Don’t sleep: Nightmares are coming!

July 12th, 2018

Montreal is gearing up for the event that Quentin Tarantino has called “The most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent” – The Fantasia Film Festival.

It’s a fitting venue for the premiere of a project that producer Mick Garris began working on nearly a decade ago.

That’s a long time to be nurturing a dream (or a nightmare).

Nevertheless, David Slade and I have that record beat. It was 2001 when I first traveled to London to meet with David and his collaborator Charly Cantor to discuss a film to be titled This Way to Egress, based on my story “Traumatic Descent.”

Seventeen years in that making. That’s might not be a record (Jim Jarmusch’s anthology film Coffee and Cigarettes probably has it beat), but it’s certainly a stretch. Not that I’m complaining. It’s been a rewarding trip, one that’s provided the opportunity to work with folks who have since become good friends and valued collaborators. And tomorrow it all reaches a new level with the Fantasia Film Festival premiere of Nightmare Cinema.

I was one of the first of the NC team to arrive in Montreal. I landed a day early to meet up with fellow F&SF writer Michael Libling, who treated me to a tour of his native city. By Thursday morning, four of the film’s directors (all but David Slade, who is in UK directing a segment for the next season of Black Mirror) will be in town, along with some of the film’s producers and actors.

Over the past few days, media outlets have been buzzing with preview coverage of the premier, most notably Entertainment Weekly and the blog sites Dread Central and 28 Days Later.

If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come out to join the Nightmare Cinema team in the 800 seat Sir George Williams University Alumni Auditorium. If not, the trailer below will have to suffice until the film’s wide release later this year.


The 800 seat Sir George Williams University Alumni Auditorium at Concordia University awaits the premiere of Nightmare Cinema. Photo by producer Joe Russo.

David Slade and Lawrence Connolly stand under the Egress sign on the set of Nightmare Cinema, June 2017. Photo by The 21st Century Scop.

Nightmare Cinema directors (left to right, front to back) David Slade, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Ryûhei Kitamura, and Alejandro Brugués in the Rialto Theatre, South Pasadena. Photo courtesy of Cinelou Films.

Nightmare Cinema teaser, courtesy of Cinelou Films, Cranked Up Films, and Nice Guy Productions.

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