Film4 FrightFest 2013: Day 2 – Dyatlov Pass Incident, Dementamania, Ben Wheatley, Hatchet 3, Haunter & VHS2

FrightFestThank God its Friday or should that be Satan? Whichever deity deserved credit for the fact that it was FrightFest Day 2 I thanked them as I journeyed up to Empire Leicester Square for the second day of the festival and the first full day of films.

When I arrived I saw massive queues at the box office for people buying tickets to the days movies and as I headed up to Screen 1 I saw massive amounts of popcorn and sweets taking up the already full foyer obviously delivered to sate the hungry demands of the ever increasing audience.

The first film of the day was The Dyatlov Pass Incident and although its name may make it sound like the title of an insurance claim letter it was in fact a frozen found footage frightener by action director Renny Harlin.

Following the story of a bunch of American students making a film about the mysterious deaths of nine Russians hikers whose bodies where found with varies gruesome injuries in 1959 the film throws in conspiracy theories a plenty as the yanks try to uncover the real snow bound story.


Sort of like the Blair Yeti Project the movie was slow to get going but the final act was well worth the wait and the two British female leads Gemma Atkinson and Holly Goss who where both at FrightFest to introduce the movie did a fine job.

FrightFestDirector Kit Ryan popped on stage next to introduce his film Dementamania which got its world premiere next. It stared Sam Robertson as a man on the edge of sanity who gets stung by a strange wasp and experiences a nightmare of a day in his boring office job where everyone is getting on his last nerve. The British low budget film was part American Psycho, part Jacobs Ladder, part Falling Down and part psychotropic splatter fest and very entertaining.

After the film Kit Ryan and lead actor Robertson hosted a Q&A along with actress Holly Weston and writer Anis Shlewet who assured the crowds that it wasn’t based on his own life. Ryan went into great detail breaking down the movie encouraging the audience to rewatch it to see subtle clues and elements he had introduced.

Robertson after admitting the character was Scottish because he couldn’t do any other accents also added how much he enjoyed acting out the violent fantasies on his co-workers which he said we all have from time to time to which everyone agreed.


The Variety Spotlight this year was on Kill List director Ben Wheatley and the interview with him discussing his films, his influences and how he got into film making was interesting and engaging yet down to earth and amusing.

Part of the great thing about FrightFest is all the talented directors, writers and actors at the festival and I was lucky enough to get a chance to interview Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado the brilliant due behind Israel’s first horror film Rabies and the excellent closing film of FrightFest 2013 Big Bad Wolves. You will have to wait to hear everything they had to say but safe to say the guys where loving the festival as much as I was.


Heading back to the screen James Moran the scriptwriter of FrightFest 2012’s Cockneys vs Zombies and Tower Block treated us all to his short film a touching love story about a psychopath who hates polka dots which was a great taster before the next feature.

FrightFest favourite Adam Green back for his 7th time at the horror festival brought with him the next film and the final part in his Hatchet series Hatchet III. He also showed the crowd some clips from his horror sitcom Holliston that will hopefully be coming to the UK very soon.

Hatchet III was a great and gory conclusion to the series staring Danielle Harris and Kane Hodder the film opened with deformed maniac Victor Crowley getting a shotgun blast to the face and being chainsawed in half and got crazier and nastier from there on in.


Another break and time for another interview for me this one with Paranormal Diaries: Clophill director Kevin Gates which had its premiere later that night.

Telling me the fascinating story behind the film Gates was great and we chatted for ages about the movie and the real life Clophill mysteries as well as what he has planned next although again you will have to wait to read the full interview on the site sometime soon.


Ghostly Groundhog Day Haunter was the first film of the evening directed by Splice and Cube helmer Vincenzo Natali it was a slick supernatural tale of a girl who knows she is dead and is doomed to repeat the same day stuck with her family in their home surrounded by an eerie everlasting fog. That is until she starts to break the routine and wonder what is really going on outside and her peaceful monotonous purgatory turns into an un-living hell.

Portmanteau mayhem came in the form of V/H/S 2 the sequel to the mini movie mash up that showed at FrightFest 2012. Raid director and contributor to VHS2 Gareth Evans was on hand for the intro and afterwards brought everyone an exclusive clip of Raid 2 which brought down the house.

VHS 2 itself was a mixed bag much like the first one and our full review will be posted on this site very, very soon so wait and see our verdict. The late night movie and last film of the day was 100 Bloody Acres a hilarious horror from the land down under a great bit of gore to end a super scary and scintillating second day at FrightFest.



Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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