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Gore on Grandview Avenue

Hope Madden Hope Madden Gore on Grandview AvenuePhoto by Walker Evans.
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Who finds Appalachia spooky? Well, most anyone who’s ever seen a horror movie, certainly. For the fourth year in a row, the Southern Ohio Screenwriters are out to prove us right.

Their S.O.S. Indie Horror Film Fest comes, for the first time, to Columbus this Thursday, October 15. Previously known as Horror in the Hills, the organization had to give up them hills in 2020 due to Covid-related theatrical closures.

“We usually focus our attention around southern Ohio and the greater Appalachian area,” says event organizer Lewis Gordon. “For three years we have been at the Wheelersburg Cinema, and unfortunately this year they had to close their doors.”

Gordon says the group looked for a replacement venue for quite a while before finding a home for their fourth annual event.

“We held out as long as we could, almost to the point where we had to do a virtual fest,” he says. “We just wanted to have that theater experience safely.”

Gordon remembered the excellent Columbus venues he’d worked with as Vice President of the Mid-Ohio Filmmakers Association (MOFA). Based on that group’s relationship with Studio 35 and the Grandview Theater and Drafthouse, Gordon recommended the S.O.S. fest move to Grandview.

“The people are great,” he says. “I used to live in Grandview, so I love the area.”

The event begins at 1 p.m., screening two features followed by a block of short films. And though you will see some material from around the country and even around the world, the fest’s organizers prioritize films based and shot in and around southern Ohio.

Gordon says of S.O.S. president Matt Sams, “He’s from Chillicothe. That’s his life blood, his home. His parents and grandparents came from Appalachia, and he really wanted to give a filmmaking voice to that area.”

According to Gordon, fest programmers look for traditional quality—writing, acting, production value—when selecting films, but they also seek a great independent voice.

“One of our big awards is called the Spirit Award, and it’s for the filmmakers that went all out trying to make the film,” he says. “We also want to showcase that anybody can do this, and anybody can do it well if they try.”

Make a trip to the Grandview Theater and Drafthouse (1247 Grandview Ave.) this Thursday, October 15, from 1 – 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20. They are limited due to social distancing practices and can be purchased at the theater’s website.

Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her horror movie podcast, FRIGHT CLUB.

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