to watch for free, and The Lashman trailer is up there and will be out on DVD this year. We have a few more Film Fest screenings coming up for it and Tailypo. See It on the big screen at Drunken Zombie Film Fest in Peoria, IL, Crimson Screen Horror Film Fest in Charleston, SC , The Madhouse Movies Film Festival, The Best Film Fest, and a few others I can’t announce just yet. But if you follow me on social media you will see new screenings as they come up.
Any final thoughts/comments?
I’d say that the best thing you can do for any film maker or creative person in general is to support their work. Donate to the their crowd funding if you can, share their posts on Facebook, Retweet them on Twitter, and just tell your friends about things you like when you see them. It means the world to us. And it makes a difference as we don’t have money for advertising most of the time. And honestly, if you want to lend some support in that fashion to me you can do so by sending in a vote for Tailypo as best short film at the Rondo Awards. You can check out the full ballot at Rondoaward.com and to email simply send a email to email@example.com with your favorites. Vote in as many or few categories as you want. to vote Tailypo just send a email with your name and say Tailypo for best short film.
Thanks so much for the interview. See you at the movies.
February 2016, Houston TX – Troy Escamilla and Renee K. Smith, in collaboration with Fright Meter Films, are set to produce their first ever feature film and bring true terror to the screen in Fall 2016. Titled Party Night and penned by Escamilla, the film is a throwback to 80’s slasher films such as Prom Night and Hell Night. This is the first feature film produced by Fright Meter Films, and the passion for this project is immense. “This film is truly a love letter to fans of genre. There are many references in the script that horror fans will grin widely at, but the film is still unique in its own right,” Escamilla states.
Escamilla has a goal of raising $10,500 by March 10th, 2016 with the Party Night campaign. Troy Escamilla knows the horror genre. He founded the Fright Meter Awards, which have grown in respect and popularity over the last few years with global backers that make up the over 50 member international Award Committee, including bloggers, writers, directors, producers, actors and fans in the horror genre.
What makes Party Night the perfect first project for Fright Meter Films is that it is fairly simplistic in its structure and content: there are only seven characters in the script and 85% of it takes place at one location, which equates to a modest budget. Collaborations are happening with other independent filmmakers, such as Kevin Sommerfield, who wrote and produced both and . Sommerfeld is on board as producer to lend his expertise on low budget independent filmmaking. Renee K. Smith, has experience as a playwright, producer, and director in the Houston area.
The teaser trailer for the film can be viewed on the Kickstarter page via the link below.
JOIN THE PARTY & support the film at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1488629688/party-night
Remember: Kickstarter Campaigns are all or nothing.
• Pledge now. There are great rewards for backers! Big or small, all pledges are welcomed and all count! Every amount helps us hit the front Kickstarter page! Remember: the money is not contributed now—It will not be paid until the campaign ends!
• Visit the Kickstarter page even if you can’t pledge. All views help boost our notice!
• If you know someone who could be a "significant giver” and is a fan of the arts and/or horror, tell them about the film and ask them to pledge at Kickstarter.
• Let others know—forward this information and invite them to help.
Here's the list of 2015 Winners, along with the full nominees...
Best Horror Movie
The Final Girls
It Follows - Winner
What We Do In The Shadows
Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead (Spring)
Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak)
Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz (Goodnight Mommy)
Ted Geoghegan (We Are Still Here)
David Robert Mitchell (It Follows) - Winner
Best Actor In A Leading Role
Mark Duplass (Creep) - Winner
Lou Taylor Pucci (Spring)
Ryan Reynolds (The Voices)
Kurt Russell (Bone Tomahawk)
Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows)
Best Actress In A Leading Role
Barbara Crampton (We Are Still Here)
Taissa Farmiga (The Final Girls)
Nadia Hilker (Spring) - Winner
Maika Monroe (It Follows)
Lin Shaye (Insidious: Chapter 3)
Best Actor In A Supporting Role
Larry Fessenden (We Are Still Here)
Matthew Fox (Bone Tomahawk)
Richard Jenkins (Bone Tomahawk)
Leigh Whannell (Cooties) - Winner
Rainn Wilson (Cooties)
Best Actress In A Supporting Role
Malin Akerman (The Final Girls)
Jessica Chastain (Crimson Peak)
Deanna Dunagan (The Visit) - Winner
Lisa Marie (We Are Still Here)
Sierra McCormick (Some Kind Of Hate)
The Final Girls - Winner
What We Do In The Shadows
Bone Tomahawk - Winner
We Are Still Here
Best Special Effects
Crimson Peak - Winner
Insidious: Chapter 3
The Final Girls
It Follows - Winner
The Final Girls
Unfriended - Winner
We Are Still Here
It Follows - Winner
We Are Still Here
Best Short Horror Film
Chomp (Directed by: Lynne Hansen) - Winner
The Confession Of Fred Krueger (Directed by: Nathan Thomas Milliner)
The Package (Directed by: Damon Rickard)
Ronald McDonald Playground Slaughter (Nominees to be determined)
Selfie From Hell (Directed by: Erdal Ceylan)
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The Fright Meter Awards are presented annually by the Fright Meter Awards Organization, a non-profit organization dedicated solely to honoring and recognizing excellence within the horror genre. The nominations and winners are determined by members of the Fright Meter Awards Committee.
Members consist of horror fans, bloggers, actors, producers, directors, and others, making the Fright Meter Awards truly the most prestigious horror award given. The Fright Meter Awards aim to select and nominate worthy films regardless of budget, means of release, or popularity.
With the launch of our Kickstarter campaign that will hopefully allow Party Night to be filmed this June, we have premiered the first official teaser trailer! Our hope is that the trailer will give horror fans a glimpse of the tone and atmosphere we are intending for the film.
Party Night will be the first feature film from newly established Fright Meter Films. The film was written by and will be produced by Troy Escamilla, founder and editor of FrightMeter.com and President of the Fright Meter Awards Committee. Party Night is throwback 80's slasher film that focuses on six friends who become prey for a sadistic psychopath when they ditch their school's after prom party for their own celebration at a secluded house. It will be directed by Timothy Sullins and will star Tommie Vegas and Billy Brannigan.
There is a lot of passion and talent behind the project. We hope you enjoy the trailer and will consider supporting the film to ensure it gets made. Even a simply sharing of the Kickstarter campaign on social media will be greatly appreciated!
Kickstarter Campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1488629688/party-night
Check out the teaser trailer: