In 2008, filmmaker Beck Underwood and New York-based production company Glass Eye Pix created a digital advent calendar that offered genre fans a new Christmas-themed horror short every day, from Dec. 1 to Christmas Day. Titled The Creepy Christmas Film Festival, the calendar’s lineup included contributions from directors Mary Harron (American Psycho), Sara Driver (Permanent Vacation), Jim Mickle (Hap and Leonard), and Ti West (House of the Devil).
A decade on, Underwood and Glass Eye Pix are back to distribute more mayhem with a second Creepy Christmas Fest. Contributing directors this time around include Glass Eye Pix CEO Larry Fessenden (Habit), Jenn Wexler (The Ranger), Glenn McQuaid (I Sell the Dead), Graham Reznick (Shudder’s Deadwax), and Mickey Keating (Psychopaths).
“I hadn’t really thought about doing another fest,” Underwood tells EW. “It does seem the landscape of short content is much more cluttered than it was 10 years ago. Then one day I was talking with one of the newer Glass Eye collaborators, filmmaker Ben Duff, who was waxing poetic about how much he loved the original fest. So, almost on a whim, I said, ‘Let’s do it again and would you like to help curate?’ So off we went.
“We invited some of the alumni and a lot of new faces as well. I was quite touched when Mickey Keating replied to the invite with ‘I’ve been waiting to get this email since the first Creepy Christmas.’ When people agreed to participate we reached into our scruffy Santa hat and then pulled a card with a holiday-themed word. These words, like ‘gingerbread,’ ‘mistletoe,’ ‘Santa Claus,’ ‘elf,’ etc. became their prompt. There are not a lot of rules with Creepy Christmas and we don’t really produce or editorialize, we pretty much take them as they come in. I do ask they keep them between 30 seconds and six minutes, but even that rule is violated!
“The spirit of Creepy Christmas seems to shine most in some of the hodgepodge ways people end up making their movies, roping in family members and sometimes even jumping into a medium they always wanted to try, but you know, film business… For instance, Larry Fessenden, known for his dramatic, live-action movies, gets to play with his action figures and dip back into his original love of stop-motion, creating really wacky animated romps.”
The 10th Anniversary Creepy Christmas Fest premieres Dec. 1. Learn more at the official website and exclusively watch the Fest’s trailer, above.