Another Hole in the Head: Home-Brewed Horrors

SF Indiefest's Another Hole in the Head horror festival starts a bit later every year; by 2016, it'll probably take place over Christmas (which it totally should!). But this year it's smack dab in the middle of Advent, and kicks off with Tony Kern's Singapore-based anthology film Afterimages. After burning a paper effigy of a movie camera as offerings to the dead, as you do during the Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore, a group of film students discover five film reels containing ghost stories in the ashes. The acting in the connective tissue with the students is not so great, but some of the short films are effectively spooky, particularly the claustrophobic Skin Deep. Closing out the festival, meanwhile, is Juan Ortiz's remarkable Jennifer Help Us. Proudly shot in Carrollton, Mo., on an iPhone 4S, it's a far more atmospheric and competently made slasher film than you'd expect from a movie shot on an iPhone 4S in Missouri. (Maybe Ortiz will upgrade to an iPhone 6 Plus for his next picture.) Among the highlights elsewhere in the fest are Marc-Andre Samson's cabin-in-the-woods exercise Where the Devil Dwells, as well as venerable classics such as James Cameron's 1986 Aliens and Tobe Hooper's 1982 Poltergeist. Both are presented in the dying 35mm format, probably for the last time.

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