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FrightFest 2018 - Here's everything you need to know!
By James W, Thursday 28th June 2018
Remaining in the heart of London's West End for its 19th edition, the world renowned horror and fantasy film festival FrightFest, turbo-charges into the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema from August 23 - August 27 2018. Hosting a record-breaking seventy films, embracing eighteen countries and spanning six continents, this year's line-up is a true celebration of the genre's global popularity. The five-day fear-a-thon includes 20 World, 17 European and 22 UK Premieres.
The opening night attraction is the UK premiere of The Ranger. Jenn Wexler's impressive directorial debut feature is an explosive, post-modern slasher, with a kick-ass punk soundtrack and a knock-out lead performance from Chloe Levin (The Transfiguration). Wexler, the first female director to open FrightFest, will be attending.
She said today: "We are honoured and thrilled to be selected as this year's opening night film. I made The Ranger because I love punk rock and '80s horror. We can't wait to share it with fans in the city where punk has its roots, at one of the world's best genre festivals.
Bringing the festival to a fitting conclusion is the UK premiere of Gaspar Noe's Climax, courtesy of the headline sponsors Arrow Video, which finds the incorrigible Irreversible wild child at the peak of his confrontational and hypnotically mesmerising powers. Based on true events, this throbbing whirling dervish is Noe's Disco Inferno via Dante's.
Over the years, FrightFest has discovered and nurtured a host of talented directors and many are returning this year including Martyrs maestro Pascal Laugier with the UK premiere of his latest in the French Extreme annals Incident In A Ghost Land, Paul Hyett with the world premiere of his medieval harrower Heretiks, Colin Minihan with the UK premiere of romantic shocker What Keeps You Alive. Padraig Reynolds with the world premiere of his neo-slasher Open 24 Hours and the fully-charged Turbo Kid trio Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell bring us the European premiere of serial killer thriller Summer Of 84. Then there are world premieres for the Paz brothers scorching new take on the fable The Golem, Tom Paton's cosmic horror Black Site, and Jon Knautz's The Cleaning Lady, starring his Goddess of Love muse Alexis Kendra.
Plus, the line-up sees Saw's Darren Lynn Bousman return with the European premiere of nunsploitation St Agatha, Insidious creator Leigh Whannell gifts us with a special preview of his super sci-fi thriller Upgrade, Johnny Kervorkian appears with the European premiere of his Cronenbergian chiller Await Further Instructions, rock video genius Joseph Kahn in back in the spotlight with the UK premiere of his extraordinary battle rap Bodied, director-turned-producer Lucky McKee with director Robert D. Krzykowski's presents the European premiere of the superb The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot, with Hollywood veteran Sam Elliott giving an award-winning performance.
This year there are a record number of films, embracing zombie horror comedies, redemption thrillers, supernatural twisters, musicals, creature features, biographical dramas, reinvented slashers, gross animation and paranormal freakery. FrightFest has aimed to reflect that rich diversity with films such as Jerome Pikwane's supernatural horror Tolkoloshe, the first festival entry from South Africa, which receives its world premiere, John McPhail's exuberant zombie musical Anna And The Apocalypse, the UK premiere of Mike Mort's gory animated shocker Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires. Caye Casas and Albert Pinto's end of the world eye-opener Killing God, Paul Raschid's post-Brexit thriller White Chamber, starring Shauna Macdonald and Takeshi Sone's LGBTQ stunner Ghost Mask: Scar.
Then there is Matthew Holness' much anticipated Possum, Jeremie Guez's blazing A Bluebird In My Heart, Andy Mitton's unusual The Witch In The Window, Linus de Paoli's gut-wrenching A Young Man With High Potential, Chris Sun's Oz creature feature Boar, Justin P. Lange's intensely moving The Dark, Evan Cecil's splatterific Lasso, Owen Egerton's bloody cheeky Blood Fest, Anthony Scott Burn's sinister Our House, Dominique Rocher's galvanizing The Night Eats The World, Adam Marcus' slay ride Secret Santa, Dean Devlin's grueling Bad Samaritan, starring David Tennant, Trevor Stevens' slyly futuristic Rock Steady Row, Justin McConnell's remarkable shape-shifting Lifechanger, Owen Long's dark fantasy Seeds, Nicolas Pesce's Italian soundtrack-tastic Piercing and Franck Ribiere's stylish Grand Guignol recreation The Most Assassinated Woman In The World.
The cabinet of fear holds more...be prepared for Orson Oblowitz's splatter revenge saga Hell Is Where The Home Is, starring Faruza Balk, Quinn, Lasher's nightmarish He's Out There, starring The Handmaid's Tale's Yvonne Strahovski, Tim van Dammen's dimensionally hilarious Mega Time Squad, David Barker's De Palma-esque Pimped, Shin'ichiro Ueda's one-take wonder One Cut Of The Dead, Giordano Giulivi's black-and-white marvel The Laplace's Demon, Abiel Bruhn and John Rocco's three mothers saga The Night Sitter, Matt Mercer and Mike Testin's unstable Dementia Part II, Stewart Sparke's action-packed Book Of Monsters, Sam Ashurst's experimental 200-anniversary celebration Frankenstein's Creature, Kristian A. Soderstrom's tribute to VHS collectors everywhere Videoman, Marcus Hearn's beautifully informative documentary Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros Years, Andre Gower's look at The Monster Squad cult phenomenon, Wolfman's Got Nards. Ante Novakovic's Halloween-set crowd-pleaser actually titled Fright Fest and there's murder on the dance floor in Bernhard Pucher's nightclubbed Ravers, starring Georgia Hirst from Vikings.
The popular raw talent strand 'First Blood' returns with four stellar titles: Kevin Chicken's outstanding body modification shocker Perfect Skin, Aislinn Clark's The Devil's Doorway, a terrifying depiction of devil possession, Harry Lindley's computer virus techno thriller CTRL and Ben Kent's F.U.B.A.R, which sees a stag party descend on a Zombie Apocalypse paintball weekend. What could go wrong? Here's where you'll find tomorrow's names today.
Another of FrightFest's popular discovery strands is our spotlight on South American fantasy and this year highlights the scream of the crop. The one title that is currently scaring up a storm is Demian Rugna's Terrified, (you will be!). Then there's the European premiere of Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano's homage to Dario Argento, Crystal Eyes, the UK premiere of Gonzalo Calzada's Argentine hit Luciferina and the UK premiere of Gustavo Leonel Mendoza's Cult Of Terror, an engaging documentary look at all the Latin American and Spanish-speaking fantasy festivals.
In 2008 FrightFest world-premiered Kerry Anne Mullaney's The Dead Outside and since then have consistently championed female directors. This year is no exception. Apart from Jenn Wexler's The Ranger and Anouk Whissell's involvement with Summer Of 84, the event also showcases the European premiere of Mitzi Peirone's visually dazzling Braid, the European premiere of Aislinn Clark's The Devil's Doorway (one of the 'First Blood' entries) and, by popular demand, a second screening of Issa Lopez's stunning Mexican fairy tale Tigers Are Not Afraid. Then there's Veronika Franz, Katrin Gebbe and Agnieszka Smoczynska's wonderful contributions to the Euro-fable anthology The Field Guide To Evil, which receives its UK premiere.
No FrightFest would be complete without a couple of shockers starring our First Lady of Fright, the incomparable Barbara Crampton. This year, everyone's favourite genre icon is represented by the European premiere of Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund's fabulous reboot Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich and the UK premiere of Brad Baruh's weird, wild and blood-soaked Dead Night.
Casting a truth-searing spotlight on FrightFest itself is Chris Collier's documentary FrightFest: Beneath The Dark Heart Of Cinema, which will receive its world premiere. Assembling a vast range of footage from every single past event and putting together dozens of interviews, the result is a warts-and-all look at the people behind FrightFest and what makes the UK's best genre festival tick.
For many seasoned movie-lovers the much-missed Scala Cinema in London's King's Cross area was the repertory Mecca for the weirdest double-bills and electric audience atmospheres. It was also where Shock Around The Clock began which was the the origin of FrightFest. Now fans can relive those golden days with a double-bill of classic exploitation chosen by the veteran programmer of the establishment herself, Jane Giles. Her book on the venue will be published in September by FAB Press and to celebrate FrightFest and Jane Giles will present Jeff Lieberman's pulp science fiction Blue Sunshine and Julien Temple's Sex Pistols documdrama The Great Rock'n'roll Swindle, both to be shown in 35mm.
In a first for FrightFest, director Roxanne Benjamin (XX, Southbound) presents an exclusive screening of Final Stop, a must-hear horror short produced by Sennheiser and starring Phoebe Tonkin (The Originals). Shot entirely on smartphone, and recorded in full binaural audio using the AMBEO Smart Headset, the film is designed to be watched with headphones (which will be supplied), so audiences can immerse themselves in the story and its terrifying 3D soundscape.
There will also be a special screening of Ghost Stories where co-writers/co-directors Jeremy Dyson and star Andy Nyman will host a live commentary and The Duke Mitchell Film Club is back with a hosted presentation of Sam Jones' documentary Life After Flash. This is followed by the now notoriously popular Duke Mitchell Party, where the audience and invited special guests can expect all manner of madness guaranteed to kick off your Saturday late night in style.
This year's guest list, special events and the Short Film Showcase entries will all be announced in the coming weeks and festival passes will go on sale Saturday 30 June at noon and will only be available to buy online.
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
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
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
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 Interview with Ferdinando D'Urbano actor, writer, producer of The Laplace's Demon
Posted on Tuesday 28th August 2018
A stand-out movie from FrightFest 2018 tested the brain power of those who saw it. The Laplace's Demon is an incredibly powerful piece so we chatted to one of the creatives behind it, Ferdinando D'Urbano.
HC: I'd never heard of Laplace's Demon theory before, can you give us a quick explanation of what it is?
FDU: The Laplace's Demon is a philosophical theory of the early 1800s. Pierre Simon Laplace was a French mathematician who in his work "Essai philosophique sur les probabilites" (A philosophical essay on probabilities), theorized that if there were an intellect capable of knowing al...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Andre Gower director of Wolfman's Got Nards
Posted on Monday 27th August 2018
HC: You had already starred in a lot of stuff before The Monster Squad came along, did you think that this was just "another" acting job?
AG: At the time, it was just that. The next audition, the next project. However, once on set and seeing what you were a part of, we realized quickly that this was something bigger and more unique than anything we had done before or may even get to do in the future.
HC: Were you a fan of the Universal monsters at that time?
AG: I always had an appreciation for the classics even as a kid. As you mature, you keep that appreciation and learn more about it and how it affects the present and realize these were very important...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest Day 5 - FrightFest comes to a Climax
Posted on Monday 27th August 2018
All good things come to an end and FrightFest 2018 is entering its final day. But there should be no tears, no sadness, as the event has been one of the very best of its 19 years.
But let's not dwell on it too much as there's another action-packed day of film fear for all attendees to enjoy starting with the world premiere of the brutal movie, Open 24 Hours from Padraig Reynolds.
Then its time to view a genre favourite of mine, the multi-story kind as The Field guide to Evil delivers a delicious amount of tales ranging from Greek goblins to possession in the German mountains. A love story with a ghastly and unique twist is next on the schedule as an undead flesh-eating ghoul form an unlike...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with John Rocco and Abiel Bruhn the writers and directors of The Night Sitter
Posted on Sunday 26th August 2018
HC: Where did the idea for The Night Sitter come from?
JR: From the beginning of this story, I had my childhood home in Nashville in mind as the perfect location. After several months of convincing, my parents allowed us to film in their house. It's a pretty amazing feeling to have grown up in the same location that we'd eventually film our first feature in! We were able to incorporate all the parts of my house that used to scare me as a child and weave them into a story about witches, which was extremely fun and nostalgic at times. While developing the story, I tried to recall the scary thoughts I had when I was Kevin's age.
AB: Finding an inspiring location (the house has this stran...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Joanne Mitchell, director of Sybil
Posted on Sunday 26th August 2018
One of the best things about FrightFest is the Showcases of Shorts which is the way to catch undiscovered talent and unique ideas. Joanne Mitchell has been in the entertainment industry for a few years but has just directed her first piece, Sybil which is showing at FrightFest today.
We decided to chat to her about this amazing and disturbing piece as well as he plans for feature films.
HC: Have you wanted to direct for a while?
JM: To be honest I hadn't really thought of directing until Tracey (Sheals) sent me an email with her idea for Sybil. And I really liked the story and thought this would make a great short film and possibly a feature in the fut...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest Day 4 - It's all about the Discovery
Posted on Sunday 26th August 2018
As Day 4 of FrightFest dawns its time check out what's going on at the Discover Screen.
As usual there's been a broad selection of films already shown in this room but today has the most eclectic menu of mayhem.
The Night Eats the World is a raw, stripped-down, existential zombie chiller based on the acclaimed book from Pit Agarmen which looks at the loneliness and pain of trying to survive an undead holocaust. This is stark contrast to Gonzalo Calzada's beautifully delicate yet striking Luciferina. Forming the second entry to his "Virgin Trilogy" it's the story of ancestral drugs, pagan rites and a perverted version of the eternal battle between Good and Evil.
A f...SHARE: READ MORE Frightfest Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
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