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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.
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