Confessions of a Horror Film Festival Volunteer

I was working at the ticketing table at the time, and one of the volunteers asked if I wanted to watch “The Woman.” If you’ve seen this film, you may recall a familiar sneer or gasp. If you haven’t, know this … it’s mesmerizing but hard to watch.


I was in shock 90 minutes later, but the post-film conversations slightly changed my view of horror films. Sure the gore can have a lasting effect, but the energy you get from horror movies is amazing. I was here to stay with the Mile High Horror Film Festival.

I got involved with the festival in 2010 shortly after graduating college. I’ve always loved movies and the entertainment industry but had never volunteered at a film festival before. My research paid off, and I learned Colorado has plenty to offer for film fans.

I stumbled upon the Mile High Horror Festival a year into its inception. I’ve always been a fanatic about Halloween … the costumes, parties and, of course, the movies.

For the years I’ve been involved, it’s always a treat to work with the event’s outstanding people. Some staff members are terrified of horror movies, but every year I see the same people. There’s a certain pull the festival has among its volunteers.

I believe one major incentive is the audience. I’ve attended the Sundance Film Festival and the Starz Denver Film Festival, and the Mile High vibe is very different, but contagious. As the festival grows, it excites me to see various generations in the crowd. When we have celebrities, like Corey Feldman, Linda Blair and Michael Berryman, I see everyone from teens to 70 year old grandparents waiting in line to see them.

Danielle Nelson will be volunteering once more at this year’s Mile High Horror Film Festival.

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The fifth annual Mile High Horror Film Festival runs Oct. 9-12 at the Alamo Drafthouse Littleton in Colorado. The event screens 80 films from 17 countries and features genre stars like Tony Todd (“Candyman”), Michael Berryman (“The Hills Have Eyes”) and Gunnar Hansen (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”). Festival films include “Housebound,” “Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead,” “Blood Punch,” “X Moor,” “V/H/S: Viral” and “Late Phases.”


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