This year saw the return of the much loved horror film festival Frightfest in London. Now in its 14th year, genre fans filled The Empire Cinema in Piccadilly Circus for a five-day film binge that began on Thursday the 22nd August. This was my first Frightfest and while I wasn’t able to take in all five days I did get to enjoy some excellent movies and soak up the gory atmosphere.
On Tender Hooks was first on my list of must-see films, a documentary film by Kate Shenton following the art of body suspension. On Tender Hooks provides a unique view of the underground world of body modification and, although innately visceral, the film portrays the reasons behind this painful yet almost empathetic practice.
Missionary was next in line and rather apt for a Sunday morning, unravelling a story about a tormented Mormon who falls in love with a potential convert. The film soon takes an unfortunate turn when the Mormon goes on a killing spree and his dark past is revealed.
Kick Ass 2 actor Andy Nyman’s Quiz from Hell was a lively way of breaking up the day with an interactive quiz ladled with trivia questions, my favourite part being the movie music quiz. You’ll be pleased to know Andy’s play Ghost Stories is returning to the London with a run at the Arts Theatre from February next year.
Dark Tourist, formerly known as Grief Tourist, comes from director Suri Krishnamma. This is a beautiful and stylish magnet of a film that will draw you in slowly and leave you feeling sore after its cruel twist as central character Jim Tanha embarks on his final vacation.
Keeping up the spirit of found footage movies comes The Conspiracy, a film about a duo who discover a mysterious secret society called the Tarsus Club and monitor their activity.
The final six films from The 666 Short Cuts to Hell competition were presented by Frightfest favourite Emily Booth, with 6 Feet Under by Weronika Tofilska winning a cheque for £6,666. I look forward to seeing her next film.
And, finally, to end my evening…not literally, came the UK premiere of Spanish movie Last Days. Costing around a cool £5,000,000, 000, this apocalyptic tale is about a new virus affecting mankind and the ensuing struggle to survive. The film’s intelligent narrative relies largely on current social themes to deliver an dark warning for societies worldwide.
Cheap Thrills, Willow Creek, No One Lives and Wither were some of many other popular movies having their UK premieres. Cheap Thrills in particular seemed to be creating a buzz.
Frightfest has bought together film fanatics from all over the world and continues to support independent film. It provides an accessible platform for lovers of film and wannabe filmmakers. I’ll definitely be there next year!
For more information on Frightfest please check: