Chicago Horror Film Festival

2021 Official Film Selections!

Check out the 2021 Official Film and Screenplay Selections!

Mask of the Evil Apparition

Olivia, a young woman with no memory, searches a deserted nocturnal city looking for something or someone. Only problem is she can’t remember who or what. She encounters twin brothers who may be her salvation, but one of them warns her that the “Mysterious Ones” a nefarious group of clones are after her. And another woman in disguise also offers to help, but can she be trusted?


A serial killer bored to death in Covid quarantine and desperate for a victim picks up an innocent hitchhiker, but what he thinks will be a quick and easy kill, turns into a long and challenging night.

Room 217

A young man checks into room 217 in an old hotel on a rainy night. Soon he begins to experience hallucinations that lead him to believe he is living the same time over and over again. He frantically tries to find a way out of this strange time loop with the help of the hotel manager.

Into The Darkness

Five friends embark on a journey to solve the mysterious disappearance of one of the friends father, only to find that they will each have to face their own worst fear.


#Nofilter addresses the ever-growing issue surrounding Body Dysmorphic Disorder through the eyes of Beth, an insecure twenty-something, who becomes obsessed with an insidious filter, leaving her to question true beauty. It is a cautionary tale for all those obsessed by "likes," being flawless, and thinking that somehow social media is the magical cure-all for happiness. 


In much the same vein as early Ingmar Bergman films explore the underlying psyche of characters and their independent and imposed choices. This short film is an experimental expression of those choices and one man’s life path to obtain self-actualization.

Our “true” life path decisions are heavily influenced by many external factors (known as the imposed choice) such as our environment, our friends/families, and spiritual inclinations. However, this internal compass (known as our independent choice) such as personal passions and feelings that help guide us to our mind’s “true” path.


A troubled teen smokes from a mysterious object which summons a malevolent monster. As he runs to escape it, questions arise as to who the true source of his torment is.


The History of Metal and Horror

A documentary that explores the history of heavy metal and horror, and how the two genres merged over time. Hosted by Michael Berryman, and featuring Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Kirk Hammett, John Carpenter, Tom Savini, Dave Mustaine, Jonathan Davis, Corey Taylor, and many more.


Two sisters have been driving all night when they come across a dilapidated roadside park and bathroom. Horrific events follow when one of them stumbles upon a strange message and a mischievous resident that wants to play a terrifying game.


THe Rage

A young girl decides to make a family visit and discovers something horrifying.


The Monster of the Desert

On Halloween night, a devastated woman with plans to end her life keeps being interrupted by some commotion outside. Pushed to the edge, she faces this disturbance head on, only to walk right into her worst nightmare.



A dead man wakes to discover he's a vampire only to struggle to follow through with his dreams of escape.


Broken Wing

A hiker helps a delivery drone that's been mysteriously shot down by an arrow.


The Girl From Nowhere

A young woman returns to her childhood sweetheart after a long separation, but the secret she hides might be more dangerous than love.


As people begin to "devolve" into monsters, one woman attempts to hide her transformation by placing flowers under her skin.

House of Inequity

A day trip takes a turn for the worse when a group of friends investigate an abandoned house. The nightmare's quickly become a reality when they're forced to face their own personal fears, and survive a night in The House of Inequity.

The Fuzzies

A man wakes up locked in a strange bathroom where something is lurking behind the walls.

Oh, Baby!

A Horror film inspired by the Giallo tradition. A young woman is awoken in the night by the cry of a baby. Is she a prisoner or is there something darker and more ancient going on?

The Hunting

When a mysterious animal attack leaves a mutilated body in the forest, a conservative small town detective must enlist the help of an eager wildlife specialist to uncover the dark and disturbing truth that threatens the town.

The Sacrament

Father Marcus El is a young priest tasked with building a new congregation. His Bishop gives him the tools to win over the community as he sets out to exorcise them of their demons. As Marcus begins his work, the community thrives, as does the Church. But as the fruits of his labor become abundant Marcus suspects the Church's motives are more sinister than they appear.


A man suspects his boyfriend is a demon.

We'll Be Home Soon

A girl comes home from college and is faced with an empty home as well as an uninvited guest.

The Alternate

The Alternate follows Jake, a down-on-his-luck videographer who discovers a portal to another dimension in which he has everything he has always wanted: the perfect version of his wife Kris, the filmmaking career of his dreams, and the son he never had.

Jake quickly starts traveling back and forth between these two worlds - spying on his other self, falling in love with alternate Kris, and getting to know his son. Jake soon sees that the other version of himself is not as perfect as he seems - and decides to change places with his other self and take the good life for himself.

The Horrific Evil Monsters

A secret government agency who recruits the most hazardous horror icons to battle a biblical force.


In the near future, a pandemic has broken out and civilization has collapsed. Seamus is on a desperate run and dangers loom everywhere. By accident he comes across a subterranean shelter. He is however not alone there. Gradually it turns out that life in the underground shelter may be more dangerous than that on the surface.


A hunting trip doesn't go as planned.

A Girl's Best Friend

A couple, deep in love, make quite unusual requests of one another.


In this heart-racing psychological thriller, we are introduced to Bobby Patterson who is taking one last romantic shot at saving his rocky relationship with his girlfriend Jules Rables on a weekend getaway.

The couple arrives for vacation in the quiet island resort called "Bog Grove." To their bewilderment, the sleepy beach town is curiously deserted and they quickly learn about its deadly history that's about to repeat itself.

Bobby’s struggles with Jules are cast aside in order to overcome a dementing cycle of terror that transpires. No matter what he does to try to avoid it, he and his girlfriend wake up at 6:45 each morning to the same nightmarish chain of events that lead to them being viciously murdered with no chance of escape.


Floyd Norm (John Charles Gerald) is a child abuse victim constantly tormented by voices and hallucinations that lead him back to his childhood home where he discovers a talking puppet that is linked to his abusive childhood.

Eyes in the Woods

Carla is confusing her dreams with her memories

Another Yesterday

Akira is a high school transfer student with a deteriorating relationship with his father. When he arrives at his new school, he stumbles onto a classmate being bullied. His intervention triggers two new friendships — one with the victim Scott and the other with Elizabeth — the classmate who aids him after he is knocked out. Scott has a worse problem than the bullies — he has not come out at home yet. But Elizabeth may have an even bigger problem: she is a social pariah because she keeps acting as though someone or something is after her. Meanwhile, Akira’s home front situation is going from bad to worse.


A young boy is trapped in a Gingerbread House which underneath hides a gloomy world, while his mother is desperately trying to find the gate that will take him out of there.

Crock Pot

Terror awaits a young couple as they fight over going to the young mans parents house the next day for thanksgiving.

This Game's Called Murder

THIS GAME’S CALLED MURDER is a dark and wickedly funny film about the eccentric members of the Wallendorf Family. Mr. Wallendorf, a fashion mogul and designer of iconic red high heeled
shoes, Mrs. Wallendorf, his conniving brutal wife, and Jennifer Wallendorf, their daughter and a social media powerhouse who’s just trying to figure out love, friendship, and world dominance.
The eccentric Wallendorfs struggle to maintain the facade of a prominent successful family while their violent nature rips them apart.


It's Penny's first night stripping at an underground club. Will she go all the way? And what happens to her if she doesn't?


When a family man tears down the remains of his burned-out childhood home in an attempt to bury his family’s tragic past, he finds himself tormented by something sinister uncovered in the demolition.

Rocky Horror 45: The Movie

Underground filmmaker Manny Velazquez dives into the immortal history and legacy of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and its lesser known sequel Shock Treatment with a collection of interviews, convention footage and more.

Hell is Empty

A self-styled messiah initiates a teenage runaway into his cult of sister-wives. Her rebellious nature upends the community, triggering a bloody uprising against the patriarch.

Bad Candy

Bad Candy follows local Halloween stories of both myth and lessons learned in the community of New Salem. With its annual Psychotronic FM Halloween show, re-enactment radio DJs Chilly Billy and Paul weave the tales of the supernatural of years gone by. In this small town it’s a grimy ending for most, but will a few good souls survive?

VHS Massacre Too

The last stand of the American exploitation film. In a post video store era, media consolidation has led to the censorship and near death of the independent and exploitation film industry. Joe Bob Briggs (Last Drive-in), Debbie Rochon (Toxic Avenger IV), Lloyd Kaufman and James Rolfe (Angry Video Game Nerd) take us on an adventure that leads from the last Blockbuster video store in Bend Oregon to Troma Entertainment in New York, all in an effort to examine how history keeps repeating itself from the video store era to the modern streaming.

2021 Screenplay Semi-Finalists!

The Yellow Ribbon Around Jane's Neck

Written by: David Ho

In a twisted take on an old, American folk story, a teenage girl must make a horrific sacrifice to avoid becoming the next headless victim of a tormented demon girl.


Written by: David Ho

A courtesan trapped inside a brothel must fight off her suave client and his creepy friends when she discovers they're actually vampires who are looking for more than just sex.

Make It 'Til Dawn

Written by: David-Matthew Barnes

When mean girl Maryland dares fellow college student Andrew to spend the night in an abandoned house, he accepts the challenge to prove he's not as timid as she thinks. Charles, a handsome classmate who is studying parapsychology, agrees to join Andrew, intrigued by the folklore about the house referred to by locals as Ghost Toast. Charles also hopes their night together will provide him with a chance to finally ask Andrew out. As the night progresses, the two young men find themselves surrounded by paranormal activity and ghosts who seem determined to prevent them from seeing the face of dawn.

The Preserve

Written by: Jason Rice

A family learns that their home's modern security system can do little to protect them from an ancient evil.

The Preserve

Written by: Jason Rice

A family learns that their home's modern security system can do little to protect them from an ancient evil.


Written by: Lee Bailes

Gary, a jaded horror fan, buys a unique VHS tape from a back-alley dealer in a quest to find the darkest and most extreme viewing experience. He soon descends into depravity, and his life unravels around him as he allows its horrors to be imprinted on his brain, when he figures out the key to seeing through the static is through pain and rage. Pain will fuel it. But his rage will claim what he loves the most. Sadly he is unaware that the real price of viewing, is trading in what little of his soul is left, only for it to be imprinted on the tape to haunt the next viewer once it bleeds him dry. This time, it will haunt the very person investigating what caused Gary to take his own life.

Black Butterflies

Written by: Tamara S. Hall

A woman who’s haunted by her sister’s postpartum condition is confronted with a fight to save her sister and ultimately, herself.

Zadok: An Innsmouth Story

Written by: Clemente Esparza, II

After arriving in a small fishing town, Zadok soon discovers that the quaint seaside town and its citizens are harboring a very dark secret.

Mad Chicken

Written by: Moe Irvin

A narcissistic CEO of a fast food chain is kidnapped by a sadistic under lord and forced to perform a dreadful act to become something more than he ever imagined.

The Plague Boys

Written by: Kristian Day

Thirty days have passed since they laid their neighbors and families to rest in a mass grave at Reynolds Quarry. Four boys are the lone survivors of an outbreak that spread through the food supply and the CDC has issued their county to be quarantined indefinitely. If they attempt to leave they will be gunned down by the soldiers posted at the county lines. While they are on a hunt, a tornado rolls in and they seek refuge in a shelter near the quarry. After the storm passes and the boys emerge, the mass grave is found empty. Hundreds of footprints lead from the quarry to the fields. The boys are not alone.

Howdy, Neighbor!

Written by: Sarah E. Taylor

An incessant, annoying sound from within the kitchen shakes up a young, boring entrepreneurs' mundane life.

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