LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Horror Channel Manager Stewart Bridle rounds up some of the genre gems to catch at FrightFest 2019.
By James Whittington, Monday 19th August 2019
It's the most terrifying time of year, one filled with fear, torture and overwhelming dread. I'm not talking about being strapped to some SAW-type trap but rather having to decide watch to watch from FrightFest's annual line-up. And in their 20th year things are even harder than before with a record-breaking 78 movies to choose from. But if making a decision is slowly killing you then let us help with some of the movies we recommend scaring yourself with...CRAWL Alexander Aja, the director behind such horror hits as Switchblade Romance, the 2006 version of The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha 3D, returns with another gory genre piece that will do for the reputation of alligators what he previously did for mutated hillbillies and man-eating fish. During a huge hurricane Florida resident Haley (Kaya Scodelario) searches for her missing father (Barry Pepper), finding him injured in the crawlspace beneath their home. In trying to rescue him they both quickly become trapped by both rising floodwaters and the inhabitants of the local alligator farm who are now on the loose. The film has been already been going down a scream stateside and Aja has a proven nasty humourous streak so that combined with The Evil Dead's Sam Raimi on Producer duties means that we're in for some real jaw-some fun with this creature-feature. GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR The haunted house movie may have been done a million ways before but when Travis Stevens (the producer behind such previous horror hits as Starry Eyes, We Are Still Here and 68 Kill) chooses to use it as the setting for his directorial debut it's definitely worth paying a visit. Featuring WWE legend CM Punk as Don Koch who is trying to renovate a crumbling mansion for his pregnant wife but is soon encountering all the kinds of problems you just don't see on 'Changing Rooms' such as unidentifiable slime oozing from the walls, odd marbles rolling across floors and a strange seductive young woman hanging around. Weirder still is, as Don's renovations progress, the house reveals hidden rooms and crevices that may have a connection to his past. If all that isn't interesting enough then how about that apparently Stevens wrote the script specifically for the house where it is filmed, based on reports of actual hauntings there... HARPOON Three close friends on a yacht trip, sounds very nice and not at all FrightFest, right? Now strand them with no ignition keys, take away the food and water and throw in suspicions, secrets, jealousies and a spear gun and you have something more like it. Writer and Director Rob Grant, behind last year's impressive Alive, wrings all the tension, black comedy and more from his single location set-up, backed by some great performances from all the cast (which includes Turbo Kid's Munro Chambers), some extremely disturbing developments and a great soundtrack. Smart, stylish and shocking, you'll be glad you came aboard this boat. FEEDBACK Its terror on the airwaves for legendary British actor Eddie Marsan (The Disappearance of Alice Creed, The World's End) when his London radio jock, Jarvis Dolan, is taken hostage along with his crew during an edition of his late-night 'The Grim Reality' show. The masked intruders force Dolan to continue his broadcast, following their script and without letting on to the listeners they danger they are in, leading to a confession about a scandal he has no idea of but could ruin him. This looks to be a taught claustrophobic thriller in the vein of Funny Games, driven by a compelling central performance from Marsan and with a plot point very relevant right now. Tune in and hang on! CRITTERS ATTACK! Eighties gorier gremlin-a-likes the Critters return for another bite of the big screen and they've also brought the original film's star, and horror legend, Dee Wallace back to battle them once more. This time around a young student babysits her tutor's children on a hike when they find themselves in an unfortunate encounter with the extra-terrestrial eaters. With both a TV series and a movie out this year there's a lot of new life being breathed back into this fun franchise that was once responsible for launching the career of Leonardo DiCaprio (Critters 3). This installment, from director Bobby Miller who was behind previous FrightFest selection The Cleanse, promises to be crazier and gorier than everything that's gone before and will also introduce us to the first female Crite, will she be friend or foe? THE FURIES What's worse than being pursued by a masked psycho with an axe? How about finding out there are seven more, each with their own female victim and you're all part of some sick hunt where implanted retinal cameras are recording every moment of your fear. This is the horror style Hunger Games situation that high school student Kayla wakes up to after being abducted, now she must kill or be killed while providing twisted entertainment for an unseen audience in Aussie Tony D'Aquino's smart slasher debut. Far from being yet another misogynistic girls-getting-murdered-by-maniacs flick this promises to unleash some real girl-power on the collection of crazies, who come with monikers like "Melonhead" and "Rodface", and may prove that the beauties could be the real beasts. DARK LIGHT Who doesn't love a good monster-in-the-dark story? And you can't get darker than this tale where the creatures feast on human inner light from FrightFest regular Padraig Reynolds, who has brought us Rites of Spring and last year's selection Open 24 Hours. Jessica Madesen is Annie Knox who returns to remote farm home after many personal devastation only to encounter a whole new nightmare when she discovers an extinct humanoid race living in the walls and under the house and they want her daughter Emily. Reynolds always delivers some solid scares and this latest sci-fi flavoured horror looks certainly to be no different. Perfect for an audience already sat in the dark! READY OR NOT Coming from the Radio Silence collective (behind segments of V/H/S, Southbound and the feature Devil's Due) you know that when bride Grace marries into Daniel's wealthy games manufacturing family this will be no fairy-tale affair and instead will become the reception from hell. A tradition dictates they all must play a game the night before the honeymoon but instead of Monopoly the game chosen is murder and Grace now must fight for survival against her new insidious in-laws. This mash up of Clue and The Purge has a fantastic cast (including Andie MacDowell and an amazing Samara Weaving in the lead), some incredibly black humour and a hell of a lot of red being splashed on that white dress. The best wedding-set horror since REC 3? Get an invitation and find out! THE BANANA SPLITS MOVIE If, like me, you're old enough to have been entertained by the Saturday morning 70's psychedelic-styled antics of Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky you may be wondering what on Earth the FrightFest team are smoking to have included them in the line-up but you can be rest assured that this will be no kid's show! For what is being hailed as the first R-rated adaptation of a Hanna Barbara property certainly sounds like the craziest flick of this year's festival and a cult hit in the making. When a family attend a recording of The Banana Splits TV Show it's meant to be a magical birthday treat but news of the show's cancellation turns the animatronic Banana Splits into a homicidal rage and soon it's a battle for survival as the zany cartoon violence gets executed for real on the audience and crew. Prepare to have your childhood memories replaced by all-new nightmares! RABID (2019) The original Cronenberg version is one of my favourite slices of 70's horror but if anyone can make me interested in a modern rework of this zombie-tinged tale it's going to be The Soska Sisters, the twisted twins who have given us such deviant delights as Dead Hooker In A Trunk, American Mary and See No Evil 2. Bringing its themes smack up to date this time Rose (Laura Vandervoort) works in fashion, dreaming of being a famous designer, when an accident leaves her horrifically scarred. After she takes part in an untested stem cell treatment she is reborn as everything she has wanted, but this transformation comes at a price and she finds to achieve the dream she has to live a nightmare feeding on others leading to a strange new form of contagion. Those Soskas know how to have a lot of frightening fun with their films and have previously proven they are worthy inheritors of their fellow Canadian's body horror crown so I can't wait to catch this fresh strain.
Related show tags: SEE NO EVIL 2, STARRY EYES, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED, THE EVIL DEAD, TURBO KID, WE ARE STILL HERE MORE ARTICLES Renowned Author and critic Kim Newman takes us on a nostalgic trip through Horror Channel's Classic Monster Marathon Day on Sunday 24 November.
Posted in Features, Tuesday 19th November 2019
When Universal Pictures secured the rights to Bram Stoker's Dracula, the property had just been made popular by a Broadway theatre adaptation. Stage star Bela Lugosi got his career-making (and-defining) gig as the Count ('I... am... Dracula') because Lon Chaney, star of Universal's silent Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame, had died and left a gap few thought anyone would ever fill. At the time, the industry classed Dracula as 'a mystery play', lumping it in with the old dark house spookiness of The Cat and the Canary. After the first talkie vampire became a big hit, folks started talking about 'horror films' and 'monster movies' - and the genre as we know it nearly ninety years later was founded. With Dr...SHARE: READ MORE The Web Planet comes to vinyl for the first time
Posted in News, Monday 11th November 2019
In the vintage 6-part Doctor Who adventure, The Web Planet which was first shown on BBC TV in February and March 1965, a strange magnetic force pulls the TARDIS down to the craterous surface of Vortis. The Doctor and his friends learn that the planet has been invaded, and the parasitic Animus is slowly enveloping it in a web-like domain. The giant ant-like Zarbi are under its control, whilst the butterfly-like Menoptra are battling to reclaim their planet.
Presented across 3 x heavyweight 180g pieces of pink vinyl, this narrated TV soundtrack evokes a classic Doctor Who adventure in all its aural magnificence. The alien ambience of Vortis, the insistent chirruping of the ...SHARE: READ MORE All you need to know about Horror Channel's Classic Monsters Marathon!
Posted in Features, Monday 11th November 2019
On Sunday 24th of November, Horror Channel is celebrating the beginnings of cinema horror with Classic Monsters Marathon.
Kicking off at 1pm, it features some of the most iconic monster movies of all-time, including: Ted Browning and Karl Freund's Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi as the infamously seductive Count, James Whale's genre-defining Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, Karl Freund's mesmerising The Mummy, with Boris Karloff further establishing himself as one of the great horror stars in film history, The Wolf Man, with Lon Chaney, Jr. as the original werewolf and the pulp horror classic Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Dracula is first on the list starti...SHARE: READ MORE What you can't see can hurt you! Have you seen the trailer for The Invisible Man?
Posted in News, Monday 11th November 2019
"What you can't see can hurt you!"
Universal Pictures has released the official trailer for The Invisible Man.
Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss (Us, Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale) stars in this terrifying modern tale of obsession inspired by Universal's classic monster character.
Trapped in a violent, controlling relationship with a wealthy and brilliant scientist, Cecilia Kass (Moss) escapes in the dead of night and disappears into hiding, aided by her sister (Harriet Dyer, NBC's The InBetween), their childhood friend (Aldis Hodge, Straight Outta Compton) and his teenage daughter (Storm Reid, HBO's Euphoria).
But when Cecilia's abusive ex (Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House) commits suic...SHARE: READ MORE Iconic German horror Der Golem comes to life with a new 4K Restoration
Posted in News, Monday 4th November 2019
Eureka Entertainment will release Der Golem; Paul Wegener and Carl Boese's classic silent horror, as part of The Masters of Cinema Series for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK, from a brand new 4K restoration on 18 November. It will be presented with a Limited Edition Slipcase [First Print Run of 2000 copies only].
An iconic early horror masterpiece, Der Golem was Paul Wegener's third attempt at adapting the Golem character for the big screen. Starring and co-directing with Carl Boese, Wegener crafted one of silent cinema's most enduring masterpieces.
In the Jewish ghetto in 16th century Prague, Rabbi Low (Albert Streinruck, Asphalt) creates a forbidding clay Golem (pl...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Cameron Macgowan, director of Red Letter Day
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Friday 1st November 2019
FrightFest 2019 exposed a lot of new talent in the movie industry and one of the stand-out pieces was Red Letter Day from Cameron Macgowan.
HC: Where did the idea for Red Letter Day come from and did it take long to write?
CM: I have long been a fan of the 'Humans Hunting Humans' subgenre of film (Battle Royale, The Running Man, Hard Target, etc.) and was inspired to set one of these films in what many people consider the 'safe' location of the suburbs. Suburban communities feel like the perfect setting for a horror film as you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul all while knowing that you are surrounded by many people. This mixed with a desire to satirise the current socio-political climate ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Carlo Mirabella-Davis, director of Swallow
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Wednesday 30th October 2019
Ahead of the UK premiere of Swallow at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, director Carlo Mirabella-Davis reflects on the personal inspiration behind his feature debut, healing psychological wounds and his empathy for the genre.
HC: Swallow is your directorial debut. How difficult was it to get the project off the ground?
CMD: Getting a film made is a fascinating process. My late, great teacher at NYU, Bill Reilly, would always say "script is coin of the realm". The early stages involved perfecting the screenplay as much as I could, writing and rewriting until I felt confident sending it out. The sacred bond between the producer and the director is the catalyst that brings a film into being. I ...SHARE: READ MORE 101 Films present haunted house horror Girl on the Third Floor
Posted in News, Wednesday 30th October 2019
WWE Legend Phil "CM Punk" Brooks gets his first starring role in Girl on the Third Floor, a bloody and demented haunted house tale from one of the strongest voices in modern indie-horror, Travis Stevens.
Bursting pipes, rotting walls, and unidentifiable slime were not what Don Koch (Phil 'CM Punk' Brooks) expected when he convinced his wife Liz (Trieste Kelly Dunn) that he could rehab their new Victorian home himself. In over his head, under duress, and tempted by his old weaknesses, Don soon discovers that the house has its own dark, sordid history and won't be so easy to renovate after all...
Having produced some of the finest indie horror gems of recent years including Horror Channe...SHARE: READ MORE 10 things you might not know about Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Posted in Features, Saturday 26th October 2019
It's the one where no one came home. It's the one without Michael Myers. It's the one that stalled at the box-office but gained a huge cult following over the last 37 years or so!
Yes, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the movie which split the Halloween fanbase right down the middle but was supposed to be the relaunch of the brand name.
Here's 10 fear-filled facts you might not know about this classic horror and catch the movie on Horror October 31st at 10.55pm.10) The film was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace who also provides the voice on those classic Silver Shamrock commercials. 9) Speaking of which, the infamous Silver Shamrock jingle is actually the old nursery rhyme... SHARE: READ MORE Brand new trailer unleashed for Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel
Posted in News, Thursday 24th October 2019
Sony Pictures UK has made available the blood-splattered trailer for Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel.
Based on the bestselling comic book, Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he's an unstoppable force -stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn't know what's real and what's not - but he's on a mission to find out.
Bloodshot will open in the UK in 2020.SHARE: READ MORE Sinister, Terrifier and Tower Block amongst Horror Channel premieres in November
Posted in Features, Tuesday 22nd October 2019
Psycho clowns, demented dolls and deadly snipers... Horror Channel is big on scares in November with eleven Channel premieres including murderous supernatural chiller Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke, Damien Leone's screamingly shocking Terrifier and the riveting urban thriller Tower Block, starring Sheridan Smith and Jack O'Connell.
There are also Channel premieres for two popular installments of the Chucky franchise, Child's Play 2 and Child's Play 3. John Carpenter's dazzling fantasy Starman, starring Jeff Bridges, two spooky black comedy classics - Peter Jackson's The Frighteners and Joe Dante's The Burbs, and the even more eerie John Carpenter remake of Village of the Damn...SHARE: READ MORE The League of Gentlemen to release Precious Things in December
Posted in News, Monday 21st October 2019
Following on from the success of Demon Records' sold out 'Special Stuff' box set, we present the final installment of the characters from the fictional town of Royston Vasey in The League of Gentlemen's Precious Things.
Pulling together the original Christmas Special for the first time on vinyl ("Yule Never Leave", first aired on the 27th December 2000), and the three anniversary episodes from 2017 ("Return To Royston Vasey", "Save Royston Vasey" and "Royston Vasey Mon Amour")
"Yule Never Leave" is presented on 180g "Snow Slash" vinyl, telling the story of Vicar Bernice three unwelcome guests, and is detained from watching the boxing by stories of voodoo spells, German vampires, anci...SHARE: READ MORE Articles Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Friday 29th November
Friday 29th November
Saturday 23rd November