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10 Top Shockers Not Miss At FrightFest 2016 - Part 1
By James Whittington, Wednesday 17th August 2016
It's never an easy task, choosing which movies horror fans should look out for during FrightFest and this year is no exception.
The FrightFest team of Paul McEvoy, Ian Rattray, Alan Jones and Greg Day have gathered together the finest selection of shockers from around the globe bringing together the best in new and established talent as well as an unpredictable and delicious mix of horror genres.
Each year there's a large selection of much anticipated films and stand out titles that fans make they've got tickets for, whether they are playing on the main screens or the discovery section. This year there's nearly 70 to choose from!
Here in no particular order is the first 5 from a list of 10 unmissable movies showing at FrightFest 2016.
Beyond The Gates
If its retro style horror then this is the one for you as not only does it reflect the style of the VHS classics of the 80s but stars one of the eras most loved actresses, Barbara Crampton. Following their father's mysterious disappearance, two estranged brothers reunite to liquidate his business, a video store specialising in horror movies. Digging through all the fire sale stock, they find an old VCR board game entitled 'Beyond the Gates'. Deciding to play the obscure game for a laugh, they soon realise it holds the connection to their father's vanishing and the deadliest of consequences for anyone who dares fool around with it. As you'd expect the game is a portal to something evil but its the way in which the movie oozes and mixes the atmosphere of the 80s as well as today's horror movies, plus it has really cool effects.
The ground-breaking work of The Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis is now, sadly overlooked by new horror fans but he was a trailblazer, a man who knew there was a market for extreme horror, an audience that wanted not only glimpses of bare flesh but lashings of deep red gore in extreme close-up shot in heart-stopping colour. Blood Feast was one of his most famous pieces, mainly due to the notorious "tongue removal" sequence and looking back he really did pave the way for the "torture porn" genre that arrived some 30 years later. Blood Feast has now been remade, moving the terror from America to France but has not lost any of the original's concept or desire to shock. Fuad Ramses and his family have moved to France where they run an American diner. Since business is not going too well, Fuad also works night shifts at the Museum of Ancient Egyptian culture. During the long, lonely nights he is drawn to a statue of the goddess Ishtar, which soon speaks to him in visions sending him on a rampage of murder and cannibalism and the preparation of another ritual blood feast.
He's a writer, musician, director and producer, Rob Zombie is no stranger to controversy. His first movie, House of 1000 Corpses was a kick in the butt for the horror genre and brought it screaming into the 21st century. He didn't stop there as The Devil's Rejects proved he wasn't a one hit wonder. He ruffled a few hardcore fans with his take on the Halloween series and then seemed to hit the pause button for a while. He's back with 31, which promises to be a gritty, grim and challenging movie and we all know that Rob not only likes to push the envelope he likes to rip it to shreds whilst burning it with a flamethrower and then burying it in a dingy crypt only to be resurrected in some decaying form! I think you get my meaning?! In 31 a camper van of carnival workers are kidnapped in the middle of nowhere by a trio of debauched decadents. Set loose in a derelict factory compound full of creepy passages containing nasty traps, the abductors led by Father Murder place bets on who will survive the longest in a 12-hour period of pain and maim against an array of sadistic clowns with such clear-cut nicknames as Psycho-Head, Sick-Head, Death-Head and Sex-Head!
If you like your horror to be based very much in the real world with a paranormal twist then the tense shocker Downhill is for you. Written by Barry Keating and directed by Patricio Valladres the movie mixes stunning scenery with a dark sense of dread that makes it an effective and at times gripping experience. After his best friend dies in a racing accident, retired biker star Joe agrees to get back on two-wheels for an exhibition contest. On a test run with his girlfriend Stephanie, they stumble upon a badly injured man dying from a mysterious virus, and they become the target of a group of relentless killers ready to do anything to keep their demonic sect a secret from the rest of the world.
One film that stands out for being something totally new is Adam Rifkin's and Penn Jillette's superb satire of the movie industry, Director's Cut. You may hear the title "Meta-horror" a lot these days but this is the real deal, played totally straight with a found footage feel, it plays like watching a movie with the director's commentary turned on. All well and good until you realise this director is a delusional crowd funder named Blount (Jillette) who is obsessed with the lead actress of the movie he's helped fund. By re-cutting, splicing newly shot amateur scenes into the narrative with kidnapped star Missi Pyle, this madman thinks he's creating a unique masterpiece. Initially playing for laughs then turning a dark corner, the film has a lot to say about the whole business and allows Jillette to deliver a career best performance and demonstrate once again why Adam Rifkin is one of the best directors out there.
On Friday I'll be posting another of my 5 Horror Channel FrightFest favourites for 2016.
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