HomeFilmArrow Video FrightFest 2018 reveals this year's film line-up

Arrow Video FrightFest 2018 reveals this year’s film line-up

Arrow Video FrightFest 2018 returns for a 19th year and the line-up for this year’s festival has just been unveiled.

This year’s festivities will open with the UK premiere of The Ranger, Jenn Wexler’s directorial debut feature. Described as ‘an explosive, post-modern slasher, with a kick-ass punk soundtrack’, The Ranger features a stand-out lead performance from Chloe Levin (The Transfiguration).

The film also marks the first time a female director has opened FrightFest and Wexler will be in attendance.

Wexler says, “We are honored and thrilled to be selected as this year’s opening night film. I made The Ranger because I love punk rock and ‘80s horror. We can’t wait to share it with fans in the city where punk has its roots, at one of the world’s best genre festivals.”

Arrow Video FrightFest 2018 will screen a record-breaking 70 films from 18 countries and 6 continents over the 5-day festival. That includes 20 World, 17 European and 22 UK Premieres.

Credit: Climax / FrightFest

The festival will end with the UK premiere of Gaspar Noé’s Climax, courtesy of headline sponsors Arrow Video. The film is based on true events and it’s described as a ‘throbbing whirling dervish is Noé’s Disco Inferno via Dante’s’.

Alan Jones, co-director of FrightFest, said today: “We have celebrated the astonishing vibrancy of this truly independent genre for nineteen years now, and our audience knows that over five joyous days with us they will experience being jolted, shocked, saddened, terrified, provoked, transported, challenged and even transformed. So come and join us on another fabulous voyage of discovery into places many except the bravest FrightFester won’t go”.

He added: “A lot has happened over the past twelve months in the world of horror fantasy. Fueled by a number of head-line grabbing, Oscar-winning, box-office hits, the mainstream thinks it has ‘discovered’ horror in a big way. But the ever-expanding FrightFest community have always known that Horror fantasy has forever been slap-bang centre-stage, and is finally getting the recognition the consistently money-making genre deserves”.

In between the opening and closing screenings, horror fans have a lot to look forward to.

Some of the UK premieres taking place over Arrow Video FrightFest 2018 include Colin Minihan’s romantic shocker What Keeps You Alive, Joseph Kahn’s extraordinary battle rap Bodied, and Mike Mort’s gory animated shocker Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires.

Credit: Bodied / FrightFest

World premieres at the festival will include Padraig Reynolds neo-slasher Open 24 Hours, Paz brothers’ new take on the fable The Golen, Tom Paton’s cosmic horror Black Site, Jon Knautz’s The Cleaning Lady, starring his Goddess of Love muse Alexis Kendra, and Jerome Pikwane’s supernatural horror Tolkoloshe, which is the first festival entry from South Africa.

This year’s slate of European Premieres includes François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell’s Summer of 84, Saw maven Darren Lynn Bousman’s nunsploitation St Agatha, Johnny Kervorkian’s Cronenbergian chiller Await Further Instructions, and director-turned-producer Lucky McKee and director Robert D. Krzykowski’s The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then Bigfoot starring Sam Elliott.

Of course there are even more films on offer outside of those already mentioned. Insidious creator Leigh Whannell will deliver a special preview of his super sci-fi thriller Upgrade. There’s also John McPhail’s exuberant zombie musical Anna & the Apocalypse, Caye Casas and Albert Pintó’s end of the world eye-opener Killing God, Paul Raschid’s post-Brexit thriller White Chamber, starring Shauna Macdonald, and Takeshi Sone’s LGBTQ stunner Ghost Mask: Scar.

Anna & the Apocalypse
Credit: Anna & the Apocalypse / FrightFest

You can also see all of the following over the course of the five days:

  • Matthew Holness’ much anticipated Possum
  • Jérémie Guez’s blazing A Bluebird in My Heart
  • Andy Mitton’s unusual The Witch in the Window
  • Linus de Paoli’s gut-wrenching A Young Man With High Potential
  • Chris Sun’s Oz creature feature Boar
  • Justin P. Lange’s intensely moving The Dark
  • Evan Cecil’s splatterific Lasso
  • Owen Egerton’s bloody cheeky Blood Fest
  • Anthony Scott Burn’s sinister Our House
  • Dominique Rocher’s galvanizing The Night Eats the World
  • Adam Marcus’ slay ride Secret Santa
  • Dean Devlin’s grueling Bad Samaritan, starring David Tennant,
  • Trevor Stevens’ slyly futuristic Rocky Steady Row
  • Justin McConnell’s remarkable shape-shifting Lifechanger
  • Owen Long’s dark fantasy Seeds
  • Nicolas Pesce’s Italian soundtrack-tastic Piercing
  • Franck Ribière’s stylish Grand Guignol recreation The Most Assassinated Woman in the World
  • Orson Oblowitz’s splatter revenge saga Hell is Where the Home Is, starring Faruza Balk,
  • Quinn Lasher’s nightmarish He’s Out There, starring The Handmaid’s Tale’s Yvonne Strahovski,
  • Tim van Dammen’s dimensionally hilarious Mega the Squad
  • David Barker’s De Palma-esque Pimped
  • Shin’ichirô Ueda’s one-take wonder One Cut of the Dead
  • Giordano Giulivi’s black-and-white marvel The Laplace’s Demon
  • Abiel Bruhn and John Rocco’s three mothers saga The Night Sitter
  • Matt Mercer and Mike Testin’s unstable Dementia Part II
  • Stewart Sparke’s action-packed Book of Monsters
  • Sam Ashurst’s experimental 200-anniversary celebration Frankenstein’s Creature
  • Kristian A. Söderström’s tribute to VHS collectors everywhere Videoman
  • Marcus Hearn’s beautifully informative documentary Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros. Years
  • Andre Gower’s look at The Monster Squad cult phenomenon, Wolfman’s Got Nards
  • Ante Novakovic’s Halloween-set crowd-pleaser actually titled Fright Fest
  • Bernhard Pucher’s nightclubbed Raver, starring Georgia Hirst from Vikings.

Arrow Video FrightFest will continue to celebrate first-time directors with screenings of Kevin Chicken’s outstanding body modification shocker Perfect Skin, Aislinn Clark’s terrifying depiction of devil possession The Devil’s Doorway, Harry Lindley’s computer virus techno thriller CTRL, and Ben Kent’s stag party meets zombie apocalypse F.U.B.A.R.

The discovery strand will continue to shine a spotlight South American Fantasy films with screenings of Demian Rugna’s Terrified, the European premiere of Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano’s homage to Dario Argento, Crystal Eyes, the UK premiere of Gonzalo Calzada’s Argentine hit Luciferina and the UK premiere of Gustavo Leonel Mendoza’s Cult of Terror, an engaging documentary look at all the Latin American and Spanish-speaking fantasy festivals.

Cult of Terror
Credit: Cult of Terror / FrightFest

Female directors are prevalent among this year’s slate. Alongside Jenn Wexler, Aislinn Clark and Anouk Whissell, there is the European premiere of Mitzi Peirone’s visually dazzling Braid, a second screening of Issa López’s stunning Mexican fairytale Tigers Are Not Afraid and Veronika Franz, Katrin Gebbe and Agnieszka Smoczynska’s wonderful contributions to the UK premiere of Euro-fable anthology The Field Guide to Evil.

FrightFest favourite Barbara Crampton will be back with the European premiere of Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund’s fabulous reboot Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich and the UK premiere of Brad Baruh’s weird, wild and blood-soaked Dead Night.

Chris Collier’s documentary FrightFest: Beneath the Dark Heart of Cinema will receive its World premiere. The documentary assembles a vast range of footage from every single past event and puts together dozens of interviews giving an inside look into the festival.

FrightFest and Jane Giles will present Jeff Lieberman’s pulp science fiction Blue Sunshine and Julien Temple’s Sex Pistols documdrama The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle, both to be shown in 35mm.

Director Roxanne Benjamin (XX, Southbound) presents an exclusive screening of Final Stop, a horror short produced by Sennheiser and starring Phoebe Tonkin (The Originals). It was shot on a smartphone and recorded in full binaural audio using the AMBEO Smart Headset. The film is designed to be watched with headphones (which will be supplied), so audiences can immerse themselves in the story and its terrifying 3D soundscape.

Final Stop
Credit: Final Stop / FrightFest

As if all of that wasn’t enough, there will also be a special screening of Ghost Stories where co-writers/co-directors Jeremy Dyson and star Andy Nyman will host a live commentary and The Duke Mitchell Film Club is back with a hosted presentation of Sam Jones’ documentary Life After Flash. This is followed by the now notoriously popular Duke Mitchell Party, where the audience and invited special guests can expect all manner of madness guaranteed to kick off your Saturday late night in style.

This year’s guest list, special events and the Short Film Showcase entries will all be announced in the coming weeks.

Arrow Video FrightFest 2018 takes place from 23rd to 27th August 2018. Festival passes will go on sale Saturday 30th June at noon and will only be available to buy online from http://www.frightfest.co.uk/tickets.html.

Single tickets will go on sale on Saturday 21st July from 9am.

For full details about this year’s festival, please visit http://www.frightfest.co.uk/

Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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