ByRachael Rumancek, writer at
would love a vodka shower and a never ending supply of sushi. follow me on twitter @rachaelrumancek
Rachael Rumancek

This week I decided to write about something I have been killing to write about for quite sometime, After Dark Horrofest. Every year I get 8 hand selected flicks from a label I trust in horror. No research on my part necessary. Just eight very different, gory-stories for me to indulge in every year. So in spirit of the 8 Films to Die For, I bring you my 8 favorite of the After Dark Horrorfest movies.

Why, Thank you After Dark, I don't mind if I do.

The Hamiltons - 2006

I was in a group discussion about vampire movies recently and I nearly (err maybe), soiled my britches when no one in the group had seen this. Some ‘fang-banger’ was looking for one they had never seen and, as per usual, I saw the regular titles people always recommend;

  • Interview with a Vampire
  • Dracula (any rendition)
  • From Dusk til Dawn
  • 30 Days of Night

All bomb-diggity movies, but when I ask for a recommendation, I am typically aiming for something a bit more obscure. No, I am not a top-knot-rocking f*cking hipster, I just genuinely prefer to have someone throw a title at me that I probably haven’t heard of, as opposed to a large studio production that was in theaters everywhere upon release. Which, if it was one of the biggest movies of the year it was released, the person asking has probably heard of it.

That being said, check out The Hamiltons. It’s a unique spin on vampirism, and a beautifully crafted, bloody, coming of age tale. Also, The Butcher Brothers never disappoint, and they know how to cast a horror movie.

Lake Dead - 2007

Here’s what I heard about this movie prior to watching:

  • Poor acting.
  • Unoriginal concept.
  • Low Budget (since when is that a bad thing anyway? Lower budget=More creative freedom!).
  • Blah blah blah (I really don’t like to dwell on the negative reviews, everyone else is already doing that so let's move the f*ck on)

Here’s what I thought:

  • Characters are super loveable, or super hateable. That's great, considering I don’t want to be bored to shits by these people on screen.
  • There’s some pretty sexy moments (got WOODS?).
  • Good, raunchy humor, all around (I like it dirty).
  • Solid on screen chemistry between the main characters.
  • Boobs, butts, guns, gore, etc.

I actually found myself rooting for the protagonist in Lake Dead, something I rarely do in horror. They were just so lovable, like damn, just watch it and tell me I’m wrong (although I will warn you, even when I’m wrong, I’m right). There were definitely moments when they made me want to puke, (but it was sexual, so whatevs) but overall, they were adorable.

*This was actually the first of any of the 8 Films to Die For I had seen. I remember watching this one with my friend [Kelsi] for the first time. We sat on the edge of her bed, drinking beers, expecting the worst, only to be pleasantly surprised. This is one of those horror movies that is perfect for your next slumber party, or sexy time. Why not both?

Frontiere(s) - 2007

Frontiere(s) is not only my favorite of all the Horrorfest films, It is also one of my all time favorite movies, of any genre. This is another title I believe got a truly poor wrap, some loved it, some hated it. If you are like me and love foreign horror, for many reasons; like the particular styles and/or themes that come out of certain regions and/or cultures, than this will not disappoint. From the moment it starts, until its terrifically exhausting finale, it’s poetically sewn together with just about every worst-case-scenario imaginable. In the tradition of French films, the only thing more ruthless than the imagery, is how passionately it is portrayed by the actors. If anyone tells you otherwise, you can politely instruct them to go eat a bag of dicks. You can also tell them I said so.

Autopsy - 2008

This is another title that was far better than I had originally anticipated. Autopsy is one of those movies that incorporates about as much humor, as it does gore; without sacrificing the overall foreboding tone of course. If Robert LeSardo doesn’t have you cackling like a wild woman, Robert Patrick will leave you squirming [like one], and NOT sexually, this time anyhow...

*Great pick for comedy loving gore-whores, like myself, and probably you freaks as well.

Perkins 14 - 2009

I really loved the whole concept of Perkins 14. I loved the incorporation of brainwashing, experimentation, dehumanization, institutionalization, and most of all, Richard Brake’s fiercely grim jack-o-lantern smile. If that’s not enough to get your twisted little mind excited, imagine a movie about training dogs to fight, and replacing those four legged babes, with humans. It's pretty gnarly.

Dread - 2009

It’s not sexy, and it’s not triumphant, but it is profound, it's beautiful, and it is most certainly anxiety inducing. This isn’t a movie that relies on special effects, cheap scares, and pointless p*ssy shots to keep you watching. Instead, it goes into a very real direction by exploiting its viewers own phobias. I personally find that brilliant, and I look forward to reading the original short story is was based off of.

Oh, and to answer Quaid’s question: not as hungry as you might think.

The Final - 2010

Rarely do I find myself enjoying a movie where the majority of its cast has yet to grow some fresh grass on its field, but this here, this movie f*cking nailed it! I have not enjoyed a thriller with a cast so cunning and young since I first saw (the EVER great) Battle Royale.

Apart from the whole Revenge of the Nerds feel, there are plenty of Easter Eggs and homages throughout to keep your inner horror geek squealing with excitement and discovery.

Seconds Apart - 2011

Let me begin by saying that this is a perfect example of how enigmatically charismatic a sociopathic personality can truly be. Seconds Apart is the type of movie that the minute it is over you should immediately start it back over, but with the commentary on. There was quite a deal more than meets the eye with this one.

Honorable Mentions:

Slaughter - 2009

BECAUSE: This was cut from this list solely because I’m saving it for another post.

Unrest - 2006

BECAUSE: Corri English is ALWAYS great, and uh, AHEM, real cadavers were used in the making of Unrest. So be sure to check it out if you have yet to have the pleasure.

Wicked Little Things - 2006

BECAUSE: This is my nieces favorite horror movie, but it’s also got a great story line and kickass cast. Bonus: totally kid friendly. Given the kid isn't a whiney little bitch.

Make sure you take the poll below and Follow me on twitter for updates and depraved humor @rachaelrumancek


What is your pick?


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