Booth's Blog - FrightFest's Best Bits!
By Emily Booth, Saturday 5th September 2015
I am still recovering from an insane few days at this year’s FrightFest but wanted to give you an insight into my personal experience at the fest without divulging too much as I get the feeling ‘what happens at FrightFest stays at FrightFest!’

Thursday kicked off with a bang as we went straight into filming the links for our big half hour special FrightFest 2015 which you can see in all its glory on Wednesday 16th September at 9pm. Then it was on to our first interview with the director of the opening night premiere Cherry Tree David Keating plus two of his incredibly glamorous Irish actresses. You always think directors and their cast and going to be very serious about their projects but more often than not they just want to have a bit of a laugh with you. Cherry Tree is basically a good old fashioned witchcraft movie (or should that be bitchcraft?) with insanely good make up effects and lots of squeamish giant centipedes that literally get under your skin. He lapped it up at the premiere chucking purple rubber centipedes into the audience!

After all this excitement it was off to the opening night party at exclusive London members club Century where the old school rubbed shoulders with the new school; dotted around I could see Scream Queen favourite and this year’s guest of honour Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, We Are Still Here) hanging out alongside Howard Ford who’s back with his 3rd premiere at FrightFest, Never Let Go about a mother’s relentless hunt for her abducted baby. Definitely more of a thriller this film literally does not let you go until the credit roll and is one of the most tense emotional rides I’ve had in a long time. A few beers later and Howard (who cut his teeth on my first movie Pervirella!!) revealed the inspiration behind his shocking film; on holiday he turned around to find his son missing only to discover him on the bottom of a swimming pool, thankfully Howard was able to save his life and all is now fine, but the poor man could not get over it until he wrote this script which he says just poured out of him. When you see the film you will be able to feel the emotion within Howard’s amazing twisty script, helped further by the incredible talents of lead actress Angela Dixon who rocks it more than Lara Croft.

A massive highlight for all of us was the totally bizarre Aaaaaaaah! (yes, you really do have to spell it with 8 ‘A’s or you won’t find it!) from Steve Oram who gave us the brilliant Sightseers. His latest is one of the strangest provocative films set to be an instant cult hit as he slaps human nature in the face with his ‘warts 'n all’ portrayal of mankind. The entire ‘script’ is in fact ‘grunted’ by the actors as they act like apes within everyday human situations. Starring Julian Rhind-Tutt (Green Wing, Tomb Raider) as an aggressive alpha male ruling the working class household of matriarch Toyah Wilcox. Also look out for one gory castration scene with Noel Fielding and countless shocking moments of human depravity. Aaaaaaaah! Will have your jaw to the floor guaranteed. It was a massive pleasure interviewing Steve Oram who again is a lovely bloke and didn’t want to take things too seriously or get caught up in metaphor and social commentary. Meeting his eclectic cast was a festival highlight as I’ve been a massive fan of Toyah Wilcox since my brother dressed me up as her at the age of 4 (you will be shocked by what she gets up to in this!)

I’m running out of space and word count here now but other must see movies of 2015 are rock n roll demonic Kiwi horror, with insane amount of gore Deathgasm! the lovely Dominic Brunt’s female revenge saga Bait, strange zombie-esque ménage-a-trios horror Nina Forever and of course the closing night film, anthology Tales Of Halloween from 10 renowned horror directors including Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee and Adam Gierasch.

In terms of themes and trends to look out for, I definitely noticed less zombie films and less of the found footage movies this year which does make for a refreshing change! Films were quite experimental, quite high brow and there seemed to be a bit of a ‘creature’ and ‘bug’ resurgence with giant centipedes in Cherry Tree, tentacles on the beach in The Sand, Werewolves are back in Paul Hyett’s brilliant Howl, killer wasps in German film Stung and the brilliant Bite which is a superb yukky body horror in the vein of Cronenberg following a woman’s physical change after an insect bite in Costa Rica! Amazing!

OK – I better leave it there but I hope I’ve given you a good run down of what movies you should catch this year – there’s loads of other must see horrors these are just the ones I managed to catch!

Make sure you check out our horror packed report on the festival in FrightFest 2015 which gets its’ first screening on Wednesday September 16th at 9pm.

Bloody British Season comes to a climax with The Descent!
Posted on Thursday 23rd November 2017

There's a lot we've got to be proud of here in Blighty. James Bond, Monty Python, David Bowie, and of course a healthy appetite for all things Horror, so over the past few Saturdays in November we've been enjoying our Bloody British Season which comes to its nerve-wracking climax this weekend!

The early noughties saw a resurgence in all areas of pop culture in the UK, and Horror was no different, with a slew of emerging directing talent making big bloody waves. Neil Marshall was at the helm with a film that took the genre in a new direction; down! He calls The Descent (2005) the sister film of his directorial debut Dog Soldiers, in that it features an all-female cast as opposed to the (nearly) all...

Booth's Blog: Enter the world of Silent Hill
Posted on Friday 17th November 2017

I am genuinely so excited about the network premiere I'm about to talk about. It's a film that the critics enjoyed panning, but the fans loved. My recent Twitter-bate confirmed there's a lot of underground love for this strange, dark film. It started out as a grimy, pixelated survival horror game by Konami on the PS1 back in 1999, and it was revolutionary for being the first computer game experience that was genuinely psychological. It had the ability to be truly unnerving and unsettling, and I for one could not stop playing it. It's time for reality to literally crumble as we enter the world of Silent Hill.

Touted by many horror fans as the best ever game-to-film adaptation (a notoriously tricky route...

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Posted on Tuesday 7th November 2017

There is something incredibly primal about our fear of sharks. Just one look at the Great White Shark's gargantuan mouth peppered with oversized teeth designed to tear you in half and you can feel the fear pervade your entire body. We have always known about this supreme killer of the seas, but it was not until 1975 when Jaws was released unto an unsuspecting audience that the 'hysteria' surrounding the Great White Shark was born. Jaws has come to represent a huge turning point in the film industry. It invented the 'summer blockbuster', it was one of the first films to use high concept marketing and merchandise, and it continues to be deconstructed globally in film schools for its multi-layered metaphors, ranging from 'Vagi...

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Britain has been put through the ringer over the past couple of years. However, we at Horror Channel are here to remind you all of our proud horror heritage this November, so Keep Calm and Carry On with November's Bloody British Season!

The early 2000s marked an exciting change in Britain within politics, fashion, music and indeed film. Everyone wanted a slice of Cool Britannia, the hub of all things fresh, edgy and zeitgeist. This high energy saw a resurgence too in the horror world, with directors such as Neil Marshall, Danny Boyle, and Chris Smith emerging to define a new wave of British, commercially successful horror; a movement that earned the gang of directors the enviable nickname of 'The Splat Pa...

Booth's Blog: Horror heads south this weekend
Posted on Tuesday 24th October 2017

This week I talk about an unusual UK TV premiere on Horror Channel; a film that plays more like a nightmarish experience than a traditional horror movie. The anthology horror as most of us know has a solid history in the genre popularised back in the '60s and '70s by Amicus Productions with such titles as Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965), Tales from the Crypt (1972), Asylum (1972), and The Vault of Horror (1973). Creepshow and The Twilight Zone took up the reins in the '80s, but the style went out of fashion until recently when it was brought back in vogue in the cyclical way that pop culture does, with the indie gem and surprise hit V/H/S (2012).

Tonight's terror comes from the same film makers as V/H...

Booth's Blog: Celebrate Valentine's Day this weekend!
Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2017

Back in the '70s and early '80s, 'holiday slashers' were all the rage and creaming it big at the box office. Black Christmas in 1974, Halloween in '78, Christmas Evil in 1980 and Silent Night, Deadly Night in '84. The producers of this week's infamous slasher wanted to pop a celebratory balloon and needed a public holiday not yet seen in a horror. As the Easter Bunny isn't usually considered terrifying, they instead settled on Valentine's Day, and thus My Bloody Valentine was born!

The original came out in 1981 and is considered a seminal cornerstone of the slasher genre, even touted by Quentin Tarantino as his favourite slasher of all time. Impressive credentials indeed. So what ingredients does it ...

Booth's Blog: We dare you to take another Wrong Turn
Posted on Wednesday 11th October 2017

You only need to be in one place on Friday the 13th, and that's here on Horror, where all things unlucky come to life in the most horrifying of ways! This week we're upping the fun quota with the last installment of one of the most popular cannibal franchises of recent years. It started in 2003 with Wrong Turn and the creation of those three memorable brothers; One Eye, Three Finger and Saw Tooth. What a gene pool that family's blessed with! It was the combination of such solid characters, the wild woodland location of the West Virginia Mountains, and an abundance of hot young flesh on offer that led to a lucrative franchise that's now 6 movies strong. Following the original film, it was FrightFest regular and all ...

Booth's Blog: Horror celebrates the King in October
Posted on Wednesday 4th October 2017

Stephen King fever is everywhere right now, and with the icon turning 70 last month, it doesn't look like he's slowing down anytime soon. This summer's IT reboot caused cinematic shock waves on a global scale, and the recent Gerald's Game is being touted as one of the must-see horrors of the year by the critics.

Let's be honest; the King movie adaptation has always been fraught with controversy, from both fans, critics, and even the man himself. While Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is considered by many to be one of the best King adaptations (and indeed the best horror film of all time!), King himself publicly criticised the film, writing and producing "Stephen King's The Shining"; a TV mini-series in 1997 ...

Booth's Blog: A pre-Matrix Keanu comes to Horror...
Posted on Friday 22nd September 2017

Back in 1995, the year 2021 seemed thankfully such a long way off. As the millennium dawned ever closer and prophecies of doom and demise were thrown around we reacted the only way we know how. With movies! The 90's saw a slew of paranoia fueled films exploring the increasing interfacing of humans with information technology, as for the first time in history the internet came to define and control our lives. The Lawnmower Man ('92), Hackers ('95), Strange Days ('95), Existenz ('99), and of course the daddy of the cyberpunk bunch - The Matrix ('99). But surely there was nothing to truly worry about, right? The Future's not here yet?! Well, according to our dystopian thriller on Friday, it'snow only f...

Booth's Blog: Big Ass Spiders and James Wan this weekend on Horror!
Posted on Tuesday 12th September 2017

Sometimes a good title is all you need to know exactly what you're in for; Nude Nuns with Big Guns, Lesbian Vampire Killers and now Big Ass Spider! Doing exactly what is says on the tin, our network premiere on Friday rides the current Mega Shark wave of 'bigger is better', but before you roll your eyes at this one (as I did) this is one seriously fun romp from start to finish with a fast pace, great script and brilliant comedic actors. You know you're in for a good ride from the outset as the film starts at the peak of the action, the camera pulls out revealing "Heroes" actor Greg Grunberg (who played lovable cop Matt Parkman) caught in the midst of chaos and carnage filmed in slow motion while a cover son...

Booth's Blog: It's Violence of the Lambs this Friday!
Posted on Tuesday 5th September 2017


I am now fully recovered from five days of (on-screen) bloodshed at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 which finished last week. It was my 11th year at the festival presenting for Horror Channel since first cutting my teeth as the Horror Channel host way back in 2007. During this memorable year there was a film that really stood out from the crowd - Black Sheep - which incidentally gets its network premiere on Horror this Friday at 9pm! So I thought I'd scratch my brain cells and tell you a bit about this previous FrightFest hit.

New Zealand is known for a few things - namely Peter Jackson, an abundance of sheep, and Flight of the Conchords - and our Kiwi horror comedy this Friday has two ou...

Booth's Blog: Folk Horror gets an urban makeover...
Posted on Wednesday 16th August 2017

The term 'Folk Horror' has become widely used in Horror academia to describe usually British films that dabble in all things pagan and witchy. With a strong connection to our pagan routes, 'Folk Horror' was popularised by countless Hammer Horror and Tigon films in the '60s and '70s with The Witches (1966), Witchfinder General (1968), and The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971), although arguably the most iconic of the sub-genre is The Wicker Man made in 1973, which is now a beacon of worship in its own right!

With the death of hippie culture there was a hiatus within the subgenre in the '80s and '90s, however there has since seen a resurgence, specifically with the critically acclaimed The Witch in 2015; a ...

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