ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS


Interview with Chris Collier, director of FrightFest: Beneath the Dark Heart of Cinema
By James W, Saturday 25th August 2018
Chris Collier director of FrightFest doc

FrightFest is one of the most famous festivals in the world. The team of Alan Jones, Ian Rattray, Paul McEvoy and Greg Day ensure that everyone who attends, from guests to punters get the best experience they can from it.

But what do they really think of each other and what really goes on behind the scenes? A new documentary from Chris Collier has given the team the chance to talk candidly about the festival and each other. Here he tells us how FrightFest: Beneath the Dark Heart of Cinema came together.

HC: Can you recall what it was like at your first FrightFest and what attracted you to attend in the first place?

CC: Back in 2009 I recorded a podcast with my friend Phil Newton - he's been coming to FrightFest since year one. He introduced me to Ian Rattray at a screening in London and it's through those two that I was drawn in to attending that first year.

HC: What inspired you to make a documentary about FrightFest?

CC: The initial inspiration was not mine. It's something that's been talked about as far back as 2012, though I was never involved in that. My only knowledge of that is through having produced their video content at the festival since 2011. In that time I've witnessed first hand what happens before the doors are opened to the public, and after they're closed. I'd discussed it with my production partner Craig Ennis over the years, but it was never more than that. Then, in 2016, we were working on a music doc that fell through part way through shooting. So, we went from one day making a film to the next day not making a film. With time on my hands I was drawn down the YouTube recommendations whirlpool, and ended up watching a punk documentary that featured Alan Jones. I'm sure that's the point I started to really think about it. Soon after that I met with Ian to discuss the festival moving to Shepard's Bush. Over the years I've got to know Ian well, and we end up talking about general life stuff. At some point during that conversation, without any plan to, I ended up pitching the idea of how I would make a documentary about FrightFest. He liked it and said, lets arranged to meet the others. I then had to pitch it to Craig, who fortunately didn't think it was a terrible idea.

HC: How long did it take to make from the first shot till the final edit?

CC: Our first actual shot for the documentary was shot on Thursday 25th August 2016, and we locked the film around 1st June 2018.

HC: Was it difficult getting the archive material together?

CC: Fortunately, FrightFest have been shooting at the festival since 2009. All we needed to do is look at it all. That's were Craig is invaluable. I edit other people work on a daily basis. However, on a film I always work with Craig. He's a great editor, very creative and the perfect person to work with. Especially, when you have hard drive after hard drive of footage. He's also not afraid to tell me when I'm wrong. We worked through all the many, many hours of archive footage together. We also got given footage and I tracked some down via the web.

HC: Were you surprised by the honesty from the FrightFest team as they talked themselves, each other and the event?

CC: Knowing the guys well before hand was helpful. The more honest material came from me witnessing some of those events. So, I knew what I wanted to ask and what I wanted them to talk about. I hoped they would be open with me, so I'm not sure I was surprised, but I was certainly pleased.

HC: The infamous Giallo and Tulpa movies are covered, can you recall these showing and what's the worst film, in your opinion that's been shown at FrightFest?

CC: Having worked at the festival for years now, I've not seen a full film there for a long time. I did see Giallo as part of the festival, surrounded by many other films of all different types, and without doubt it's one of my favourite screenings. I can't pick a worst film because in the context of the festival, films like Giallo and Tulpa are magic times.

HC: The piece conjures up many happy memories of past events, what's your favourite FrightFest moment?

CC: I've been very lucky, as we've interviewed a lot of great guests at the festival and met some amazing people. However, looking back to 2009 and meeting people I'd spoken to online in person and experiencing the festival for the first time can't be beaten.

HC: Are there any movies that have been shown at FrightFest that you liked that have yet to get a commercial release?

CC: Tulpa is available. However, I'd like to see the original cut released.

HC: It's clear that the FrightFest team had no input into this but did any of them ask for a preview before you'd locked the documentary?

CC: No, I let them know it was nearly done and that I'd like to show them it. We arranged a screening and I sat behind them, desperately trying to work out their reactions. That was it. They didn't ask me to change anything at all. That says something about them; it must be very difficult when the film is about you.

HC: Would you like to do a follow up doc in say ten years time?

CC: It would be interesting to see how the festival and film has progress over that time. It would be nice if someone new to FrightFest, who maybe walked in the door this year, makes that film from his or her perspective in ten years time. I'd like to see that.

HC: So, what are you working on next?

CC: We've just started planning for a new music documentary which we plan to start shooting just a soon as enough of the pieces fall into place. Not a narrative horror I'm afraid, but who knows - if the right idea comes along.

HC: Chris Collier, thank you very much.


MORE FRIGHTFEST
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
Interview with Ferdinando D'Urbano actor, writer, producer of The Laplace's Demon
Posted on Tuesday 28th August 2018
Ferdinando D'Urbano - Director of Photography Producer COL

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
Wolfman's Got Nards

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
The Golem

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
Frightfest Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
Out Of The Dark
OUT OF THE DARK
Tuesday 23rd October
9.00 PM
Wind Chill
WIND CHILL
Sunday 28th October
10.00 PM
Triassic Attack
TRIASSIC ATTACK
Sunday 28th October
7.40 PM