The Wicker Man Christopher LeeJust like that, we enter the fourth and final week of the Second Annual Cinefessions Summer Screams Challenge. June has absolutely flown by once again, and we only have on more week of obsessively counting our viewing, and trying to fill in the puzzle that is the checklist. What an odd thing it is that we horror and sci-fi fanatics do: we agree (or in my case, come up with) to watch an unhealthy amount of movies in one month, track all of it, count it using a set of guidelines, and then make that list public for the world to mock us. But that is what makes going to horror and cult conventions so much fun: there are few film lovers as fanatical and dedicated as we are. That whole idea is what drives the Cinefessions Summer Screams Challenge. We are passionate, obsessed, and proud to be horror and sci-fi lovers. In short, I love us!

With only one week to go, some participants are down to single digits left to fill in their entire checklists (that includes the optional part for some!). I currently have 16 spots to fill, and with a loaded work week, I don’t see it happening. That said, I will definitely try. As you can tell, the leaders list never got posted because, frankly, I didn’t have time to write it. Any free time I have I try to fit in more films and television shows, which is why the posts I’ve been advertising haven’t come to pass. After the Challenge ends,  Ashe will have a boat load of great mini-reviews, some of entire series, that will go up periodically throughout the next few weeks/months. A big thank you goes out to Ashe for reviewing every film he has watched this month, and allowing them all to be posted on Cinefessions!

AtrociousThe fourth and final week of the Challenge is probably the most limited and exclusive theme, and one that is sure to drive some participants absolutely crazy, but why make it easy? Week four is all about the shaky cam, and the found footage genre. I could try to explain this theme in more detail, but I’m certain that we all know what a found footage film is since it has become insanely popular amongst independent and low budget filmmakers in recent years thanks, in large part, to the overwhelming success of the Paranormal Activity franchise. Frankly, I’ve enjoyed this genre since my introduction to it with The Blair Witch Project when I was much younger. They’re cheap to make, and can – key word there is “can” – produce some highly creative storytelling when given to the correct writer/director. I am certain we are all going to drudge through a ton of garbage this week with this theme, but there is sure to be a few gems in the rough.

One hopeful gem is this week’s Featured Film: Atrocious. This 2010 film was written and directed by Fernando Barreda Luna. It looks to be as typical a found footage as one can find, but it did receive a sparkling recommendation from horror aficionado Scott Weinberg.  Atrocious is available on Netflix Instant Queue or on Amazon Instant Video for a rental fee of $2.99. This is a really short film this week, at only 73 minutes, so I hope to see it on everyone’s lists!

Week four runs now through the end of the Challenge, which is 11:59 pm on Monday, June 30th, 2013.

As the last week of the challenge begins, please remember to update your lists as much as possible. I will compile all the results on the Fourth of July, so whatever is listed on everyone’s posts at that point will be their finalized list. It would be a great help if participants could write on their list “Finalized” toward the top somewhere so I know who is complete, and who is still adding once the challenge ends. As always, I want to thank everyone for competing again this year, and I hope the fourth week wraps up the challenge well. Happy (shaky) viewing, everyone!

Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn't until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor's and master's degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.