ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Horror Channel Manager Stewart Bridle rounds up some of the genre gems to catch at FrightFest 2019.
By James Whittington, Monday 19th August 2019

It's the most terrifying time of year, one filled with fear, torture and overwhelming dread. I'm not talking about being strapped to some SAW-type trap but rather having to decide watch to watch from FrightFest's annual line-up. And in their 20th year things are even harder than before with a record-breaking 78 movies to choose from. But if making a decision is slowly killing you then let us help with some of the movies we recommend scaring yourself with...

CRAWL
Alexander Aja, the director behind such horror hits as Switchblade Romance, the 2006 version of The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha 3D, returns with another gory genre piece that will do for the reputation of alligators what he previously did for mutated hillbillies and man-eating fish. During a huge hurricane Florida resident Haley (Kaya Scodelario) searches for her missing father (Barry Pepper), finding him injured in the crawlspace beneath their home. In trying to rescue him they both quickly become trapped by both rising floodwaters and the inhabitants of the local alligator farm who are now on the loose. The film has been already been going down a scream stateside and Aja has a proven nasty humourous streak so that combined with The Evil Dead's Sam Raimi on Producer duties means that we're in for some real jaw-some fun with this creature-feature.

GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR
The haunted house movie may have been done a million ways before but when Travis Stevens (the producer behind such previous horror hits as Starry Eyes, We Are Still Here and 68 Kill) chooses to use it as the setting for his directorial debut it's definitely worth paying a visit. Featuring WWE legend CM Punk as Don Koch who is trying to renovate a crumbling mansion for his pregnant wife but is soon encountering all the kinds of problems you just don't see on 'Changing Rooms' such as unidentifiable slime oozing from the walls, odd marbles rolling across floors and a strange seductive young woman hanging around. Weirder still is, as Don's renovations progress, the house reveals hidden rooms and crevices that may have a connection to his past. If all that isn't interesting enough then how about that apparently Stevens wrote the script specifically for the house where it is filmed, based on reports of actual hauntings there...

HARPOON
Three close friends on a yacht trip, sounds very nice and not at all FrightFest, right? Now strand them with no ignition keys, take away the food and water and throw in suspicions, secrets, jealousies and a spear gun and you have something more like it. Writer and Director Rob Grant, behind last year's impressive Alive, wrings all the tension, black comedy and more from his single location set-up, backed by some great performances from all the cast (which includes Turbo Kid's Munro Chambers), some extremely disturbing developments and a great soundtrack. Smart, stylish and shocking, you'll be glad you came aboard this boat.

FEEDBACK
Its terror on the airwaves for legendary British actor Eddie Marsan (The Disappearance of Alice Creed, The World's End) when his London radio jock, Jarvis Dolan, is taken hostage along with his crew during an edition of his late-night 'The Grim Reality' show. The masked intruders force Dolan to continue his broadcast, following their script and without letting on to the listeners they danger they are in, leading to a confession about a scandal he has no idea of but could ruin him. This looks to be a taught claustrophobic thriller in the vein of Funny Games, driven by a compelling central performance from Marsan and with a plot point very relevant right now. Tune in and hang on!

CRITTERS ATTACK!
Eighties gorier gremlin-a-likes the Critters return for another bite of the big screen and they've also brought the original film's star, and horror legend, Dee Wallace back to battle them once more. This time around a young student babysits her tutor's children on a hike when they find themselves in an unfortunate encounter with the extra-terrestrial eaters. With both a TV series and a movie out this year there's a lot of new life being breathed back into this fun franchise that was once responsible for launching the career of Leonardo DiCaprio (Critters 3). This installment, from director Bobby Miller who was behind previous FrightFest selection The Cleanse, promises to be crazier and gorier than everything that's gone before and will also introduce us to the first female Crite, will she be friend or foe?

THE FURIES
What's worse than being pursued by a masked psycho with an axe? How about finding out there are seven more, each with their own female victim and you're all part of some sick hunt where implanted retinal cameras are recording every moment of your fear. This is the horror style Hunger Games situation that high school student Kayla wakes up to after being abducted, now she must kill or be killed while providing twisted entertainment for an unseen audience in Aussie Tony D'Aquino's smart slasher debut. Far from being yet another misogynistic girls-getting-murdered-by-maniacs flick this promises to unleash some real girl-power on the collection of crazies, who come with monikers like "Melonhead" and "Rodface", and may prove that the beauties could be the real beasts.

DARK LIGHT
Who doesn't love a good monster-in-the-dark story? And you can't get darker than this tale where the creatures feast on human inner light from FrightFest regular Padraig Reynolds, who has brought us Rites of Spring and last year's selection Open 24 Hours. Jessica Madesen is Annie Knox who returns to remote farm home after many personal devastation only to encounter a whole new nightmare when she discovers an extinct humanoid race living in the walls and under the house and they want her daughter Emily. Reynolds always delivers some solid scares and this latest sci-fi flavoured horror looks certainly to be no different. Perfect for an audience already sat in the dark!

READY OR NOT
Coming from the Radio Silence collective (behind segments of V/H/S, Southbound and the feature Devil's Due) you know that when bride Grace marries into Daniel's wealthy games manufacturing family this will be no fairy-tale affair and instead will become the reception from hell. A tradition dictates they all must play a game the night before the honeymoon but instead of Monopoly the game chosen is murder and Grace now must fight for survival against her new insidious in-laws. This mash up of Clue and The Purge has a fantastic cast (including Andie MacDowell and an amazing Samara Weaving in the lead), some incredibly black humour and a hell of a lot of red being splashed on that white dress. The best wedding-set horror since REC 3? Get an invitation and find out!

THE BANANA SPLITS MOVIE
If, like me, you're old enough to have been entertained by the Saturday morning 70's psychedelic-styled antics of Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky you may be wondering what on Earth the FrightFest team are smoking to have included them in the line-up but you can be rest assured that this will be no kid's show! For what is being hailed as the first R-rated adaptation of a Hanna Barbara property certainly sounds like the craziest flick of this year's festival and a cult hit in the making. When a family attend a recording of The Banana Splits TV Show it's meant to be a magical birthday treat but news of the show's cancellation turns the animatronic Banana Splits into a homicidal rage and soon it's a battle for survival as the zany cartoon violence gets executed for real on the audience and crew. Prepare to have your childhood memories replaced by all-new nightmares!

RABID (2019)
The original Cronenberg version is one of my favourite slices of 70's horror but if anyone can make me interested in a modern rework of this zombie-tinged tale it's going to be The Soska Sisters, the twisted twins who have given us such deviant delights as Dead Hooker In A Trunk, American Mary and See No Evil 2. Bringing its themes smack up to date this time Rose (Laura Vandervoort) works in fashion, dreaming of being a famous designer, when an accident leaves her horrifically scarred. After she takes part in an untested stem cell treatment she is reborn as everything she has wanted, but this transformation comes at a price and she finds to achieve the dream she has to live a nightmare feeding on others leading to a strange new form of contagion. Those Soskas know how to have a lot of frightening fun with their films and have previously proven they are worthy inheritors of their fellow Canadian's body horror crown so I can't wait to catch this fresh strain.


Related show tags: SEE NO EVIL 2, STARRY EYES, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED, THE EVIL DEAD, TURBO KID, WE ARE STILL HERE
MORE ARTICLES
Horror Channel premieres zombie musical Anna And The Apocalypse on Xmas Day
Posted in Features, Tuesday 30th November 2021
Anna & the Apocalypse-WEB2

There is a Xmas Day treat in store for genre fans, with the Horror Channel premiere of Anna And The Apocalypse, a pure gore delight with a mental, maniacal and magical edge. John McPhail's infectious zombie musical stars Ella Hunt, Mark Benton and Paul Kaye.

Anna is looking forward to the end of high school. But while her widowed father dreams of university, she has other plans - jet-setting around the world to experience life before settling down. Suddenly a zombie apocalypse threatens her sleepy Scottish town, forcing Anna and friends to struggle, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the living dead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. Shaun O...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel unwraps eight UK TV premieres for December including Tales From The Lodge, Aquaslash and Sacrifice
Posted in Features, Tuesday 16th November 2021
Horror Channel Dec highlights - tweet banner

Horror Channel comes bearing gory gifts for the Xmas season, presenting eight UK TV premieres, including Abigail Blackmore's gruesome and comically dark Tales From The Lodge, starring Mackenzie Crook, Sophie Thompson and Johnny Vegas, cosmic chiller Sacrifice, starring horror icon Barbara Crampton and Aquaslash, a mad exploitation slasher harking back to the classic 1980s era of gushing blood and teenage turmoil.

Also showing for the first time on British TV are Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's romantic body horror Spring, Greg McLean's supernatural horror The Darkness, starring Kevin Bacon, deadly thriller, Desolation, Brit mon...

SHARE: READ MORE
Swallow to get an extra special release.
Posted in News, Monday 15th November 2021
Swallow Cover

Second Sight is delighted to announce Carlo Mirabella-Davis' visually stunning, critically acclaimed feature debut Swallow is set to receive a fantastic Limited Edition Blu-ray Box set release, complete with a slew of fascinating new bonus content this November.

Haley Bennett (Hillbilly Elegy) gives an outstanding performance as Hunter a young woman who on the surface appears to have it all, the handsome, successful husband, the idyllic house, and a baby on the way. But is her life as perfect as it seems? As domineering husband Richie (Austin Stowell), and his overbearing family put pressure on Hunter to play the dutiful wife, she becomes overwhelmed and powerless. Desperate to reclaim contr...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel takes off with premiere of action series Airwolf from Thursday 25 November
Posted in Features, Thursday 11th November 2021

Horror Channel is dedicated to bringing great cult action thrillers to its audience and this trend continues with Season 1 of the 1984 US military drama series Airwolf, created by Donald P. Bellisario and produced over four seasons.

A renegade helicopter pilot, Stringfellow Hawke, played by Jan-Michael Vincent, is given the chance to know the whereabouts of his imprisoned brother if he conducts daring missions for a shadowy intelligence agency. Hid first mission is to go to Libya and steal back a high-technology military helicopter, code-named Airwolf, at all costs. With its riveting, high-tech, battle scenes, AIRWOLF is consid...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel invaded by week of Sci-Fi Horror
Posted in Features, Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Horror Channel goes extra-terrestrial with Sci-Fear Week (Saturday 20th to Friday 26th, 9pm), in which strange science, terrifying tech and insidious invasions takes control, highlighted by the Channel premiere of jolting sci-fi thriller The Last Days On Mars, starring Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai and Olivia Williams. It also includes the channel premieres of 1980 British science fiction movie Saturn 3, which stars Farrah Fawcett, Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel and XTRO, an unsettling slice of Sci-Fi Horror and one of the few British films that landed on the UK film censors' infamous 'Video Nasty' list. The week also includes Scanners, Ce...

SHARE: READ MORE
One for your Christmas list, the new book from Kim Newman
Posted in News, Wednesday 27th October 2021
Something More Than The Night Cover

From the award-winning author of Anno Dracula comes a masterclass in wit and cinematic vision as the legendary maestro of horror teams together two icons of page and silver screen in a daring and horrifying tale that puts a twist on the genre, as only Kim Newman can. Something More Than Night promises to be a genre-bending horror thriller that brings together two icons of the 1930s.

Hollywood, the late 1930s. Raymond Chandler writes detective stories for pulp magazines. Boris Karloff plays monsters in the movies. Both understand that these streets are dark with something more than night. Under Home House, the mock gothic mock mansion of a film mogul, is a mad science du...

SHARE: READ MORE
88Films to release the classic euro horror The Doll of Satan
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th October 2021
The Doll of Satan

After her uncle dies unexpectedly, Elizabeth Balljanon inherits his sprawling castle. The walls are crumbling, the electricity doesn't work and there's a fully equipped torture chamber in the cellars but interior decoration is the least of her worries: a black-gloved killer haunts the halls at night and, even worse, the tales she's been told about the castle's ghosts might not be stories after all...

Part giallo, part modern-dress Gothic, The Doll of Satan is a gloriously ripe slice of Italian horror, heady with atmosphere and steamy eroticism too. 88 Films has rediscovered this genre gem and given it a superb HD release in the UK for the very first time.

Extras...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel unveils an unholy host of premieres for November
Posted in Features, Thursday 21st October 2021
Nov highliights-social-1

Long weekends just got scarier as Horror Channel announces eleven premieres for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights across November, including five UK TV premieres, three by emerging female directors.

Being shown for the first time on the small screen are Elle Callahan's allegorical paranormal thriller Witch Hunt, Amelia Moses' lyrical lycanthrope horror Bloodthirsty and Coralie Fargeat's directorial debut, the slickly gruesome Revenge. Also getting their first showings on TV are Nicolas Pesce's smartly sadistic Piercing and John Berardo's subversive slasher Initiation.

Neil Marshall makes a welcome return with the channel premiere of Doomsday, as do the Sosk...

SHARE: READ MORE
Nothing will prepare you for Chuck Steel - Night of the Trampires!
Posted in News, Sunday 17th October 2021
Chuck Steel Night of the Trampires poster

Animortal Studios, announces that its British-made stop-motion animated feature, Chuck Steel: Night Of The Trampires, is releasing into UK cinemas on Friday 29th October, in time for Halloween.

From the fevered imagination of two-time BAFTA-winning writer/director, Mike Mort (Gogs), and featuring the voices of UK comedy legends, Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) and Paul Whitehouse (The Fast Show) alongside Mort's, this homage to 80's B-movie excess is "one of the most extraordinary achievements by an independent animation studio" (Starburst), comes "chock-full of snappy one-liners and ultra-violent action"(Hollywood Reporter) tha...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Michael Mayer and Guy Ayal from the acclaimed movie Happy Times
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
thumbnail_HT_set_Marie Alyse Rodriguez

Happy Times, which is showing at Grimmfest Online, is a movie that takes the home invasion genre and turns it inside out! Directed by Michael Mayer and co-written with composer Guy Ayal, the movie is a bombastic, bloody and hilarious piece of cinema. I chatted to them both about this dinner party from hell.

HC: Where did the idea for Happy Times come from?

MM: The idea for the movie started forming when I was invited to a Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year's) dinner in Los Angeles. It was the first year of Trump's presidency and wherever you went all people wanted to talk about was politics. One thing to know about the Israeli expat com...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
DMC_SetPic copy

If you like your horror with a huge lashing of gruesome effects and a strong story then The Spore is for. Showing at Grimmfest Online, the movie from D.M. Cunningham is a smart take on the body horror genre. Here he chats about this movie which is guaranteed to get under your skin.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a director?

DM: I started out wanting to be a makeup effects artist. After seeing Night of the Living Dead and discovering Fangoria magazine I was hooked. Tom Savini was a huge influence on my trajectory toward becoming a filmmaker. It wasn't until later that I discovered that you could boss the monsters around on set being the director. That's...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Ben Charles Edwards, co-writer and director of Father of Flies
Posted in Features, Interviews, Saturday 16th October 2021
Father of Flies director

A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman in Father of Flies, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her. This intense and chilling movie is showing at Grimmfest Online Edition so we chatted to director and co-writer Ben Charles Edwards about this movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Father of Flies come from?

BE: It came from my childhood experiences. When my good friend and journalist Dominic Wells was talking to me about my next project, he told me to draw on real life experiences. So, I did. My own experiences were neither as heightened nor as traumatic as they may...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Quiet Ones
THE QUIET ONES
Sunday 12th December
10.50 PM
Spring
SPRING
Saturday 11th December
10.50 PM
Lake Placid: The Final Chapter
LAKE PLACID: THE FINAL CHAPTER
Monday 6th December
9.00 PM