FrightFest 2014 - The Ultimate Round Up
By James Whittington, Saturday 30th August 2014

FrightFest2014-poster-LR-Final MediumFrightFest 2014 is just a distant memory even though it only ended a few days ago and only now am I adjusting to being in daylight!

The five days brought us over 60 features and several shorts which combined to make this year’s programme one of the most varied for a long time. The new venue gave the festival a new feeling and a main screen running order that took a bit of time to adjust to. This actually helped with congestion problems of the past and made the simple things such as using the toilets and grabbing a bite to eat much easier.

The event started off with the crowd pleasing UK premiere of Adam Wingard’s The Guest but for me the most fun was in the last film of the first night, the way over the top Zombeavers. This is one movie to watch late night with a bunch of mates.

Friday had a mixed start, Shockwave Darkside3D and Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno got mixed reactions from the crowds coming from the main screens but one movie really did get the seal of approval, Late Phases. This smart take on the werewolf genre from the director of Penumbra and Here Comes The Devil has a stunning central performance from Nick Damici playing a blinded veteran living in a gated retirement village.

More smart horror in Housebound a Kiwi comedy from Gerard Johnstone. Again this took a well known theme (a possibly haunted house with secrets in the walls) and gave it a refreshing twist with plenty of humour. Taking humour to its darkest but crowd pleasing place was the superb sequel, Dead Snow 2: Red Vs Dead. Original director Tommy Wirkola took is Nazi zombie army to new levels of grossness in a film that surpasses the gore of the first.

Saturday too had a real mixed bag of movies, from the all-out and ghoulish All Cheerleaders Die from Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson to the psychological chills of John McNaughton’s The Harvest, both delivered on very different levels. Talk of the day was The Babadook which has got many festival goers checking their cupboards in their homes as I type, whilst I Survived A Zombie Holocaust made for perfect late night guffaws and gratuitous gore-shots. Zombies were in high supply this day as the rather smart Life After Beth proved that the rom-zom-com genre wasn’t dead (so to speak) yet!

One of the stand out days of the festival for the main screens was Sunday which had the strongest line ups of the whole event. Faults from Riley Stearns is simply outstanding with performances from Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Leland Orser that are just begging to be seen. This story of a lost man trying to un-brainwash a victim of a cult is just incredible. Same can be said for Nicholas McCarthy’s Home which takes the idea of demonic possession to a more real place. With a sound mix that takes the tension right up to 11 this had most of the audience, as well as myself, jumping around as it delivered jump after jump. The Samurai from Germany’s Till Kleinert had the crowds chatting for ours about its stylish mix of mania and violence.

Minnie Driver and Meat Loaf (yes, you read that right) popped up in Stage Fright which is surely the next big must see midnight movie. A mix of Glee, Friday The 13th and Rocky Horror Picture Show, it’s a celebration of invention mixing rock tunes and melody to high end hack and slash.

The weather took a turn for the worse on Monday but didn’t dampen the crowd’s spirit as they sat down for four UK premieres and a world premiere. Nymph gave us an original slasher movie, that of a killer mermaid which was a great piece that utilised some amazing locations coupled with a tight script. V/H/S: Viral took the series onward and upward with five more cutting edge stories whilst The Signal gave big screen thrills to end the main screen movies.

The Discovery Screens had more than their fair share of must-see movies too. The Forgotten gave Urban Horror genre the originality it so craves whilst The Canal was a dark exploration of psychological horror that will stay with me for some time. You want cult hits of the future look no further than Lowell Dean’s Wolf Cop which really had to be seen to be believed. Simeon Halligan’s White Settlers is a superb twist on the home invasion horror which gave us some of the smartest shocks of the whole festival.

If you wanted more originality you needed to be at the Show Pieces screening. This anthology from the legendary writer Alan Moore is brimming with inventiveness and originality. For me The House At The End Of Time takes the prize for the most emotional piece of the whole event. Directed by Alejandro Hidalgo it’s the first horror film produced in Venezuela to reach an international audience and is a superbly plotted science fiction themed feature that is as emotionally engaging as it is intelligent. A real highlight.

Guest wise there were plenty of directors and actors to say hello to but the stand out has to be Robert Englund who was here for his new movie The Last Showing and for an anniversary screening of A Nightmare On Elm Street. This true gentleman of horror was charming to speak to and gave us a cracking interview which you can see soon on the Horror Channel along with many of the other talent that attended FrightFest.

Facebook and Twitter played a big part in my blogs this year so if you missed any updates go and check the exclusive pictures taken as the festival unfolded. All the blogs I wrote for the Horror Channel website will remain live so if you need reminding just how good this year or past festivals have been then check them out. There are more interviews to come over the next few weeks so look out for those too.

So, all that remains for me to say is from all of the Horror Channel crew Ivo, Giovanna, Rich, Jolon and myself, we say an emotional farewell to FrightFest 2014 and are already looking forward to teaming up again for FrightFest 2015.

See how music can kill in Sound of Violence
Posted on Friday 23rd July 2021
Sound of Violence Cover

In thrilling new horror Sound of Violence, a young girl recovers her hearing and gains synthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult she pursues a career in music composing her masterpieces through gruesome murders.

From the mind of talented new writer-director Alex Noyer and featuring a stunning lead performance from Jasmin Savoy Brown (2022's Scream, The Leftovers), Sound of Violence is being billed as one of the most original and shocking horrors of the year.

After its UK premiere at Arrow Frightfest, Sound of Violence on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 30th August than...

Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces second wave of films for August Cineworld event
Posted on Thursday 22nd July 2021

It's full scream ahead as Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces its second wave of hugely anticipated Discovery Screen and First Blood titles - a summer collection of provocative, edgy and transgressive entertainment to die for. There are fourteen World and ten European/International premieres amongst the thirty-four films on offer.

Eleven countries are represented, with titles ranging from Canadian entries Bloodthirsty, Amelia Moses' simmering LGBQT+ werewolf movie and sinister isolation thriller Motherly to Francesco Erba's As In Heaven, So On Earth, a stunning Italian blend of live action and Gothic puppet animation. Then there's Peter Bergendy's sumptuous Post Mortem, an epic Hu...

FrightFest resurrects its New Blood quest for new writers
Posted on Tuesday 13th July 2021
New Blood 2021 - logo

As Arrow Video FrightFest stalks the dark recesses of the big screen again, the search resumes for new writers in the horror genre through its New Blood initiative. New Blood reunites FrightFest with Giles Edwards of Queensbury Pictures with its mission to find emerging UK-based writers dedicated to the genre and nurture their projects from script to screen. Queensbury is ultimately interested in buying the finished script rather than the idea, and so, this year all successful final candidates if selected should be able to send even a rough draft of the first ten pages of their script through with their acceptance.

Already the scheme has delivered two new projects: Broadcast ...

Arrow Video FrightFest unveils first wave of twenty-five films for August 2021 Cineworld event
Posted on Thursday 8th July 2021
FrightFest 2021 - Poster art-1

Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's biggest horror and fantasy film festival, is back at the Cineworld Leicester Square from Thursday August 26 - Monday 30 August for five days of the very best of global genre cinema.

The internationally renowned event leads the way in attesting to the versatility of the genre and, despite the interruptions caused by the pandemic, this year is no exception as the twenty-five films to be presented in the main screens are revealed. They include four world premieres and eight International/European premieres.

Global events over the past eighteen months have not only altered most people's lives but have had a profoundly i...

Graham Humphreys' stunning artwork for Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 celebrates the festival's cinematic return.
Posted on Friday 2nd July 2021
FrightFest 2021 - Poster art-1

Arrow Video FrightFest is proud to present Graham Humphreys' stand-out poster design for 2021, which marks the 13th appearance for his iconic Monster.

Graham revealed today: "We have a happy monster this year. Though how happy a monster should be in a horror film festival raised the question, what would make the monster happy? Last year's event was not 'live'. This year, with a return to the social interaction that makes the festival such an important event in the annual calendar, it's as if we have bypassed 2020 in a time machine, full throttle, into 2021. To celebrate - a bottle of champagne! Although the monster would probably prefer a full-blooded vinta...

Interview with Adrian Langley, director of Butchers.
Posted on Tuesday 27th October 2020

Butchers is a superb piece of horror cinema from Adrian Langley. Here he chats about this grim and gruesome piece and his plans for the future.

HC: Where did the idea for Butchers come from?

AL: Butchers came from two of Daniel Weissenberger's old screenplays - he writes a lot - and I remixed them with some ideas that had been kicking around in my head after having read those scripts a long time ago.

HC: Did it take long to write?

AL: Not at all. Because Dan's scripts were so full already, the initial working draft only took about two weeks to put together and then I did a lot of rewriting during the prep process to streamline it to what...

Interview with Andrew Thomas Hunt, director of Spare Parts.
Posted on Tuesday 27th October 2020
Spare Parts

FrightFest is all about the diversity of movies, none more so than Spare Parts from director Andrew Thomas Hunt. This superb mash-up of gladiator-style fighting and a scorching soundtrack is desitined to become a cult classic so we chatted to Andrew about this movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?

AH: I did - from the age of 16. I was a huge fan of David Cronenberg's films, and when I discovered that he was not only from Toronto, but made his films here, it made me realize you didn't have to be from Hollywood to make movies.

HC: How did you become attached to this wild project?

AH: It was pitched to me at TIFF (Toronto Int'l ...

And the winner is... Benny Loves You!
Posted on Monday 26th October 2020

The winner of the FrightFest Horror Channel First Blood Award 2020 is... Benny Loves You!

Here, Channel Manager Stewart Bridle chats to its very talented director, Karl Holt.

Interview with Liam O'Donnell director of SKYLIN3S
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020

FrightFest Digital Edition 2 concludes tonight with an out-of-this-world premiere, SKYLIN3S. Here its writer and director Liam O'Donnell talks about this and the other entries in this sci-fi series.

HC: You've been involved with the Skyline series of movies from the start, where did the initial idea come from?

LD: Initially the idea just came from, we were sort of do it ourselves film makers and I had been living in the building we ended up shooting in. We had already been illegally shooting on the rooftop helipad for a pitch that we were developing and when Greg's (Greg Strause, director of Skyline) unit on the top floor and he walked in and saw this big, expansive view of LA...

Interview with Paul Tanter director and co-writer of The Nights Before Christmas
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
The Nights Before Christmas-poster

Prolific creative Paul Tanter has delivered a real treat for FrightFest pass holders today, the blood-splattered shocker, The Nights Before Christmas. Here he chats about this cracker of a movie.

HC: Have you always been a fan of the horror genre?

PT: Absolutely. One of my first cinema memories is my dad taking me to see Fright Night in 1985 and there being a promotional pack of vampire teeth on every seat. I was five at the time so I'm not sure how he snuck me in there, considering it's rated 18. I grew up watching The Omen films, in parts enthralled and terrified by them. I still can't pass that church in Fulham without keeping an eye on ...

Interview with Simon Phillips, star and co-writer of The Nights Before Christmas
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
The Nights Before Christmas-poster

Seasonal slashers are once again coming into vogue but none as brutal as The Nights Before Christmas. Here, its star and co-writer Simon Phillips tells all about this movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?

SP: I don't know if I ever was sure I was going to be in the film industry but as a child I sure liked talking a lot and my teacher once shouted at me "They'd better pay you to talk when you grow up, because you sure like the sound of your own voice"... So perhaps it was always on the cards!

HC: Are you a fan of horror movies?

SP: To be honest they terrify me... not the o...

Interview with Elza Kephart, director and co-writer of Slaxx
Posted on Sunday 25th October 2020
SLAXX_Elza_(C)photoB-Calmeau_0125FrightFest is all about originality and new talent and 2020 has been a belter of a year for such things. Slaxx from Elza Kephart is a prime example of the new and exciting creative talent that's out there at the moment. We chatted to Elza about this superb shocker.

HC: Are you a big horror movie fan?

EK: Yes, huge! I started my horror adventure when I was a pre-teen, reading Agatha Christie, R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Anne Rice. If there wasn't a death I wasn't interested. From that, I migrated to horror films; when I was about ten, I watched Aliens, the Fearless Vampire Hunters, Exorcist 2. I might have been a little too young, I remember being re...

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10.50 PM
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10.50 PM