The IFC Midnight Slate Will Put After Dark Films Out of Business.

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Courtney Solomon, owner of After Dark Films and sayer/doer of stupid things, needs to open up his knowledge basket to the IFC Films release platform.

When the ADF Horrorfest started three years ago it was hard to hide the hope one had for a once a year event designed to bring the horror festival experience to the non-festival crowd.  Then the ‘fest’ actually arrived and all the noble(?) intentions were for naught. It was a financial fumble the first year out.  Turns out the only people who appreciate the highs and lows of festival horror are the people who go to horror festivals.  Whodathunk?  Plus it doesn’t help that the ADF lineup was less the highs and more the lows.  Year after year this axiom proved truer, the ‘festival’ picked up lamer and lamer titles and locked in narrower and narrower clients who were suckered in to exhibiting said pseudo-fest.  This past January I would have had to drive for over an hour to catch a glimpse of any of ADF’s 2009 titles.  I don’t even have to get off the couch to catch IFC’s Midnight Movies.

Essentially both IFC and ADF attempted the same thing, but only one of them got it right.  While ADF was busy giving niche release to justifiably unreleased titles, IFC’s talent scouts signed up genuine festival buzzers and have given them simultaneous release to both brick and mortar and home theaters alike.  With an expected roster of 30 titles in 2009, I predict that IFC is going to put the final nail in the casket of ADF’s horrorfest within a year- two tops.  That or After Dark is going to have to ape the format (I sense a FEARnet collaboration in the future?).  Even if they do, however, I wouldn’t call it a comeback.  IFC’s acquisition’s department game is just too good.

I already gave a brief overview of the lineup to come, but now that I’ve had a chance to sit down with a few more of the titles my assumptions have only been reaffirmed.  Unfortunately this post has been neglected on the site and some of these titles may no longer be available through IFC OnDemand.

IFC’s Theatrical/On-Demand Midnight Slate is Worth Your Time/Money.

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I was out of town last weekend when I saw the press release for IFC’s upcoming slate of ‘Midnight’ movies’ and got excited to the point that I was sad I’d have to wait a few more days to spread the word in this here post.  I’ll get to why in a minute.

Firstly, if you’re unfamiliar, the Independent Film Channel opened an On-Demand portal a few months ago, debuting films into theaters and homes at the same time.  In the beginning most of the titles were, for obvious reasons, Indie dramas.  This year, however, they’re branching head first into the orbit of our beloved genre with their Midnight titles, of which they have 30 lined up for 2009.  A few will be theatrical pushes, the majority will be available via On-Demand on most cable providers.  I’ll break out the heavy title boasting full slate from April through September after this jump, but in the mean time I want to talk about THE CHASER.  It is not a horror film, but I place a patent pending HND seal of approval upon it all the same.

Not only is THE CHASER  the debut of first time writer/director Hong-jin Na, but it is also my favorite Korean film since 2003’s MEMORIES OF MURDER.  Yes, better than THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD.  Better than THE HOST.  Better than even OLDBOY.  I picked up a copy of it when I was in Seoul and wish I’d grabbed six more to give away to friends.  I almost don’t want to say word one as to what it is about, but I suppose I’ll simplify how unconventional of a thriller it is by describing it as being about a pimp who gets caught up in the web of a serial killer who has been hiring out and killing off his girls.

It is a phenomenal film.  Please go check it out.  IFC has it for a few bucks, you won’t regret it.

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