Icon Film Distribution (IFD) and FrightFest, the UK’s leading horror fantasy film festival, have announced the first films which will be released under the curated banner ‘FrightFest Presents’.
The seven titles selected will all have their UK theatrical premieres at the FrightFest five day festival in August at the Vue Leicester Square and represent some of the most exciting genre filmmakers working today.
The exclusive Icon and FrightFest partnership, first announced in April, will see titles released across the UK and Ireland via the distributor’s digital partners (including iTunes, Virgin Movies, Sky, Google Amazon, Xbox , Blinkbox, Google, Wuaki, TalkTalk and Volta) giving film fans instant access to some of their favourite FrightFest titles.
‘FrightFest Presents’ launches officially on 19 October with a consumer campaign pushing out from the beginning of the month. Each release has the collective backing of IFD and FrightFest across all marketing, PR and social channels.
The seven titles to be released under ‘FrightFest Presents’ are:
AAAAAAAAH!, the world premiere and feature directorial debut of Steve Oram, co-writer of Ben Wheatley’s cult UK hit and British Independent Film Award-winning and Cannes selection feature Sightseers. Oram also stars with Noel Fielding (The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh), Alice Lowe (Sightseers), Lucy Honnigman (The Ex-PM), Julian Rhind-Tutt (Lucy), Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh, Nathan Barley) and Toyah Willcox (Quadrophenia),
‘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?
THE SAND, a creature feature directed by Isaac Gabaett and starring Mitchel Musso (Monster House), Dean Geyer, Nikki Leigh (Unlucky Charms), Brooke Butler (All Cheerleaders Die), Jamie Kennedy (Scream) and Meagan Holder (Jersey Boys).
After an all-night party, a group of hungover twenty-somethings awake to a beating sun and a seemingly carnivorous beach that devours anything with a heartbeat that touches the sand. His fourth film as a filmmaker, Gabaett is also known for his work on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Men in Black 3 and The Place Beyond the Pines.
AFTERDEATH, a sci fi-horror from directors Gez Medinger and Robin Schmidt (Gumball 3000: Around the World in 8 Days) starring Miranda Raison (24: Another Day, Silk), Sam Keeley (Monsters: Dark Continent) and Daniella Ketesz (World War Z).
Five young people wake up dead. Washed up by the tide they scramble to an abandoned beach house, soon realising that the perpetual night and blasts of pain suggest this is some version of hell. Between in-fighting and attacks by a demonic shadow creature, they recall the collapse of the nightclub that brought them here – and begin seeing hope of a second chance in the cabin’s two mysterious paintings.
LANDMINE GOES CLICK, a tense thriller from director Levan Bakhia (247°F), starring Sterling Knight (Melissa & Joey, Mackenzie Falls), Spencer Locke (Resident Evil, Cougar Town) and Dean Geyer (Glee, Terra Nova).
Three American tourists are crossing the desolate mountains in the formerly war-torn republic of Georgia. Daniel has just proposed to Alicia and has asked Chris to be his best man, so they stop to take a celebration photograph. Chris steps to the right, the step goes click and he finds himself standing on a landmine. From that moment on Chris cannot move or he’s dead. But then secrets are revealed, dark motives uncovered, an outside threat appears and the real nightmare unfolds. For what happens on that terrifying afternoon will become a harbinger of doom for all lost innocence.
EMELIE, a home invasion horror from director Michael Thelin (SXSW Grand Jury nominated Matisyahu: Run + Return) which had its world premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and stars Sarah Bolger (The Lazarus Effect), Joshua Rush (Mr Peabody and Sherman), Carly Adams, Carl Bailey and Thomas Bair (Manhattan Nocturne).
When their regular babysitter calls to say she’s unavailable, the Thompsons find a last minute replacement to look after their three kids Christopher, Sally and Jacob while they celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary. But no sooner have the unconcerned parents pulled out of the driveway than it becomes clear that Anna is no ordinary babysitter. As the evening creeps along the children begin to realise they might be in serious danger from the psychologically disturbed woman who has invaded their home.
THE LESSON, a thriller from director Ruth Platt, starring Tom Cox, Rory Coltart, Robert Hands (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) and Dolya Gavanski (Our Kind of Traitor).
Fin and Joel are two teenage wasters running wild. But they get a taste of their own medicine when a teacher at the end of his tether decides to teach both schoolboys a lesson they will never forget.
ESTRANGED, a sinister psychological thriller from director Adam Levins (Population Zero), produced by Steven Schneider (Insidious series, Paranormal Activity) and William Borthwick (City Rats, Population Zero) starring Amy Manson (Once upon a Time, Atlantis), Nora-Jane Noone (Brooklyn, The Descent), James Cosmo (The Legend of Barney Thomson, Game of Thrones), James Lance (Bronson, Northern Soul), Simon Quartman (HBO’s Westworld, The Devil Inside) and Craig Conway (The Descent, Doomsday).
January is forced to return home after a near-fatal accident whilst travelling abroad. Temporarily wheelchair bound and depleted of her long-term memory, she is accompanied by her boyfriend Callum. Not only has she forgotten her family, but her childhood as well and is surprised to discover that her home is a stately manor in the middle of the countryside. As January tries to settle in, she finds herself becoming even more estranged from her family, who just want their daughter back. January soon discovers the family are not as loving as they seem to be. Was there a dark reason why she left them in the first place?
Paul McEvoy, Co-Director of FrightFest says, “We are thrilled and delighted to be working with Icon in bringing a diverse range of top tier genre titles to the UK audience. These and our other exciting forthcoming titles brilliantly showcase the breadth and quality of work being produced in the worldwide fear and fantasy arena.”
Zak Brilliant, Head of Distribution for IFD says, “Working closely with the FrightFest team we have brought together a terrific range of titles for the launch of the label in October and beyond. It’s a slate full of scares and surprises that we can’t wait to unleash”.
Sophie Wong, Head of TV and Digital Sales for IFD says, “We have had a great response from our digital partners to the FrightFest Presents label and the collection of titles; a really strong indication of the market potential for genres with committed fans who are allied to an established brand.”
Since FrightFest was set up 15 years ago, it has grown in size and stature, and is today internationally renowned for discovering exciting and original horror fantasy genre films. Last August, the festival screened 74 of the best horror films from around the world to UK audiences, with many world and European premieres. Over the years the festival directors, Greg Day, Alan Jones, Paul McEvoy and Ian Rattray, have also brought masters of the genre to the festival including Guillermo del Toro, George Romero, Dario Argento and Sam Raimi. FrightFest has developed into a brand leader for horror film, expanding its footprint in the UK by hosting special strands at other festivals to great success, such as the recent three-day event at the Glasgow Film Festival.
IFD has a longstanding track record in releasing genre films, from breakout hit PARANORMAL ACTIVITY which grossed a phenomenal £10 million at the UK box office to the cult vampire thriller 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, as well as re-issues of classic Hammer titles including DRACULA and THE MUMMY. Most recently, IFD released the critical and box office hits IT FOLLOWS and THE BABADOOK, Jennifer Kent’s psychological horror story, which burst out of FrightFest’s August festival to become one of the most talked about horrors of 2014.