Film Fests Unite for the Epic and Necessary Nightstream

New films from Timo Tjahjanto, Ryuhei Kitamura, Chris Baugh, and more headline the new five-fests-in-one festival, Nightstream!
Nightstream poster
By  · Published on October 8th, 2020

Some of you aren’t old enough to remember this, but the world used to enjoy the annual presence of something called “film festivals.” People would gather from near and far to share and watch new movies together in the film-lover’s church — we called them theaters. All film fests brought joy, but for some of us, there was a special thrill to be found in genre fests big and small, from Fantasia in Montreal to Chattanooga in Tennesee. Recent events have forced film festivals to get creative, and while a few moved their celebration online as individual recreations, a few others have had a different idea. Nightstream is an online film festival combining five separate fests under one virtual roof, and it runs October 8th through the 11th.

The five fests — Boston Underground, Brooklyn Horror, North Bend, Overlook, and Popcorn Frights — have come together to create a single experience of films, events, live Q&As, shorts, and more, and their schedule is absolutely packed. The complete list of films playing Nightstream is below, but first I want to shout out some highlights including some of the non-movie events and experiences.

We’re looking forward to quite a few of the fest’s films starting with the world premiere of Run, the new film from the director of Searching (2018), which stars Sarah Paulson as a woman with an increasingly suspicious teenage daughter. The closing night movie is Mandibles, the latest from Rubber (2010) director Quentin Dupieux, which somehow involves the very timely presence of a giant fly. Boys from County Hell is the latest from the director of the excellent Bad Day for the Cut (2017) and pits some unfortunate folks against an Irish vampire. Ryuhei Kitamura (The Midnight Meat Train, 2008) returns with the Ruby Rose-led thriller The Doorman. Timo Tjahjanto delivers a sequel to his own horrifying hit with May the Devil Take You Too, and his former partner in crime, Kimo Stamboel unleashes an unnatural nightmare with The Queen of Black Magic.

Other standouts that we’ve already seen and love include Black Bear which offers up a strange cabin in the woods scenario unlike any other and the dreamy nightmare that is Come True. Brea Grant’s Lucky is extremely on the nose but still delivers a compelling and thrilling peek into the daily life of women everywhere, and Jumbo offers up a strange, beautiful, and sensual look at a highly unlikely romance.

Nightstream is more than just movies as evident by the abundance of live interviews, podcasts, and events they have planned as well. The annual Masters of Horrror dinner which gathers legendary filmmakers for food and talk will be broadcast for the first time, genre talents from Elijah Wood to Barbara Crampton will host a social hour with creepy cocktail recipes, the always fun Final Exam horror trivia will return with hosts Ted Geoghegan and Michael Gingold, the always exuberant Peaches Christ will host a virtual Horror Homecoming get together, and there will also be a game show with Paul Scheer — because why not!

In an ideal world we’d have these five genre fests — and the many, many others out there — to actually attend and enjoy this year. For now, though, Nightstream might just be the best option available. It’s a big undertaking coordinated by numerous film lovers (including some very special behind-the-scenes talents who rarely get the attention they deserve), and it absolutely deserves your love. We’re starting our fest with the opening night film, Run, and we hope to see you there.

Complete List of Feature Films Playing Nightstream

Movie TitleScreening Date(s)
32 Malasana Street10/9, 10/10
Anything for Jackson10/9
AV: The Hunt10/10
Black Bear10/11
Bleed With Me10/11
Bloody Hell10/9
Boys From County Hell10/10
Breaking Surface10/11
Climate of the Hunter10/11
Come True10/9
Dinner in America10/10, 10/11
The Doorman10/8
Frank & Zed10/10
It Cuts Deep10/8, 10/9
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist10/8
May the Devil Take You Too10/9, 10/11
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To10/9, 10/10
The Nest10/11
The Night10/9
The Obituary of Tunde Johnson10/10
Pelican Blood10/8
The Queen of Black Magic10/10
The Returned10/8
Reunion10/10, 10/11
Rose Plays Julie10/11
Survival Skills10/9
Time of Moulting10/8, 10/9, 10/10
An Unquiet Grave10/11

Now go buy some tickets and enjoy some movies with Nightstream!

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Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.