Last week, I attended the 1st annual FEARnyc horror film festival in New York City’s Cinema Village. Director John Capo brought together 65 films during the week, including classics like The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween, as well as a bevy of independent horror films, making their world and or NYC premiere. One of the films was Lost Creek. Made a on shoe-string budget of $30,000, director Colin Adams-Toomey and his co-writer Dan John Witherall, created a wonderfully original film that paid homage to favorites from the 80s, all the while creating something new and unique. The film is about three young kids, Peter and Bill (Oliver and Henry Stockman) are friends at school, and Maggie (Brynna Bartoo) is the strange girl Peter hangs out with in the woods. Together, they must unite to battle a monster that is channeling their fears and draining their small town of life. The film put the weight of the story on three unknown first time child actors, who at the time of filming were all under 13. After catching their film and cast and crew Q&A Sunday, I had an opportunity to speak with the creators on Thursday after the screening of Halloween.
Lost Creek Written by Colin Adams-Toomey & Dan John Witherall
Directed by Colin Adams-Toomey
Starring Oliver Stockman, Henry Stockman, Brynna Bartoo, Lisa Caruzzi, Matthew Lovlie
New York City Premiere (FEARnyc): October 23, 2016
Spending my weekend at FEARnyc film festival at the Cinema Village in New York City has given me the chance to fill up on horror this Halloween season. The festival, directed by John Capo, is featuring 65 horror movies ranging from the all time classics to NYC and world premieres. In the three days so far that I spent at FEARnyc, I took in 10 films, and the one that felt the most genuine and authentic was a low-budget, small-town ghost story, that’s labeled on IMDb as a “drama, fantasy, horror.” The film is Lost Creek directed by Colin Adams-Toomey, and co-written by him and Dan John Witherall.
Lost Creek is a horror movie because it features ghosts and monsters, but in reality it’s a story about childhood, friendship, and imagination. Peter (Oliver Stockman) just moved to his mom’s old hometown after her messy divorce, the particulars of which keep his mother busy and distracted. He walks around town alone, through the woods where he finds the old “lost creek.” There he meets and befriends a young girl, Maggie (Brynna Bartoo). Their instant connection reminded me of my own daughter, who at almost 6 years old will walk up to random kids in the playground and call them “best friend” within seconds.
For the third straight day this Sunday, I found myself inside the Cinema Village in Manhattan for the FEARnyc film festival. The festival, which lasts through Thursday night, is directed by John Capo and features over 65 horror films ranging from world premieres to classics. General admission tickets are only $12 ($8 for seniors), and the festival pass is $125 for all events.
Sunday afternoon started with a double shot of Stephen King love, but not in the way you’re probably expecting. Rather than show King adaptations, FEARnyc presented the NYC premieres of both the short documentary Resurrecting Carrie followed by the feature-length doc Unearthed and Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary. Resurrecting Carrie was directed by Michael Stever and is about the revival of Carrie: The Musical. While the Carrie novel and film were some of King’s biggest hits, the musical was an all-time bust when it debuted in the 80s. The 13-minute documentary features interviews with film star Piper Laurie, King collaborators, and cast and crew of the updated musical.