London’s première horror film festival, Film4 Frightfest, brings to a close its 5 day celebration of the macabre.
For further programme details go to: www.frightfest.co.uk
Here’s what’s on offer for Day 5 of Film4 Frightfest 2014, with a look back at Day 4 too.
Day 5 – Mon Aug 25
X Moor (World Premiere)
Director: Luke Hyams. Cast: Melia Kreiling, Nick Blood, Mark Bonnar, Olivia Popica, James Lecky. UK 2014. 76 mins.
With their sights set on a £25,000 reward promoted by a local newspaper, American documentarians Georgia and Matt head to Exmoor in North Devon to film the fabled beast supposedly slinking through the remote terrain. Setting up a forest camp with an old acquaintance, the trio fix cameras to the trees and rocks, linked back to a computer nerve centre where nothing should go unnoticed. But then they discover some putrefying body parts all neatly tied up and before long they realise they are in the lair of a beast right enough, but certainly not one of the four-legged variety.
Nymph (UK Premiere)
Director: Milan Todorovic. Cast: Kristina Klebe, Franco Nero, Natalie Burn, Dragan Micanovic, Miodrag Krstovic. Serbia 2014. 90 mins.
This is a Serbian film from celebrated Zone of the Dead director Milan Todorovic. Featuring Franco Nero, the original Italian Django, as Niko, a fisherman with a haunted past and Halloween and Proxy star Kristine Klebe, who is on vacation in Montenegro with a group of friends. They decide to visit an abandoned military fortress on the remote island of Mamula. But what they discover there goes beyond all frightening insanity. For it’s the home of a Siren, a mermaid creature of Greek myth, lying in wait to lure men to their death with her enchanting beauty, entrancing song and razor-sharp teeth.
Alleluia (UK Premiere)
Director: Fabrice du Welz. Cast: Lola Duenas, Laurent Lucas, Anne-Marie Loop, Edit Lemerdy, Helena Noguerra. Belgium/France 2014. 92 mins.
Fabrice du Welz makes an arresting return to the genre with the second opus in his Ardennes trilogy, which began with Calvaire. Deeply rooted in the hostile Belgian landscapes of his childhood, this serial killer chiller is a quirky take on the real exploits of Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez (dubbed ‘The Honeymoon Killers’). Crazy crook Michel (Laurent Lucas) meets his murderous match when he hooks up with damaged single mother Gloria. (Lola Duenas). Duenas shines as needy Gloria who will stop at nothing to get what she wants and there is an equally stunning turn from Calvaire’s Laurent Lucas.
Directors: Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento & Nacho Vigalondo. Cast: Blair Redford, Carrie Keagan, Emilia Zoryan, Jessica Luza, Justin Welborn. US 2014. 97 mins.
Break out the video nasties and press the eject button, it’s time to be unkind, rewind! Following two successful horror anthologies so far, the V/H/S anthology series continues with another screamsome roster of edgy genre directors and five more frightening yarns that drip blood. This threequel is geared around some fame-obsessed teens who all unwittingly become stars of the next internet sensation. No spoilers here, but the uncanny house of horrors includes such tales that witness madness as ‘Vicious Circles’, ‘Bonestorm’, ‘Parallel Monsters’, Gorgeous Vortex’ and ‘Dante the Great’. Assembled for the torture garden of delights are directors Nacho Vigalondo, Marcel Sarmiento, Gregg Bishop and Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. It’s another vault of asylum horrors from beyond the grave going further into the dead of night.
Closing Night Film – The Signal (UK Premiere)
Director: William Eubank. Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Laurence Fishburne, Beau Knapp, Lin Shaye. US 2014. 96 mins.
Get ready for the cult movie of the year with this inventive and stylish sci-fi fantasy head-trip, ensuring director William Eubank’s step up to stardom. Nic and Jonah are MIT students engaged in an online altercation with the mysterious hacker ‘Nomad’. They get a lead on Nomad’s whereabouts and, with Nic’s girlfriend Haley, investigate, an abandoned desert shack. Suddenly everyone loses consciousness, and Nic awakes in what seems a secret hospital, What’s going on? Where are Jonah and Haley? And what is this ‘Extraterrestrial Biological Entity’ he’s being told about?
Altergeist (UK Premiere)
Director: Tedi Sarafian. Cast: Kristina Anapau, Mark Hapka, David Weidoff, Linsey Godfrey, Brendan Fletcher. US 2014. 90 mins.
Tedi Sarafian makes his feature directorial debut with this horror/sci-fi thriller based on true events. King’s Ransom Winery is known as one of the most haunted places in North America. Gruesome suicides and murders, have occurred with disturbing frequency throughout the dark history of the estate, all linked back to a past shocking slaughter where the victim was stabbed thirteen times. Now a group of six paranormal investigators have been given 48-hour weekend access to the winery to conduct a search for evidence of the other side.
Lemon Tree Passage (UK Premiere)
Director: David Campbell. Cast: Jessica Tovey, Nicholas Gunn, Pippa Black, Tim Phillipps, Andrew Ryan. Australia 2014. 84 mins.
An Australian urban legend comes screaming on the Ozploitation scene. It’s said that if you drive down the creepy road of Lemon Tree Passage, and witness a sudden flash of light in the trees, you’ll be forever haunted by the tormented spirit of a man killed by thrill speeding teenagers. Wanting to put this to the test, a car-load of non-believers take the supposedly cursed journey and do indeed see a strange manifestation. But it’s not the one of popular myth – this sudden possession of one of their number involves another altogether more shocking crime. That of a young girl raped and murdered on the same stretch of highway.
Truth or Dare (UK Premiere)
Director: Jessica Cameron. Cast: Jessica Cameron, Ryan Kiser, Heather Dorff, Shelby Stehlin, Devanny Pinn. USA 2013. 89 mins.
Six college kids find Internet stardom when they make a ‘Truth or Dare’ reality video with a violent twist. After their ‘fatal shooting’ broadcast goes viral, they reveal on a talk show the filming was a complete hoax. Basking in their 15 minutes of fame, none of the Truth or Daredevils takes the waspish comments of a particularly impassioned audience member that seriously. To their cost, Get ready for the most realistically confessional, brutal and extreme ‘Truth or Dare’ game you have ever seen played.
The Remaining (UK Premiere)
Director: Casey La Scala. Cast: Alexa Vega, Shaun Sipos, Italia Ricci, Johnny Pacar, Bryan Dechart. US 2014. 88 mins.
It’s the day the Earth exploded as trumpets blow and the wrath of God unleashes the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The first of a series of religious-slanted horror movies aimed at devout audiences, The Remaining is a surprisingly effective disaster shocker based on the Book of Revelations, produced by the makers of Donnie Darko. When a group of close-knit friends assemble for the marriage of Skylar and Dan, they have no idea they will witness The Rapture and face a series of catastrophic events turning the celebration into a life-or-death struggle.
Deadly Virtues (UK Premiere)
Director: Ate De Jong. Cast: Edward Akrout, Matt Barber, Megan Maczko, Helen Bradbury, Sadie Frost. UK/Netherlands 2014. 87 mins.
In the dead of night a stranger walks down a residential street. Gaining entry into his chosen house, psychopathic Aaron makes his way to the upper floor where sounds of lovemaking emanate. Aaron injures the man and knocks the woman out. When Alison awakes, she’s strapped to the kitchen ceiling in a bizarre web of ropes that hold her fast. For Aaron is an expert in Kinbaku, the Japanese fetish art of tying knots. What follows is an experience that will reveal the transgressions in the couple’s relationship and ultimately act as a catalyst for extreme liberation.
Blood Moon (World Premiere)
Director: Jeremy Wooding. Cast: Shaun Dooley, George Blagden, Corey Johnson, Anna Skellern, Ian Whyte. UK 2014. 90 mins.
It’s 1887, Colorado, and a deserted border town is lit by the burnished glow of a reddish full moon. A stagecoach full of passengers and an enigmatic gunslinger Calhoun (Shaun Dooley, star of The Woman in Black) find themselves prisoners of two desperate outlaws on the run. As the prairie travellers attempt to outwit the outlaws in any way they can it soon becomes apparent that a bigger menace lurks outside on the plains; an otherworldly mythical beast that only appears on the night of a blood red moon. From Jeremy Wooding, comes a western unlike any other – packed with the good, the bad and the ugly.
Extraterrestrials (London Preview)
Director: Nacho Vigalondo. Cast: Julián Villagrán, Michelle Jenner, Carlos Areces, Raúl Cimas, Miguel Noguera. Spain 2011. 95 mins.
After Timecrimes and before his episodes for The ABCs of Death, Open Windows and V/H/S: Viral, Nacho Vigalondo directed this charming and wry sci-fi romantic comedy. See why Vigalondo is dubbed ‘The Edgar Wright of Spain’ as hung-over Julio wakes up in the apartment of Julia, a woman he doesn’t recognise. Julia is similarly disconcerted as they notice the streets are strangely empty, the TV channels are blank and there’s an enormous spaceship hovering outside the window. But an impending invasion of shape-shifting aliens is nothing compared to the jealously of neighbour Angel who has a stalker crush on Julia.
Sun Aug 24
Among the Living (UK Premiere)
Directors: Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo. Cast: Beatrice Dalle, Théo Fernandez, Damien Ferdel, Zacharie Chasseriaud, Fabien Jegoudez. France 2014. 90 mins.
First they gave us Inside, next came Livid, and now French fear directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo offer their most intense nightmare to date. It’s the last day of school before summer vacation and 14 year-old troublemakers Victor, Tom and Dan leave early to explore the countryside and commit some petty crimes. Ending up on the scenery-strewn back-lot of an abandoned Film Studio, they witness a masked figure dragging a kidnapped woman into an underground lair. Back home no one believes their crazy story. But the mysterious maniac has followed them and plans to silence them forever
Faults (European Premiere)
Director: Riley Stearns. Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Leland Orser, Beth Grant, Chris Ellis, Jon Gries, Lance Reddick. USA/ 2014. 89 mins
A subversive, psychologically disturbing back comedy marking the feature film debut of director/writer Riley Stearns, who cleverly employs the considerable talents of his wife Mary Elizabeth Winstead to play Claire – a young woman who appears to be under the grip of a mysterious new cult called ‘Faults’. After a divorce that has left him without any money, cult expert Ansel (Leland Orser) is on tour giving seminars about brainwashing. Approached by Claire’s distraught parents, he agrees to help them, and their daughter’s de-programming seems to run smoothly enough. However, the more Ansel spends with Claire, the more the question is raised, just who is being deprogrammed?
Open Windows (UK Premiere)
Director: Nacho Vigalondo. Cast: Elijah Wood, Neil Maskell, Sasha Grey, Ivan Gonzalez, Nacho Vigalondo. US 2014. 100 mins
Computer chills, tablet terror and smartphone shocks are the emerging genre trends as multi-screen technology moves swiftly into even more unknown and baffling areas. Leader of the pack in presenting multi-platform storytelling as dizzying style is Nacho Vigalondo’s quite brilliant Open Windows, in which Elijah Wood plays Nick Chambers, the webmaster of a site devoted to movie star Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey) in FantasticFest Austin to promote her new fantasy as winner of an online competition. Unfortunately his prize is a hoax; it’s all an elaborate scam set up by mysterious superfan.
Home (UK Premiere)
Director: Nicolas McCarthy. Cast: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Naya Rivera, Ashley Ricklands, Ava Acres, Wyatt Russell. US 2014. 93 mins.
From Nicholas McCarthy, director of The Pact. comes a starkly suspenseful, grippingly atmospheric demonic horror. When real estate agent Leigh goes to asses a new property in the highly sought after Greenville area, little does she know the appalling impact it will have on her entire existence. For the house was once connected to a series of mysterious incidents ending in teenage tearaway Hannah White committing suicide unwittingly welcomed the devil into her life The problem is, Satan is still looking for a new home in this twisting tale of nerve-jangling and bone-shivering terror.
The Samurai (UK Premiere)
Director: Till Kleinert. Cast: Michel Diercks, Pit Bukowski, Uwe Preuss, Kaja Blachnik, Christopher Kane. Germany 2014. 80 mins.
A unique delve into German small-town mores and sexual funny games, The Samurai is the fantasy festival discovery of 2014. A package arrives at the home of young police officer Jakob (a remarkable Michel Diercks) addressed to Lone Wolf. The phone rings, it’s a guy asking if his package is there, and could it be delivered immediately. Intrigued, Jakob goes to a house in the woods and finds a man wearing a dress waiting for the ancient samurai sword hidden in the parcel so he can cut a bloody swathe through the local village population. Who is this debauched maniac and what does he want? Pit Bukowski’s incredible performance as the wild-eyed psycho a revelation.
Stage Fright (UK Premiere)
Director: Jerome Sable. Cast: Minnie Driver, Meat Loaf, Allie MacDonald, Douglas Smith, Kent Nolan. Canada 2014. 89 mins.
If you loved director Jerome Sable, you’ll adore this hilarious musical combo of Friday the 13th and ‘Glee’ as Kylie Swanson (Minnie Driver) is brutally murdered after her star-making performance in the Broadway-bound musical ‘The Haunting of the Opera’. Ten years later, her producer Roger McCall (Meat Loaf) is running a musical theatre summer camp where Kylie’s twins, Camilla and Buddy help out. When Roger decides to revive ‘The Haunting of the Opera’ kabuki style for the end of term entertainment, the masked Opera Ghost returns…
Sun Aug 24
The Expedition (World Premiere)
Director: Adam Spinks. Cast: Sarah MacDonnell, Ben Loyd-Holmes, Daniel Caren, Neil Newbon, Simon Burbage. UK 2014. 100 mins.
In the heart of the rainforest, a team of researchers led by the respected Professor John Howson strived to protect endangered and vulnerable species from extinction. But their guides abandoned them after a series of strange and unexplainable events and the team soon got hopelessly lost in the jungle. When events took a horrifying turn, the team realized that they were in the hunting grounds of an apex predator. And now they were the ones on the endangered species list.
Drew: The Man Behind The Poster (UK Premiere)
Director: Erik Sharkey. Cast: Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro. US 2013. 97 mins.
An in-depth, absorbing and touching account of the life and art of the recently retired Drew Struzan, whose amazing poster work from the 1970s onwards still delights cineastes and fanboys. After starting his career in album cover art for megastars like Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper, Struzan painted some of the most famous movie images ever for the blockbuster Back to the Future, Star Wars and Indiana Jones series. It’s all here; the impoverished early days, his first movie assignment for The Black Bird, his original art being stolen by unscrupulous partners and his long overdue lionisation at the San Diego Comic Con in a wonderful heart-felt celebration.
Doc of the Dead (UK Premiere)
Director: Alexandre O. Philippe. Cast: George A. Romero, Bruce Campbell, Simon Pegg, Max Brooks, Alex Cox. USA 2014, 82 mins.
Why are the living dead so popular in movies, on television, in video games and on the streets of every major city in the world which stages an annual Zombie Walk? And how did the whole genre get kick-started in the first place? Everything you ever wanted to know about the walking, shambling, brain-eating dead is here in this definitive zombie culture documentary packed with clips and a host of celebrities from horror legend George A. Romero, Simon Pegg and Night of the Living Dead icon Judith O’Dea to World War Z creator Max Brooks, gore guru Tom Savini and Re-Animator man Stuart Gordon.
Lost Soul (World Premiere)
Director: David Gregory. Cast: Richard Stanley, Fairuza Balk, Rob Morroe, Robert Shaye, Ed Pressman. USA 2014. 100 mins.
We’ve heard all the insane rumours and scandals attached to the ill-fated 1996 remake of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr Moreau. How director Richard Stanley spent four years developing the project only to be fired after four days of shooting and replaced by John Frankenheimer and how head-liner Marlon Brando impacted on that decision. Now for the first time the living key players recount what really happened and why it all went so spectacularly wrong. Stanley spills the juicy beans, stars Fairuza Balk and Rob Morrow give revealing interviews,
The House at the End of Time (UK Premiere)
Director: Alejandro Hidalgo. Cast: Ruddy Rodriguez, Rosmel Bustamante, Adriana Calzadilla, Gonzalo Cubero. Guillermo Garcia. Venezuela 2013. 100 mins.
The first ever horror film produced in Venezuela to reach an international audience, director Alejandro Hidalgo’s heady mix of The Others, H.P. Lovecraft and old school Mario Bava was a big box-office hit in its home country. Thirty years after being put in prison for murdering her family, Dulce (Ruddy Rodriguez, a former Miss Venezuela) returns to the old dark house to try and understand the mysteries and tragedies that have tormented her life, This sci-fi tinged chiller has solid direction, convincing performances, wonderful cinematography and a unique South American style.