“Everyone I’ve talked to about it says, ‘I can’t believe there hasn’t been a horror film festival here yet,’” says Jenny Bloom, who, as director of the inaugural Stanley Film Festival, is aiming to put that right.
Opened in 1909 in Estes Park, Colo., The Stanley Hotel inspired the setting for Stephen King’s 1977 horror novel, The Shining. Stanley Kubrick’s subsequent film adaptation still plays on a loop on an in-house television channel here, and crews from “Ghost Hunters” intermittently prowl the grounds in search of at least half a dozen reputed spirits. That there hasn’t been a formal fright festival yet at The Stanley strains credibility.
Meanwhile, the hotel staff—busy outfitting screening venues and assembling a lineup that will include roughly 16 features, two shorts packages, several retrospectives and a student film competition—are predicting a horror film festival par excellence. It seems they’ve been hearing peculiar noises in the screening room; if all goes well, an aptly timed ghostly appearance could make the event a magnet for horror fans from around the world. Then again, there’s already a pretty impressive draw: the chance to stay in the infamous Room 217.
“Stephen King’s room is still open,” says Bloom. “I think we’ll do a giveaway for it. I want to make it special.” MAY 2–5