With twenty-six films over three days, including seven World, five European and nine UK premieres, Horror Channel FrightFest’s 2016 short film showcase shines a dazzling spotlight on the brave new wave of emerging genre talent, with UK films at its pulsating dark heart.
There are ten films representing the UK. From Cat Davies comes CONNIE, a dark look at the world of stand-up comedy with Catrin Stewart and a guest appearance by horror guru Kim Newman. Then there is FRANCOIS, the first short by Preston Nyman, son of FrightFest favourite Andy Nyman, about a man with a disturbing mission. Plus there’s Neville Pierce’s BRICKS, starring Jason Flemyng, giving a horror twist to the class struggle. Bob Pipe’s THE MONSTER, is a touching and terrifying homage to old-time monster films, while NECK AND NECK, from Mew Lab animation studio, is a surreal homage to Shakespeare.
There’s the latest in zombie terror with DAWN OF THE DEAF by Rob Savage, and the romantic dark fantasy of NEON by Mark J. Blackman. Completing the home-grown line-up are film writer turned director Sam Ashurst’s suspenseful HELL’S GARDEN, Damon Rickard’s psychologically gripping DISSOCIATIVE, and Christopher Goodman and Kate Walshie’s disease-ridden BLIGHT
From the US, we have three returning FrightFest alum. Jill ‘Sixx’ Gevargizian is back with THE STYLIST, the secret and bloody world of hairdressers; GWILLIAM is the latest comedy-terror from Brian Lonano; and Chris McInroy’s DEATH METAL turns up the horror volume to the max.
John Carpenter wrote the music for and makes a cameo appearance in THE PUPPET MAN, an homage to 80s slasher films; the fantastic Zoë Bell delivers the laughs and kicks ass in NO TOUCHING, starring Jake Busey, and, in THE GARDEN, a young ballerina tries to break free from tyranny. Plus director Ryan Spindell pits babysitter against psychopath in THE BABYSITTER MURDERS and we get a very dark portrait of an underground fetish club in Mila Zuo’s CARNAL ORIENT,
From around the world, there’s South Korean comedy in BOW WOW BOW, Ayako Fujitani’s hilarious look at the mundane life of an office worker; Gigi Saul Guerrero returns with macabre horror in MADRE DE DIOS and there’s more comedic terror from Spain with THANATOPRAXY. Plus we have a diabolical Luxembourgean mouse in PEARLIES, two scientists on a journey into the Icelandic unknown in French director Fabien Dubois’ HERE WE ARE, monsters in the closet in Canadian director Greg Jeffs’ IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD and two gems from Australia – Stefani Speerin’s demented pantomime ISADORE and CURVE, Tim Egan’s visually intense story of survival.
Programmer Shelagh Rowan-Legg said today: “From dystopian prisons to underground fetish clubs, to isolated country houses, to the streets of Seoul, the shorts programme for Horror Channel FrightFest 2016 will take the audience to the strangest corners of the world and the darkest depths of the human soul”.
The full line-up
SATURDAY AUGUST 27TH – DISCOVERY SCREEN ONE from 1:10pm
GWILLIAM (UK Premiere)
Director: Brian Lonano. Cast: William Tokarsky, Paul Painter. USA 2015. 6 mins.
A recently released criminal is looking for a good time. He can forget his sins but he can never forget…Gwilliam.
CONNIE (World Premiere)
Director: Cat Davies. Cast: Catrin Stewart. Special Appearance by Kim Newman. UK 2016. 20 mins.
Would-be comedienne Dolly can’t seem to find the right act. Until she meets Connie, who helps her discover a darker side of funny.
BLIGHT (World Premiere)
Director: Christopher Goodman and Kate Walshe. Cast: Jack Parker, Rosalind Parker. UK 2015. 6 mins.
A small town detective ventures to a remote cottage to check upon an isolated family, where he discovers a monstrous illness has had dire consequences.
THE STYLIST (UK Premiere)
Director: Jill Gervagizian. Cast: Najarra Townsend, Jennifer Plas. USA 2016. 15 mins.
Claire is a lonely hairstylist with an unnerving desire to escape her disappointing reality. When her final client of the evening arrives, Claire has plans of her own.
NECK AND NECK (UK Premiere)
Director: Shaun Clark. Cast: Melvyn Ternan. UK 2016. 5 mins.
In the marital bed the surreal sensuality enveloping Othello and Desdemona is disturbed by a dangling telephone, poisoning Othello’s mind.
THE GARDEN (European Premiere)
Director: Natalia Iyudin. Cast: Sophia Lillis, Julian Sarin. USA 2015. 13 mins.
In 2089, humans become an outmoded being, and the only way to survive is to integrate into A.I. constructs. Yet Luc would rather die than conform.
BOW WOW BOW (UK Premiere)
Director: Ayako Fujitani. Cast: Insoo Park, Eunjeong Lee. South Korea/USA 2015. 15 mins.
Sangil lives his routine and mundane life by the clock. But a slight disruption might have unintended consequences.
SUNDAY AUGUST 28TH – DISCOVERY SCREEN ONE at 10:50am
FRANCOIS (World Premiere)
Director: Preston Nyman. Cast: Alex Tol, Leroy Emmett. UK 2016. 5 mins.
A young man with a love of 1950s songs must commit dark acts against his will for the benefit of a higher authority.
NO TOUCHING (European Premiere)
Director: Will Corona Pilgrim, Adam Davis. Cast: Zoe Bell, Doug Jones, Jake Busey. USA 2016. 13 mins.
In a shady haunted house attraction where the performers are assaulting female patrons, the tables are turned by two resourceful women.
THE PUPPET MAN (UK Premiere)
Director: Jacqueline Castel. Cast: Crystal Renn. Special Appearance by John Carpenter. USA 2016. 9 Mins.
A supernatural killer stalks a young woman and her friends in this reference-laden homage to 80s horror films.
DAWN OF THE DEAF (UK Premiere)
Director: Rob Savage. Cast: Caroline Ward, Stephen Collins. UK 2016. 12 mins.
When a sonic pulse infects the hearing population, a small group of Deaf people must band together to survive.
CURVE (European Premiere)
Director: Tim Egan. Cast: Laura Jane Turner. Australia 2016. 10 mins.
Clinging to a smooth, curved surface high above a sentient abyss, a woman tries to cover the few feet back to safety.
THE MONSTER (Preview)
Director: Bob Pipe. Cast: Rich Glover, Helen George. UK 2015. 16 mins.
He’s just trying to make a living and find love in the crazy world of monster movies. But will his greatest asset also be his downfall?
PEARLIES (UK Premiere)
Director: Pascal Thiebaux. Cast: Lionel Abelanski, Matthieu Clément-Lescop. Luxembourg 2015. 12 mins.
If a tooth is missing, it simply must be replaced. By any means necessary…
CARNAL ORIENT (UK Premiere)
Director: Mila Zuo. Cast: Akemi Look, West Liang. USA 2015. 8 mins.
A dark portrait of an underground fetish club, where the performer might have the last revenge.
HERE WE ARE (International Premiere)
Director: Fabien Dubois. Cast: Aladdin Serraoui, Antoine Lesimple. France 2015. 16 mins.
Two science students travel to a remote part of Iceland to test a large-scale magnetic theory. But what they encounter might have unknown ramifications.
MONDAY AUGUST 29TH – DISCOVERY SCREEN ONE at 12:30pm
DISSOCIATIVE (World Premiere)
Director: Damon Rickard. Cast: Tom Gordon, Amanda Hunt. UK 2016. 5 mins.
Frank needs to know who killed his wife. But an unseen hand might be guiding his dark fate…
DEATH METAL (European Premiere)
Director: Chris McInroy. Cast: Kirk Johnson, Michael Dalmon. USA 2016. 5 mins.
A metalhead gets passed down a satanic guitar that riffs to shreds.
THE BABYSITTER MURDERS (London Premiere)
Director: Ryan Spindell. Cast: Caitlin Custer, Ben Heathcoat. USA 2015. 22 mins.
It was a dark and stormy night, when the innocent babysitter battled the escaped psychopath. But turning the tables might not be so easy…
HELL’S GARDEN (World Premiere)
Director: Sam Ashurst. Cast: Katie Sheridan, Nick Helm. UK 2016. 2 mins.
A woman sees a man burying a body in her back garden; will the police arrive in time to save her from untold danger?
MADRE DE DIOS (UK Premiere)
Director: Gigi Saul Guerrero. Cast: Tristan Risk, Luis Javier Gutierrez. Canada 2015. 7 mins.
A woman wakes up bound to an altar, helpless as she is transformed into a flesh and blood statue of Santa Muerte by two elderly Brujos.
NEON (World Premiere)
Director: Mark J. Blackman. Cast: Joe Absolom, Kerry Bennett. UK 2016. 15 mins.
A man who is forbidden by a higher power from pursuing love attempts to end his life, to spare the woman he loves from her own life of heartbreak.
THANATOPRAXY (London Premiere)
Director: Victor Palacios. Cast: Cristina Gallego, Andrea Carballo. Spain 2015. 11 mins.
Mary and Monica work in a mortuary. Mary needs a donor heart for his father. Monica has an idea: steal it from work.
ISADORE (European Premiere)
Director: Stefani Speerin. Cast: Sam Foster, Tanya Schneider. Australia 2015. 14 mins.
In a strange pantomime theatre, Isadore holds a dance troupe captive while he tries to create the perfect performance.
BRICKS (London Premiere)
Director: Neville Pierce. Cast: Jason Flemyng, Blake Ritson. UK 2015. 10 mins.
A wine connoisseur and a brick layer, discussing details of grape variety and building walls. What could go wrong?
IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD (World Premiere)
Director: Greg Jeffs. Cast: Addison Jeffs. Canada 2016. 6 mins.
There are all kinds of monsters hiding in the closet.
Horror Channel FrightFest runs from 25th – 29th August 2016 at The Vue Cinema, Shepherds Bush, London W12.