SCREEN SCREAMS: 4th Annual Horror Movie Contest


Katelyn Newton, Mirada Staff

The fourth annual Horror Film Contest has concluded and the winner was announced on Tuesday October 30, just in time for Halloween. The winning film was “Dead Static” composed by sophomores Amelia York, Elyse Ehlert, Christina Vyvoda and Chloe Parker-Caruso.

The Intro to Video Productions class puts on this competition every year, but it is open for all members of the Rio community.

Video Production Teacher Adam Bearson said, “It’s a way of inviting the whole school to participate in a video production moment. We have had alumni, we’ve had teachers, parents, sibling of students, so anybody in the Rio community is invited and encouraged to apply.”

This year there were 13 total entries and four were selected as finalists. The films were graded on a one question rubric: Which movie is the scariest?

The films included different scare techniques like suspense, shock and even some psychological fear.

Each film-making team was assigned a topic, prop and line of dialogue to work with. This created unique storylines, each different from the others.

“In previous years there has been like a stand out one or two that just leapt out at you as being the scariest one we had four equally scary although they were differently scary,” said Bearson.

In the end “Dead Static” won, and as director Amelia York (10) explained, a lot of thought went into making the five and a half minute film.

“I started out by writing a script. I was really inspired by a lot of teenagers’ really bad screen addictions now, so I sort of figured I could take that concept and twist it into something that we all as phone-addicted teens might be scared of – which was technology coming back after us,” said York.

York had the cast members in mind while writing the winning script which made it easy to make characters’ personalities come through in the video.

The short horror movie was filmed at Barrett Middle School, York’s house and Jan Park.

“At Jan Park they had this forestry area which I thought created a spooky atmosphere so we got the last few shots there,” said York.

While the competition aspect makes participants motivated to create the film, the point is strictly to have fun and get into the Halloween spirit, according to Bearson.

The video class plans on continuing this spooky tradition for years to come and encourages everyone in the community to take part in Rio’s annual Horror Film Contest.