iHorror Film Fest

With the iHorror Film Fest recently concluding in Tampa, contributor/horror enthusiast Matthew Kaiser takes us behind the scenes to share what you missed.

There may not be a chill in the air in the sun drenched city of Tampa, but if you attended the 1st annual film festival on October 5th, you just may have gotten a chill to the bone. I about jumped out of my skin when I turned around to see a girl dressed just like Samara, from the movie “The Ring,” hovering over my shoulder, watching every move I made. This was the perfect scene setter for a horror film festival that honors new, up-and-coming, and seasoned horror filmmakers alike. It provides not just a place to view and reward them, but make more connections in an industry in which that can be difficult.

iHorror1Matthew Kaiser and Samara (actress Lexi Balestrieri)

The historical halls of the Cuban Club were transformed into a macabre, yet elegant, space for some amazing horror film shorts. Over fifty films were debuted by up and coming film makers. Those films ran the gambit of psychological, gore, supernatural, slasher, and even humorous, horror. The day was eventful, filled with drinks and plenty of discussion. As if that wasn’t enough, they even offered a unique twist to the event, by adding a ghost tour of the notoriously haunted building. Some of the evidence they captured left my hair standing on end.

iHorror2One of the haunted landings at The Cuban Club in Ybor City Tampa, FL.

But the true highlight of the day was the hour long talk and Q & A session with creator Dan Myrick, of “The Blair Witch Project,” and writer Jeffrey Reddick, of “Final Destination.” Both had some excellent advice for anyone interested in the industry. They talked about a new film they are working on called “Black Veil, Tales From the Southern Gothic,” to be set in the Tampa area. They also mentioned a new production studio, right down the street in Ybor City, called The Power Station. It will provide a much needed space to create films, commercials, and other projects, with a local flair. It’s both dynamic and refreshing to see a company bringing more movie buffs to Florida and to finally start tapping the fresh market here. Hopefully the State of Florida will take the hint and provide more incentives to lure an abundance of filmmakers away from the typical Hollywood Hills and to our beautiful white sandy shores. Did I mention, we have no state tax here?

iHorror3Left to right: Waylon Jordan (iHorror), Dan Myrick (The Blair Witch Project), Jeffrey Reddick (Final Destination), and Jason Henne (Blended Cinema Podcast)

The Film Festival gave out sixteen awards this year, but only one could take the honor as best film. Drum-Roll please...... congratulations to John Gray (known for the tv show Ghost Whisperer) for his film, “The Desecrated,” a tale of a young woman working the night shift at a morgue, when she encounters an unwelcome visitor. It’s not easy to tell a complete story in only eight minutes, but Mr. Gray not only succeeds, but manages to weave a truly terrifying tale.

If you enjoy watching horror movies, I’d highly suggest heading to Tampa for next year’s iHorror film festival. You won’t be disappointed.

If you are interested in seeing a complete list of winners, and to find out more about the festival, you can do that by going to: .


Matthew (Murder House Matt) Kaiser is a writer, reviewer, actor, and paranormal enthusiast who specializes in comics, movies, and horror. As a self-described highly opinionated movie geek, he’s been haunting the Tampa Bay Area his entire life. If you would like to contact Matthew Kaiser, please email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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