About


Portland Horror Film Festival™ is the first dedicated all Horror genre film festival in Portland, OR. Festival directors Gwen and Brian Callahan are also the directors of the popular H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival®, (originally founded by Andrew Migliore, the HPLFF has been a Portland institution for over 20 years!), and also organized Zompire: The Undead Film Festival from 2012-2014. After noting an increase in high quality film submissions that didn’t quite fit the narrow Lovecraftian or Weird Tale format, they created PHFF out of a desire to showcase independent horror films from all sub-genres. With annual screenings featuring regional and world premieres, visiting Filmmaker Q&A sessions, and the best audience in the world, Portland Horror Film Festival is a vibrant outpost of independent horror in the Pacific Northwest.

The 2020 Film Jury

As a film festival organized by horror fans for horror fans, it is important to us that our panel of judges are also, first and foremost, fans of the genre. Indeed, several of our judges were originally ticket-buying Portland Horror Film Festival audience members! This helps us keep the festival selections balanced, ensuring that there are films that appeal to a wide range of horror-lovers, from the bloody to the thoughtful (and sometimes the thoughtfully bloody).

  • Your Hosts – Gwen and Brian

    Gwen and Brian Callahan are the organizers of Portland Horror Film Festival™. Since 2011, they've also been the directors of the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival®, which has been a Portland institution for over 20 years. Like Donny and Marie Osmond, they're a little bit Country (in this case, Science Fiction) and a little bit Rock and Roll (Horror), but unlike the Osmonds, they're not related to each other.
     
  • Brian Trenchard-Smith: Bloody Judge 2020

    Brian Trenchard-Smith is an Anglo Australian film and television director, producer, and writer, with a reputation for large scale movies on small scale budgets. Quentin Tarantino referred to him in Entertainment Weekly as one of his favorite directors. His early work is featured in Not Quite Hollywood, an award-winning documentary released by Magnolia in August 2009. Born in England, where his Australian father was in the RAF, Trenchard-Smith attended UK's prestigious Wellington College, where he neglected studies in favor of acting and making short films, before migrating to Australia. Among Trenchard-Smith's recent films are Long Lost Son, starring Gabrielle Anwar and Chace Crawford for Lifetime, and the family drama disaster movie Arctic Blast, starring Michael Shanks and Bruce Davison. His body of work has been honored at the Paris Cinema, Karlovy Vary, Melbourne, Brisbane and Toronto Film Festivals. In 2016 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival. The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia recently hosted a three city retrospective of his films. He is a member of the Masters of Horror Circle, and is a contributing guru to Trailers From Hell.com. He is married to Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith, and lives in Portland, Oregon. His debut novel Alice Through The Multiverse was recently published on Amazon and Kindle, and he is currently putting the finishing touches on his next book Adventures in the B Movie Trade.
     
  • Gretchen Brooks

    Gretchen has volunteered at Portland Horror Film Festival and the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival since 2016, and helps judge films for both. As a lifelong fan of horror movies, she loves found footage films and exorcism movies. She co-hosts the Kaijucast podcast and is a frequent guest on Horror Brew podcast. A “recovering-goth” Gretchen is also a mother and a wife, and is the guardian of a Devon-Rex cat that looks like a goblin.
     
  • Dennis Crowley

    Dennis Crowley grew up listening to the "Lone Ranger" on the radio and watching the original THE THING and THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON in classic movie theaters in Rochester, NY.  As a result, he brings a somewhat "different" perspective to the films you'll be watching at the Portland Horror Festival.  While not a real fan of the more violent/bloody pictures that make up a segment of the horror genre he respects that the field of "horror" has many dimensions and has been honored to be able to provide his "mature take" on the films submitted. No matter your particular area of interest he's sure you'll find a lot to enjoy in this year's films.
     
  • Martti Hill

    Martti can trace his love of horror movies back to at least the 2nd Grade. He would watch "Jaws" on Showtime every chance he got and would draw stick figure "sequels" to films like Piranha. Salem's Lot scared the everlovin' bejesus out of him, but he kept going back for more. Come high school and a job at the local video store, a whole world of horror films good and bad opened up to him, leaving a lasting impression. When he's not tracking down obscure giallo soundtracks and even more obscure '70's horror films, Martti spends his time drumming in Barrowlands and Sculptured.
     
  • Catherine Holland

    Co-host of Horror Brew podcast and creator and former Quiz Master of Portland's only consistent horror trivia night since 2016, Horror Brew Pub Quiz. In 2018 Cat moved to the frozen tundra of Buffalo, NY where she plies people with high quality spirits (the drinkable kind). Convinced that she could kick Michael Myers in the nuts and run away fast enough, Catherine loves the intangible horror - ghost and demon flicks are where it's at!  

     
  • Matt Holland

    Matt Holland is a life long horror fan. What began with his dad and the classic Universal monster movies, has evolved into an insatiable appetite for all things that give us a scare. Co-host of Horror Brew podcast and quiz master of the Horror Brew Pub Quiz, Matt's a fan of pulp horror and the cosmically scary!

     
  • Caitlin Nolan

    Caitlin Nolan is a Portland stage and screen artist and a longtime horror enthusiast. She has a particular fondness for horror-comedy and lives by the principle that you can't spell "slaughter" without "laughter."

     
  • John Penney

    Award winning writer/director John Penney attended UCLA where he studied film and received a degree in English. In addition to his numerous screenplays, John has written short stories that have won him an award from the Adelphi Academy in New York, and have been published in the "Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction." In 2011 John wrote and directed the supernatural thriller “Hellgate” starring William Hurt and Cary Elwes. The film was awarded Best Film at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival as well as the Best Horror Film from the Fantasy Horror Awards in Italy. John is currently prepping to direct his next feature film, “Truck Stop,” based on his novel as well as co-writing “Re-Animator Unbound” with Brian Yuzna. John currently teaches writing and directing at the Los Angeles Film School as well as the Directing Certificate Course and Pitching Certificate Course at Raindance, Los Angeles.

     
  • Joseph Perry

    Joseph Perry’s formative years were spent watching classic monster movies (starting with The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Godzilla Vs. the Thing), TV series (starting with The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits), and northern California horror host legend Bob Wilkins’ Creature Features; reading spooky Silver Age and Bronze Age Gold Key, Dell, Charlton, Marvel, and DC comics; and writing mimeographed newsletters about the original Planet of the Apes film and TV series. He is a regular contributing writer to Phantom of the Movies’s VideoScope magazine, Diabolique magazine, Gruesome Magazine, Scream magazine, the Ghastly Grinning website, and the pop culture websites When It Was Cool and That's Not Current. He also co-hosts the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and Uphill Both Ways podcasts.

     
  • Jefferson Powers

    As a teenager Jefferson was introduced to the work of H. P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker, which has led to a lifelong love of horror in all its forms. He has a special affection for 1980s horror movies in all their over-the-top glory, and his two favorite horror films are Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator and the original Hellraiser, which he saw for the first time during its theatrical release in 1987. 

     
  • Liz Williams

    Liz has loved horror since the age of 6 when she watched Night of the Living Dead with her dad. This kicked of a tradition of “fright nights” that she continues today in New Orleans, consuming all the horror movies, book, TV, and podcasts she can. In 2018, Liz started doing book reviews and author interviews for The Scariest Things podcast and has become a regular fixture on the show.

     
     
  • Heather Langenkamp (Bloody Judge 2019)

    Our 2019 Bloody Judge is Heather Langenkamp Anderson!  Actress, producer, and prosthetic makeup artist, she began her career as an extra in the Francis Ford Coppola films The Outsiders (1983) and Rumble Fish (1983) but most horror fans recognize her from her breakout role as Nancy Thompson in Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). She also starred in Chuck Russell's A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), followed by appearances in two of Craven's cult films: Shocker (1989) and a fictionalized version of herself in Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994). In 2010, she served as executive producer and narrator to the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street LegacyLangenkamp is the co-owner of the make-up FX firm AFX Studio which has designed and manufactured award-winning make-up effects for film and television. She has worked as the special makeup effects coordinator for a variety of films including Dawn of the Dead (2004), Cinderella Man (2005), Evan Almighty (2007), and The Cabin in the Woods (2012).  
     
  • Brian Yuzna (Bloody Judge 2018)

    Presenting our 2018 BLOODY JUDGE! Brian Yuzna is a producer, director, and writer, known for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Bride of Re-Animator, and Beyond Re-Animator, who has been active within the independent horror genre for over thirty years. He is widely known as the producer behind Re-Animator, as well as being the first American filmmaker to adapt a manga into a live-action feature. He has helmed several adaptations of the work of H. P. Lovecraft, and has assisted many first time directors, including Stuart Gordon, Christophe Gans, and Luis De La Madrid, in getting their projects made.