This weekend Christopher, Pauline, Adam, John, Lauren, Judy and I are heading to Glasgow Film Festival’s FrightFest 2015! This will be my first ever FrightFest and I’m really looking forward to attending the weekend-long screenings and shenanigans with some amazing people and FrightFest veterans!
I’ve compiled a little bit of info on the films we’re gonna be seeing from the official FrightFest site and I’ll be doing a follow up blog, with input from the guys named above, reviewing all the films that we will be seeing over the weekend!
FrightFest was originally conceived by Paul McEvoy, Ian Rattray and Alan Jones and staged its first event in 2000 at the Prince Charles cinema, off London’s Leicester Square. Its August Bank Holiday weekend date has remained a fixture ever since. Greg Day, their long-serving PR man, joined the company as a co-director in 2006.
The objective of FrightFest was to provide the UK with a horror fantasy festival of similar stature to the market leaders in Europe, Sitges (Spain) and Brussels (Belgium). FrightFest has since evolved into a community where audiences and guests alike travel from all over the world to be part of the event’s unique atmosphere.
Due to rapidly increasing audiences and its burgeoning reputation as a must-attend event, FrightFest moved home to Screen One of the Odeon West End, Leicester Square in 2005 and staged the LAND OF THE DEAD premiere, with legendary icon George Romero in attendance. 2006 found FrightFest having to move again to the larger Screen Two auditorium in the Odeon West End and extending its length from four to five days. This was a banner year with the second only screening of PAN’S LABYRINTH after its Cannes Film Festival debut. Director Guillermo del Toro attending for the second time that year called FrightFest “The Woodstock of Gore” and the audience sang Happy Birthday to ‘Starsky & Hutch’ icon David Soul.
2009 marked Film4 FrightFest’s biggest leap in their 10th anniversary year. Moving just a couple of hundred yard across Leicester Square, the festival upgraded to the UK’s largest traditional cinema screen at the Empire Cinema. This heralded the most ambitious line-up of new genre movies ever presented in the heart of London’s glittering West End. A second and third screens soon followed with the addition of the popular Discovery and ReDiscovery strands
After five exciting years at the Empire Cinema where additional films and extra screenings were added to the line-up, FrightFest was on the move again, this time 100 yards along Leicester Square to the Vue, West End, a state of the art multiplex. There FrightFest settled into five of the cinema’s nine screens. Taking advantage of the additional space FrightFest expanded again increasing the number of films featured to 74 over the event’s action packed five days.
Outside of the main August event FrightFest also stages a Halloween extravaganza and hosts a regular two-day terror-thon at the Glasgow Film Festival every February. FrightFest also organises special events, which have included Dario Argento at the Coronet, Notting Hill Gate, DRAG ME TO HELL with Sam Raimi, HOSTEL Day, DEAD Day, An Evening with Jessica Alba, Clive Barker in Discussion, COLD IN JULY with director Jim Mickle and co-presenting the Italian rock band Goblin in concert. FrightFest has also launched Jake West’s two VIDEO NASTIES documentaries and hosted the world premieres of Neil Marshall’s THE DESCENT and Chris Smith’s BLACK DEATH starring Eddie Redmayne
FRIGHTFEST 2015 LINE-UP
The Atticus Institute
Director: Chris Sparling
Dr. Henry West founded The Atticus Institute in the 1970s to study telekinesis, clairvoyance E.S.P. and other unexplained psi-related phenomena. Thousands of subjects were tested using scientific methods many of whom showed abilities defying explanation by known physical laws. But just after West published the promising results of their research work, the small facility was mysteriously shut down in November 1976 by a concerned US Government. The reason? They met Judith Winstead whose supernatural abilities tested far beyond anything ever before witnessed. You won’t believe your eyes watching the shockumentary of the year from director Chris Sparling, writer of BURIED.
Director: Matt Wynn
When Ella (‘The O.C.’ star Mischa Barton) discovers her Wall Street banker boyfriend is renting a secret storage unit, she suspects he’s using it to hide an affair. Enlisting the help of her best friend Molly (‘The Inbetweeners’ star Emily Atack) she breaks into the facility only to discover something more terrifying instead. Now trapped in a darkened building with a group of neurotic strangers who start disappearing one by one, Ella soon uncovers even worse horror in the dank depths. Her life or death battle to escape eternal enslavement is about to begin… And so are your nastiest nightmares..
Director: Kiah Roache-Turner
A post-apocalyptic zombie invasion, caused by a wayward comet, turns personal for an Oz mechanic when his sister is abducted by a sinister team of gas-masked soldiers for flesh-eating experiments by a mad scientist. An absolutely astonishing and brilliant feature bow from Australian brother Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner, it’s the deadpan dead bloodbath everybody is talking about. Sporting MAD MAX-style designs, a glorious sense of humour, energetic execution, new and outrageous zombie lore and KC and the Sunshine Band, this super-fresh spin on a favourite genre is a raucous riot of black comedy, catastrophic carnage and over-the-top splatter.
Director: April Mullen
There are two sides to every story. From the team behind DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D, and starring FrightFest Scream Queen Katharine Isabelle, AMERICAN MARY herself, comes a glorious, gory and fast-paced homage to cult exploitation revenge thrillers. Gwen arrives disheveled at a mysterious roadside diner. But who is she really because she has no idea where she is or how she got there in such an anguished state. Split between two timelines, Gwen gets taken on a violence-fuelled journey into death and destruction and becomes the most wanted woman in Tennessee seeking out the person responsible for her lover’s murder.
Backmask / Exeter / The Asylum
Director: Marcus Nispel
From Marcus Nispel, director of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW and FRIDAY THE 13TH remakes, sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll possession. Six teens throw a party in a rundown building and find a vintage record. Talk turns to ‘backmasking’ – subliminal messages recorded onto a music groove heard only when the track is played backwards – and they play the vinyl for a giggle. Soon a seemingly malevolent entity has infiltrated the group, wreaking havoc. However the spirit is actually trying to convey a message and the real source of horror is something – or someone – much closer to home.
Director: John Watts
FrightFest Glasgow’s special 2013 guest Eli Roth sends in the clowns… When the entertainer hired for his son’s sixth birthday party is a no-show, doting father Kent dons a clown outfit himself. But after the festivities, he finds he can’t take it off – the bulbous nose is stuck to his face, the frizzy wig glued to his hair and the make-up permanently etched on his features. Too late he learns the costume is the skin of an ancient demon and his family must race to break the curse before the transformation into a homicidal killer with outsize shoes is complete.
Blood and Black Lace
Director: Mario Bava
One of the most influential horror thrillers of all time, Italian Maestro of Terror Mario Bava’s shimmering fever dream is a visually stunning, elegantly mounted and erotically charged catalogue of innovative homicidal cruelty. Six models at Contessa Cristina Como’s chic Rome fashion house are tortured and violently murdered by a ghost-like masked psychopath for a telltale diary containing incriminating scandal. A chiller way ahead of its time and considered the main evolutionary starting point for the entire giallo genre that would inspire Dario Argento, this key masterpiece of menace is presented here in all its restored glory.
The Woods Movie
Director: Russell Gomm
In October 1997, a group of filmmakers ventured into the Maryland woods to produce a low budget independent horror movie. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT would become a global phenomenon and began the ‘found footage’ genre that remains a potent force today. Now for the first time you can see how that record-breaking groundbreaker came into being. From never-before-seen recordings of pre-production meetings, audition tapes and test footage to the actual shooting, first preview screenings and marketing at the Sundance Film Festival, all the key personnel guide you through the discussions and decisions that minted a shock sensation classic.
Director: Hans Herbots
Nordic Noir turns frighteningly Flemish in Belgium’s top-grossing film of 2014 based on the chiller by acclaimed British author Mo Hayder. Gut-wrenching and harrowing to an unprecedented degree, nerves of steel are required to watch this truly shocking, emotionally jarring, viciously gritty, serial killer thriller pulling no punches. Inspector Nick Cafmeyer is haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his younger brother. A known sex offender was questioned but quickly released who now takes fiendish pleasure in tormenting Nick. Now another similar case comes to disturbing light involving a missing juvenile and Nick’s real nightmare begins… You have been warned!
Director: Juame Balaguero
FrightFest unleashed [REC] onto unsuspecting audiences and we are delighted to host the UK premiere of the shattering visceral conclusion to the global horror phenomenon. Picking up the intense action immediately after [REC] 2 – expanding on the mythos from all three predecessors, plus referencing cult genre classics – TV reporter Ángela Vidal is extracted from the cursed apartment building and taken to a high-security quarantine facility aboard an oil tanker. There, in the bowels of the dark and desolate ship, Dr. Ricarte is experimenting with the infectious virus to find a cure before another living dead outbreak occurs.
There Are Monsters
Director: Jay Dahl
Monsters are taking over the world, slowly, quietly and efficiently, but you won’t see them coming until it’s far too late! Four film students embark on a road trip to obtain promotional interviews for their college. However en route they witness a series of odd events, strange behaviour, shocking actions and what seems to be surplus of twins. Their well-ordered universe literally changes before their camera lenses uncovering a terrifying secret lurking just under the seemingly calm urban landscape. You will be scared out of your wits right from the start of this instant cult classic, guaranteed.
So there we have it!
11 films over 2 days!
Most likely we’ll be Tweeting and sharing things on Facebook and Instagram between films so catch us there over the weekend!
Wish us luck!
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