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By James Whittington, Thursday 16th August 2018
Stewart Bridle, Channel Manager for Horror Channel, selects the FrightFest films to catch at this year's event.
It's that time again when the most torturous experience isn't being slowly sliced in half by a deranged chainsaw-wielding maniac but actually deciding what to watch from the massive line-up of over 70 films at this year's FrightFest London on the August Bank holiday weekend. Unless you've found some mad scientist to clone you several times you'll never catch everything so here are ten devious delights I recommend this year.
SUMMER OF 84 The RKSS collective return to FrightFest after wowing audiences back in 2015 with the terrific Turbo Kid. Whereas their last film wore its 80s influences on its sleeve in a retro-futurist style Summer of 84 is, obviously, set during the decade of bad fashion, cool music and the rise of the slasher film and no doubt will feature plenty of homages to horror and other coming of age movies of the time in its tale of four young friends who suspect their police officer neighbour is actually a notorious serial killer. Stranger Things comparisons are perhaps inevitable but this fun frightener will be a nostalgic nightmare all its own.
PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLIEST REICH If you've been missing the likes of Blade, Pinhead and Jester then you'll be glad to know that they're back bringing the pint-sized pandemonium and marionette murders to the screen again. In this semi-reboot of the series, brought to you by the revamped Fangoria magazine no less, there-s even more puppet power when a convention celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original Andrew Toulon murders finds itself taken over by a strange supernatural force that animates all the exhibits. With some reportedly crazy kills, an appearance by horror royalty Barbara Crampton and a score from legendary Italian composer and Lucio Fulci collaborator Fabio Frizzi this is going to be one hell of a show!
INCIDENT IN A GHOST LAND Director Pascal Laugier shocked the world with the original Martyrs and returns here with what promises to be an equally violent take on the home invasion story. Years before a single mother protected her two daughters from intruders in the first night in their new home. Sixteen years later those daughters return to the house to find that the past events are still haunting the property and their minds. Reviews have stated this film is full of twists and turns and, like Laugier's infamous previous film, delves into heavy and unpleasant areas at times. Perfect for the FrightFest crowds then!
RAVERS Anyone who's found themselves still in a nightclub around 3am will recognise that it can resemble the set of a horror film but this British production is set to put a real nightmare into a night out. When a germophobe journalist (Vikings' Georgia Hurst) gets trapped in a warehouse party with a load of mutating berserk party-goers, thanks to a contaminated energy drink, she will have to overcome her fears in order to escape. There are some choice comedy horrors at the festival this year but this one is sure to bring both the guts, blood and beats. Nice one, sorted!
WHAT KEEPS YOU ALIVE After impressing with last years selection, It Stains The Sands Red, Director Colin Minihan and actress Brittany Allen are back with this dark and vicious thriller that will gnaw at your nerves in a whole different way. Allen plays Jules who, along with her partner Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson, soon to be seen in The Purge TV series), are celebrating their one-year anniversary when they find themselves under attack in their forest getaway. Minihan has certainly shown he can craft interesting spins on various horror genres and Allen gave us some amazing moments in It Stains.. so another team-up will certainly be something to cherish.
UPGRADE After terrorising us with torturous puzzle games in SAW and demonic possessions in Insidious, Writer/Director Leigh Whannel heads into sci-fear territory for this near-future shock. Quadriplegic technophobe Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) is given a experimental computer chip implant called STEM which helps him walk again and start to seek revenge for his injuries. But as Grey gives STEM more and more control the real nightmare begins. Trailers for this have already shown some kinetic action staging and filming and with Whannel at the wheel there's sure to be some gruesome surprises in this timely technology tale.
THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT A monster mash with a difference unfolds in this stylish tale from director Robert D. Krzykowski, featuring a stellar cast including Sam Elliot and Poldark's Aiden Turner. Elliot is a legendary American war veteran who was reportedly responsible for assassinating Hitler and is decades later recruited again to this time hunt down Bigfoot who is carrying a plague that could destroy mankind. With an amazing alternative-history story that delves into themes of mythology and mortality this should be a very curious creature-feature.
AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS A great cast, including David Bradley (Doctor Who, The Strain), feature in director Johnny Kevorkian's British techno-thriller which sounds like a great suspenseful shocker in the grand tradition of 'Tales From The Unexpected' with its claustrophobic set-up and apocalyptic overtones. Christmas is cancelled when the Milgram family awake to find a strange black substance surrounding their house and with no idea what's happened they turn to the television which simply tells them to 'Stay Indoors and Await Further Instructions'. Will this dysfunctional family tear each other apart before they find out what's going on and is the TV telling the whole truth?
POSSUM If you were at last year's FrightFest you may have been lucky enough to catch the preview footage director Matthew Holness debuted there and marvelled at the nightmarish imagery and creeping dread it portrayed. Fast forward a year and now we finally get the see the finished article in which Sean Harris plays a disgraced children's puppeteer forced to return home and confront the supernaturally dark secrets that have plagued his life. Holness may have once brought us the horror spoof Garth Marenghi's Darkplace but his first feature taps into much darker places and will genuinely terrify.
THE GOLEM A classic monstrous legend is brought to life in this period horror piece from brothers Doran and Yoav Paz (of found footage horror Jeruzalem fame). Conjured up to protect an isolated Jewish community, from disease and raiding parties, the creature soon becomes more evil than imagined after being born out of the tragedies and pain of its summoner, played by Hani Furstenberg. The first original production from horror website Dread Central this one promises some great classic horror story-telling and commentary on if the true evil is the creation or the creator.
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