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FrightFest 2010 - The Ultimate Round Up
By James Whittington, Friday 3rd September 2010 Well FrightFest 2010 has been and gone but the many, many happy memories of films filled with chills and the unique camaraderie will linger on. Here are the choicest cuts:
It kicked of in great style, the World Premiere of Adam Green's Hatchet II, a wild and energetic sequel to one of the most perfectly formed slasher movies made. Green is an intelligent director who uses his inner horror fanboy out every now and again to deliver some deliciously over-the-top set pieces. Hatchet II was everything we wanted and more and didn't disappoint the FrighFest crowd and neither did the members of the cast who had travelled with him. Danielle Harris, Tony Todd and Kane Hodder seemed over whelmed by the warm welcome they received. Hodder attended the whole event and was regularly seen mixing with the FrightFest attendees. What a great bloke he truly is.
Talking of guests the whole event was attended by a glittering array of talent including Billy Murray and Craig Fairbrass from Dead Cert, the far too good looking Isabella Sharp, Gemma Atkinson and Jonathan Glendening from werewolf crowd pleaser 13 HRS and Gareth Edwards who wooed us with his low budget road movie/creature feature Monsters.
It was awesome to view Tobe Hooper’s psyched-out “lost movie” Eggshells and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on the large Empire screen. Tobe delighted the audience to an informative Q+A which also lead to one of the longest queues I’ve ever seen of people waiting for a directors autograph. Tobe earned the first Total Icon award and rightly so.
A real highlight was The Dead, a stunning zombie flick from Jon and Howard Ford set in the searing heat of Africa. Intense, tight and gory this delivered high grade shocks and was a truly solid movie going experience.
It was the year for very strong female characters in the movies chosen to play. There was Barbara Nedeljakove who played Nadia in the unflinching Isle Of Dogs from Director Tammi Sutton, Emilie Dequenne as lost soul Charlotte in the slick and clever movie The Pack (La Meute), Renee Willner as Claire in The Evil Dead sort-of-a-movie Damned By Dawn and the sad lonely character Bok-nam from Bedevilled played beautifully by Seo Young-hee. This is not forgetting Sarah Butler who stars as the vengeful Jennifer Hills in the much talked about remake of I Spit On Your Grave. The Europena Premiere of this movie was sponsored by the Horror Channel and played to a packed and appreciative audience. Though the subject matter is incredibly strong and disturbing, the film met with a very positive reception and delivered some of the most inventive “on screen kills” of the whole festival.
Now onto the most talked about movie of the festival; A Serbian Film. It was always a controversial choice and in the end was pulled from line up. Alan Jones delivered an emotional and heartfelt speech to the reasons why and the crowd applauded the FrightFest organisers and distributor Revolver on this decision. A cut version was not what they wanted to see and as far as I could tell the replacement movie, Buried went down (pun intended) incredibly well.
For the hardcore fans Andy Nyman’s hilarious and damn difficult Quiz From Hell really did separate the men from the boys (sorry for sounding sexist there). A feature I hope to see next year. There was another series of shorts from Adam Green and Joe Lynch. Their Road To FrightFest skits are hilarious and always ready the crowd for the evening shift in the cinema. Green and Lynch announced their new project, an anthology movie named Chillarama. Then after a slight technical hitch we got to see Green’s entry, The Diary Of Anne Frankenstein. Won’t spoil it for you but must say you have to see this!
FrightFest lost one of its strongest supporters, Kevin Duncan earlier in the year but his presence was felt throughout. FrightFest opened with his image on the big screen with the words "For Kevin". This emotional tribute was simple, moving and perfect. All members of the FrightFest family will miss him.
So then after 25 movies on the main screen, 10 on the Discovery Screen, a Documentary and a quiz all would agree that this was probably the strongest FrightFest line up ever. As usual all that remains for me to do is thank the gang of four; Alan, Paul, Ian and Greg for delivering a superbly strong programme and making sure we had access to every guest that attended. To the ever patient and friendly staff at The Empire Cinema we’re so grateful for letting us dump our stuff wherever we could at your awe inspiring cinema. To all the FrightFesters who stood in front of our cameras and delivered honest critiques of the movies being shown. You made our reports buzz with your enthusiasm for the genre. Without this combined support this Blog and Emily’s Video Diaries would have been exceedingly short. The Blogs and Reports will remain on this site so if your feeling a bit low after the event then revisit them whenever you like and wallow in nostalgia!
And that, my friends, was FrightFest 2010. So, on behalf of myself and the Horror Channel crew; Emily, Marta, Ivo, Jeremy, Ben, Dominic, Sinead, Zuzka, Gill, Barry and Mukesh we say a teary goodbye to the triumphant FrightFest 2010 and hope to see you all next year for FrightFest 2011.
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