Bank Holiday Monday and now the end was here, and so I faced the final curtain of FrightFest 2013 but not before a Day 5 full of films and with the sun shining I dashed to the Empire Leicester Square just in time to take my seat for a bat shit crazy Satanic short that ran before the first film of the final day Dark Touch.
Staring Ronan Keating’s young daughter Missy it was an Irish take on Carrie that saw an 11 year old girl abused by her family developing psychic powers and reaping revenge on anyone and everyone who stood in her way.
Tonally very confusing it veered between uncomfortable unsettling realism especially in the child abuse scenes and ridiculous unbelievable horror especially when it came to the comedy child guidance councillor character.
After chatting about the not so great start with my other seat buddy Pip the Editor of the excellent Entertainment Focus it was onto the World Premiere of Banshee Chapter 3D introduced by director Blair Erickson.
Taking on the story of the real life mind control drug developed by the US Government in 1963 MK-ULTRA it saw an internet journalist on a quest to find out what happened to her friend after he took the drug and disappeared.
Blending found footage, fake government test film and surprisingly 3D was a bold choice which worked in parts but not entirely however the Banshee Chapter managed to provide plenty of jumps and scares and a good enough little story but unfortunately not as good as The Conspiracy which blew me away the previous day.
Erickson came back on stage with his two producers to discuss making the movie and real life conspiracy theories and then it was on to a cool promo for a film that will hopefully be one of the 2014 FrightFest movies Future Shock: The Story of 2000AD presented by Sean Hogan. The doc looked great and with such a brilliantly British counter culture comic book subject matter as 200AD what’s not to like.
Paul Davis came on after to present his short film The Body a great little story about a killer trying to bury his victim on Halloween which gets mistaken for an awesome costume by some party goers.
Hollywood horror next and a movie that turned out to be one of my favourite of the fest, Odd Thomas based on the bestselling book by Dean R Koontz it told the tall tale of a man who saw dead people and felt compelled to avenge their deaths.
Staring Anton Yelchin and Willem Dafoe as well as director Stephen Sommers daughter Ashley it was a brilliant and intelligent blend of popcorn fodder and frightful fun that threw in some clever twists and turns along the way a must see for everyone if and when it comes out in cinemas.
Feeling the end was coming I couldn’t help feeling sad that FrightFest 2013 was all going to be over soon especially given the constant rumours going round the crowd that Screen 1 of the Empire may soon be split into two, destroying the home of FrightFest and a beautiful cinema, a terrible indeed travesty if it was to take place.
Putting this out of my mind I got ready for the next movie. One of the more interesting and challenging films from a past FrightFest and a firm fan favourite Jorge Michel Grau’s Mexican art-house fantasy We Are What We Are has been remade by Stake Land’s Jim Mickle and was the second to last film of FrightFest 2013.
Introduced by the soundtrack composers the US reimagining of We Are What We Are is a slice of American Gothic that switches up the genders of the characters as the cannibalistic Parker family are forced to fend for themselves after the death of their mother the main provider.
And so it was onto the last film of Day 5 and the last film of FrightFest 2013, Big Bad Wolves and what an amazing movie to close the utterly brilliant festival introduced by the cast and crew.
Written and directed by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado the Israeli duo who I had interviewed a few days earlier and who had been behind the ground breaking Rabies, Big Bad Wolves is a jet black comedy thriller that sees three very different men’s lives collide head on when a series of young girls are kidnapped and killed in a brutal string of murders. A violent revenge movie inspired in part by I Saw the Devil it also manages to be a creative character study with a gripping plot line and razor sharp script.
FrightFest had most definitely saved one of the best films till last and it was an awesome end to what had been one of the best ever years. With a bittersweet feeling I headed into the dark night and home. I had made some great friends and spent five days watching some of the best horror films on offer from across the globe and that’s what FrightFest is all about.