‘Haunting’ opens Fantasy Fest

Brussels boasts seven world preems

BERLIN — Courtney Solomon’s “An American Haunting,” starring Donald Sutherland and Sissy Spacek, will open the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film, fest announced Thursday.

Fest expects 60,000 attendees for its 250 pic lineup, unspooling March 10-25, including seven world preems, 16 international preems and six Euro preems.

Twelve pics in the International Competition section will fight for the Golden Raven prize, with U.S. thesp Michael Ironside (“Guy X”) leading the jury, while 10 Euro movies compete for the Silver Melies award.

World preems include four pics by Brits: Craig Rosenberg’s “Half Light,” a U.K.-Germany co-production; John Williams’ “Starfish Hotel,” a Japanese production; Michael J. Bassett’s “Wilder-ness”; and Andrew Parkinson’s “Venus Drowning.”

Other world preems are Yuji Shimomura’s “Death Trance” from Japan, and Gilles Daoust’s “The Room” from Belgium.

Wes Craven will introduce Alexandre Aja’s remake of his own 1977 cult classic “The Hills Have Eyes” in the The Night of Fantastic Film section, while Ken Russell will introduce his director’s cut of 1971 classic “The Devils,” starring Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave.

On March 24, fest celebrates Masters of Horror Night, with a selection of pics commissioned by U.S. paybox Show-time, including movies by shockmeisters Dario Argento, John Carpenter, Don Co-scarelli, Joe Dante, Stuart Gordon, Mick Garris, the exec producer of the series, and Tobe Hooper, who attends to introduce “Dance of the Dead.”

Fest also includes Japanimation Day, Belgian Fantastic Film Day, the annual Body Painting Contest and closing party, the Ball of the Vampires.

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