Bigger, bolder, bloodier…Film4 FrightFest 2015 marks its 16th year with its largest line-up ever.
From Thurs 27 August to Mon 31 August, the UK’s leading event for genre fans will return to the Vue West End, Leicester Square to present seventy-six films across five screens, plus a host of special events. There are eighteen countries representing five continents with a record-breaking sixteen European premieres and twenty-six UK premieres. In addition, there is a further ‘Discovery’ strand at The Prince Charles Cinema, signalling a welcome return to FrightFest’s spiritual home.
DISCOVERY AT THE PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA
FRI AUG 28
13:00 THE ROTTEN LINK (European Premiere)
Director: Valentin Javier Diment. Cast: Germán de Silva, Paula Brasca, Sergio Boris, Luis Ziembrowski, Susana Pampin. Argentina 2015. 75 mins.
Welcome to the remote village of El Escondido and its too tight-knit community of idiot lumberjacks, over-age prostitutes, lascivious café owners and senile witches. But something is about to happen to make the residents turn on each other, something so primal it will shatter their unsettling closeness forever. You don’t have to go to Texas for a bloody massacre, try Argentina instead in this grisly and grossly funny black comedy from the director of MEMORY OF THE DEAD selected for the ‘Blood Window’ gala strand of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival that plunders both John Waters and Dario Argento.
15:30 THE ENTITY (UK Premiere)
Director: Eduardo Schuldt. Cast: Daniella Mendoza, Rodrigo Fala, Carlos Casella, Mario Gaviria, Diego Seminario. Peru 2015. 80 mins.
THE RING goes ‘found footage’ Peruvian in a terrific example of the continually igniting South American new horror wave. A group of media students embark on a documentary project covering ‘Reaction Videos’ – filming people watching intense shock footage online to monitor their psychological effect. And they find one example so terrifying the viewers have all died in mysterious circumstances. But what exactly is on this gruesome Internet footage? Their search leads to an obscure corner of cyberspace known as the Dark Web, a Quechua curse dating from the Spanish Inquisition and a demonic power they cannot escape from
18:15 III (UK Premiere)
Director: Pavel Khaleev. Cast: Polina Davydova, Lyubov Ignatushko, Evgeniy Gagarin. Russia 2015. 89 mins.
During the outbreak of a mysterious deadly epidemic ravaging a rural European village, sisters Ayia and Mirra promise their dying mother to look after each other. When Mirra also falls victim to the disease, a desperate Ayia realizes that conventional medicine is not the answer. And at Father Herman’s house she discovers a Shamanic book containing spiritual healing rituals and clings to the hope this therapy will save her sister. But the mystical cure involves complete immersion into the victim’s deepest subconscious. What demons lie in wait for Ayia in this beautiful homage to Russian fairytales and Tarkovskian surreality?
20:50 FINAL GIRL (UK Premiere)
Director: Tyler Shields. Cast: Abigail Breslin, Wes Bentley, Alexander Ludwig, Logan Huffman, Cameron Bright. USA 2015. 85 mins.
Ever since she was a young girl, Veronica has been groomed by her mentor to become a lethal assassin, her sights set on devil-may-care murderers who think they are above the law. Her latest targets are a pack of wild child American Psychos who love nothing more than hunting distressed female prey in the woods. But when the wolf pack is manipulated into picking Veronica as their latest victim, they learn pretty fast they chose the wrong girl. Famed photographer Tyler Shields makes his feature debut with an exciting and stylish mash-up of SCREAM horror mythology and LA FEMME NIKITA.
22:50 THE SAND (UK Premiere)
Director: Isaac Gabaeff. Cast: Mitchel Musso, Dean Geyer, Nikki Leigh, Brooke Butler, Meagan Holder. USA 2015. 84 mins.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water again, you can’t even get across the sand! BLOOD BEACH meets SPRING BREAKERS in an ace monster mash-up of smart nostalgia and up-to-the-minute visual effects. After an all-night graduation beach party, a group of hung-over students wake up under blazing sun to find their numbers somewhat depleted. An enormous alien creature has burrowed down deep and anyone foolish enough to make contact with the sand finds themselves at the mercy of a sea of flesh-eating tentacles. Will they ever be able to escape its carnivorous clutches?
SATURDAY AUG 29
11:15 SHORT FILM SHOWCASE 1
13:50 HANGMAN (European Premiere)
Director: Adam Mason. Cast: Jeremy Sisto, Kate Ashfield, Ryan Simpkins, Ty Simpkins, Eric Michael Cole. USA 2015. 85 mins.
Chilling and convincing, FrightFest alumnus Adam Mason returns to the fold with a found-footage FUNNY GAMES. Arriving back from a two-week holiday, the Miller family unwittingly play host to a cold-hearted malevolent intruder who has broken into their home – and stayed there. Feeling violated, they have no idea he’s still watching their every move on surveillance cameras the meticulous interloper has secretly installed. Nor do they realise their true nightmares have only just begun. Horrors of the everyday reach a terrifying crescendo in this disturbing twist on the home invasion thriller bound to make your skin crawl.
16:15 ANOTHER ME (UK Premiere)
Director: Isabel Coixet. Cast: Sophie Turner, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Claire Forlani, Rhys Ifans, Geraldine Chaplin. UK 2013. 86 mins.
A top flight cast and a cult Catalan director (THE SECRET LIFE OF WORDS, ELEGY) bring the bestselling Young Adult novel by Cathy MacPhail to the screen. British schoolgirl Fay’s father is dying, so getting the role of Lady Macbeth in the school play is a welcome diversion. Then she becomes aware that someone is following her every move. Who could be so cruel as to taunt her at this sad time? Soon evidence suggests she is being haunted by the dead twin she barely knew existed in a hard-hitting and affecting mystery dealing with apparitions, doppelgangers and mind games.
SUNDAY AUG 30
10:45 RESTORATION PREMIERE – CAPTAIN KRONOS: VAMPIRE HUNTER
Director: Brian Clemens. Cast: Horst Janson, Caroline Munro, John Cater, Ian Hendry, Wanda Ventham. UK 1972. 91 mins.
When a young maiden is drained of blood in the village of Durward, Captain Kronos is summoned to find the root cause. With his hunchback and gypsy dancer assistants in tow, Kronos traces the bloodsucker curse in the Hammer cult swashbuckler where ‘The Avengers’ TV series writer Brian Clemens made his directorial debut. Devised by The House of Horror to be first in a comedy adventure cycle featuring the evil-fighting hero, and starring prominent Scream Queen Caroline Munro, this rapier-witted, cleverly constructed and freewheeling mix of serial antics and Grand Guignol was one of Hammer’s best shots at 1970s rebranding.
13:20 RESTORATION PREMIERE – HAWK THE SLAYER
Director: Terry Marcel. Cast: John Terry, Jack Palance, Shane Briant, Patrick Magee, Ferdy Mayne. UK 1980. 90 mins.
The Kitsch Klassic is back on the screen where it belongs! Thrill to John Terry as handsome Hawk saving witches from pig farmers. Boo nasty Jack Palance as his one-eyed evil brother Voltan when he kidnaps a nun and puts her in a cage. Cheer as Hawk enlists a group of misfits to save her, including a brawny giant, an elfin archer, a conniving dwarf and a mystical blind enchantress. An awfully good sword and sorcery fantasy unlike any other, honestly! And one the filmmakers are hoping to make a sequel to if they can raise enough money.
15:50 RESTORATION PREMIERE – YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY
Director: Sergio Martino. Cast: Edwige Fenech, Anita Strindberg, Luigi Pistilli, Ivan Rassimov, Daniela Giordano. Italy 1972. 92 mins.
A keynote Giallo from Euro-thriller maestro Sergio (TORSO) Martino, starring the undisputed Queen of Italian Erotica Edwige Fenech, and rife with the genre’s beloved elements – substance abuse, gratuitous sex, hippie communes and bloody homicide spaghetti style. A burnt-out novelist haunted by the memory of his dead mother makes life miserable for his humiliated wife. When his mistress is found slashed to ribbons, the crime initiates a series of gory slayings that drives everyone to the brink of deranged insanity. Edgar Allan Poe meets Giallo in this alluring exploitation classic suffused with a decadent ambience, calculating cruelty and perverse twists.
18:40 RESTORATION PREMIERE – HELLRAISER
Director: Clive Barker. Cast: Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence, Clare Higgins. Doug Bradley, Sean Chapman. UK 1987. 93 mins.
Popular horror writer Clive Barker proved he could direct with scintillating charnel house style in the film version of his novel ‘The Hellbound Heart’. A surreal, claustrophobic and graphic shocker laced with perverse chills, when an Oriental puzzle box is opened it leads the various owners to thresholds of sensual pleasure and pain. There lurk the Cenobites, leather-clad, disfigured angels from hell, whose sadism knows no bounds, especially the one they call Pinhead. Full of fearful flair and outrageous imagery, Barker’s cult sado-masochistic delight brought a sobering atmosphere to late 1980s horror and became a bona-fide genre classic.
21:15 RESTORATION PREMIERE – THE REFLECTING SKIN
Director: Philip Ridley. Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Lindsay Duncan, Jeremy Cooper, Sheila Moore, Duncan Fraser. UK 1990. 96 mins.
Philip Ridley’s first feature film The Reflecting Skin remains one of the most distinctive and original debuts in British Film. Visually ravishing and – like all Ridley films (The Passion of Darkly Noon, Heartless) – a breathtaking mash-up of genres and tonal shifts, this ‘nightmare of childhood’ is open to endless interpretation. Set in a mythical 1950s rural Idaho, 8 year-old Seth is confronted by the horrors of mortality when he meets the seductive killers driving a black Cadillac, and the mysterious ‘vampire’ lady Dolphin Blue. Confronting us with our own primal fears of the dark – with luminous photography and a sumptuous soundtrack – Ridley’s visionary and haunting film exerts a unique and timeless hypnotic pull.
MONDAY AUG 31
10:45 THE LAZARUS EFFECT (UK Premiere)
Director: David Gelb. Cast: Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Sarah Bolger, Evan Peters, Donald Glover. USA 2015. 83 mins.
New-fangled pseudoscience meets old-time religion in this neo FLATLINERS marking the impressive narrative debut of documentary director David Gelb (JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI). Classic horror themes about death, life and the soul are given a scary shot in the arm when a team of researchers believe they’ve discovered a serum that could resurrect the recently deceased. But before they’re able to reveal their breakthrough to the scientific community, they get shut down accused of playing God. So they go rogue to recreate their experiments and when one of their number is accidentally electrocuted their journey into the afterlife unknown begins.
12:50 SUSPENSION (UK Premiere)
Director: Jeffrey Lando. Cast: Ellen McNevin, Sage Brocklebank, Johannah Newmarch, Steve Richmond, Connor Fielding. Canada 2015. 87 mins.
The Night Daddy Came Home! Tormented at high school, Emily Hanson’s only escape is drawing graphic sketches depicting a crazed masked killer on a bloody rampage. Except the deranged maniac is her father who snapped eight years ago and is now locked away in a mental institution where Emily’s bullying classmates taunt she should be too. On the anniversary of his massacre, the In Crowd throw a party while Emily babysits her mute little brother. Little does she know she’s in for a night of unrelenting terror and madness, forced to confront her demons once and for all.
15:00 LAST GIRL STANDING (World Premiere)
Director: Benjamin R. Moody. Cast: Akasha Villalobos, Danielle Evon Ploeger, Brian Villalobos, JD Carrera, Ryan Hamilton. USA 2015. 91 mins.
She survived a brutal massacre, but lost her life. What happens to the final girl once the credits have rolled? Five years ago, a masked killer brutally murdered a group of friends. Since then, Camryn, the lone survivor, has tried to make sense of the homicidal events and struggled to reclaim her shattered life. Wracked with guilt and paranoia, can Camryn ever have a normal existence again or is she destined to cope alone forever? Part slasher movie, part character study, take a penetrating and intimate look at what happens to the remaining true victim of every horror movie.
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.