Screamfest 2019 Winners and Wrap-up!


Another week-plus of screaming, running, avoiding chainsaws and hungry zombie jaws. Another week of looking over your shoulder, trying to decipher some strange whispering from the next room (was that a chant?) and rubbing your eyes in disbelief at all of the horrors laid out before you.

Yes, it was another week in Los Angeles. Ahem.

Oh, and another Screamfest is in the books – the 19th Annual to be exact.

Held at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatres, the festival ran from October 8th – October 17th, offering up hordes of horror flicks, ripe for the taking by hungry terror fans. 21 features and 61 short film selections graced the massive screen over these ten days.

While the zombie comedy Eat, Brains, Love won the big prize of Best Feature, the psychedelic thriller The Wave came out on top with the highest number of wins (5 total), including Best Actor for Justin Long and Best Director for Gille Klabin.

Yes, yes. I know you came here to find out all of the winners, so without further delay, here’s that complete list:

Best Feature Film: Eat, Brains, Love (review)

Best Director: Gille Klabine of The Wave

Best Short Film: Bad Hair

Best Actress: Sarah Bolger of A Good Woman is Hard to Find (review)

Best Actor: Justin Long of The Wave

Best Editing: The Wave

Best Score: We Summon the Darkness

Best Visual Effects: The Wave

Best Makeup: Eat, Brains, Love

Best Special Effects: The Wave

Best Cinematography: Resin (review)

Best Student Short: Progeny

Best Unproduced Screenplay: Fang and Claw by Troy Sloan

Winners will receive the “Skully” trophy (pictured above), designed by the late, great Stan Winston.

Actor Tony Todd at 2019’s Screamfest in Hollywood, CA.

And for those who are interested, read on, as here are my personal picks for “Best of Fest”!

My TOP FIVE FEATURES (in order of preference): Resin, She Never Died (review), Wounds (review), A Good Woman is Hard to Find, The Deeper You Dig.

FEATURE FILMS / HONORABLE MENTIONS (in alphabetical order): City of Ashes, Immortal (review), Rabid (review), The Soul Collector.

And my TOP TEN FAVORITE SHORT FILMS (in order of preference): Hand in Hand, Bad Hair, The Burden, Dead Teenager Seance, Bedtime Story, The Original, Amandine, Madame, Progeny, Sybil.

TEN SHORT FILM HONORABLE MENTIONS (in alphabetical order): Babykeeper, #chadgetstheaxe, Dinner for One, Frost Bite, Getting Off Early, The Hitchhiker, Killer Date, The Listening, Phaenicia, Rick and Ruby.

There’s also the tradition I started a couple of years back on the festival circuit. I will list the TOP TEN SHORT FILMS – which will (for my money) require a feature film version. In other words, I liked these universes, wacky characters and filmmakers’ aesthetics enough that a short film simply won’t suffice. Give me more!

TOP TEN SHORT FILMS WHICH REQUIRE A FEATURE FILM VERSION (in alphabetical order):  Bedtime Story, The Burden, Dead Teenager Seance, Frost Bite, The Hitchhiker, Madame, The Original, Phaenicia, Progeny, Sybil.

I also began a fun tradition in my festival wrap-ups last year. Being a nerdy collector of all things horror, there are always interesting props, fun artwork or impressive costumes in the films screened during festival season. And Screamfest is no exception.


Sure, I’ll have that creepy idol on my shelf at home. Yes, I’ll hang that disturbing painting of a Satanic ritual on my wall. Why not place that odd-looking trinket on my bathroom vanity? I’m a horror freak, after all.

So, in no particular order, here are the props/set pieces/costumes from the screened films, which simply must be added to my personal collection.

“Trick” premiere. (l to r): Actor Jamie Kennedy, director Patrick Lussier, actor Omar Epps, actor Tom Atkins, actor Aaron Dalla Villa. Screamfest 2019, Hollywood, CA.

(To quote a character in Napoleon Dynamite, “I want that.”)

1.) The artwork and mask of “Adam” from Dead Teenager Seance

2.) Trick’s “Trick or Treat” knife from Trick

3.) The jingling bracelet from City of Ashes

4.) The “Ichabod Quinn” artwork from Here Comes Hell

5.) Rose’s fashion drawings from Rabid

6.) The jingling bell to bring out the succubus – from Porno

7.) Lacey’s cool, “hand-carved” artwork from She Never Died

8.) The “hair-restorer” product bottle from Bad Hair

9.) Any and all of the artwork from The Crying Boy

10.) The poison bottle from Dinner for One

11.) One of the dolls from Insania

12.) The film reel/case from Porno

13.) The bracelet and/or watch from Resin

14.) That Norman Bates/Anthony Perkins framed photo in Killer Date

15.) The VHS tape from The Loop

16.) The red scarf from The Soul Conductor

17.) The cell-phone from Wounds

18.) The sword from Madame

19.) The janitor’s broomstick from Hand in Hand

20.) The blank passport from Unidentified


This year’s closing night ceremonies were hosted by journalist and producer Sean Decker (of Dread Central and HalloweenMovies.com) and actress Sarah Nicklin (The Haunting of Alice D).

And here are some other reviews (or reviews-in-the-works) of other Screamfest-screened features: Eat, Brains, Love (review), Immortal (review), Kindred Spirits (review), Porno (review).

And with that, another Screamfest (or as I call it, “festival summer camp”) comes to an end.

Keep up to date with Screamfest’s monthly “Fears and Beers” screenings throughout the year, where they highlight classic horror films. This year’s offerings included anniversary screenings of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Deep Blue Sea and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter. Showings like these should tide you over until next year’s 10-day festival.

And speaking of the next festival, 2020 will mark Screamfest’s 20th Anniversary. So visit www.screamfestla.com to stay in the know as plans for this special event begin to come to light!

Until then, keep watching, keep spreading the good word of horror and keep on screaming! See you next year!

Actor David Arquette and Screamfest founder/organizer, Rachel Belofsky. Screamfest 2019, Hollywood, CA. (photo courtesy of Screamfest/Angelica Ulloa).


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