ARTICLES

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
The perfect present for the geek in your life! Vintage Geek: The Quiz Book by Marshall Julius
Posted in News, Wednesday 18th September 2019
Vintage Geek cover

Vintage Geek: The Quiz Book by respected film critic Marshall Julius is the ultimate quiz book for old school nerds. The book celebrates a splendid selection of 20th-century fandoms, from Fifties' sci-fi cinema, Sixties' Star Trek and Seventies' Stephen King to Eighties' actioners, Nineties' Batman' toons and more.

No matter what we're into, geeks of the world share a few common traits: intense and unconditional enthusiasm and the relentless urge to know, and then prove we know, every last thing about the objects of our affection.

With a foreword from Simpsons writer Mike Reiss, Vintage Geek additionally features a fabulous fifty celebrity-penned questions from the likes o...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest 2019 closing movie A Good Woman is Hard to Find coming to cinemas and digital
Posted in News, Friday 13th September 2019

Signature Entertainment will release the violent and powerful Northern Irish thriller A Good Woman is Hard to Find - fresh from closing FrightFest 2019 in UK Cinemas and on Digital from 25th October.

This crowd-pleasing and violent kitchen-sink revenge thriller is a dark and daring journey through Northern Ireland's criminal underbelly. Recently widowed mother of two Sarah (Sarah Bolger) is desperate to know who murdered her husband in front of their young son, rendering him mute. Coerced into helping a low-life drug-dealer, she's forced to go beyond her humanity to protect her children and learn the truth.

Directed by Abner Pastoll the movie stars Sarah Bolger, ...
SHARE: READ MORE
Rob Zombie's 3 From Hell to be unleashed October 14th
Posted in News, Friday 13th September 2019
3_FROM_HELL_BD_2D (2)

First there was House of 1,000 Corpses. Then there was The Devil's Rejects. Now, writer-director Rob Zombie presents the next blood-soaked chapter in the most violent crime saga in movie history, 3 from Hell.

After barely surviving a furious shootout with the police, Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie), Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley) and Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) are behind bars. But pure evil cannot be contained. Teaming up with Otis' half-brother Wilson (Richard Brake), the demented Firelfly clan are back to unleash a whole new wave of death and depravity. A firestorm of murder, madness and mayhem will be released in this terror ride to Hell and back.

Starring Sheri M...

SHARE: READ MORE
Death? There's an App for that! Brand new trailer for high-tech chiller Countdown
Posted in News, Friday 13th September 2019

If you could find out exactly when you're going to die... Would you want to know?

In Countdown, when a young nurse downloads an app that claims to predict exactly when a person is going to die, it tells her she only has three days to live. With time ticking away and a mysterious figure haunting her, she must find a way to save her life before time runs out.

Following her star role in Netflix's hugely successful You, Elizabeth Lail will be starring in this exciting new race-against-the-clock tech-horror alongside Anne Winters, and Peter Facinelli.

Countdown will be out in UK Cinemas on Saturday, October 25th.

SHARE: READ MORE
AIM Escape - The ultimate in immersive escape room experiences.
Posted in News, Tuesday 10th September 2019

Imagine that you and your friends are locked in a strange, dilapidated room with a limited time given to escape. A dark foreboding descends as you scramble around the dimly lit enclosure, hands clutching at objects as you desperately search for clues. Your mouth becomes dry as the time given continues to count down and all you can see are blood-covered walls and no way out...

This may sound like the latest instalment of the Saw franchise but it's actually the "Psychopath's Den", one of the highly immersive, high-tech escape rooms you can experience thanks to AIM Escape.

Based in Whitechapel, London, AIM Escape boasts four fully equipped rooms designed for those who crave extreme challenges, compl...

SHARE: READ MORE
A new hero has landed but is he here to save us? Brightburn is coming soon
Posted in News, Tuesday 10th September 2019
Brightburn Bluray cover

What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? With Brightburn, James Gunn presents a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror which flies onto Digital Download from October 12 and Blu-Ray and DVD on October 21 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Starring Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones and Meredith Hagner, directed by David Yarovesky and produced by James Gunn and Kenneth Huang, with screenplay by Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn, Brightburn comes complete with cool bonus content including two featurettes and a fil...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest award-winning favourite 'Double Date' released Blu-ray, DVD and digital
Posted in News, Tuesday 10th September 2019
DOUBLE_DATE-BD-3D

After its much-lauded theatrical release and fantastic reception on its FrightFest premiere, the bloody hilarious comedy-horror Double Date - written by and starring Screen International/FrightFest Genre Rising Star 2017 award winner Danny Morgan has arrived on digital, DVD and Blu-ray from Sparky Pictures.

Self-assured, and irritatingly cocksure, one thing Alex (Michael Socha) can boast about is his loyalty to his dearest friend, Jim (Danny Morgan). As Jim's 30th birthday approaches, Alex promises to help get his best friend laid, so he won't reach this unwelcome milestone a virgin.

They muster up the courage to arrange a double date with sisters Kitty (Kelly Wenham) and ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Nicholas Vince to explore his 'monstrous world' in new one-man show at Pleasance Theatre, London
Posted in News, Wednesday 4th September 2019
I Am Monsters - banner 2

Genre legend Nicholas Vince, famed for his roles as 'Chatterer' in Clive Barker's Hellraiser and 'Kinski' in Nightbreed, is to open the London Horror Festival with his one-man show, I Am Monsters! He will be performing for three nights only - from 8th October to 10th October, 7pm.

I Am Monsters! charts Vince's life from a monster-obsessed child, born undershot, through to an out of the closet actor, propelled to fame by Clive Barker's ground-breaking films. He speaks openly about being a bullied outsider, the life-threatening operation to reconstruct his face, his battle with being gay in Thatcher's Britain and reveals what it takes to be a monster. He will also be readin...

SHARE: READ MORE
John Carpenter announces Halloween: Expanded Edition
Posted in News, Wednesday 4th September 2019

To celebrate Halloween 2019, Sacred Bones have announced Halloween: Expanded Edition, set for release on a series of special limited edition vinyl this October 18th.

2018's Halloween, directed by David Gordon Green, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, and with music by series creator John Carpenter (along with his son and godson, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies) was a critical and box-office smash. It grossed $159 million against a $10 million budget, becoming the most profitable Halloween movie since the 1978 original.

The soundtrack album was a hit, too, debuting at #12 on the Billboard Albums chart and #2 on the vinyl chart, on its way to becoming one of the most succes...

SHARE: READ MORE
Grimmfest announce 6 European and 17 UK premieres as part of their full line-up of films
Posted in News, Monday 2nd September 2019
Grimmfest 2019 Poster

Grimmfest, one of the UK's leading cult and genre film festivals, is in its 11th year. The festival will take place at the Odeon Great Northern cinema in Manchester, UK, from 3 - 6 October 2019.

In total the festival will host 21 feature films and 19 short films, which includes 6 European premieres, 17 UK premieres, 2 English premieres and 15 Northern UK premieres.

European Premieres include Audrey Cummings' laconically brutal She Never Died (the keenly awaited follow up to 2015 horror hit He Never Died), claustrophobic Argentinian thriller 4X4 and Australian WWII set creature feature, Blood Vessel. UK Premieres include Hollywood cultist horror 1BR, Canadian mind b...

SHARE: READ MORE
"You have 20 seconds to comply!" RoboCop special edition coming soon
Posted in News, Friday 30th August 2019
Robocop_UK_Exploded_Pack1

RoboCop, from Orion Pictures, marked director Paul Verhoeven's Hollywood debut and instantly became an enduring sci-fi/action classic when it landed in theaters in the summer of 1987. Verhoeven's peerlessly exciting and kinetic visuals were matched by a sharp script, iconic cast and exceptional special effects by Rob Bottin (The Thing) and Phil Tippett (The Empire Strikes Back). Thanks to Arrow Video this classic will get the special edition treatment in Novemner.

The film takes place in Detroit in the not-too-distant future. Heroic cop Alex Murphy (Peter Weller, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai) is gunned down in the line of duty, only to be resurrected as ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Evan Daves star of Porno
Posted in Frightfest, 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
Articles Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Outpost
OUTPOST
Sunday 29th September
10.50 PM
Alone In The Dark
ALONE IN THE DARK
Sunday 22nd September
9.00 PM
Earth: Final Conflict
EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT
Monday 30th September
8.00 PM