The day Thursday, the date the 22nd of August in the year of our demon lord 2013. The place Empire Cinema Leicester Square and the reason, why the best reason of all its FrightFest time of course!
The fourteenth year of the most amazing horror film festival in the UK had begun and much like the old school gelatinous movie monster the Blob, FrightFest just gets bigger and better every year and thankfully nothing can stop it.
With 51 films on three screens from all over the globe and special guests, giveaways and surprises a plenty I was more excited than a psycho in a knife shop as I headed up for the first night of fun.
Taking my seat, aptly located in the FF row, in Empire 1 which houses all the main events and making friends with my seat buddy Rick horror writer, festival organiser and man behind the superb Space Monsters Magazine, I watched as horror fans of all shape and sizes, colours and creeds filtered in to be united by there love of the best genre of films ever to exist all like me looking forward to five days of horror.
Soon the lights dimmed and we where treated to an excellent Evil Dead inspired Phone’s Off advert staring FrightFest’s own Ian Rattray executing some tough justice on a phone user.
To introduce the festival comedian, 80’s star and horror writer and director of God Bless America and Willow Creek (which gets its European Premiere Saturday at FrightFest) Bobcat Goldthwait appeared jet lagged and slightly confused but hilarious non the less.
Seemingly as shocked as the audience where to be opening the festival his love of horror and appreciation for the crowd shone through and his one-liners had everyone laughing and cheering as he discussed why horror was the only genre of films worth watching.
His final job was brining the fantastic four to the stage Alan Jones, Greg Day, Paul McEvoy and Ian Rattray, the organisers of FrightFest who welcomed the audience and said a few thank you’s before the opening movie of the 2013 festival screened the zombie filled The Dead 2: India.
Having had The Dead shown at FrightFest 3 years ago director and producer due The Ford Brothers where ecstatic to be opening FrightFest 2013 and having not seen the final cut of the movie it made it not only a World Premiere but a real exclusive for everyone including the cast and crew in attendance.
Offering up a far more epic and exciting story than the first film which was set in Africa with plenty of jumps and brain bashing action The Dead 2 managed to tug at the emotional heart strings as well as churning your stomach and it was great to see the Ford Brothers brining the entire cast onto the stage for a quick chat with Joseph Millson, Meenu Mishra, Sandip Datta Gupta and nine year old Anand Gopal who was too young to watch his own film.
From one cute child actor to a creepy child’s toy as the second movie up was Curse of Chucky the return of the Child’s Play franchise. After all receiving our own Chucky mask creator of the devilish doll Don Mancini, who has had a hand in every instalment and wrote and directed the newest episode, stepped up to introduce his movie. He was joined by lead actress and daughter of Brad Dourif the man behind Chucky’s voice Fiona Dourif holding a Chucky doll. Don Mancini told the crowd how he had listened to the fans and given them what they wanted, a scary Childs Play movie.
After another excellent Phones Off advert, this time a faux documentary about an experiment that fused the mobiles to peoples hands, the Unrated edition of Curse of Chucky started and thankfully it lived up to Mancini’s words with the perfect blend of jokes and creepiness righting the wrongs of the previous high camp comedic instalments.
With a very clever script, some devilishly good deaths and genuine frights the film managed to fit perfectly into the cannon of Childs Play movies honouring and innovating at the same time giving fans everything they wanted and most importantly of all finally making Chucky scary again just the way he should be.
Star Fiona Dourif and Don Mancini returned to the stage afterwards for a great Q&A although Chucky himself didn’t have much to say and soon it was onto the final film of the first night, home invasion horror You’re Next a movie creating massive buzz all across the industry.
With everyone receiving a free individually numbered You’re Next poster and the movie introduced by star Wendy Glenn it was a great start and the movie directed by A Horrible Way to Die helmer Adam Wingard was packed with fun kills and plenty of thrills a great late night movie and the perfect end to Day 1 at FrightFest 2013 leaving me and the entire audience revved up and ready for more on the days to come.