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 FEATURES 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 on 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 All you need to know about Horror Channel's Classic Monsters Marathon!
Posted on 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 10 things you might not know about Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Posted on 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 Sinister, Terrifier and Tower Block amongst Horror Channel premieres in November
Posted on 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 13 nights of scares as Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season
Posted on Tuesday 8th October 2019
For thirteen nights, from Saturday 19th October to Thursday 31st October at 9pm, Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season, a supernaturally spooky selection of the scariest movies, including the UK premiere of the ghostly chiller The Unspoken and the channel premiere of the terrifying thriller Pay The Ghost, starring Nicholas Cage.
Other highlights include Damiano Damiani's diabolical prequel to The Amityville Horror - Amityville II: The Possession. James Watkins' spine-chilling remake The Woman In Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Ti West's The Shining slacker-style indie sensation, The Innkeepers. the 2008 US remake of The Eye, starring Jessica Alba and box-offi...SHARE: READ MORE "We are all aliens until we get to know one another". Space 1999 lands on Horror
Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2019
Imagine it is the 1970s, the space race has been won and news of trips to the moon are fading from public interest. But you want to see more than just people playing golf and taking rock samples there. You want to see the human race make a base there, to use it as a launch pad to help reach further into space and maybe one day we could populate it.
Step forward Gerry and Sylvia Anderson who in 1975 gave the world one of the finest and most adventurous Sci-Fi TV series ever made, Space 1999.
The premise is straight forward and smart: It is the (then) future and a base has been built and manned on the moon. Tragedy strikes on September 13th 1999 when an nuclear explosion causes th...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel is delivering the UK TV premiere of Patient Zero this October
Posted on Tuesday 24th September 2019
Horror Channel has five UK TV premieres in October, including pandemic action thriller Patient Zero (Saturday 12th), which stars Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, Stanley Tucci and Agyness Deyn. Humanity is battling intelligent, adrenaline-fueled creatures born from a viral super-strain. After being bitten, human survivor Morgan (Matt Smith) realises he is asymptomatic and can communicate with the infected, leading the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.
There are also UK premieres for Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (October 4th) and Lake Placid: Legacy (October 11th) - two of the popular series of monster crocodile horror/comedy films created by David E. Kelley. Plus, gho...SHARE: READ MORE Star Trek: Voyager - A journey beyond
Posted on Friday 30th August 2019
Created by Rick Berman, Michael Piller, and Jeri Taylor, Star Trek: Voyager introduced the world to the fourth Star Trek crew whose venture into space was a twist on what had gone before. Here the jeopardy was ramped up as Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her team become stranded far from home. This led to plenty of conflict between them all but also built relationships that wouldn't have normally occurred.
Voyager had more of a classic Star Trek feel and retained a classic Star Trek trope, that of having an array of characters who reflected a wide diversity of races and cultures. This led to plenty of clashes between the members as they strive to return home.
...SHARE: READ MORE The Devil's Candy gets its long-awaited UK TV premiere on Horror Channel
Posted on Wednesday 28th August 2019
Horror Channel has seven prime-time premieres in September, including the UK TV premiere of Sean Byrne's The Devil's Candy, an absorbing, unnerving and devastating ride into psychological trauma, starring Ethan Embry.
There are also channel premieres for David Chirchirillo's deadly dating thriller Bad Match, Chad Archibald's Bite, a fearless fusion of slime, shivers and shock, box-office supernatural horror hit The Pact, and Mick Garris's macabre tale of horror and eroticism, Sleepwalkers, starring Ron Perlman and John Landis. Then there's the original sly monster croc comedy Lake Placid starring Bridget Fonda and Bill Pullman, and psychic debunking chiller Red Lights, st...SHARE: READ MORE The Ford brothers chat about The Dead 2: India and Offensive which are both showing in our FrightFest Season.
Posted on Wednesday 14th August 2019
Ahead of the UK TV premieres of The Dead 2 and Offensive, (part of the FrightFest season), brothers Howard and Jon Ford discuss the trials and tribulations of filmmaking, healing wounds and why The Dead 3 won't be happening any time soon...
HC: We will be launching our massive 13-night FrightFest Double-Bill Season with the UK TV premiere of The Dead 2. Excited?
HF: Well it's a surprise, but a lovely one! Until I was asked to do this interview, I had no clue The Dead 2 had even been picked up by Horror Channel! But yes, I'm very excited.
JF: I hope the viewers enjoy the film. We went through much pain and effort to make this film, in tough parts of India. We were on a very m...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel celebrates FrightFest 2019 with bumper season
Posted on Tuesday 23rd July 2019
To celebrate FrightFest 2019, taking place in London during the August Bank Holiday, Horror Channel is dedicating thirteen nights to past festival hits. Amongst the twenty-six fearsome favourites, the channel will kick off the season with the UK TV premiere of Howard J. Ford and Jonathan Ford's India-based zombie road movie The Dead 2, the follow-up to their hugely popular African zombie adventure The Dead. There is also a UK TV premiere for Jonathan Ford's Offensive. Produced by brother Howard, this is a dark, violent tale of generational rage and revenge set in rural France.
There are also channel premieres for Julian Gilbey's harrowing British survival shocker, A Lonel...SHARE: READ MORE UK premieres provide summer chills on Horror Channel in July
Posted on Wednesday 19th June 2019 Saturday nights on Horror Channel in July sees the UK TV premieres of Casey La Scala's disaster shocker The Remaining, based on the Book of Revelations; Mark Young's contagious chiller Feral; Robbie Pickering's comedy horror Freaks of Nature and Nils Taylor's fearsome female thriller Quarries.
In the UK TV premiere of The Remaining on the 6th, a group of close friends gathers for a wedding, but the celebration is shattered by a series of cataclysmic events and enemies foretold by apocalyptic biblical prophecies. The survivors face a horrifying, uncertain future as they scramble for safety, but as their world collapses around them in chaos and terror, will they choose real life through faith, or just t...SHARE: READ MORE Features Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
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