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Arrow Video FrightFest 2019 announces 20th year record-breaking line-up
By James Whittington, Thursday 4th July 2019
The UK's biggest and boldest horror and fantasy film festival is celebrating its 20th bloody year. Since 2000 it has made its indelible mark, not only on the ever-burgeoning horror community but also on the UK genre landscape as a whole. The internationally renowned event leads the way in attesting to the versatility of the genre, its reinvention and its growing importance in the cultural landscape and this year is no exception.
Arrow Video FrightFest 2019 is back at the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema from August 22nd - August 26th. Hosting a record-breaking seventy-eight films, embracing fourteen countries and spanning six continents, this year's five-day fear-a-thon includes 20 World, 20 International/European and 28 UK Premieres.
As previously announced, this year's festivities begin with the UK premiere of Ant Timpson's deviously edgy stunner Come To Daddy, starring Elijah Wood and reaches its bloody conclusion with the World premiere of Abner Pastoll's superbly crafted crime story, A Good Woman Is Hard To Find. Other main screen international attractions include producer Guillermo del Toro and director Andre Ovredal's Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, producer Sam Raimi and director Alexandre Aja's gruesome 'gator yarn Crawl, the Radio Silence gang's lethal thriller Ready Or Not, director Kiah Roache-Turner's futuristic Ozploitation classic Nekrotronic, Pedro C. Alonso's startling captive chiller Feedback, with a career-defining performance from Eddie Marsan, Kirill Sokolov's splatterpunk action comedy Why Don't You Just Die! and Jason Mewes' insanely brilliant Madness In The Method, starring Mewes, Vinnie Jones, Kevin Smith, Teri Hatcher, Dean Cain and with a final on-screen appearance from Stan Lee.
Making their second, very welcome appearance at the festival will be The Soska Sisters, attending for the World Premiere of Rabid, their eagerly anticipated re-imagining of the Cronenberg classic. The sisters will also introduce a special retrospective screening of the original. Also attending is the legendary Dario Argento, here for a special screening of his giallo masterpiece Tenebrae. He'll also be in conversation with Festival co-director Alan Jones and signing copies of his book, Fear, which Jones has adapted and edited. More attending guests will be announced later this month.
FrightFest's 20th year sees the return of directorial alumni like Adam Egypt Mortimer with his provocative psychological horror Daniel Isn't Real, Christian Alvart with his twisted blockbuster Cut-Off, Lucky McKee with the startling Kindred Spirits, starring Thora Birch, Joe Begos with his terror trip Bliss, Larry Fessenden with Depraved, a post-modern take on the Frankenstein legend, Padraig Reynolds with belligerent creature feature Dark Light, producer Eli Roth with the grindhouse-inspired Haunt, The Pierce Brothers' bring us their chiller The Wretched, Dan Bush is back with seat-edge shocker The Dark Red, Jordan 'Zombeavers' Rubin teases us with tongue-in-chic horror comedy The Drone and 'Level 16' director Danishka Esterhazy gives us her fun-packed body-counter The Banana Splits. There is also the UK premiere of Girl On The Third Floor, the directorial debut from returning producer Travis Stevens and Darlin', the directorial debut of past FrightFest 'darling' Pollyanna McIntosh Plus, those fur balls with teeth are back. Critters Attack!, with original star Dee Wallace, will enjoy its UK Premiere.
FrightFest continues to present the films that are currently shaking up the genre scene and allowing it to transform and continually excite. Like Michael Goi's Mary starring Gary Oldman and Emily Mortimer, the inventive Eat Brains Love from Rodman Flender, Seann William Scott's stunning serial killer turn in Bloodline, Chelsea Stardust's hilarious Satanic Panic, the unforgettable coming-of-ager Knives And Skin, The Black String, marking the comeback of Frankie Muniz, Kelola Racela's lustfully demonic Porno, the incredible animation attraction To Your Last Death, Emma Tammi's critically acclaimed The Wind, Fernando Alle's Troma-inspired Mutant Blast, and the two craziest Midnight Movies you will ever see - Valeri Milev's fabulously inventive Bullets Of Justice and Fabricio Bittar's Brazilian gorefest Ghost Killers Vs. Bloody Mary.
The genre scene in the UK continues to innovate and thrive, reflected in this year's First Blood strand. Life coaches become dead coaches in Staten Cousins-Poe's gem of a feature debut A Serial Killer's Guide To Life and Graham Hughes' viral mockumentary Death Of A Vlogger, gives the found footage format a much-needed shot in the arm. Then there's Samuel Gridley's darkly funny Criminal Audition, Magnus Wake's cleverly plotted and heart-pounding Dark Sense and making up the fearsome five is Fredi Nwaka's Are We Dead Yet, a cleverly crafted supernatural comedy-crime thriller.
Other home-grown selections include the European premiere of Tales From The Lodge Abigail Blackmore's portmanteau shocker, starring Mackenzie Crook and Johnny Vegas, Carl Strathe's disturbing Dark Encounter, starring Laura Fraser and Alice Lowe, and the world premiere of Charlie Steeds' flesh-eating horror The Barge People. There are also world premieres for Justin Edgar's nail-biting suspense thriller Stalked (AKA Unseen), Tom Paton's heightened horror Stairs and producer/director Lawrie Brewster's For We Are Many, in which directors from around the world unleash a legion of demons. And let's not forget director Jack McHenry, who makes a welcome return with his crowd-pleasing Here Comes Hell, which made huge waves at our Glasgow edition earlier this year.
Over the years FrightFest has showcased the best genre films Canada has to offer and this year a special strand has been created - Canadian Chills - to highlight an exceptional bumper crop, which, apart from Rabid, embraces the International premiere of Colin Minihan and director Kurtis David Harder's smart chiller Spiral and the UK premieres of Tony Dean Smith's sci-fi mind-bender Volition, Ray Xue's entertainingly nasty Extracurricular, starring Luke Goss, Chad Archibald's deadly thriller I'll Take Your Dead, Cameron Macgowan's dark comedy chiller Red Letter Day and Jordan Barker's unrelenting assault of pure terror, Witches In The Woods. Then there are World premieres for Jay Dahl's malevolent Halloween Party and Braden Croft's compelling True Fiction. Completing the line-up are Zack Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein's FrightFest Glasgow hit Freaks, the International premiere of Rob Grant's sick, sea-faring adventure Harpoon and the UK premiere of the sinister and challenging Happy Face, this year's Duke Mitchell presentation.
Another country with a fine FrightFest pedigree is Argentina and this year is no exception; with the World Premiere of producer Javier Diment's chilling chamber piece Rock, Paper Scissors, plus the European premiere of Herman Finding's Impossible Crimes and the UK premiere of Pablo Pares' apocalyptic powerhouse I Am Toxic.
The global cabinet of fear holds more...Tunisia is represented for the first time with the UK premiere of Dachra, an intense folk horror that has broken box office records in North Africa and Japan offers up a forgotten musical cult gem from 1985 - The Legend Of The Stardust Brothers. Ireland's entry is Paddy Murphy's The Perished. Mixing horror and pertinent social issues, the film marks the debut of a new Irish genre voice.
Further indie discoveries on the monstrous menu are: Australian chase chiller The Furies, the elegantly scary The Sonata, social media shocker Deadcon, Driven, a smart, meter-running battle against evil, Eric Pennycroft's brooding Sadistic Intentions, with Larry Fessenden, the horrifying Christmas cracker I Trapped The Devil, the quirky, cutting Fingers and The Deeper You Dig, a Coen-Brothers-esque story of grief and survival from Toby Poser and John Adams.
Documentary lovers will enjoy Dima Ballin's The Magnificent Obsession Of Michael Reeves, charting the life and early death of the man who gave us Witchfinder General and two documentaries from director David Gregory, Master Of Dark Shadows, an in-depth look at the talents of Dan Curtis, the "King of TV horror" and Sick! Savage! Sensual! The Reel Life And Ghastly Death Of Al Adamson, which tells the bizarre and grim demise of one of Hollywood's exploitation bad boys.
In a first for FrightFest, there will be a special preview of Man Of Medan, the first game in The Dark Pictures anthology. This will be followed by a Q+A session with the key development talent behind the game. The much anticipated interactive narrative horror adventure, developed by Supermassive Games and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe, brings supernatural horror on board a ghost-ship adrift in the South Pacific. It is set to be released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One August 30, 2019.
Festival co-director Alan Jones, said today: "Over the last two decades we have tirelessly introduced our committed audiences to every trend, every new talent and every innovation that has put horror back in the collective cinephile conscious. Even after 20 years. FrightFest's August event remains a key destination to see the latest genre movies in the manner for which they were made - on the Big Screen surrounded by fellow fear-mongers. Remember, it's our party and we'll scream if we want to!"
This year's guest list, special events and the Short Film Showcase entries will all be announced in the coming weeks.
Festival passes will go on sale Saturday 6 July at noon and will only be available to buy online.
As ever, Horror will be there reporting on everything FrightFest as well as reviewing and blogging as well as Facebook Live broadcasts.
Related show tags: ROAD GAMES, SOME KIND OF HATE, WITCHFINDER GENERAL MORE FRIGHTFEST Interview with Evan Daves star of Porno
Posted on Friday 30th August 2019
In the bizarre and gruesome comedy/horror Porno, Abe, played by Evan Daves is a burgeoning pervert with a guilty conscience who works in a cinema and ends up battling a demon! Here, Evan tells all about this gory story. (Headshot - Matthew Murphy)
HC: How did the role of Abe in Porno come about?
ED: I had the audition come in through my agent. Adrienne Stern, the casting director, is great; she actually cast me in my first movie when I was 13, a comedy called "Harold" starring Cuba Gooding Jr. Since then she's always been kind enough to bring me in for projects that I'm right for. When I saw her name in the breakdown I knew it would be a wacky, cool project - she has a great eye for that stuff...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Sara Garcia, star of True Fiction
Posted on Friday 30th August 2019
FrightFest 2019 was contained some of the best psychological thrillers we've seen in a long time. One of the finest was Braden Croft's True Fiction which boasts incredible performances from John Cassini and Sara Garcia. We chatted to Sara about her role of lonely librarian, Avery Malone.
HC: Did you always want to be an actress when you were growing up?
SG: I've always been a performer. As a child my parents encouraged my artistic side through dance classes, singing lessons and after school performing arts programs. When I was very young, I dreamed of being a singer and as a grew older I gravitated more towards the dramatic arts. I didn't seek acting out as a profession until later in life. I fel...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Fernando Alle, writer and director of Mutant Blast
Posted on Thursday 29th August 2019
One of the wildest and most bizarre movies of FrightFest 2019 was Fernando Alle's gore-splattered sci-fi inspired feature, Mutant Blast. Here, he tells us the story about making this crazy piece of celluloid.
HC: Regular FrightFest goers will know you from your pieces Banana Motherf**ker and Papa Wrestling, why has it been so long for Mutant Blast to come along?
FA: I started making this film in 2012, and it has indeed been far too long. I figured that making a feature film would be 10 times harder than making a short film, but in fact it is at least 100 times harder. I am glad I was naive, because otherwise I would have cut a lot of stuff from the script and the film would not have turned out ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Chad Archibald director of I'll Take Your Dead
Posted on Wednesday 28th August 2019
Chad Archibald has been behind a number of FrightFest favourites in the past including Bite which is showing on Horror in September. With is latest movie, I'll Take Your Dead wowing audiences at FrightFest we chatted to Chad.
HC: We last spoke a few years back about your fabulous movie, Bite, I loved it, and would you consider a Bite 2?
CA: I would love to do a Bite 2 if there was enough demand for it. Bite was the most fun I've had making a movie and I think if we made a second, we would just amp it all up. More goo, more gore, more laughs. I've got tons of ideas already so it's never off the table.
HC: Where did the story of I'll Take Your Dead come from?
...SHARE: READ MORE Fear: The Autobiography of Dario Argento is coming soon from FAB Press
Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2019
To his legion of admirers Dario Argento is a horror legend of the greatest magnitude. And to his genre filmmaking contemporaries he's an inspiration and an icon. Now, thanks to FAB Press we can get the whole story on this cinematic legend in the book, Fear: The Autobiography of Dario Argento.
For many years Argento's ground-breaking shockers like The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno, Tenebrae and Opera meant box-office gold. Now the maverick auteur, lauded as the Italian Hitchcock and the Horror Fellini, has written his autobiography, revealing all about his fascinating life, his dark obsessions, his talented family, his perverse dreams, and his star-crossed ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Abner Pastoll director of A Good Woman is Hard to Find
Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2019
A few years back we met director Abner Pastoll at the world premiere of his thriller, Road Games. 2019 and he's back with his new movie, A Good Woman is Hard to Find so we caught up with him just before its premiere at FrightFest 2019.
HC: We first met when you unleashed the "killer of a thriller" Road Games, what have you been up to since then?
AP: Making this new film! And trying to stay alive.
HC: How did you become connected to A Good Woman is Hard to Find?
AP: I was looking for a writing partner to collaborate with. My producer knew a great agent so reached out to him, asking for writing samples from some of his clients. One of those 'samples' happened to be a...SHARE: READ MORE Not with a whimper but with a bang! FrightFest 2019 comes to a close
Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2019
The final two movies of FrightFest 2019 gave the crowd exactly what they wanted from the festival; invention, fun and truly shocking cinematic moments.
The much talked abut Rabid remake from Jen and Sylvia Soska didn't disappoint and delivered a smart updating of the David Cronenberg classic. Rose wants to become a famous designer in the fashion world, but a terrible accident leaves her scarred beyond recognition. Undergoing a radical untested stem cell treatment, wallflower Rose turns into the belle of the ball and starts to realize her ambitions. But everything in life comes at a price and Rose's newfound perfection is no exception as she unwittingly sets off a bloody spiral of contagion. Well-paced wi...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Charlie Steeds director of The Barge People
Posted on Monday 26th August 2019 Ever wanted a horror movie set on a canal boat? Well your dream has come true with Charlie Steeds' new movie The Barge People.
HC: Looking at your CV you seem to be a big fan of the horror genre, can you recall which film inspired your career?CS: Absolutely, I'm a horror fanatic, that's why I'm making horror films! I got hooked on this genre by watching Stephen King adaptations. I looked for anything with King's name on and knew I'd love it, this one guy's imagination produced a whole world of unique horror stories, the Stephen King brand, it still amazes me.
HC: Has any one director or other creative influenced your work?
CS: I'm a huge fan of Lucio...SHARE: READ MORE Where did that time go? Day 5 of FrightFest has dawned
Posted on Monday 26th August 2019
Hard to believe but in a blink of an eye the final day of FrightFest 2019 has dawned but the festival is going out with a real bang with a programme packed with some of the strongest movies from the entire event playing today.
Brian Hanson's The Black String allows Frankie Muniz to really get his teeth into a mature role and he carries it off perfectly. A slacker goes on a blind date with a strange woman, and his world suddenly begins to unravel in horrifying fashion as he's plagued by paranoia, illness and nightmarish visions. Part social commentary part tale of a truly lost soul this is smart film that takes us into a life that has been oppressed for so long and when he finally does think ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Justin Edgar director of Stalked
Posted on Monday 26th August 2019
The themes of fear of the unknown and being hunted collide in Justin Edgar's Stalked. Here he talks about the creation of this smart chiller.
HC: Where did the idea for Stalked come from and did it take you long to write?
JE: I believe we're living in a golden age of suspense thrillers and horror and I wanted to be part of that. I knew I had to come up with a cool suspense concept that could form the basis of the film. I've always been very interested in how we all love watching - reality TV, social media, CCTV, surveillance and phone cameras and how that relates to the nature of cinema -voyeurism and scopophilia - the fetish of watching. When I found...SHARE: READ MORE Dangerous games and apps from hell, it can only be FrightFest!
Posted on Monday 26th August 2019
A trio of movies brought day 4 of FrightFest to a chilling close as they were a mixture of psychological horror and full out exploitation madness.
Director Adam Egypt Mortimer, a guy who had already impressed FrightFest goers with his brutal movie Some Kind of Hate a few years back brought with him Daniel Isn't Real. Here, a troubled young man's imaginary friend from childhood returns as an adult eager to indulge in darkly disturbing desires. As you might guess this is a film that mixes surreal situations with grim reality and makes for some very memorable set-pieces.
Ready or Not from Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett is a cool take on the "I've just married into an incredibly creepy...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Casey Dillard writer and star of Driven
Posted on Sunday 25th August 2019
FrightFest 2019 contains some of the most inventive and rewarding movies that are out there waiting to be discovered. One in particular, Driven is causing a bit of a stir so we chatted to Casey Dillard, writer and star of this smart shocker.
HC: How did the idea for Driven come to you?
CD: Glenn wanted to try to make an "easy" movie that took place entirely in a car, so the concept was his. I came up with the idea of a ride-share driver and passenger. Once I had solid reasons for them to stay within this space the story came easily enough. I enjoy a good curse as long as it isn't put on me.
HC: Did it take long to write?
CD: If you count the time that I actually sat in front of t...SHARE: READ MORE Frightfest Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
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