ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS


Friendly Beast - FrightFest review
By James Whittington, Sunday 18th March 2018

Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow was a true showcase for world cinema. One of the stand out pieces came from Gabriela Amaral Almeida who wrote and directed Friendly Beast, a film so visceral yet beautiful at the same time, it left an indelible mark on this reviewer's mind.

It's nearly closing time at a struggling restaurant. Staff want to go home while the boss struggles with money troubles and a desire for more power in his life. Enter two robbers, the catalyst for a violent situation, which the boss is initially able to contain and gain the upper hand. Suddenly, the already dangerous and explosive situation turns deadly; sides are taken, and people turn to the most abhorrent behaviour in an instant.

This film looks so good and is perfectly paced that you'd think it had been delivered by a seasonal professional, to discover this is Almeida's debut is nothing short of breath taking. Her confident direction eases us into a false sense of security as a peaceful and rather predicable, bland night in a restaurant turns into a violent and blood-splattered nightmare. Ignore the fact it's in Portuguese with English subtitles, you lose nothing here and as with all good foreign movies it becomes natural to read whilst watching the drama unfold.

The small cast revel in their roles; we have the snobby couple, the desperate criminals, and the put-upon staff. Then there's the owner Inacio and waitress Sara (played to absolute perfection by Murilo Benicio and Luciana Paes) whose toxic relationship during a bungled robbery exposes their true form, the vicious animals that were hiding inside themselves.

This is a study of emotional frailty and desperation taken to an extreme, how when a person is pushed to the absolute limit they can break and unleash a wave of pure anger and emotion. This is a brutal film, but not just for the sake of getting a reaction from the audience. It peels the skin from "ordinary" people, examining human limits and their possible extremes. As for the final scene, I guarantee it will live long in your memory.

For a debut film this is nothing short of incredible. Its passionate, petrifying, and powerful from one of the most exciting creatives working in the world at the moment.


Related show tags: 4 STARS, GABRIELA AMARAL ALMEIDA
MORE FRIGHTFEST
Everything you ever wanted to know about FrightFest... but were afraid to ask!
Posted on Tuesday 19th February 2019
FrightFest Beneath the Dark Heart of Cinema

Central City Media have announced that the documentary FrightFest: Beneath the Dark Heart of Cinema will be released on 4th March. It will be available digitally via iTunes, Amazon, Virgin Media, Google Play and YouTube.

Featuring a mix of newly recorded interviews, archive and behind the scenes footage, the critically-acclaimed documentary casts an unflinching eye over the history of one of the world's leading genre festivals. Follow the trials and tribulations of four unlikely partners, thrown together into a high-pressure festival environment, forging horror history that's been nineteen years in the making.

The organis...

SHARE: READ MORE
A title you'll want to rent out, Videoman
Posted on Sunday 27th January 2019
Videoman cover

The feature film debut from award-winning Swedish director Kristian A. Sooderstroom, and one of Time Out's top picks to see at FrightFest 2018, Videoman celebrates the golden days of VHS, the Italian giallo and the films of Mike Leigh.

Ennio (Stefan Sauk), a giallo-obsessed VHS collector with a drinking problem finds a highly collectable video tape that could solve his money problems and save him from eviction. He makes a deal with a shady, anonymous collector before realising the video has been stolen.

So begins Ennio's desperate hunt for the black-gloved perpetrator while, along the way, he meets Simone (Lena Nilsson), an alcoholic woman obsessed with the 80s. As Ennio searches ...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest announces Glasgow Film Festival 2019 line-up
Posted on Thursday 10th January 2019
Finale

It's full scream ahead as Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's favourite horror fantasy event, returns to Glasgow Film Festival for a 14th fearful year, from Thursday 28 February to Saturday 2 March.

Presenting a stunning and resonating two days of trauma, terror and tantalising thrills, this year's line-up, once again housed at the iconic Glasgow Film Theatre, embraces the latest genre discoveries from around the world, spanning four continents, with two world, two European and six UK premieres.

Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director, commented: "Currently at its most vibrant and popular, the horror fantasy genre is constantly garnering critical acclaim, pushing boundaries and asking tough questions o...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Hyett director of Peripheral
Posted on Friday 2nd November 2018
Paul HyettPaul Hyett is a firm FrightFest favourite. His work jumps from genre you genre with ease but still retains that "Hyett" feeling in each piece. His latest work, Peripheral is having its UK Premiere at the FrightFest Halloween 2018 event so we decided to chat to Paul about this and his view on technology.

HC: How did the project of Peripheral come together?

PH: Peripheral was bought to me by the original producer, he thought I'd be a good fit. Originally he had pitched me a one woman in a room, contained location about bad technology theme. It didn't feel appealing as after Howl, which was a big film in terms of cast, VFX, stunts etc and I was looking for a more challenging film logisticall...

SHARE: READ MORE
Slay bells ring in Secret Santa!
Posted on Sunday 21st October 2018
Secret Santa Cover

Christmas dinner turns bloody in Secret Santa, the ferocious, gore-soaked horror comedy from the creators of Jason Goes To Hell and Texas Chainsaw 3D.

A Christmas Eve gathering takes an unexpected turn after a family guest spikes the punch with a military grade version of truth serum sodium pentothal. The already dysfunctional group comes unstuck in a blizzard of drug-induced, painfully candid outbursts, and upset soon turns to carnage after the head of the family runs amok with a fork, triggering festering loathings and savage reprisals.

The second film to be released under the FrightFest Presents label, the new venture from leading independent distributor Signature Enter...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2018 event
Posted on Thursday 4th October 2018
FrightFest Halloween Logo 2018

FrightFest unleashes an intoxicating six-pack of horror, sci-fi and fantasy for their popular Halloween all-day event, now at the Cineworld Leicester Square on Saturday 3rd November. The 12-hour monstrous marathon embraces four continents and includes two world premieres and four UK premieres.

The day kicks off with Julian Richards' latest chiller Reborn, a Carrie for the Z Generation, starring the First Lady of FrightFest, Barbara Crampton, and featuring a stunning performance from rising newcomer Kayleigh Gilbert. Richards, famous for The Last Horror Movie, will be at this World Premiere screening.

Next up is the UK premiere of Parallel, direct...

SHARE: READ MORE
First film to be released under the FrightFest Presents label - The Dark.
Posted on Tuesday 18th September 2018

The first film to be released under the FrightFest Presents label, the new venture from leading independent distributor Signature Entertainment and leading genre festival FrightFest, The Dark received its UK premiere at this year's prestigious FrightFest in London, and is perfect for genre fans who love nothing more than a backwoods shocker featuring ghouls, gore and flesh eating, but one done with panache and poignancy.

An undead young woman, Mina, stalks the 'Devil's Den' woods where she was killed. If anyone enters the woods, she kills them and feasts on the body. But when she stumbles upon a young blind boy named Alex in the back of a car, who shows signs of horrifying abuse, she can't bring herself to kill...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano, the creative forces behind Crystal Eyes
Posted on Saturday 15th September 2018
Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano

FrightFest 2018 exposed attendees to horror from all over the world and one that made an incredibly stylish and retro impact was the superb giallo inspired shocker, Crystal Eyes. Here the co-writers and co-directors Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano tell us all about this affectionate love letter to the classics of the 80s.

Where did the idea for Crystal Eyes come from?

Crystal Eyes was supposed to be the third episode of our web-series called No Podras Dormir Esta Noche (You Won't Sleep Tonight) which paid homage to different horror sub genres in each episode, and eventually it turned into a feature film. We love Giallo si...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Tom de Ville, director of Corvidae
Posted on Wednesday 5th September 2018
Tom de Ville director of Corvidae

HC: This is your first short as a director, what inspired you to write this script?

TdV: I read a really interesting article about how smart crows are, in particular how they can hold grudges. Apparently a group of scientists had gone out and harassed a murder of crows whilst wearing masks. If they went back wearing the masks, the crows would remember them and fight back. If they didn't wear the masks, the crows would leave them alone. This made me start thinking about what would happen if someone tried to save a crow from a bunch of kids who were trying to kill it. Would the other crows from its murder remember this? And what would they do to help her?...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Stewart Sparke, director of Book of Monsters
Posted on Wednesday 5th September 2018
Director Stewart Sparke watches a scene

HC: Your last movie, The Creature Below was two years ago, what's life been back since then?

SS: Since The Creature Below premiered at Frightfest in 2016 things haven't really stopped for myself and my collaborator Paul Butler. We were lucky enough to have the film released on DVD and VOD in over eight countries under various names. I think my favourite has to be Japan's Leviathan X: From the Deep! The film even had a theatrical release in Taiwan which was quite surreal as it was playing opposite Thor Ragnarok over there so overall, we've been completely blown away by everything that's happened. Paul and I are always coming up wit...

SHARE: READ MORE
Less dialogue, more sound. Sennheiser presents 3D audio thriller, Final Stop
Posted on Friday 31st August 2018

The rustle of a newspaper, the sound of the bus engine far away, the steps of the stalker in the pitch-black night: The hairs on the back of every neck will stand up, thanks to the incredibly realistic 3D sound in Sennheiser's short film Final Stop. Writer and director Roxanne Benjamin uses the soundscape to create a thrilling atmosphere, with stunning audio recorded using Sennheiser's Ambeo Smart Headset. The result is a gripping 3D audio thriller which was shown at FrightFest 2018 to a very appreciative crowd and which you can view here.

In Final Stop, the protagonist played by Australian actress Phoebe Tonkin is on her way home from the city on a night bus. She soon notices a m...

SHARE: READ MORE
Fancy a western themed slasher? Lasso will be for you!
Posted on Friday 31st August 2018

Epic Pictures' horror label Dread Central has unleashed the trailer for their latest picture, Lasso, Evan Cecil's Western-themed slasher which premiered at FrightFest last week.

From Dragonfly Films, Lasso, produced by Elaine Gibson, Todd Myers and Evan Cecil, stars Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints), Lindsey Morgan (The 100), Karen Grassle (Little House on the Prairie) and Andrew Jacobs (Paranormal Activity).

The horror flick centers around Kit (Morgan) and Simon (Jacobs), two young leaders of an Active Senior Tour group, out on an adventure to a small-town Rodeo festival located deep in the woods. It's a great experience for the group... until they try to leave. Simon and Kit must save themselves...

SHARE: READ MORE
Frightfest Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
Splice
SPLICE
Wednesday 1st May
10.50 PM
Tales From The Darkside
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE
Saturday 4th May
8.30 PM
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
Tuesday 7th May
7.00 PM