Vancouver Horror Show Hits the Road – Announcement/Interview with David Taylor

It has been too long since I’ve covered this. Way too long. Extremely too long. Much too long that it scares me. I couldn’t cover this in 2020 except for maybe online via Twitter, but it just wasn’t the same. I couldn’t cover this in 2021 so I got Shaun to take my place, and he did a decent job. I couldn’t cover this in 2022 because I was working at another attraction with Vancouver Horror in the name, only for it to go under due to financial flops. I had to return to this eventually because last year when I met Meghan Hemingway on the red carpet at the UBCP/ACTRA awards, she griped about how much she missed me at the event. Well, I’m financially stable once more and will be attending, not to mention I did promise her I’d attend this years. But I also decided to do advance coverage for this event instead, so I can let more people know about it. So if you haven’t already clicked the links from the past, I’ll tell you what Vancouver Horror Show is. 

VHS is a festival featuring spooky-wooky films of the horror genre and a lot of scary stuff to make people uncomfortable. But being a past scare actor myself, I can say how some people ENJOY being scared, go figure. Now this sounds like your basic weekend festival exclusively for a fraction of the scary season, but it’s more than just that. This year, there is going to be lots of events at lots of venues. VHS is going to be from October 13 to October 22 and all around BC. Expect stuff like 6 different features and 41 short films from all over in our local neck of the woods. Here’s how things are getting the breakdown. From October 13-15, the Scotiabank Theatre will host the Vancouver Edition, then there will be another in Cineplex Cinemas at Metrotown which will be the Burnaby Edition included as part of the Burnaby Halloween Festival from October 20-22. Other events outside of the Metro Vancouver Vancouver area included Terrace BC, and Grand Forks. That’s what makes this event more interesting. But hey, enough of my jibber-jabber. Let’s hear from someone that organized this whole she-bang, Dave Taylor. He was happy to do an interview with me and after getting back from work, we talked for quite a bit just before I had to duck out for a dinner run. He can certainly go into detail, so brace yourself for an informative read.


HNMAG: This year you decided to take a different route, instead going to different venues around BC at different days. Why is that?

David Taylor: Well, one of our missions and reasons why we started was to really celebrate and champion independent horror. What we realized is that there’s lots of smaller communities in BC that have these independent cinemas. They have been craving this sort of horror content, and this is a way for us to bring this to these other populations. We want to celebrate our filmmakers and the awesome talent, actually a lot of the homegrown British Columbia talent that we have in our festival. So we’re spreading the programming. 


HNMAG: And besides the different locations and different times, I’ve noticed the schedule will be different for each event. Why would that be?

David Taylor: Just different programming works for different theatres. In the case of Terrace BC and Tillicum Twin Theatres, they wanted to make a really big week-long Halloween event whereas the Grand Forks and GEM Theatre, they’re just hosting a nice fun weekend for it. Then for the local Vancouver and Burnaby shows, the Vancouver is sort of the flagship event but this year we are partnering with the Burnaby Halloween festival to expand into a Burnaby edition. The Vancouver and Burnaby editions are both at Cineplex cinemas, and I was really excited to double the programming, get to more movie theatres and show more movies to horror fans.


HNMAG: What other major changes can we expect for this year?

David Taylor: We’ve got the Vancouver Edition being a licensed event, so it’s going to be 19+. We have a lounge, some wine from Diabolica wines and beer from Twin Sails Beer. That would be the great Red Carpet Opening Night Soiree party, a media wall, a photo booth, we are hosting a number of different Canadian premieres for feature films. We have Anacoreta, which is a filmmaker’s horror movies. Very Meta, locally shot, and written and produced here in British Columbia. We have Jenna Kanell from the Terrifier franchise, her new feature film Faces After Dark is our premiering film. Lots of great films from all over the world, and as usual our amazing selection of short films. I think we’ve got 46 short films this year across 5 different blocks. In the last piece we’re going to be introducing is the AfterDark Mixtape program, which is sort of our kind of grittier blood-and-gore “aint for the faint” type of programming. It’s a midnight special program, but starting at 9:30.


HNMAG: It sounds like you prepared a lot. Was there something you couldn’t make possible this year?

David Taylor: The last thing is we have something special in the works for our closing night, it’s not public yet. 



In case you’re wondering, Closing Night is going to have something so scary yet so cool, I can’t even tell you what it is.


HNMAG: If Vancouver Horror Show wasn’t a road show this year, what do you feel it would’ve been?

David Taylor: If we weren’t going to do the road show, we were still going to do the Vancouver and Burnaby editions. We knew we were going to do Vancouver, then the opportunity to do Burnaby, then we had the opportunity to do those other 2 smaller communities in BC. The goal for next year is to do even more.


HNMAG: How did you manage to secure so many venues?

David Taylor: Every year, we’ve been growing and growing. We just sort of proposed to them, like “Hey! We just sort of have this Halloween-horror content. It’s unique, you can’t find this anywhere else” and it sort of sold itself. These theatres were interested in working with us, and putting on the show.


HNMAG: You mentioned next year’s roadshow will expand to more places in BC, do you hope to make it to another province even?

David Taylor: Yeah, one day. That gets a bit more complicated for a variety of reasons, but the goal is we exist the filmmakers, especially the ones that are coming here from British Columbia. The more platform and the more screens where we can have their work shown, whether it’s across BC, Canada, North America, or the world. We want to do as much as we can, and every year we do a little bit more so who knows what 2024 will have to offer?


HNMAG: What are some most of the exciting films you’re featuring this year?

David Taylor: We talked about Anacoreta, and Faces After Dark. We have a lot of films every year that have certain topics that seem to garner inspiration. Sleep Paralysis is a big one this year so we have quite a few films that tackle that. Some of them are more kind of full-on horror and others with an insidious human story so like Lisa Ovies is a VHS alumnus. Her new film Sleep Tight is going to be having its Canadian premiere at the VHS, I believe. That also stars Gigi Saul Gurerro, who’s also a big horror maven here in Vancouver. We have Chris Overton who won an Oscar last year for Short FIlm, and this year he has a short film called In Too Deep, which I believe is also having its Canadian premiere. His film is incredible and has one of those endings where you have this jaw-dropping “that’s what was happening here?” moment and it’s pretty powerful. We have a lot of great films this year, we like to think every year is our best year yet and this year is no exception.


Does this sound exciting? I think so, that’s why I’m attending the flagship event. What are you waiting for? Grab some passes today! Hurry, before the whole thing gets sold out.

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