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FrightFest Day 5: Organs, pumpkins and emojis!
By James Whittington, Tuesday 29th August 2017

The final day of Horror Channel FrightFest is usually the most anticipated especially towards the final movie of the event, more on that later. There was so much going on with what possibly be the strongest line up of the whole festival.

Anyone with even just the passing interest in cinema couldn't have failed to have been impressed by Lowlife, the superb thriller from Ryan Prows. When a simple organ-harvesting caper goes awry, a twist of fate unites three of society's forgotten and ignored: El Monstruo, a disgraced Mexican Wrestler working as hired muscle for the local crime boss; Crystal, a recovering addict desperate enough to arrange a black-market kidney transplant to save her husband's life; and Randy, a two-strike convict fresh out of prison, cursed with a full-face swastika tattoo and a best friend forcing him into a hare-brained kidnapping scheme. Now you may be thinking this is too bizarre to enjoy but believe me, its an adrenaline filled, sweat inducing thriller that is emotionally engaging as well as draining. Lead actress Nicki Michaeux is outstanding as Crystal, and gives the whole film such a grounding you just can't take your eyes off her.

Things got a bit seasonal after that with two movies that celebrate everyone's favourite times of the year, Christmas and Halloween! Better Watch Out is set around the most wonderful time of the year and Ashley is Luke's favourite babysitter and he's looking forward to spending time with her again. Suddenly a brick crashes through the window reading 'You Leave, You Die' and they hear someone sneaking around the house upstairs. But Ashley is soon to discover that this is a far from normal home invasion... I'm a sucker for this kind of thing and Better Watch Out is destined to be a tradition each year. Played straight with more darkness than you'd think this joyous horror was a real hit but if you want something for the 31st October then The Terror of Hallow's Eve is for you. This retro felling slasher is a real throwback to 80s horror complete with soundrack that includes pieces written by John Carpenter. Timmy Stevens is brutally beaten up by High School bullies on Halloween. Yearning for revenge while carving out a pumpkin head, unknowingly he summons up the evil spirit of the hideous Scarecrow. And before long Timmy has unleashed a supernatural force offering to grant his dark desires to scare his hated enemies to death. I loved this movie, it has everything an old horror fan is after, a great old-fashioned story, great effects and a score that takes you back, an early Halloween treat!

Tragedy Girls, the final FrightFest film for this event was one of the most talked about of the day, if not event. There was a lot of buzz going around and when the director, Tyler MacIntyre came to chat with us, we knew it was going to be something special. High school seniors Makayla and Sadie are obsessed with their social media presence as authorities on crime. Their interest in murder is more than just academic though as they are the hands-on type. Trapping a serial killer to foster a mutually beneficial partnership, they see their profile rise, along with the brutal slayings in their small town. Cool, stylish, contemporary, sassy, bloody, violent, clever, bloody, funny and bloody (!) this stepped up to the mark left by Train To Busan last year. It's a rapid fire, smart and scary movie with a cast that will be a huge smash when it gets a UK release. The audience loved it and looking back at the whole line up was the only way to end Horror Channel FrightFest 2017.


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