horror show

The poster for the 2020 Telluride Horror Show Shelter-in-Place edition was released Wednesday. (Courtesy image)

As the weather cools and Halloween candy hits the shelves, the Telluride Horror Show nears.

The annual fright fest announced its first wave of films, events and guests for the 2020 Shelter-in-Place Edition Oct. 15-18. Passes are also available at telluridehorrorshow2020.eventive.org.

The first announcement includes 11 feature films, 40 short films from 13 countries, and some of the genre's most recognized authors, including Max Brooks, Daniel Kraus, Paul Tremblay, Alma Katsu, Emily M. Danforth and Jeremy Robert Johnson, according to a news release.

“Despite everything 2020, we’re still excited about the eclectic and entertaining lineup that’s coming together; it’s enough to satisfy any horror fan,” festival founder Ted Wilson said. “We hope people will take it upon themselves to maintain that Telluride festival spirit, even at home.”

In keeping with festival tradition, Creepy Campfire Tales will go on, and while viewers will have the flexibility to enjoy most of the festival at their own pace, Telluride Horror Show is also excited to host a live virtual conversation with authors Max Brooks and Daniel Kraus.

The second wave and festival schedule will be announced in the coming weeks, according to the release.

For a complete breakdown of the first wave, including film synopses, read below, if you dare!


A live virtual conversation with authors Max Brooks and Daniel Kraus, which is free and open to the public, will take place Oct. 17 at 1 p.m.

Brooks is the author of “World War Z,” “The Zombie Survival Guide,” “Minecraft: The Island” and “Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre.” His graphic novels include “GI Joe: Hearts and Minds,” “The Extinction Parade,” “Germ Warfare: A Graphic History” and “The Harlem Hellfighters.” Brooks holds dual fellowships at the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and the Modern War Institute at West Point.

Kraus is a New York Times bestselling author. With Guillermo del Toro, he co-authored “The Shape of Water,” based on the same idea the two created for the Oscar-winning film. Also with del Toro, Kraus co-authored “Trollhunters,” which was adapted into the Emmy-winning Netflix series. Kraus' “The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch” was named one of Entertainment Weekly's Top 10 Books of the Year, and he has won two Odyssey Awards (for both “Rotters” and “Scowler”). and has been a Library Guild selection, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults and Bram Stoker finalist. “The Living Dead,” his newest release, is a posthumous collaboration with legendary filmmaker George A. Romero.


Take your screen outside, build a campfire or light some candles, and enjoy virtual Creepy Campfire Tales from guest authors Emily M. Danforth, Jeremy Robert Johnson, Alma Katsu and Paul Tremblay. Filmed exclusively for this year’s Telluride Horror Show, it’s free and open to the public.

Emily M. Danforth's debut YA novel, “The Miseducation Of Cameron Post,” was named to numerous "best book" lists, translated into half a dozen languages and adapted into a Sundance award-winning feature film of the same name. Emily's second novel, “Plain Bad Heroines” — a meta-gothic-sapphic-romp of nested stories and so many killer yellow jackets — will be published by HarperCollins in October 2020.

Jeremy Robert Johnson is the author of the critically acclaimed “Entropy in Bloom,” “In the River” and the breakthrough cult novel “Skullcrack City.” His latest novel, “The Loop,” is “unputdownable ... fans of The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, and Stranger Things will be especially thrilled, according to Publishers Weekly.

Alma Katsu writes novels that combine history and horror. Her latest are “The Deep,” a reimagining of the sinking of the Titanic, and “The Hunger,” a reimagining of the story of the Donner Party with a horror twist. “The Hunger” made NPR's list of the 100 Best Horror Stories, was nominated for a Stoker and Locus award for best horror novel, and recently won Spain's Kelvin 505 award for Best Novel (translated). It also won the 2018 Western Heritage Award for Best Novel.

Paul Tremblay is the award-winning and best-selling author of “The Cabin at the End of the World,” “Growing Things and Other Stories,” “A Head Full of Ghosts,” “Disappearance at Devil's Rock” and “The Little Sleep.” Stephen King found Paul's new novel, “Survivor Song, “absolutely riveting. I haven't been able to put it down.” Paul is a member of the board of directors of the Shirley Jackson Awards, and his essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly.com and numerous "year's best" anthologies.


“Anonymous Animals” is a series of vignettes illustrating human captives being literally treated like animals by humanoid figures with animal heads - who or what exactly are these people?

“Butchers” is a family of sadistic butchers lives deep in the backcountry. From the dead of winter to the dog days of summer, anyone who crosses their path is dead meat.

“Dark Stories” is five short horror films about ghouls, E.T, haunted dolls, zombies and more.

“For the Sake of Vicious” stars Lora Burke as a nurse and single mother who returns from a late shift on Halloween to find a maniac hiding out with a hostage in her home. As a wave of violent intruders descend upon the neighborhood and lay siege, the nurse soon realizes the only way out of the situation is to become as violent as everyone else.

“Hail to the Deadites” is a documentary about the fans of the “Evil Dead” franchise. Through interviews with cast, crew, collectors, fans, freaks and geeks, “Hail to the Deadites” seeks to illuminate the darkest reaches of the “Evil Dead” franchise's undying and still-growing popularity — a popularity that has spawned four films, a TV series, comic books, figurines and surpassed even its creator's wildest dreams. “Hail to the Deadites” puts the spotlight on the fans that cultivated and spread this groovy pop-culture infection and celebrates those who've celebrated the films! Featuring interviews with “Evil Dead” franchise cast members Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Tom Sullivan, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva, Sarah Berry, Rick Domeier and Bill Moseley.

“Retribution” comes from the annals of 1980s L.A. horror history comes this outrageous, gaudy tale of possession and dismemberment, complete with bizarre death scenes and glowing eyes, awash in eye-popping blasts of red and lime. On Halloween night, George wants to end it all, but doesn't die after falling several stories to the ground. A green-hued force enters George, tormenting his dreams of a man brutally gunned down by faceless people. From there, “Retribution” takes several more shocking, “Tales From The Crypt” worthy turns into the strange and inventive.

“Spare Parts” sounds crazy. In a godforsaken bar in the middle of nowhere, an all-girl punk band, Ms. 45, rips the stage apart with their punk spirit. Their performance impresses an enthusiastic fan who lures the girls into a trap, sedates them and starts ... customizing them. The four wake up with an axe, drill or chainsaw attached to one arm and are forced to fight gladiator-style, in an auto-wrecking yard for the amusement of the Emperor and his sadistic townsfolk. The women must now truly band together and use all of their talents if they're going to get out alive.

In “The 100 Candles Game,” a group of friends must confront their fears in a terrifying game. They must sit by the other players in a circle made of a hundred candles, take one of them and tell a horror story. As stories are told and candles blown out, strange events will start to happen. They will feel strange presences around them, lurking in the shadows. But they must not leave the game or else a terrible curse will fall upon them.

The AGFA Horror Trailer Show: Visit the drive-in from dimension X! Unleashed from the dungeon of AGFA (the American Genre Film Archive), these are the most spine-ripping, slime-slinging, soul-shredding horror trailers in our arsenal. Meticulously constructed by AGFA's mad scientists to resemble an otherworldly night at the movies under the stars, this mix features a plethora of material unseen since the films’ original releases.

“The Columnist” is a darkly funny horror film, Katja Herbers plays columnist and writer Femke, who is flooded with anonymous, nasty messages and death threats on social media. One day she is completely done with it and decides to take revenge.

Editor’s note: This piece was edited for space. For a full list of first-wave short films, visit telluridehorrorshow.com.