Arrow Video FrightFest 2018 showcases the best in short film from the UK and around the world, with ten countries representing five continents. From otherworldly ghosts to terrifying monsters, from the creepy to the baffling, from this dimension to those still unknown, this year’s selection unleashes the latest from upcoming and established filmmakers.
Some of the best homegrown talent stretches their acting muscles, including Maisie Williams in Tom de Ville’s soaring Corvidae, Gemma Whelan in Paul Taylor’s hair-bristling The Blue Door, Alice Lowe in demonic thriller Salt, plus Adam Buxton and Asa Butterfield in surreal dark comedy Right Place, Wrong Tim.
Girl Power takes on different meanings: from the empowerment of American shorts Pie and BFF Girls, and Ireland’s Catcalls, to the downright deadly of Spain’s Marta, New Zealand’s Devil Woman, and UK shorts The Good Samaritans and Envy, these ladies will keep you guessing and possibly running for your life.
Monsters loom large: in the post-apocalyptic wilderness of TiCK, an abandoned warehouse in We Summoned a Demon, on the way home in Who’s That at the Back of the Bus, in the home in My Monster, The Cost of Living and Milk and even at a wedding, as in NeckFace.
Creepiness pervades throughout the programme, from unsettling discoveries in 42 Counts, to unwanted birthday surprises in Special Day. Strange sights and smells disrupt home life in The Front Door, Secretion and The Lady from 406 from South Korea, while some secrets are best left alone in Reprisal from Lebanon, and Wrong Number.
Perhaps the scariest thing of all is love, and what better way to explore its mysteries than through genre shorts. The devil makes an appearance in Payment, while true intentions are hidden under paper and cloth in Baghead and someone wants to use love to control in Puppet Master, from Finland’s Hanna Bergholm.
Time takes strange turns in new UK science fiction, from trying to make amends in Be Uncertain, to cunning entrepreneurship in There Are No Dividends. New animation shines in UK folk horror Madder Isle, and New Zealand homegrown DIY style Fire in Cardboard City.
This year, the FIRST BLOOD strand includes three shorts by up-and-coming UK directors:. Beware of insects in your hotel room in Fran & The Moth; the countryside might not be the best place to be on your own in The Lonely and some teenagers never learn in Mannequins.
There is also a world premiere screening of Joanne Mitchell’s Sybil. Fresh from producing and starring in ATTACK OF THE ADULT BABIES, this ‘deathly love-story’ marks Mitchell’s directorial debut.
Programmer Shelagh Rowan-Legg said today: “The short films at Arrow Video FrightFest have incredible sights to show you, from haunted houses to frightening forests, to monsters from beyond the grave and ones a little too close to home. With shorts from the as close to home as your local night bus to as far away as the wilds of Tasmania, with stars stretching their talent to new actors and directors making their break-out hit, these short films offer the best from new and established filmmakers, shaking the foundations of fantastic genre film.”
The full line-up:
FRIDAY 24 AUG – CINEWORLD DISCOVERY SCREEN from 16:00
SHORT FILM SHOWCASE 1.
WE SUMMONED A DEMON (London Premiere)
Director: Chris McInroy. Cast: Kirk C. Johnson, Carlos Larotta. USA 2017. 6 min.
They just wanted to be cool. Instead, they got a demon.
SECRETION (World Premiere)
Director: Sarah Talbot. Cast: Jordan Hunter, R G Parker. UK 2018. 8 min.
An unhappily married couple tries to ignore the grotesque, dripping stain that is growing on their ceiling.
PIE (European Premiere)
Director: Adria Tennor. Cast: Jessica Paré, Adria Tennor. USA 2018. 11 min.
Carol invites Annette over for homemade pie and after much prodding divulges her special secret ingredient.
DEVIL WOMAN (European Premiere)
Director: Heidi Lee Douglas. Cast: Marigold Pazar, Flame Kimball. Australia 2018. 12 min.
While searching for an endangered animal, Eddy gets bitten, and that bite is more infectious than it looks.
TiCK (European Premiere)
Director: Ashlea Wessel. Cast: Ava Close, Alexander De Jordy. Canada 2018. 13 min.
In a post-pandemic society, a vampire in hiding is forced to make a stand when confronted with the oppressive regime.
MILK (UK Premiere)
Director: Santiago Menghini. Cast: Cameron Brodeur, Cameron Brodeur. Canada 2018. 9 min.
Upon encountering his sleepless mother, a young teen quickly realizes things are not as they seem.
THE FRONT DOOR (World Premiere)
Director: Andrew Rutter. Cast: Brad Ash, Chris Butler. UK 2018. 7 min.
Upon going to lock his front door late at night, Steven discovers some rather odd intruders.
42 COUNTS (European Premiere)
Director: Jill Gevargizian. Cast: Andrea Dover, Najarrra Townsend. USA 2018. 8 min.
Two friends spend their night off watching scary movies until they uncover something much more sinister than what they’re watching on screen.
MY MONSTERS (European premiere)
Director: Izzy Lee. Cast: Brea Grant, Adam Egypt Mortimer. USA 2018. 7 min.
Christmas is coming, and Lily has to contend not only with a clueless partner, but also an unexpected, inter-dimensional holiday guest.
BFF GIRLS (European Premiere)
Director: Brian Lonano. Cast: Allison Maier, Jessica Shipp, Sydney Thomas. USA 2018. 13 min.
Three dorky American girls magically transform into beautiful Japanese Superheroes and fight the tampon monster.
WHO’S THAT AT THE BACK OF THE BUS (World Premiere)
Director: Philip Hardy. Cast: Susan Barham. UK 2018. 5 min.
Alone on the top deck of the night bus, Joyce is haunted by an unlikely apparition.
SATURDAY 25 AUG – CINEWORLD DISCOVERY SCREEN
(Preceding DEMENTIA PART II @ 19:00)
THE GOOD SAMARITANS (World Premiere)
Director: Christopher Goodman. Cast: Abraham Buckoke, Dom Kinnaird, Sophia Kounoupias. UK 2018. 6 min.
Two opportunistic highwaymen seek to take advantage of a young woman who is stranded alone in 16th century Romania.
SUNDAY 26 AUG – PRINCE CHARLES DISCOVERY SCREEN 1 (from 11:00)
SHORT FILM SHOWCASE II
CATCALLS (UK premiere)
Director: Kate Dolan. Cast: Sarah Kinlen, Edel Murphy, Martin O’Sullivan. Ireland 2017. 8 min.
A man cruises around late at night looking for something. Unfortunately, he has picked the wrong girls.
MADDER ISLE (London Premiere)
Director: Laura Spark. UK 2017. 8 min.
In a poisoned sea, on a forsaken rock, a holy sect seek to bring about a new era, but Morgan discovers their intentions are not wholly pure,
WRONG NUMBER (UK Premiere)
Director: Tiago Teixeira. Cast: Nicholas Anscombe, Ellie Woodruff-Bryant. UK 2018. 13 min.
When a woman has a foreboding dream, she must find out its meaning before it is too late.
THERE ARE NO DIVIDENDS (European Premiere)
Director: Joe Haughey. Cast: Rebecca Gethings, Marc Pickering, Toby Williams. UK 2018. 9 min.
Darren has a great new invention and wants to recruit the best and brightest. Unfortunately, the hotel wants money for the room he has ‘rented’.
BE UNCERTAIN (World Premiere)
Director: Jack Carrivick. Cast: Aisling Bea, Stephen Wight. UK 2018. 15 min.
Stuck in a stagnant routine, JD finally does the unexpected, only to wish he hadn’t.
THE BLUE DOOR (London Premiere)
Director: Paul Taylor. Cast: Janie Booth, Annie McGrath, Gemma Whelan . UK 2017. 9 min.
A district nurse is assigned a new patient and she discovers that the patient, and the home she inhabits, are hiding a dark secret.
MARTA (London Premiere)
Director: Lucía Forner. Cast: Thais Blume, Daniel Pérez Prada. Spain 2017. 15 min.
Marta’s dream profession is to be a serial killer, and she wants Carlos to be her first victim.
REPRISAL (UK Premiere)
Director: Mike Malajalian. Cast: Lisa Debs, Anatole Saadeh. Lebanon 2017. 10 min.
A young woman becomes anxious at the news of the return of her husband who disappeared 30 years ago during the civil war.
SALT (UK Premiere)
Director: Rob Savage. Cast: Beau Gadsdon, Alice Lowe. UK 2017. 2 min.
A woman protects her dying child from a demonic force with a single weakness – a ring of salt.
FIRE IN CARDBOARD CITY (London Premiere)
Director: Phil Brough. Cast: Julian Brough, Leigh Hart, Ella Wilkes. New Zealand 2018. 9 min.
A fire has broken out, and it’s up to the firefighters to save the day! But what other disasters might befall them?
SUNDAY 26 AUG – ARROW VIDEO & HORROR CHANNEL SCREENS, CINEWORLD
(Preceding HE’S OUT THERE @ 15:30 & 16:00)
SYBIL (World Premiere)
Director: Joanne Mitchell. Cast: Tracey Sheals, Seamus O’Neil, Joanne Mitchell. UK 2018. 11 min.
A lonely mortician finds herself caught in a rather odd love triangle.
MONDAY 27 AUG – PRINCE CHARLES DISCOVERY SCREEN 1 (from 13:20)
SHORT FILM SHOWCASE III
ENVY (London Premiere)
Director: Sam Hoggarth. Cast: Pippa Harrison, Danielle Love. UK 2017. 6 min.
At an after-school drama lesson, Emma finds out that her best friend Jess has thrown their long-term plans out the window, causing Emma to see red. And green.
SPECIAL DAY (European Premiere)
Director: Teal Greyhavens. Cast: Maya Bowman, Caesar James, Laura Wernette. USA 2018. 7 min.
Birthdays are a time for the whole family to come together.
THE LADY FROM 406 (UK Premiere)
Director: Lee Kyoungmi. Cast: Lee Yeong-ae. Republic of Korea, 2014. 14 min.
The lady who lives in room 406 hates the cigarette smoke from downstairs, but when she goes to complain, the neighbour says something odd.
THE COST OF LIVING (World Premiere)
Director: Tom Nicoll. Cast: Jonathan Coote, Liam Harkins, Lorna Nickson Brown. UK 2018. 4 min.
In the city of exorbitant costs, how far would you go to pay your rent?
PAYMENT WORLD (World Premiere)
Director: Ben Larned. Cast: Jamal Douglas, Thomas McNamara. USA 2018. 8 min.
After 10 years of hiding, Stephen confronts the Salesman to whom he sold his soul, unaware that the demon has fallen in love with him.
BAGHEAD (UK Premiere)
Director: Alberto Corredor. Cast: Natalie Oliver, Julian Seager, Oliver Walker. UK 2017. 15 min.
Kevin is haunted by grief and has questions that only the recently deceased can answer.
PUPPET MASTER (UK Premiere)
Director: Hanna Bergholm. Cast: Merja Pöyhönen, Jari Virman. Finland, 2018. 15 min.
A lonely woman succumbs to the desires of a mysterious man, who wants to possess her in more ways than one.
RIGHT PLACE WRONG TIM (European Premiere)
Director: Eros Vlahos. Cast: Asa Butterfield, Adam Buxton, Ella Purnell. UK 2018. 7 min.
Our favourite clock making family is back again. And again. And again. And again.
CORVIDAE (World Premiere)
Director: Tom de Ville. Cast: Maisie Williams. UK 2018. 11 min.
A dark fairy tale about a young girl who loves birds, and the very strange thing that happens when she tries to protect a wounded crow.
NECKFACE (European Premiere)
Director: Sian Harries. Cast: Sian Harries, Isy Suttie. UK 2018. 11 min.
Having dreamed of the perfect wedding, Laney wakes up with the world’s most unwelcome guest in her bed.
FIRST BLOOD SHORTS : Sat 25 August – PRINCE CHARLES DISCOVERY SCREEN 1 (from 14:15)
FRAN & THE MOTH (London Premiere)
Director: Malcolm Rumbles. Cast: Jack Bannon, Holly Woodhouse. UK 2017. 6 min.
A woman enters into a surreal battle with a moth and her sanity.
THE LONELY WORLD (World Premiere)
Director: Anneké Cullen. Cast: Tom Lyons . UK 2018. 7 min.
A man escapes to the country side to be alone.
MANNEQUINS (World Premiere)
Director: David Malcolm. Cast: EmmaClaire Brightlyn, Austin Hayden, Alyssa Wininger. UK 2018. 7 min.
Four friends visit the abandoned Carpenter Hill Hospital for laughs and scares, unaware of the true darkness that waits for them.
Arrow Video FrightFest runs from 23rd -27th August 2018 at Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema. Tickets & passes are now available to buy online: http://www.frightfest.co.uk/tickets.html For full programme details: http://www.frightfest.co.uk/