Bring on the blood

There’s nothing scarier than the month of October: Halloween shenannigans, the month-long scare fest that is Halloween Horror Nights; dreaded quarterly reviews. Joining this year’s terror program is Singapore’s first-ever horror film festival, so you can spook yourself every night for 10 days.

Scream Asia Film Festival is the name of the festival jointly curated by Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo and South Korean film programmer Jongsuk Thomas Nam. Happening from Oct 19-28 at Cathay Cineplexes, the inaugural festival will screen 12 international and local picks from award-winning film directors, including the world premiere of a new Singaporean horror flick Zombiepura. The opening film directed by Jacen Tan sees protagonist Corporal Kayu doing his reservist in an isolated army camp—because by now we all know that army-themed entertainment is a hit with Singaporeans—where a mysterious virus turns everyone into rabid zombies. Will he ever live to see another day of chaokeng? You’ll have to watch to find out for yourself.

The rest of the line-up is just as promising, with the likes of South Korean director Yeon Sang-ho (Train to Busan), Lars Von Trier and Joko Anwar (Satan’s Slaves) making the cut. Abandon all notions of having kids with Japanese-Korean film Hana, which follows a young babysitter as she realizes there’s something very wrong with the four-year-old she’s been tasked to look after; or revisit the Southeast Asian folk tales you grew up with in Joko Anwar’s A Mother’s Love, which spins on the Indonesian myth of the Wewe Gombel. For less of the supernatural (and more human-enabled horror), there’s Brazilian horror-comedy The Cannibal Club, where a wealthy couple develops a gruesome appetite for their hapless employees; and Lars Von Trier’s psychological horror The House that Jack Built, following serial killer Jack in his 12-year killing spree in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Additionally, Yeon and Anwar will be conducting filmmaking masterclasses for aspiring filmmakers. It may just be the first edition, but organizer of Scream Asia mm2 Entertainment hopes to introduce a short film-making competition in the following years to nurture young horror filmmakers. A fresh crop of local horror every year? Get ready to scream.

Scream Asia Film Festival runs from Oct 19-28 at The Cathay. Tickets are $13 and available here. More information here.