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The Darkhouse Program for 2023 Announced!




The Lighthouse International Film Festival is proud to announce its 2nd edition of DARKHOUSE, a genre-centric screening category focused on the best in boundary-pushing horror, science fiction and fantasy cinema. The festival's Darkhouse program, which will take place June 7th through the 11th on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, will showcase five new features, one special spotlight screening, and 28 short films. Selected titles include Ted Geoghegan's SXSW hit BROOKLYN 45, about a group of veterans who gather for a séance at the end of World War II; Evan Marlowe's mannequin horror film ABRUPTIO, featuring the voices of Jordan Peele, James Marsters and Robert Englund; and Matt Kiel's animated dark fantasy UNICORN BOY, starring Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, and Harold Perrineau, among others.


The programming block will also feature a special screening of 2009's THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO with director Niels Arden Oplev in attendance.


DARKHOUSE 2023 LINE-UP INCLUDES:

Abruptio (dir. Evan Marlowe) USA, 94 minutes // East Coast Premiere Les Hackel is a guy down on his luck who wakes to find an explosive device has been implanted in his neck. He must carry out heinous crimes in order to stay alive while trying to identify the mastermind manipulating the now twisted and strange world around him. Main cast: James Marsters, Jordan Peele, Robert Englund, Sid Haig and Darren Darnborough. East Coast Premiere

Brooklyn 45 (dir. Ted Geoghegan) USA, 93 minutes Five military veterans gather in the ornate parlor of a Brooklyn brownstone. Best friends since childhood, they’ve reunited to support their troubled host – but when his invitation for cocktails turns into an impromptu séance, the metaphoric ghosts of their past become all too literal. Main cast: Anne Ramsey and Larry Fessenden Premiered at SXSW Enter Mycel (dir. Daniel Limmer) Austria, 74 minutes After the death of her mother, thirteen-year-old Lena struggles to keep her family life and her own sanity together, juggling the challenges of caring for her newborn baby sister and her depressed father, who seeks relief in a communication system enabled by a natural fungal parasite called Mycel.

The screening is supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum in NYC. Ghost Babe (dir. Pipe Delgado) USA, 80 minutes Three surfer bros get tangled up in an 80-year-old murder mystery after inheriting a mansion haunted by the foxy spirit of a legendary 1930s Hollywood starlet. Is this the end for them, or just the beginning? Unicorn Boy (dir. Matt Kiel) USA, 90 minutes When a heartbroken young artist is sucked into a unicorn-run alternate dimension, they must help conquer a dark force in order to bring peace to the kingdom and themselves. Main cast: Matt Kiel, Patton Oswalt and Harold Perrineau

Special Screening: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (dir. Niels Arden Oplev) Sweden, 152 mins

The first installment of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series (2009). A troubled computer hacker (Noomi Rapace) and a disgraced journalist are hired by the wealthy Henrik Vanger to investigate the suspicious disappearance of his niece 40 years earlier. As the pair dig deeper, they discover evidence pointing to a scripture-minded serial killer.

Director Niels Arden Oplev will be in attendance. DARKHOUSE Shorts: A Body Appeared at the Lake Today USA, 5 mins Director: Brian Ratigan A found footage examination of what happened at the lake today. Images randomly selected from found footage; poems written without images; music written without images or words. A collaborative work by Non Films. 8mm found footage: New York, 1953. Assembled in Brooklyn. AlieNation Canada, 14 mins Director: Ray Raghavan A young Mexican girl, lost in the forest, must find her mother while being pursued by border patrol agents and something otherworldly. Beneath Cracked Pavement USA, 16 mins Director: Marcus Fahey Three Brooklyn highschoolers set out to make a quick buck selling candy bars in their neighborhood… but after stumbling onto the scene of a gruesome murder, the teens wind up being kidnapped and taken hostage by the occult hipsters who’ve just moved in. US Premiere

Birdhouse USA, 11 mins Director: Jesca Prudencio A curious young boy and his family arrive at an AirBnb filled with birdhouses that are both whimsical… and haunting. East Coast Premiere Black Dragon (Rồng đen) USA, 14 mins Director: Alexander Thompson Vietnam, 1968. A feared American colonel, nicknamed the Black Dragon by Vietnamese locals, must face his inner shadow when his platoon presents him with a captured Viet Cong girl who harbors some very unusual powers. The Breakthrough USA, 14 mins Director: Daniel Sinclair Jane and Teddy are on the brink of divorce, but when their marital problems come to a sticking point, they have an unexpected breakthrough.

Starring Greta Lee, Ben Sinclair, Kristin Slaysman, and Hana Marie Kim. Winner of Best Live Action Short Film at the Phoenix Film Festival and Special Jury Award for Performances at the Sonoma International Film Festival. Consumer USA, 12 mins Director: Stephanie Izsak Tortured by toxic beauty standards, thirteen-year-old Rein discovers an unconventional and disturbing way to lose weight. She thinks she's found a fast track to perfection... but ends up biting off more than she can chew. Echo USA, 3 mins Director: Matthew Brennan A woman plays back a mysterious old tape. Elisabeth Switzerland, 14 mins Director: Monica De Almeida Recently widowed, Mr. Bojac feels like he’s losing his mind. Oppressed by dreams, death, and a name repeated over and over again, he tries to understand their meaning. Even Jo, brought in to help him regain some mental clarity, leads him instead into psychological turmoil. East Coast Premiere Empty Windows USA, 14 mins Director: Andrew Rosenstein A little boy with schizophrenia survives a murder-suicide attempt at the hands of his mother. Haunted by the past, he stops taking medication to confront his demons. Escalation Italy, 15 mins Director: Christian Bachini A paranoid and self-centered man has to decide what kind of person he is inside, or it may just eat him... alive.

Florence in Customer Care USA, 14 mins Directors: Jordan Sommerlad & Cory Stonebrook A customer care representative at a furniture website begins to unravel as a mysterious rash appears on her body. Get Away USA, 15 mins Director: Michael Gabriele A group of friends spending the weekend at a remote vacation rental in the desert play a mysterious VHS tape and realize that there are too many strange and terrifying coincidences. East Coast Premiere Given Again USA, 9 mins Director: Jake Oleson A painter’s obsession with a pattern in nature disrupts her sense of what is real. The more she fixates on this pattern, the more reality falls apart. Half Samurai USA/Japan, 11 mins Director: Rashad Haughton A mysterious drifter wanders into a bar owned by a psychopathic Yakuza gang on Halloween night. Higher Ground USA, 17 mins Director: Joe Kramer On the fateful day intelligent life arrives to destroy Earth, a slacker alien gets sidetracked from his mission when he’s smitten with a bitter barista. Suddenly, our survival depends on whether this space-schmuck can get her number before his plucky partner blows us sky high. June New Zealand, 15 mins Director: Dwayne Cameron Willow and David receive serious news causing their world to disintegrate over the following 24 hours. This one day in June for the couple holds raw despair, unleashing carnal natures, but a transcendent occurrence offers them the hope of new life. In the Mountains USA, 5 mins Director: Wally Chung A couple go hiking and something weird happens. The Keys Australia, 18 mins Director: Pann MuruJaiyan Rupert, a real estate agent in 1949 Los Angeles, pilfers an estate listing to prove his merit but soon discovers that his actions have put him in grave danger. The Lake Merritt Monster USA, 17 mins Director: Benjamin Mulholland When Ollie Henderson’s mother is attacked by a monster hiding in the depths of Lake Merritt, he sets out on a mission to find her — discovering instead a hidden network of monster hunters tasked with protecting Oakland from its own dark underbelly. Late Night Nepal, 12 mins Director: Obeid Uddin After a late-night study session, Tara decides to head home. But the driver she booked has a mysterious history with her family... and ulterior motives against her. The Little Merman USA, 13 mins Directors: Cristian Paluso & Melanie Ooi An isolated woman on the Puget Sound makes a mysterious discovery on the beach in this psychological fantasy. World Premiere

Mickey Dogface USA, 10 mins Director: Zach Fleming Halloween night, three friends high in a van, and an urban legend surrounding a cult singer's mysterious death in a fire — what could go wrong? Mincemeat Manor USA, 6 mins Director: Harian Shaw After accidentally waltzing his ravishing wife into a cattle pulverizer of his own creation, a disgraced inventor and his enemies hold a séance to set the record straight with the dearly departed spouse. Night After Death USA, 7 mins Director: Luke J. Miller After gorging himself on alcoholic teenagers, an ancient vampire comes face-to-face with Death—and Death would like a few words. World Premiere Punishment Italy, 18 mins Director: Cristina Di Lorito The life of a shepherd changes after the arrival of a spirit in his farm. The spirit has come to protect the animals he took advantage of during his whole life. Sonar UK, 6 mins Director: James Hughes A swimmer detects an unusual sound late at night, and she decides to investigate. Ukuku USA, 8 mins Directors: Scott Bekisz & Ronald Rodas When Sami, a young woman who works for a mining company, tries to evict a Shaman from his home, he places a curse on her which summons a mythic creature called the Ukuku. Variations on a Theme USA, 7 mins Director: Peter Collins Campbell A couple has begun physically splitting into many different versions of themselves and must investigate an uncomfortable mutation that has arisen.

* Director Peter Cambell Collins is the winner of the LIFF 2021 Jury Award for the Best Narrative Film "DimLand"


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