20 Years of Fear with FrightFest’s Alan Jones

FrightFest founders Alan Jones Ian Rattray Paul McEvoy Greg Day

Today marks the official beginning of the Arrow Video FrightFest 2020. And while the cast and crew members prepare themselves for the reactions of the (often rather vocal) FrightFest audiences, we still have more tales to share here on Love Horror.

Over the 20 year run, the festival has been host to many personal appearances by those involved with the making of the films being shown. Notable attendees include George A. Romero, Rob Zombie, Paul W. S. Anderson, Park Chan-wook, Danny Boyle, Guillermo del Toro (twice), Brian Yuzna, Neil Marshall, Uwe Boll, John Landis, Don Mancini, Robert Englund, Barbara Crampton (twice), Kane Hodder, Gaspar Noé, Richard Brake, Adam Green, and Tobe Hooper.

As such, a screening at FrightFest has become a badge of honour among horror producers worldwide.

Five questions for the founders

In our third interview speaking with the founders of FrightFest we talk to Alan Jones, arguably the most familiar face for anyone that has attended their events. Alan has applied his journalistic talents to help FrightFest stay the course and establish itself in the horror hall of fame.

Alan Jones FrightFestHow will the four founders celebrate reaching 20 fantastic years of FrightFest?

I will be glued to Twitter to find our reactions to our line-up choices. Normally of course the audience floods out during the final credits and we know instantly what they think, always ready to fight their corner. I’ll miss that the most this year. And everyone telling me how fabulous I am, and so much better than the other three!

Did you guys ever doubt that you could keep FrightFest going?

Never in question. This year, we knew we were going to do something, it was working out what that could be in the ever-changing pandemic parameters. We’d be pilloried for eternity if we didn’t provide our community with their August fix of shock!

What are the key lessons you have learned after delivering a superior horror festival for 20 years?

Always be true to yourself/ourselves. Focus on what we are doing, not what everyone else might be doing. Make sure every detail is present and correct.
And make sure both the audience and talent get out of the FrightFest experience what they are all more than willing to put in.

What has been the most terrifying film to grace the FrightFest screens?

Without question Martyrs, the film I am most proud of presenting first outside Cannes.

And what is your most memorable FF moment from the last 20 years?

Too many really: introducing Pan’s Labyrinth with Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron on stage, making sure Dario Argento met his UK fans, and being told by so many directors how my past journalism work inspired them to enter the genre.

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Tom Atkinson

Tom is one of the editors at Love Horror. He has been watching horror for a worryingly long time, starting on the Universal Monsters and progressing through the Carpenter classics. He has a soft-spot for eighties horror.More

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