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By Emily Booth, Sunday 12th July 2015
August is looking like a big month for Horror with one of Europe’s largest horror festivals (need I even say it) FrightFest hitting the silver screen for it’s 16th year over the August bank holiday weekend, but I want to leave that carrot dangling just another week before I reveal all and tell you instead about Horror Channel’s insanely good line up Saturday nights this month with human marionettes, bitch fights, insomniac madness and suicide hotlines. Whet your appetite a wee bit? Yup, thought so.
One name making waves again, both on Horror Channel and at this year’s FrightFest is Anthony DiBlasi. Not one to shy away from shock-horror his movie Dread wowed FrightFesters back in 2009 with it’s emotionally and visually raw aesthetic. Now he’s back at the fest with the world premiere of his homage to the 80’s slasher; Most Likely To Die, starring (bizarrely) celebrity gossip hound Perez Hilton. DiBlasi gets a double whammy of premieres in the UK this August with the Network Premiere of his 2011 movie Cassadaga on Horror. The titular location is known as the ‘Psychic Capital of the World’ and is based in Florida so it’s a no brainer this place is full of absolute loons.
Lily, a young art teacher trying to move on from the tragic death of her sister seeks solace at the spiritual community of Cassadaga, but during a séance, instead of invoking her sister’s spirit, she unwittingly invokes the ghost of a murdered woman. As her medium explains, “Once a vengeful ghost connects to you, it will not relent until you do whatever it is it wants from you.”
We’ve seen and heard this in countless horrors – Paranormal Activity, Grindstone Road, Dark Water, What Lies Beneath, The Orphanage, and it’s a powerful plot device. Lily must follow the clues, and open the locked doors to trace the killer of the vengeful ghost. I don’t want to spoil it for you as the end results are hideous and grotesque – lets just say this is a killer who literally ‘pulls the strings’
Cassadaga gets its Network premiere Saturday 1st August 10.55pm; look out for an interview with Anthony DiBlasi on Horror’s website soon.
My next top pick is the UK TV premiere of Raze. Take a bit of Fight Club, Battle Royale and Hostel – add a female only cast of fighters and you’ve got the unflinching but very watchable Raze! Starring the ‘hire a girl gang’ Zoe Bell, Tracie Thoms and Rosario Dawson of Tarantino’s Death Proof, this film sees 50 women kidnapped and forced to fight each other, bare knuckle style, to the death. Spurring them on (and here’s where it gets psychologically disturbing) they are shown live feeds of their loved ones who only get to survive if they do. Sick! Don’t expect hair pulling and face scratching here; this is die-hard head – smashing, neck - twisting stuff. Raze, a UK TV premiere Saturday 10.55pm
Next up one for all you exhausted parents out there! Me included. Fittingly called Dark Circles (very clever metaphor for the relentless nature of it all!) new proud and initially happy parents to a beautiful baby boy, leave city life for one in the country – yup seen this before too of course, and it all goes wrong when it seems a malevolent female ghost wants to get its’ claws on the infant. This film however has likeable believable character and toys with ambiguity suggesting their sleep deprivation could just be making them paranoid and anxious. Also exploring themes of the fragility of life, this is a disturbing one to watch, probably best avoided if just given birth though. Dark Circles a UK TV Premiere Saturday 15th at 9pm.
Next up Devil May Call. A young girl blinded in an accident rebuilds her life helping others as a counselor for a suicide hotline. She has one obsessive caller however who only ever wants to talk to her, and when she tells him she’s quitting the job, he takes it very badly. He wants her all to himself see, and he just so happens to moonlight as a serial killer! Look out for Tyler Mane as the madman, a role he’s carving quite a career out of being Rob Zombie’s Michael Myers of choice! Devil May Call a UK TV premiere Saturday 22nd 9pm.
My last UK TV premiere for you in August is The Torment, apparently based on true events the story follows poor disturbed David O’Reilly who seeks sanctity at his friend’s home in London. But when mere flashes in the corner of his eye escalate into full-blown visions of demons, is he being haunted or just losing his mind? A realistic journey into a nightmarish world. The Torment, a UK TV premiere Fri 28th at 10.50pm
Join me for my weekly blogs as we get closer to FrightFest and I can reveal all!
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Saturday 18th August
Thursday 23rd August
Sunday 19th August