The historic Downtown theater announced its Januscary Film Festival, a week of films to help horror fans start the year off right. Running From Sat., Jan. 1-Thu., Jan. 6, 2022, the event will feature both new and classic films, including one making its fully-restored debut to local audiences.
A press release promises that Januscary will be the “only festival of its kind in the Pittsburgh area.”
“Most theaters schedule classic horror films around Halloween but once the holiday craze subsides, horror fans still want to see their favorite films and brand new releases outside of the spooky season,” says Joseph Morrison, programming and venue manager at the Harris Theater, in a press release. “That’s where the inspiration for Januscary came from, and it gave me the opportunity to bring in some underappreciated cult classics and overlooked new films that true horror fans will love.”
Also included in the lineup is Hellbender, a 2021 film about a teen girl whose mysterious illness pushes her to delve into the “dark secrets of her family's past and the ancient power in her bloodline,” according to a synopsis. Cult film lovers should look forward to Eyes of Fire, a little-known 1983 folk horror gem that recently received a 4K restoration from Severin Films.
Other titles include the new vampire horror-comedy Let the Wrong One In (the title is a play on the Swedish film Let the Right One In) and Night Drive, a thriller about a driver who endures a fateful, deadly night in Los Angeles with a mysterious passenger.
A press release says Morrison originally created Januscary for the Hollywood Theater in Dormont, where he previously worked. Once known for its carefully curated programming, including indie film premieres, cult film screenings, interactive events, and more, the Hollywood was bought by the Pittsburgh-based Theatre Historical Society in 2018 and has since been converted into a first-run movie theater.
Morrison says that, for this Januscary, he worked with Rich Dalzatto and Sandy Stuhlfire of Horror Realm, Sticks Downey and Gerrell Marsh, and John Marek, who created the logo for the 2022 Januscary Film Festival.
Januscary Film Festival. Showtimes vary. Sat., Jan. 1-Thu., Jan. 6, 2022. Harris Theater. 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $9-11, free for The Thing. TrustArts.org/Film