Director Reveals Classic Inspirations for Halloween Slasher ‘Fright Fest’ [Exclusive]

The horror becomes real when a masked killer stalks the ultimate Halloween festival in the new independent horror film Fright Fest, and we have your first look in the official trailer, plus brand new photos and some exclusive new details from director Ante Novakovic.

I caught up Ante Novakovic earlier this week to find out what he could tell us about the film beyond the official synopsis, which states: Blood runs rampant on Halloween night when a small town’s Fright Fest becomes real inside the walls of a long abandoned asylum.

“The film delves into the dividing line between make believe and reality with an ironic twist at it’s core,” Novakovic exclusively tells Halloween Daily News. “It’s the trope of a slasher film set in a Fright Fest on Halloween night, basically a slasher’s dream come true. Audiences can expect the unexpected as the line between reality and imaginary blur and blood flows continuously.”

With the film taking place mainly on Halloween night, I asked the director how much the holiday itself play into the overall plot and if we could expect a lot of Halloween atmosphere.

“Halloween is a central theme in the overall plot, as it’s the underlying root for the evil that takes place,” Novakovic tells us. “It’s tied into the physical structure of the abandoned asylum (we actually shot on location at the Pennhurst asylum in Pennsylvania) and is celebrated as a Halloween event. Halloween is very much an atmospheric focal point in the film.

Ashley Blankenship in 'Fright Fest'
Ashley Blankenship in ‘Fright Fest’

I was also curious as to what some of Novakovic’s inspirations were for Fear Fest, and his answer did not disappoint.

“My inspirations for the film,” he said, “were a collage of incredible horror classics, such as John Carpenter’s Christine – the underlying angst, depth, and tense atmospheric visual reality in every frame; Wes Craven’s The People Under The Stairs – the pop of ’90s primary colors mixed into the irony and tragic circumstances of victims hidden in plain sight; Tom Holland’s Fright Night – the innocent nature of the nightmare next door becoming all too real and too close for comfort; and finally Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – the quintessential unflinching slasher horror that takes gruesome carnage to a whole new level of gore.”

The film stars Dylan Walsh (The Stepfather) as a legendary horror director in charge of the town’s first Fright Fest, along with Madison McKinley, Mercy Malick, Romeo Miller, Ashley Blankenship, Jonathan Camp, and Pancho Moler (31, Candy Corn), written by Robert Gillings and directed by Ante Novakovic.

Fright Fest will have its world premiere screening, fittingly enough, at the annual FrightFest Film Festival this August in London.

You can watch the first official trailer for Fright Fest and view more exclusive new photos below, and look for much more with Novakovic in our full interview, coming soon to Halloween Daily News.

For more Halloween news, follow @HalloweenDaily.

Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.