ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Exclusive Interview With Journalist And FrightFest Man Alan Jones
By James Whittington, Thursday 12th August 2010

Alan Jones by Steven HurstAlan Jones is one of the most respected journalists working today. He has reported from some of the most legendary movie sets ever and written for such magazines as Radio Times, GQ, FHM, Fangoria, in fact the list goes on and on. More importantly he is one of the four members of the FrightFest gang. Alan took time out to tell us about the last 11 years of FrightFest and the plans he and the team have for its future. (Photo by Steven Hurst)

HC: So Alan, here we are once again with FrightFest. Does it feel like 11 years since it all started?

AJ: Yes, and no... It's all been such a blur. I didn't expect FrightFest to take over my life in the way it has really. Back in 2000, when Paul McEvoy and Ian Rattray came to me with the idea to recreate my old Shock Around The Clock events, I thought, yeah, let's get a group of like-minded horror enthusiasts to stay in the sweaty Prince Charles cinema for a weekend. Anything was better than the enforced jollity of the Notting Hill Gate Carnival (I live close by). It was fun, we saw a few good movies, made new friends (who still come every year), had some laughs... Now we're at the Empire with thousands of people visiting daily, a DVD label, an E-zine...unbelievable really. Clearly the UK was crying out for something akin to the Euro-fests I've been attending for decades, and now we have a world class event to match them all.

HC: The event this year has a more independent feel to it, was this deliberate as there seems to be few “major studio” movies included?

AJ: We never go into any FrightFest with an overall theme in mind, it just happens organically. This year we were seeing a lot of independent movies and getting personal submissions and that's just the way it worked out. Obviously the fact that the big studios are catering to a far broader spectrum than ever before means they didn't have any suitable movies this year for us. We did think about asking for Resident Evil 3D, but everyone will see that soon anyway. Far better to give our audience those under-the-radar movies everyone will be talking about in twelve months time, like last year's selections The Human Centipede and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Who knew about the latter phenomenon then? Well, we had an inkling and we got it right. There are still some movies we've shown that have never been released in the UK and I'm pleased about that because it makes us even more unique.

HC: Does it get harder each year to choose which movies are shown or is it easier knowing that the FrightFest crowd expect diversity?

AJ: I've never thought about it like that. Paul and I see the movies, if we are passionate about them - as we were with Monsters - they are in the line-up, no question. Sometimes we have arguments about certain films the other wants to include, but we've always managed to get the mix and match it right. We all knew F was an important film to show the moment we saw it, likewise The Dead. Our pool to choose from gets wider each year because filmmakers and distributors get what we are trying to do and that's such a blessing. So I would say it's easier to get the cream of the crop to choose from.

HC: Even though bigger than ever, FrightFest still retains its friendly family atmosphere, it must be hard for you Ian, Paul and Greg to maintain this?

AJ: We make a point of being approachable and available to our audience. We are fans as much as they are and we don't forget that. There's nothing more I love than cruising the audience and engaging with regular FrightFesters, even though some look absolutely terrified when I approach them. Just as well I have no problem striking up conversations with anybody. FrightFesters themselves pass on this community spirit on quite well too. So many in our audience have made firm friends for life over the years. Anyone new is welcomed, we are an inclusive bunch, we want everyone to feel comfortable no matter where you are from, who you are, or even if you prefer Jason to Freddy. Actually, strike that, if you prefer Freddy you are dead to me! Only joking. I love hearing the fans opinions of the movies we choose. We know they aren't all going to like what we like and, you know something, that's great, what FrightFest is all about, sharing views and arguing the merits of giallo, Adam Green, remakes, whatever.

HC: FrightFest is such a recognised brand now, do you have any other plans for it such as resurrecting the DVD label?

AJ: Watch this space. The DVD label is being revived in 2011, our first release is a film I love that we showed last year, and we are currently in negotiations for other must-see titles too. All very exciting.

HC: I know it’s a tough question but do you have one favourite memory from the last 11 years of FrightFest?

AJ: So many to choose from - my speech in front of Pan's Labyrinth that moved many to tears, trying to protect Selma Blair from rabid Hellboy fans, the Hideo Nakata live on stage interview that went disastrously and hilariously wrong, The Descent premiere party, Jim Sturgess singing live the theme from Heartless. Actually I think my absolute favourite is when two old ladies walked into FrightFest and I was convinced they were in the wrong auditorium. So I went over to the OAPs and said something like, Are you sure you are in the right place love? I got this withering glance and one retorted, We've just watched Last House On The Left to get in the mood for this sonny, so f**k off! Just goes to show the diversity of our fan base.

HC: Do you take time off to relax after FrightFest or do you start planning the next event straight away?

AJ: What do you mean, we've been planning our Halloween event for weeks now. We've been watching movies, already have some fantastic titles, and it's going to be really special this year because we're doing something that has never been done before ever and that's......... my lips are sealed. For now. The Horror Channel will get an exclusive, promise.

HC: What other projects are you working on at the moment?

AJ: Well aside from my horror career (and yes, my Guillermo del Toro book is still happening despite The Hobbit setback), I have two parallel others. Disco and Punk. I wrote the definitive history of Disco music, Saturday Night Forever and once FrightFest is finished I start advising and writing the next 4 CD set of the Disco: Discharge collection. Eight have already been released to great acclaim and I'm looking forward to working on compiling those. On the Punk front (I worked with the Sex Pistols during the height of their career) I may consult on a new untitled movie set during the band's Anarchy in the UK tour that will start shooting in November.

HC: Alan Jones, thank you very much


MORE INTERVIEWS
Interview with Julien Seri, director of Anderson Falls
Posted on Tuesday 18th February 2020

Ahead of the UK premiere of serial killer thriller Anderson Falls at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Julien Seri reflects on this, his first 'American' experience, challenging fight scenes and the importance of personal vision.

It has been five years since we premiered Night Fare at FrightFest London, what have you been up to since then?

JS: I worked on two, very singular, projects as a producer and/or director. I signed for both with Wild Bunch, but we've failed to produce them yet. So I keep fighting. And I did a lot of commercials, TV series and music videos.

When did you first hear about the Anderson Falls script and why did you think it was perfect for yo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Adam Stovall, director of A Ghost Waits
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Ahead of the World premiere of A Ghost Waits at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Adam Stovall reflects on getting through depression, creating paranormal romance and the influence of Tom Waits...

You have an interesting CV - from comedy theatre and film journalism to writing for The Hollywood Reporter and second assistant directing. Was all this a game plan to becoming a fully-fledged director?

AS: I've known since I was a little kid sitting in the basement watching the network TV premiere of Back To The Future while holding my Back To The Future storybook and waiting for them to premiere the first footage from Back To The Future 2 during a commercial br...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Simeon Halligan, director of Habit
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Simeon Halligan is one of the busiest people working in the industry today. Writer, director, producer, director of celebrated film festival Grimmfest, in fact the list goes on.

His latest film is the neon tinged, blood-splattered masterpiece Habit which is showing on Horror February 14th so we thought we should get the story on how he brought this shocker to the big screen.

HC: When did you first become aware of the book by Stephen McGeagh to which Habit is based?

SH: I read the book a couple of years back and really liked it. A combination of gritty realism and dark fantasy; set within a very recognisable Manchester. There's a juxtaposition in the book; from a kind of soc...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Jackson Stewart, director of Beyond The Gates
Posted on Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Jack Stewart's sublime retro horror Beyond the Gates was recently shown on Horror. Jackson is one of the strongest creatives around at the moment but he took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about this contemporary classic and his future movie plans.

HC: Was there one film that you saw growing up which gave you the idea that you wanted to work in the film industry?

JS: There were definitely a number of them; I think the ones that stick out strongest in my memory were Temple Of Doom, Batman '89, Nightmare On Elm Street 4, Raising Arizona, Back To The Future, Marnie, Army Of Darkness, The Frighteners and Dirty Harry. All of them had a big emotional impact on me. Dirty Har...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with acclaimed author Shaun Hutson
Posted on Friday 20th December 2019

The British horror legend Shaun Hutson is back with Testament, a new novel featuring one of his fans most loved characters, Sean Doyle so we decided to catch up with this talented chap about his acclaimed work.

HC: Was there one author who inspired you to become a writer?

SH: My inspirations were always and still are cinematic if I'm honest. Even when I first started writing my influences and inspirations came from things like Hammer films, from TV series like The Avengers (with Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee) and from old Universal horror films. I read the Pan Books of Horror Stories when I was a kid and I think they were probably the first "literary" influences I ever had. I also read lo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Tyler MacIntyre, director of Patchwork
Posted on Thursday 12th December 2019
On the eve of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Patchwork on December 14th, director Tyler MacIntyre reflects on body image issues. twisting audience expectations and his admiration for current female genre directors.

HC: Patchwork finally gets its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel. Excited or what?

TM: Relieved actually. It's been a long time coming. The third screening of the film ever happened at FrightFest in Glasgow and since then I've had people asking me when it was going to come out. The UK genre fans are among the most diehard in the world, so I'm very excited to finally have it available for them.

HC: You were in attendance when Patchwork, your directorial feature debut, rece...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with James Moran, writer of Tower Block
Posted on Monday 25th November 2019

Writer James Moran is about to do what few other writers have done in the past, the Horror Channel Triple! He is one of the few creatives who has had three of his movies play on the channel; Cockneys Vs Zombies, Severance and now Tower Block which is playing on November 29th. So, we decided to chat to this talented chap about this superior thriller and the rest of his career.

HC: Your first movie, Severance is a huge favourite with Horror Channel viewers, were you ever tempted to pen a sequel?

JM: Thank you, I'm really glad that people can still discover it with every new screening. Everybody wanted to do a sequel, we actually had several meetings about it. Nothing came of it, they carried on with...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Gary Dauberman, writer and director of Annabelle Comes Home
Posted on Saturday 23rd November 2019

Gary Dauberman has been the scriptwriter for some of the most successful horror movies of the last few years including IT: Parts 1 and 2, Annabelle and The Nun. His latest movie, Annabelle Comes Home which is also his directorial debut, has just been released onto DVD and Blu-ray. We caught up with this talented chap about his career to date.

HC: What was it about the horror genre that grabbed your imagination and made you want to become a writer?

GD: The earliest movie going experience I can remember was my parents taking me to Raiders of the Lost Ark and I was 4 or 5 or something and I had to sleep with them for a week, you know the opening up of The Ark and the face melting, a rea...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Cameron Macgowan, director of Red Letter Day
Posted on Friday 1st November 2019

FrightFest 2019 exposed a lot of new talent in the movie industry and one of the stand-out pieces was Red Letter Day from Cameron Macgowan.

HC: Where did the idea for Red Letter Day come from and did it take long to write?

CM: I have long been a fan of the 'Humans Hunting Humans' subgenre of film (Battle Royale, The Running Man, Hard Target, etc.) and was inspired to set one of these films in what many people consider the 'safe' location of the suburbs. Suburban communities feel like the perfect setting for a horror film as you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul all while knowing that you are surrounded by many people. This mixed with a desire to satirise the current socio-political climate ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Carlo Mirabella-Davis, director of Swallow
Posted on Wednesday 30th October 2019

Ahead of the UK premiere of Swallow at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, director Carlo Mirabella-Davis reflects on the personal inspiration behind his feature debut, healing psychological wounds and his empathy for the genre.

HC: Swallow is your directorial debut. How difficult was it to get the project off the ground?

CMD: Getting a film made is a fascinating process. My late, great teacher at NYU, Bill Reilly, would always say "script is coin of the realm". The early stages involved perfecting the screenplay as much as I could, writing and rewriting until I felt confident sending it out. The sacred bond between the producer and the director is the catalyst that brings a film into being. I ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Davis, director of Uncanny Annie
Posted on Wednesday 16th October 2019

Ahead of the International premiere of Uncanny Annie at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween 2019, director Paul Davis reflects on working for Blumhouse, bemoans attitudes to British genre film funding and reveals the movies that inspire him the most...

HC: Tell us how Uncanny Annie came about?

PD: Uncanny Annie is my second movie for Blumhouse as part of Hulu's Into The Dark movie series. I had the opportunity to actually kick off last October with a feature adaptation of my short film The Body (which had its world premiere at FF in 2013). The concept was to release a movie a month, for twelve months, with each revolving around a holiday or particular day for the month of its released. With The Bod...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Lars Klevberg, director of Child's Play (2019)
Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019
CHILDS_PLAY_Universal_2D_BD_Pakcshot_UKIt was the remake everyone was against! The interweb was ablaze with negativity but director Lars Klevberg and his team managed to pull off one of the best horror movies of 2019. Here he chats about the smart shocker, Child's Play.

HC: How nervous were you taking on a re-imagining of such a beloved concept and franchise?

LK: I was in fact very nervous the minute I signed on to do the movie. Before that, I worked relentlessly for weeks to get the job, but immediately after getting it my body had a very stressful reaction. I was fully aware of the legacy I was about to re-open so, I didn't sleep one minute that night.

HC: W...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Night of the Living Dead
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
Thursday 27th February
9.00 PM
Quarantine 2: Terminal
QUARANTINE 2: TERMINAL
Sunday 1st March
10.55 PM
Tales From The Darkside
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE
Sunday 1st March
8.30 PM