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Tabloid Witch Awards

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by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor [September 30, 2021]




[]  For the 18th year in a row, the Hollywood Investigator is happy to announce the winners of its Tabloid Witch Awards horror film contest. Winning films came from Australia, Brazil, France, Ireland, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.

A total of 219 films were entered this year, with about 8% walking away with an award. In selecting winners, films were assessed for originality, technical mastery, acting, thematic depth, aesthetics (how well the technical aspects supported the film's story, characters, and themes), and entertainment value.

Here now are 2021's Tabloid Witch Award winning films:



* Best Horror Feature: Thang May (aka The Lift)


Trang (Yu Duong) has a fear of elevators. Her friend Jina (Tong Yen Nhi), who was having an affair with Trang's stepfather, entered the lift in an abandoned hospital, never to be seen again. An urban legend surrounds that particular lift. You must hit the correct sequence of buttons (much as with a combination lock), ride the elevator up and down to the specified floors, then on the fifth floor (your final stop), the doors open onto the Shadow World. You won't come back.

The elements in Thang May (aka The Lift) are common to horror films. An abandoned hospital. An urban legend. Beautiful young women in peril. There is even the usual J-horror interplay between modern electronic gadgets and the supernatural. Except that Thang May is a Vietnamese film. File this one under V-horror.



Thang May wasn't the most original feature film entry this year, but it scores high on everything else. The acting is first rate across the board. The story has thematic depth. The elevator is not only a cause for fear, but a locus of guilt, and source of possible redemption. Perhaps if Trang's stepfather had not had an affair with Jina, she would not have risked riding the elevator. In any event, he feels guilty and returns to the elevator to seek Jina's return, at risk to his own life. Meanwhile, Trang and her friend Ngoc (Mai Bich Tram) are on their own mission to investigator the elevator.

Production values are also excellent across the board. Cinematography, sound design, production design, creature and make-up effects -- everything is polished and first rate. Thang May is creepily atmospheric, but also resplendent to behold. An old horror tale, but a tale well told.

Written and directed by Peter Mourougaya.




* Best Horror Documentary: The Man from Boggy Creek


Indie filmmaker Charles B. Pierce was most passionate about his Native American westerns, but he is best known for his horror fare. The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) is said to have inspired later pseudo-documentaries like The Blair Witch Project. And The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) -- released two years before Halloween -- is thought to be the first slasher film in which the killer wears a mask. (Okay, technically not a slasher, because he also uses a gun, but still ...)

Especially impressive is that Pierce (1938 - 2010) succeeded in an era before relatively inexpensive and easy to use digital equipment were available. The Man from Boggy Creek employs a traditional documentary style, incorporating film clips, old photos, movie posters, and newspaper clippings. Filmmakers (Eduardo Sanchez), actors (Michael Berryman), critics, film historians, and Pierce's friends add their commentaries, relating Pierce's life story, his influence upon their work, and his importance in horror film history.



Introduced in 2019, the Tabloid Witch's Best Horror Documentary category had its most competitive year to date. Entries for 2021 covered horror films, horror pop culture, and true supernatural events, some quite good. But The Man from Boggy Creek was the best. With the film's strong production values, impressive cast of experts, historically important niche topic, and ideal length (some other entries were longer than the material justified), documentarians Scott McKinnon and Paul Glover win the prize.



* Best Dramatic Horror Short: Family History


Evan (Aleksander Varadian) is apprehensive about meeting Sam's father (Patrick Heraghty). Sam (Matthew Courson) shares Evan's nervousness. His father is "not the warmest of guys." Plus, it's hinted that dad doesn't approve of Sam being gay. Yet while we sense dad's displeasure upon seeing Evan, he seems resolved to be polite and open-minded.

Family History has many merits. The film opens on a serene lake under an overcast sky. Idyllic yet darkly foreboding. The film is well paced. A hint of tension in the young men's initial conversation, rising tension after meeting dad, then a slow burn until the final shocker: an ending that is surprising, unexpected yet logical.

Production values are quite good, as is the cast. The film's low-budget depiction of a supernatural occurrence, without visual effects, is clever and creepy. It might have looked cheap in less capable hands, but the story and acting are compelling enough to allow us to suspend disbelief and accept the events on screen.



Family History succeeds as a "straight" horror film (no pun intended). But what raises it above the competition is both its weighty theme and its complex handling of such theme. Other entries had important themes, but their characters were broadly drawn, starkly good or bad. Despite Family History's brief 16 minutes, its characters are more complex. Sam is compassionate, conflicted, and capable of dark deeds. His parents are deeply flawed, loving yet cruel. Even Evan travels a minor character arc, his initial joy darkening with increasing discomfort.

While writer/director Mark J. Parker plainly intended Family History as a criticism of homophobia, his film conveys its message in a manner that is thought-provoking and nuanced. But to explain why would risk spoiling its surprises, so you'll have to see the film.



* Best Comedic Horror Short: Daytrip Massacre


A group of young adults go camping in the woods. Whereupon they discover that there's a legend about a mutant freak serial killer who stalks the woods. Naturally, they dismiss it as a crazy urban legend. And then the body count mounts.

Parodies of past horror subgenres were popular this year. Daytrip Massacre is a parody of 1980s slasher films. It hits the usual targets. Sex-and-drug-crazed young folk. An urban legend of a mutant killer. Lots of blood and gore and splatter. And something new: an Airplane style surrealism. Visual jokes and verbal puns are injected in rat-a-tat fashion. Jokes pop in, are quickly dropped, and we're back to the story. As with Airplane, if you didn't like this joke, there's another soon on the way.


The cast gets the job done. They bring no emotional depth to their roles, but it's not that sort of film. They're playing caricatures rather than characters. Production values are also good. The selection of music is appropriate, evoking that late 1970s to mid 1980s era when hordes of slashers poured across America's camp sites.

Most importantly, Daytrip Massacre is entertaining. And at under 11 minutes, it does not overstay its welcome. No padding or slow moments hinder this film.

Daytrip Massacre is a group effort, boasting two writer/directors (Artie Brennan, Anthony Giordano), who also perform in the film, and a third writer (Jason A. Messina).



* Best Animated Horror Short: The Beast of Bourbon


Nineteenth century prohibitionists called alcohol "the demon rum" because of its destructive effects on individuals, their families, and society as a whole. Bradford Uyeda gives literal meaning to that phrase in his claymation short, The Beast of Bourbon, in which an unseen demon torments an alcoholic. Well, the demon is unseen by the alcoholic. He only sees his booze. We sober viewers see the demon just fine. The man only discerns the demon when he musters the strength to offer serious resistance to his desire to drink.

Uyeda displays his imagination through his colorful variety of demons. At the man's support group, each substance abuser has a demon hovering behind them. These creatures take on a diversity of forms, perhaps representing different drugs. Some of the substance abusers drink booze. Others snort coke or pop pills. We also see the results of their addictions: isolation, overdose, suicide. And despite the brightly lit, child-friendly claymation, their deaths are gory and gross.




The Beast of Bourbon is a silent film. No dialog, just an ominous music score by Samantha Foster. Uyeda relies on visual storytelling to convey his message in three short minutes. Bourbon is an efficient little film about the monsters we invite into our lives. Delightfully imaginative, skillfully executed, and thematically weighty.



* Best Avant-Garde Horror Film: Merrow


The Avant-Garde category is for horror films that tell a story in a nontraditional fashion. Merrow has no dialog. An unseen narrator (an elderly sailor or fisherman, we assume, played by Gerry Cannon) recites a poem about how the mermaid came to be. A young woman (Clodagh Finnegan) ruminates on a beach. A mermaid sings a lovely Gaelic song, calling the woman to her death.

In horror films mermaids are usually monsters who elicit some sympathy. They are alluring and can't help being what they are. So too the mermaid (Aine Flanagan) in Merrow. She's a killer, but one with a sad origin tale. And like a ghost, her grief compels her to pass her pain along.



Merrow might be described as a visual poem. Poetry, images, and music work in harmony to create a magic moment that unifies beauty, sorrow, and death. Production values are excellent. A small fishing village along a craggy Irish coastline establishes the mood. We sense ourselves in a time warp, a place where the old Irish myths still resonate. Desaturated colors and a traditional Gaelic song enhance the location's melancholy atmosphere. Death comes suddenly, violent yet bloodless.

Merrow reminds us that horror is not always loud, gory, or nihilistic. Horror can be somber, serene, and seductive. Written & directed by Baz Black.



* Best Trash Horror Film: All Dressed in White


It's the zombie apocalypse. Jessie (Megan Fane) doesn't care. She's to get married today. And for Jessie, like for many women, her wedding is the most important day of her life. Especially because she was recently bitten by a zombie, and expects to die soon after the wedding. Thus her dilemma: Can she keep the fact that she was bitten a secret -- and survive? -- long enough to say "I do"?

All Dressed in White violates many conventional rules of filmmaking. While many zombie films emphasize gore, there is little violence in this film. There is extensive voiceover narration, which, while common to noir and indie films, is rarely used in horror. And through Jessie's narration, All Dressed in White does much telling rather than showing (another no-no). Jessie describes the world outside her bedroom, rather than us seeing it.

Even so, the film works because of its core story. We have a character (Jessie) who desperately wants something (to survive to her wedding). It's a simple setup, but because we care about Jessie, we care about her dilemma. Take away the ludicrous context (the zombie apocalypse) and it might have been an indie film.



As with many trash horror films, the acting isn't great, but it isn't awful. Ginger Marie Merante has written a literate script. At times Fane sounds like she's reciting Merante's verbose narration, yet Fane also brings an earnestness to her reading that transfers to Jessie. The earnestness of a young actress struggling through her (first?) film role sounds much like the earnestness of a young bride struggling through her wedding day. It works. Serendipity. Whatever the alchemy, Merante, Fane, and director Jason Wright have brought Jessie to life, creating a character that anchors the film.

All Dressed in White's production values are at times rough, but that too supports the film's zombie conceit. When we see Jessie staggering in the graveyard, the harsh black & white photography (deep, rich blacks and stark whites), plus the canted and shaky frames, lend the film a crude beauty that clearly evokes the original Night of the Living Dead. It was also nice to see Jesse saunter in the traditional manner of zombies of yore, rather than running as do more recent zombies.

Paul H. Mitchell is to be commended for an eerie music score that, without being heavy-handed, gently sets a spooky background tone for the story.

All Dressed in White is not a scary film. It's a simple tale of whether a young girl, bitten by a zombie, will remain human long enough to get married. This is trash horror with heart.



* Best Horror Music Video: Jack Switch's Ghost


Upon viewing Ghost (a hip hop song performed by Jack Switch), Michael Jackson's pop Thriller immediately comes to mind. Young people dance in stiff, rigor mortis fashion. In Thriller they were zombies. In Ghost it's ghosts (the title is a giveaway) and zombies. To judge by the staging and choreography, Jackson's influence is obvious. But Ghost has many merits of its own.


The atmospheric night-for-night cinematography is admirably enhanced by green nondiegetic lights and harsh flashlights. The makeup is slick and gruesome, from decaying faces to blank, sightless eyes. Jump cuts heighten the eeriness of those eyes and the spectral dancing. An old-fashioned, bedsheet ghost (straight out of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown) adds a touch of whimsy to the grislier proceedings. Because the song itself is both whimsical and spooky, the bedsheet ghost is aesthetically appropriate, the visuals supporting the music (which is as it should be in music videos).

Ghost is a neat little music video that, like a fine song, holds up to repeated viewing. Directed by Rachael Quinn. She has a website.



* Honorable Mention


The Honorable Mention prizes, like the "Best ... Film" prizes, are shared by the film's writer and director.

As with the above films, our Honorable Mentions showcase the variety that is horror: Something scary, something funny, something classy, and something thematically weighty.


* Trapped Inside  

A woman awakes in a bathtub. She discovers that her entire bathroom is haunted. With this simple premise, Trapped Inside does everything right.

Lead actress Elyse Price effectively conveys the woman's mounting terror. The rest of the cast (ghosts, demons, etc.) are also flawless in their small roles. The cinematography (mostly cool blue and white hues, with later splashes of warm colors) is both beautiful and aesthetically appropriate, as becomes clear with the "surprise twist" ending. Production design, sound design, make-up, and visual effects are all first rate, contributing to an eerie atmosphere with frequent shocks.


Trapped Inside's main short coming is its lack of originality. It's a classic ghost story with a common "surprise twist" ending, one that we've seen in many ghost films of the past 20 plus years. Even so, I didn't see it coming, though the clues were there. Which makes this an old, but well-executed, magic trick of a film.

Usher Morgan's short film (11 minutes) has no themes, no complex characters. Just a tale well told, mysterious and frightening. Among the dramatic horror short films entered this year, those whose only intent is to frighten, Trapped Inside is the scariest. Well done.



* Father's Day


Despite being estranged from his father (Marc Solomon) for three years, John (Silas Hastings) hopes to make amends on Father's Day. So he drives to his dad's house, planning to share a football game on TV. It was their father-son tradition.

But a zombie virus is plaguing the town. John finds his dad tied to a tree in his own backyard. Dad did it before turning fully zombie. He also left a note, asking his son to shoot him when found.

John considers it. But not before setting up a projection TV outdoors, and tying his dad in a chair, so they can share a final football game. During which, John watches his father's blank eyes watching TV. Are there glimmers of understanding? Snippets of memory? It's hinted at both in Solomon's performance and in flashbacks to the father watching TV in happier times.



In under six minutes, Father's Day tells a simple story, but with a deep subtext and weighty theme. The father is a victim of the zombie plague, but the story would work as easily if he were the victim of Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia. Looking upon his father's vacant eyes and mindless rants, John knows the end is near. Yet he tries to reconnect with his dad, one last time. To give his dad a final moment of lucid happiness before the inevitable.

YuLun Wu's Father's Day is a student film, made at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Its production values are not as polished as those of some films from more experienced filmmakers. Even so, its production values are good, and the acting is professional. And its story is weightier, more memorable, and more emotionally affecting, than that of many slicker entries.

Father's Day earns its award for its thematic depth and strong emotional impact.



* The Fall of Usher


Despite its title, The Fall of Usher isn't an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher." Rather, it's an original tale incorporating themes, characters, and situations from several of Poe's works. A sort of modern day Poe "mash-up."

William (Riker Hill) is a young man burdened with the care of his ailing father (Michael R. Mcguire). William hates "the old man," and we sense we are in "Tell Tale Heart" territory. But while William does kill the old man, there is no dismemberment of the corpse, no hiding it under the floor boards.

William continues relating his tale to the audience, serving as the unreliable first person narrator common to Poe's works. He begins a romance with his father's nurse, Anna (Savannah Schafer), incurring the jealousy of his brother Wilson (Spencer Korcz). Here the film draws inspiration from Poe's "Anabell Lee" and "William Wilson." Later, "The Cask of Amontillado" will provide inspiration. Viewers will have fun spotting all the Poe references.



As is typical of Poe's works, Fall of Usher covers topics such as obsessive love, murder, madness, and necrophilia. But despite its borrowings, Fall of Usher is an original work, set in the present day. It has the look of a low budget, indie film, but one put together with careful effort. Production values are decent, as is the acting. It's evident that the participants took this film seriously. (Whereas many low-budget films come across as amateurish and sloppy.)

Among The Fall of Usher's greatest strengths is its originality. A contemporary tale spiced with reimagined fragments from Poe's works. The Fall of Usher is fresh yet classic. Written and directed by Brian Cunningham.



* The Lake Parasite


Yet another parody, The Lake Parasite targets 1950s rubber suit monster movies. The film opens with a very nicely done TV commercial selling time shares on a beautiful lake resort. But after the commercial, we cut to a factory dumping toxic waste into the river several miles away. As happens so often, this toxic waste creates a monster whose main goals are killing our men and stealing our women.

Portions of The Lake Parasite aim for a 1950s aesthetic, as with the picture perfect, traditional couple celebrating a picture perfect Christmas. Other scenes evoke more modern times, making for a surreal mashup of styles and sensibilities. The emphasis is more on being funny than in making sense. The monster itself makes no pretense of seriousness; it's a man in a blue rubber suit with goggles.



The Lake Parasite is an uneven film. Several vignettes cobbled together, each with different actors. The tone and production values also vary from scene to scene. The slick TV commercial, the oblivious man on the beach, the obnoxious car buyer, the traditional couple, and the final wrestle mania style smackdown. There are many funny moments, and on the whole The Lake Parasite is well made and entertaining.

Written & directed by Joe Reilly. Co-written by Brian Edwards.



* Additional Winners


Every year we see some bad actors, some mediocre actors, and some talented actors who do a professional job. Among the latter are those few who leave an impression. Who go beyond the job and create a character that lingers in our minds. This last quality is often the crucial difference between the winners and the merely talented.

Another consideration is aesthetics. Many films are technically slick. They are nicely lit, the sound clearly recorded. But if a film's technical choices also aesthetically support its story, characters, and themes, then so much the better.



Despite her strained marriage, Eva tries to be a faithful wife to the cold and ambitious Tomas. Yet Eva's loyalty is challenged when she accompanies Tomas on his expedition through the jungle in search of a rare albino bird.

Over the course of Urubu (the name of the bird), Eva goes from supportive wife, to a woman tempted by infidelity, to mounting fear and anger after her daughter disappears into the jungle. But nothing prepares Eva for the savage horror when she finally finds her little girl.

Thematically evoking Lord of the Flies, Urubu follows in the tradition of films about civilized urbanites who confront their own demons when they enter the untamed heart of darkness. In traversing Eva's character arc, Clarice Alves does a fine job portraying the emotional unraveling of an initially cool  sophisticate struggling for survival.

Clarice Alves wins for Best Dramatic Actress.



In Hideout, three bandits, fleeing from their botched robbery, break into a farmhouse to use as a hideout (hence the film's title). They think that here, they will be safe from the police. But will they be safe from the dark supernatural forces that inhabit the house?

Reed was shot during the robbery, but he's a tough bastard. He recovers well enough to terrorize both his fellow robbers and the farmhouse's inhabitants. He's mean, hard, dangerous, and darkly charismatic.

Reed is a memorably menacing character, whose force of personality sets him apart from run-of-the-mill borderline psychos. Even when he tries be friendly to a passing driver, or flirtatious with the ladies, there's a glint of evil just beneath the surface.

Chris Wolfe wins for Best Dramatic Actor.


Horror filmdom is cursed with nondescript slashers. Many ax maniacs, machete madmen, and chainsaw lunatics step up to the plate. But after the carnage is over and done, the severed limbs and decapitated heads having been cleared away, only a few psychotic killers linger in our memory. When the sequel arrives, we ask, "Remind me, who was the killer in Part One?"

The Cherry in My Cherry Pie is memorable on many levels. A dutiful chicken farmer's daughter, Cherry is shy, coy, and sweetly bashful with the boys. A pretty, homespun kinda gal -- who's also a skilled erotic dancer. But her most favorite thing is killing people. And as with her farm chores and pole dancing, she puts her heart into it, murdering with glee and gusto. What's not to love?

Trudi Ranik's exaggerated facial expressions and emotional states are both funny and appropriate for a dark horror comedy. Ranik's portrayal of Cherry evokes the farm couple in Motel Hell, but really, Cherry is her own thing. Ranik has created a character who is simultaneously savage and adorable -- and worthy of several sequels.

Trudi Ranik wins for Best Comedic Actress.


A man is trapped in a bathroom. Why or how, we do not know. Muppets emerge from the drains, faucets, and walls to torment him. (Yes, muppets, hence the title.) They torment, mock, laugh, then disappear.

The Fuzzies
is a silent film. Sound effects, but no dialog. Dustin Vaught must rely on solely on his facial expressions to convey the man's emotional journey from perplexity, annoyance, terror, and eventual madness.

Vaught has the rubbery face and exaggerated expressions necessary for a silent comedy with absurd monsters. Without speaking, he creates a distinctive character that we laugh both with and at.

Dustin Vaught
wins for Best Comedic Actor.

In Thang May the cinematography supports the production design, creating images that are beautiful, creepy, and atmospheric. Trang's home, away from the hospital, is bright and cheerfully colorful. Colors grow dimmer as Trang and Ngoc approach the hospital, which basks amid a saffron glow. This is logical because it is sunset. Yet also surreal, because the yellowish orange glow is too, well, it's a bit off.

As with an Argento film, Thang May uses colored lights to suggest a supernatural presence in its hospital. Yet while many Argento clones use a riot of multiple colors per shot, and at very bright levels, Thang May emphasizes only one color per shot, and at murkier hues. These darker hues reinforce the grittiness of the production design, suggesting a hospital that is both haunted and dilapidated.

Thang May is an example of a film in which the cinematic tools aesthetically reinforce each other, in harmonious support of the story and its themes.

Dominic Pereira wins for Best Cinamatography.

From its opening shot of a dense forest, we are hit with otherworldly sounds, signaling that strange and surreal events will occur. The sounds change in timbre, pitch, and volume, but they rarely let up. Sometimes we hear forest noises, or human voices, or what might or might not be human voices.

Zmiena is a retelling of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis. Pierre Renverseau is liberal with his changes. Kafka's story begins with an already altered Greg waking up in bed, but in Zmiena Greg lies in bed, normal, but slowly changing. He doesn't know what's happening, or why, but it seems to involve the forest outside. Unearthly sounds connect scenes of Greg at home with images of forest insects, and with scenes of Greg as a soldier in the forest -- Zmiena has an antiwar theme.

Most films use sounds to create mood or atmosphere. But Zmiena goes the extra mile. Its sounds are an active participant, suggesting an unseen supernatural presence that is a character in its own right.

Kevin Serveau, Mickael Correia & Rurik Salle win for Best Sound Design.


A director travels to meet his lead actress on the island of Okhotsk. Along the way, a "rabid" fan escapes from an asylum and attacks him, turning him into a ... from the title, I guess we're dealing with zombies.

Yet Okhotsk of the Living Dead is not your traditional zombie narrative. Rather, its experimental style veers from crude video footage, to soft focus film, to images recorded off a TV screen, to those recorded in ways we can only guess at. All manner of post-production color correction techniques are used: desaturated, saturated, solarized, black & white. The film also employs wildly contrasting sound techniques and music compositions.

The film is rough not only in its production values, but its plot. Its jumbled scenes are like a puzzle with missing pieces. Nevertheless, one senses a surreal "dream logic" underlying the film's disjointed narrative. Okhotsk has energy, ambition, compelling visuals, and an outre vision.

Whether Okhotsk qualifies as underground, avant-garde, trash, or mondo, it's the editing that brings it all together in an aggressive clash of styles, a cacophony of sights and sounds that elevates form over content, mood over story. Okhotsk eschews "invisible editing" in favor of a brutal in-your-face editing that heightens the raw power of its bizarro world view.

Sean Kurosawa wins for Best Editing.


Thang May is a visually powerful film, partially due to its cinematography, but also because of it's production design. The haunted hospital is properly creepy. It has the detritus strewn hallways, the flickering fluorescent tubes (much like Gothika), and drably painted institutional walls.

But care was also taken with the production design outside the hospital. Trang's home -- bright, clean, antiseptic -- contrasts sharply with the hospital. This achieves two aesthetic goals. It evokes the home's rational normalcy as opposed to the dark chaos of the hospital's Shadow World. But it also suggests Trang's sterile family life. Her stepfather having cheated on Trang's mother with Jina (which led to Jina's death), the home is leaden with guilt and a loveless marriage.

Hau Tran wins for Best Production Design.


Hideout is a slow burn. It takes a while for the bandits to realize that there's something wrong about the farmhouse they're hiding in. Things just keep getting curiouser and curiouser until, after layers weirdness are peeled away, the nature of the evil becomes manifest.

At that point the bandits turn on each other in brutal fashion. Demonic forces fill their minds with visions, causing them to do horrifying things to themselves and to each other. In the final struggle, a surviving bandit fights back with an ax, with the expected bloody mess. But supernatural forces are not so easily killed, and a creature appears.

Without giving away all the details, the film's final half hour is a gorefest, relying heavily on visual effects, which Kris Roselli resourcefully supplies.

Kris Roselli wins for Best Visual Effects.



Of course, Hideout's final gorefest requires not only visual effects, but makeup effects. A knife through the eye, a man trailing his intestines, a decapitation with an ax, and a slimy monster in the basement are some of the treats in store for viewers.

All of them bloody gruesome, cringe-worthy, and professionally crafted.

Rich Hill wins for Best Make-Up Effects.



The Fall of Usher is a period piece set in modern times. A film that seeks to emotionally and stylistically evoke Poe's early 19th century sensibility, amid a contemporary setting.

Joe Stockon's music compositions and arrangements do an excellent job serving that aesthetic goal. His classical strings evoke a bygone period, while also creating tension for the film's tale of suspense.

It's also a lovely score.

Joe Stockton wins for Best Music Soundtrack.



* The Final Tally


* Best Horror Feature Film ........................... Peter Mourougaya (Thang May)

* Best Horror Documentary .......................... Scott McKinnon & Paul Glover (The Man from Boggy Creek)

* Best Dramatic Horror Short Film ............... Mark J. Parker (Family History)

* Best Comedic Horror Short Film ............... Artie Brennan, Anthony Giordano & Jason A. Messina (Daytrip Massacre)

* Best Animated Horror Short Film .............. Bradford Uyeda (The Beast of Bourbon)

* Best Avant-Garde Horror Film ................... Baz Black (Merrow)

* Best Trash Horror Film .............................. Jason Wright & Ginger Marie Merante (All Dressed in White)

* Best Horror Music Video ........................... Rachael Quinn (Jack Switch's Ghost)

* Best Dramatic Actress .............................. Clarice Alves (Urubu)

* Best Dramatic Actor .................................. Chris Wolfe (Hideout)

* Best Comedic Actress .............................. Trudi Ranik (My Cherry Pie)

* Best Comedic Actor .................................. Dustin Vaught (The Fuzzies)

* Best Cinematography ............................... Dominic Pereira (Thang May)

* Best Sound Design .................................... Kevin Serveau, Mickael Correia & Rurik Salle (Zmiena)

* Best Editing ................................................ Sean Kurosawa (Okhotsk of the Living Dead)

* Best Production Design ............................. Hau Tran (Thang May)

* Best Visual Effects ..................................... Kris Roselli (Hideout)

* Best Make-Up Effects ................................ Rich Hill (Hideout)

* Best Music Soundtrack .............................. Joe Stockton (The Fall of Usher)

* Honorable Mention .................................... Usher Morgan (Trapped Inside)

* Honorable Mention .................................... YuLun Wu (Father's Day)

* Honorable Mention .................................... Brian Cunningham (The Fall of Usher)

* Honorable Mention .................................... Joe Reilly & Brian Edwards (The Lake Parasite)

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