The 19th annual Nevermore Film Festival swoops into Durham’s Carolina Theatre on Feb. 23-25 2018. This festival highlights feature films and shorts alike from around the globe. There’s a concentration on sci-fi, horror, dark fantasy, thrillers, and animation. However, within the lineup, there’s a ton of variation. 2017 Nevermore Film Fest highlights included “The Void” (our review), which Cup Of Moe ranked in the top 10 films of 2017, as well as “The Barn,” “The Love Witch,” and “Gehenna: Where Death Lives.”

The line-up for 2018 boasts an array of features and shorts. Check out the lineup below. Individual tickets and festival passes are available from The Carolina Theatre of Durham.

Cup of Moe Best Picks: Trying to decide what to watch? You can’t go wrong with any of these offerings. “The Ascent” seems promising, and the micro-budger (under $15,000) film should be a neat choice. Comedy horror flicks are typically gems, and “Bong of the Evil Dead” reminds me of the riotously funny “Welcome to Willits” which screened at 2017’s Nevermore. “Ruin Me” has garnered stellar reviews, and “Escape the Dark” seems promisingly gripping.

Don’t forget about the shorts! While features tend to dominate, check out Four Minutes Til Midnight, which showcases long-form narrative shorts. Then, Gauntlet of the Foreign Invaders presents international shorts. Can’t Live Without You is an array of mixed bag shorts. Tune into They’re Coming to Get You, Barbara for North American shorts. Looking for dark fantasy? Try It’s Only a Nightmare Charlie Brown for a neat set of short fantasy films.

“Cannibals and Carpet Fitters”

A group of carpet fitters are sent on a job to an old country house in the middle of nowhere. However they soon discover it’s a trap set up by the savage, cannibalistic family, The Hannings. The carpet fitters are forced to fight for their lives or risk ending up being the evenings dinner. Unfortunately they are not quite your typical heroes! Based on the award winning short film of the same name.

“Tangent Room”

A Swedish science fiction film in the English language. Locked into a booby-trapped room with only a series of numbers to help them, four brilliant international scientists race against time to prevent a cosmic collapse. Summoned together by a never-seen benefactor who claims to have made a huge scientific breakthrough, a rival group of scientists must set aside their differences to solve a mathematical equation which could not only guarantee their survival, but stop the galaxy from colliding with an alternate universe! This is science fiction in its purest form!

“Sant Marti”

A couple of friends on their way to a rock festival pick up two hitchhiking girls going to the same event, but their trip is ruined due to an unexpected car breakdown.  Now, this group of travelers find themselves in the creepy and dilapidated shanty town of Sant Martí, and all hell is about to break loose.

“Ruin Me”

In this brilliantly-constructed update of horror movie tropes, you’ll swear this is April Fool’s Day meets Battle Royale meets Friday the 13th…and you will be wrong. Alexandra reluctantly tags along with her horror movie-loving boyfriend for Slasher Sleepout, an extreme event that is part camping trip, part haunted house, and part escape room. But when the fun turns horrifying and deadly, Alex has to play the game if she wants to make it out alive. Is this really happening? Or has she gone insane?

“Fake Blood”

Two young horror movie filmmakers (and best friends) receive a disturbing fan video inspired by one of their violent movies. Deciding to make a documentary to investigate horror cinema, these buddies naively enter the real world of violent criminals and their victims. Along the way they encounter a mysterious man, known only as John, whom once advised on a gangster film, unaware that he’s a very dangerous psychopath, and that their quest to make a good film could cost them their lives. Fake Blood blurs the line between fact and fiction. You never quite know whether it’s a documentary or mockumentary, and that’s part of the mystique.

“Escape the Dark”

Escape opens on Jackie, an energetic geek with an overactive imagination, and Rachel, her grounded roommate, as they swap scary stories. While their tales are different, they both agree: the best stories start with a mystery. This is put to the test when an old man suddenly appears and dies in their living room… and all they’re left with is a warning: “It sees you…”  Meanwhile, Jon—a young man overwhelmed by his professional life—finds himself caring for his roommate, August, who suffers from depression. August has retreated into their apartment, shutting out the world to feel safe. But now, he and Jon are trapped inside, haunted by ghostly figures and a sinister entity.

“Bong of the Living Dead”

Bong of the Living Dead is the story of five friends who share both a love of pot and a lifelong dream to see the zombie apocalypse become reality. But when the undead actually rise to gruesomely (and hilariously) eat the living, the group discovers it’s not all corpse-killing montages and mall raids … and that their relationships will be pushed to the limit if they’re going to survive.

“The Manitou”

A tumor growing at an accelerated rate on Karen’s neck will soon give birth to a 400-year old Native American demon. Now a modern-day medicine man and a psychic must destroy the enraged beast known as The Manitou!  Tony Curtis, Susan Strasberg, Stella Stevens, Ann Southern and Burgess Meredith co-star in this infamous horror shocker produced and directed by William Girdler (Grizzly) from the best-selling novel by Graham Masterton!

“Freddy/Eddy”

Freddy is in the middle of the biggest crisis in his life because he gets accused of having beaten up his wife. While his world collapses, Eddy, his imaginary childhood friend reappears. What at first looks like a big support turns out to be an absolute nightmare.  He loses control over Eddy and nobody believes that it is not him doing all the atrocities.  How can he prove that the product of his own mind is actually alive?

“The Ascent”

Veteran Detective Henry Cardenas faces his toughest case in Vince, a prime murder suspect who claims to be a fallen angel. While investigating the brutal murder of a Los Angeles housewife, Cardenas is pulled into a labyrinthine interrogation that involves a charming improvisational actor, a nosy reporter, and an unsolved murder of a nightclub musician who’s being missing since 1979.  Reminiscent of 1987’s Angel Heart, The Ascent is a micro-budgeted ($15,000) testament to the power of truly independent film.