I know we say it every year BUT FrightFest 2015 really is bigger than ever.
Embracing the ever-burgeoning independent arena, this year’s increased number of films in the Discovery Screens illustrates the growing global investment in the genre. From Australia and France, Mexico and Russia, Argentina and Peru, FrightFest showcases the most electrifying examples, including several World and European premieres.
SPLICE MEDIA SCREEN – DISCOVERY SCREEN 3
FRIDAY AUG 28
10:45 POD (UK Premiere)
Director: Mickey Keating. Cast: Lauren Ashley-Carter, Brian Morvant, Dean Cates, John Weselcouch, Larry Fessenden. USA 2015. 80 mins.
Ed and Lyla are so worried about their psychologically unstable brother Martin they head to the family cabin in the woods to stage an intervention. What greets them is a raving paranoid individual rambling about a government conspiracy that’s threatening his life and claims he’s holding a military issue prototype ‘pod’ in the cellar. Is the veteran soldier having the complete mental breakdown they feared? Or could it really be true? Prepare for sustained shock and horrified awe in an intense, kinetic, in-your-face thriller-cum-hard-edged creature feature in this full-tilt family psychodrama that’s enthralling, terrifying and wildly entertaining.
12:50 WIND WALKERS (World Premiere)
Director Russell Friedenberg. Cast: Zane Holtz, Glen Powell, Kiowa Gordon, Philip Burke, Castille Landon. USA 2015. 93 mins.
A group of friends and family descend into the Everglades swamplands for their annual hunting trip only to discover that they are the ones being hunted. A malevolent entity is tracking them and they begin to realise one of their party may be possessed by something brought home from a tour of duty in the Middle East – a demon of war so horrible and deadly they are unaware of its devilish presence. Or are they facing something even more unspeakable, a legendary Native American curse about to unleash its dreadful legacy of thirsting for colonial revenge by claiming more souls?
15:30 WORRY DOLLS (World Premeire)
Director: Padraig Reynolds. Cast: Christopher Wiehl, Kym Jackson, Samantha Smith. Kennedy Brice, Tina Lifford. USA 2015. 85 mins.
A brutal serial killer is finally gunned down in the middle of carrying out one last heinous act of bloody murder. In the maniac’s possession, a box of Guatemalan talismans, which mistakenly end up being sold as charm jewelry in Chloe’s Collectables thrift shop. Soon those who bought the Worry Dolls begin to act strangely out of character and cause another rash of senseless slaughter. An ancient curse is consuming the city and pits a hardened detective against the clock to save his 8 year-old daughter’s life. The latest horror thriller from Padraig Reynolds, director of THE RITES OF SPRING.
18:35 AAAAAAAAH! (World Premiere)
Director: Steve Oram. Cast: Steve Oram, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Toyah Willcox, Noah Fielding, Alice Lowe. UK 2015. 80 mins.
Alpha Male Smith and his Beta, Keith, move to take over a local community. They hook up with restless Female, Denise, igniting a deadly feud in which emotions run high and deep-seated grudges resurface amongst the tribe. Are we not men? Or are we simply beasts? Steve Oram, the actor/writer from SIGHTSEERS and KILL LIST stars in his long-awaited debut feature with a host of his friends. Get ready for the most unusual celluloid primal scream – an anarchic, hilarious, disturbing and touching look at the human condition. THEMROC meets PINK FLAMINGOS in the Cult Movie of the Year.
21.00 NEVER LET GO (World Premiere)
Director: Howard J. Ford. Cast: Angela Dixon, Rami Nasr, Nigel Whitmey, Lisa Eichhorn, Velibor Topic, Heather Peace, Sarah Perles, Sanita Simms, Glenn Salvage, Samantha Bolter, Michael Xavier . UK 2015. 93 mins.
A whiplash thriller in the lean, mean TAKEN tradition from Howard J. Ford, Director/Co-Writer, of the past FrightFest favourites THE DEAD and THE DEAD 2: INDIA. Former FBI agent, now single mother Lisa Brennan, takes a holiday to escape an unhappy love affair and painful family memories. But in a heartbeat is not only faced with a daughter kidnapped by human traffickers, but also faces murder charges and must keep one step ahead of the foreign police. Fasten your seatbelts for spectacular twists, startling turns and breathless suspense in a jolt-a-minute journey no mother should go on!
23:30 BLOOD SUCKING BASTARDS (UK Premeire)
Director: Brian James O’Connell. Cast: Fran Kranz, Emma Fitzpatrick, Joey Kern, Jacquelyn Palmquist, Pedro Pascal. USA 2015. 86 mins
If you think you’ve ever had a bad day in the office, think again! Work life is a killer in this comedy horror from the popular Dr God Comedy team. For Evan, played by Fran Kranz (CABIN IN THE WOODS) girlfriend problems and work woes are already causing him headaches – the last thing he needs is a vampire infestation to cap it all off. This fast, funny and very bloody feature slayed them in the aisles at its US Slamdance screenings.
SATURDAY AUG 28
10:30 FUTURE SHOCK! THE STORY OF 2000AD (Preview)
Director: Paul Goodwin. Cast: Pat Mills, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, Kevin O’Neill, David Bishop. UK 2015. 105 mins.
Welcome to the unruly anarchy of 2000AD: the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic. This enlightening and enjoyable documentary tells the story of the UK science-fiction comic that changed the face of the industry. First published in 1977, it was violent, anti-authoritarian, blackly funny and above all, idiosyncratically British. A comprehensive overview of its history, a warts-and-all look at the highs and lows, a peek inside the creative process of its most famous creators, and a funny, moving and passionate chronicle of how a band of talented eccentrics assembled to create a visionary and extraordinary comic that’s still a game-changer 36 years on.
13:20 THE NIGHTMARE (UK Premiere)
Director: Rodney Ascher. Cast: Yatoya Toy, Siegfried Peters, Steven Yvette, Age Wilson. USA 2015. 82 mins.
From the acclaimed director of the Stanley Kubrick analysis ROOM 237, a perceptive look at the frightening condition that plagues many people. Sleep paralysis is a variety of dream state that seizes a person and makes them prisoner of their own ghoulish hallucination. This unique and startling documentary profiles a dozen such severely afflicted individuals and invites you into their brains via vivid reconstructions of their worst reveries. With its chilling anecdotes of sinister visions and horrifying dramatizations, this tricky balance of visceral fright and sincere investigation could be considered distressing, is rather bloodcurdling and may freak you out.
15:30 ESTRANGED (UK Premiere)
Director: Adam Levins. Cast: James Cosmo, Amy Manson, Nora-Jane Noone, James Lance, Craig Conway. UK 2015. 88 mins.
January is forced to return home after six wild years abroad. A road accident has left her wheelchair-bound with amnesia. Not only has she forgotten her family, but also her childhood and is surprised to discover her home is a stately country manor. Trying to settle in with boyfriend Callum at her attentive side, she just becomes even more distant from her family, who just want their old daughter back. The trouble is she cannot remember who that person was, or why she fled in the first place. Now she must learn all over again how terrible relatives can be.
18:30 THE HALLOW (London Preview)
Director: Corin Hardy. Cast: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael Smiley, Colm Donnelly, Stuart Graham. UK 2015. 95 mins.
It’s the Sundance sensation that snared rising star talent Corin Hardy the plum job of directing THE CROW reboot. Tree surgeon Adam Hitchens moves with his wife Claire and infant son Finn to a picturesque millhouse in the Irish countryside. But their rural idyll soon turns into a terrifying fight for survival when they ignore local folklore legend and come under attack from forest-dwelling demonic monsters. Stylish and arresting, the ‘fake shemp’ credit reveals everything you need to know about this wicked cabin-in-the-woods blend of EVIL DEAD intensity, Lucio Fulci-type gore, white-knuckle scares and sustained mythic dread.
21:00 SUN CHOKE (European Premiere)
Director: Ben Cresciman. Cast: Sarah Hagan, Barbara Crampton, Sara Malakul Lane, Evan Jones, Jim Boeven. USA 2015. 90 mins.
Horror comes screaming into the light in a masterpiece of mystery and menace. Janie (a career defining performance from ‘Freaks and Geeks’ Sarah Hagan) is just trying to get well. Recovering from a violent psychotic break, she’s subjected each day to a bizarre holistic health and wellness regimen designed, and enforced, by her lifelong nanny and caretaker. Finally granted permission to leave her LA house, Janie develops an obsession with Savannah to whom she feels an inexplicable yet profound connection. The obsession turns increasingly invasive, and wedges all three women into an ever-tightening, and progressively terrifying struggle for control.
23:15 NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB (European Premiere)
Director: Kyle Rankin. Cast: Maria Thayer, Michael Cassidy, Ray Wise, Chris Marquette, Julie Brister. USA 2015. 85 mins.
After a girls’ night out, endearingly awkward Deb wakes up in the apartment of the most attractive guy in Portland, Maine. She’s thrilled, but can’t remember how she got there. Pretty boy Ryan only knows it was a mistake and ushers her out the door… into a full-scale zombie apocalypse. Now, a walk of shame becomes a fight for survival as the mismatched pair discovers that the only thing scarier than trusting someone with your life… is trusting them with your heart. Great one-liners, a fabulous soundtrack and terrific performances – a touching rom-zom-com delight from the director of INFESTATION.
SUNDAY AUG 30
10:30 OVER YOUR DEAD BODY (UK Premiere)
Director: Takashi Miike. Cast: Ko Shibasaki, Ebizo Ichikawa, Miho Nakanishi, Hideaki Ito, Hitomi Katayama. Japan 2014. 93 mins.
Cult fantasy festival poster boy Takashi Miike goes to the theatre. Kabuki star Miyuki Goto decides to play Oiwa in a new play based on the classic ghost story ‘Yotsuya Kaidan’. She pulls some strings to get her lover cast too even though he’s a relatively unknown actor. Other performers also secretly and jealously lust after Miyuki and off-stage the cast’s possessive love and obsessions exist as amplified reality as they portray the shocking on-stage Samurai betrayals. Soon fantasy and reality blur as psychological illness and the supernatural play their part in a bloody and disturbing curtain call.
12:50 THESE FINAL HOURS (UK Premiere)
Director: Zak Hilditch. Cast: Nathan Phillips, Angourie Rice, Jessica de Gouw, Kathryn Beck, Daniel Henshall, Sarah Snook and Lynette Curran. Australia 2013. 87 mins.
It has taken the fantasy festival circuit by storm and now you can finally see what everyone has been raving about in this gripping look at the spectrum of human behaviour in the face of impending doom. The fiery effects of a crash-landed asteroid are wiping out the planet and heading for their last devastating stop: Australia. And there’s nothing anyone in the coastal city of Perth can do but wait. And party. Go horrendously crazy. Or find redemption where they least expect it. Witness the last days of man on Earth in this amped-up, adrenaline-fuelled apocalyptic vision with balls.
15:15 MOST LIKELY TO DIE (UK Premiere)
Director: Anthony DiBlasi. Cast: Heather Morris, Ryan Doom, Perez Hilton, Chad Addison, Tess Christiansen. USA 2015. 81 mins.
DREAD, CASSADAGA, LAST SHIFT and MISSIONARY director Anthony DiBlasi returns to make you SCREAM and scream again with a sly and scary homage to the 1980s slasher genre. ‘Glee’ star Heather Morris and ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ enfant terrible/showbiz gossip blogger Perez Hilton are part of a 10-year High School reunion hosted by a disgraced ice hockey player. Soon the party takes a deadly turn when one-by-one the former classmates, each with a secret shared history, turn up dead according to their senior yearbook superlatives. Who is the masked psycho with the razor-sharp mortarboard and what exactly is his problem?
18:15 SUMMER CAMP (World Premiere)
Director: Alberto Marini. Cast: Diego Boneta, Maiara Walsh, Jocelin Donahue, Andres Velencoso, Rick Zingale. Spain 2015. 81 mins.
Alberto Marini, producer of the [REC] trilogy, SLEEP TIGHT and THE LAST DAYS, turns director with a sly scaremonger loaded with witty visual touches, Spanish horror homage and gory shocks. Looking for fun experiences as counsellors at a European summer camp for children, four Americans never suspect their first experience abroad might be their last. For the rapid-fire spread of an extreme rage-inducing infection plunges the group into a dark vortex of horror and madness catapulting them into a race against time – and each other – to find the source of the mystery contagion and make it out alive.
21:00 THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE (UK Premiere)
Director: Perry Blackshear. Cast: MacLeod Andrews, Evan Dumouchel, Margaret Drake, Elena Greenlee, Mick Casale. USA 2015. 80 mins.
Two once close friends meet up in New York after ten years. Christian is a hip marketer trying to increase his personal coolness. Wyatt has just left his job as a nunnery gardener. Wanting to reconnect, Christian asks Wyatt to stay over. But at 4 a.m. Wyatt receives a call telling him to prepare for war, leave the city and beware of infection. Should he protect his best friend from the impending apocalypse, or from himself? Audacious, unsettling, full of tension, emotion, creative boldness and heartfelt compassion, this brilliant feature debut is a master class in independent budget filmmaking.
MONDAY AUG 21
10:30 THE LESSON (World Premiere)
Director: Ruth Platt. Cast: Robert Hands, Evan Bendall, Michaela Prchalová, Rory Coltart, Joshua Wedge. UK 2015. 98 mins.
Learning can be murder in writer/director Ruth Platt’s astonishingly bravura art-house horror, the no-holds-barred love child of Ben Wheatley, Harmony Korine, Ken Loach and Fritz Lang. Fin and Joel are two teenage wasters running wild in an arid rural landscape. But their bad education is about to take a turn for the intellectual best as someone at the end of their tether has decided to teach both schoolboys a lesson they will never forget. A dark, claustrophobic and bloody coming of age love story with a shock final destination, this morally challenging chiller will shake your well-ordered world
13:15 HOWL (World Premiere)
Director: Paul Hyett. Cast: Ed Speelers, Shauna Macdonald, Rosie Day, Sean Pertwee, Duncan Preston. UK 2015. 95 mins.
Young ambitious ticket collector Joe is overseeing the last train out of London on a dark and stormy night – the usual collection of passengers on board from the obnoxious teen to the workaholic businesswoman. Suddenly the train screeches to a halt in a forest after hitting something on the tracks, but the investigating driver never returns. Realising an unknown and dangerous threat is lurking in the woods the disparate group of strangers must work together in order to survive a common feral enemy. Hairy horror and bloody action adventure from Paul Hyett, director of THE SEASONING HOUSE.
16:00 AWAITING (UK Premiere)
Director: Mark Murphy. Cast: Tony Curran, Diana Vickers, Rupert Hill, Peter Woodward, Adrian Bouchet. UK 2015. 90 mins.
Take a horrifying journey of introspection into the depths of base human nature and the capabilities of twisted minds. Morris is a recluse with mysterious psychotic tendencies, whose life changes when his innocent daughter Lauren rescues one of his intended victims and befriends him at their remote Yorkshire farmhouse. Soon travelling businessman Jake realises he is stranded with no chance of ever being allowed to escape and that his presence in the house is gradually revealing an epic clash of wills. Worse, the descent into darkness will unearth unexpected secrets from the past and signal a host of future shocks.
18:45 GODDESS OF LOVE (UK Premiere)
Director: John Knautz. Cast: Alexis Kendra, Monda Scott, Elizabeth Sandy, Woody Naismith, Ray Grady. USA 2015. 96 mins
John Knautz, director of past FrightFest favourites JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER and THE SHRINE, now invites you to feel the horrendous pain of heartbreak. Enter into a baroque vortex of madness when an emotionally unstable stripper is shattered after being dumped by her boyfriend. Brian was the love of Venus’ life and the thought of him having an affair with another woman begins her volatile descent into the dark side of psychosexual insanity. Co-writer Alexis Kendra plays Venus with startling insight in an erotic thriller that’s sexy and shocking in the super-stylish tradition of Brian De Palma and Roman Polanski.
Festival and day pass sales will go on sale Sat 4 July at noon and will only be available online at: https://live.advancedticketing.co.uk/k?v=frightfest
Single tickets will go on sale on Sat 25 July.
A festival pass will cost £185. Day passes are: Thursday £30, Friday & Saturday £60, Sunday & Monday £50. Single tickets will be £13.25.