Preview: Film4 FrightFest 2014
By Andreas Charalambous - 14th August 2014
August 21st marks the start of five delicious days of horror decadence that has now been established as the annual London Film4 FrightFest festival. This year’s FrightFest marks the 15th year where fans of the horror genre converge on central London – this year’s venue being the Vue cinema in Leicester Square – to feed their craving for scares.
Horror fans will be all too familiar with the annual festival where Alan Jones, Ian Rattray, et al present a wide-ranging selection of horror films for our enjoyment, as well as providing the opportunity for genre fans to meet like-minded souls to share all the horror goodness.
Fans will also be familiar with the fact that many UK and world premieres have had the pleasure of being screened in FF’s past. Genre legends are found next to up-and-coming talents amongst the overwhelming selection of films on offer, and you can’t help but feel that horror history is unfolding in front of your very eyes.
So with FrightFest 2014 a matter of days away, what do we have in store this year?
Two of the most anticipated screenings would be Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For – being screened on opening night – and the festival-wrapping V/H/S: Viral on the final night.
Director of last year’s offering You’re Next, Adam Wingard returns to kick off FF14 with psychological thriller The Guest, which is sure to be a strong start to proceedings .
Elizabeth Benton (Melanie Papalia) is granted funds to conduct research in online relationships, in Zachary Donahue’s inventive found-footage film The Den. Needless to say – just as in daily life – leaving a webcam on is an open invitation for all kinds of freaky… umm… freaks! Speaking of webcams, Nacho Vigalondo’s uses similar devices in the celebrity-stalking Open Window, starring Elijah Wood.
Horror heavyweights Eli Roth, Lucky McKee and Adam Green all make a return to FF with their latest offerings. Roth’s much-anticipated The Green Inferno is an homage to the Italian ‘Nasties’ cannibal films of the late 70s and early 80s. With The Green Inferno, it is clear to see that Roth is a massive fan of the Italian cannibal classics of this era – as was expressed in his delight on his personal Twitter feed when director Ruggero Deodato (Last Cannibal World, Cannibal Holocaust) was reunited with Me Me Lai (Last Cannibal World, Eaten Alive!) at the Spaghetti Cinema Horror Conference I was speaking at last May. Roth promises just as much gore as you have come to expect from this sub-genre (minus – thankfully – the actual animal cruelty of the original wave of cannibal films). McGee offers the cheerily-titled All Cheerleaders Die, while Green offers Digging Up the Marrow.
Another and The Samurai are a couple of experimental films that makes the grade for the FF14 line-up, that offer intense, nightmarish visual experiences. Two titles on the short films programme worth checking out, are Jill Gevargizian’s humorous Call Girl, and She which has been described as “stomach-churning” by FF co-director, Paul McEvoy. Sure, these films mentioned here are not the biggest headliners attached but FF offers the opportunity to discover a few hidden horror gems, so also consider what the Discovery Screens have to offer over the duration.
Serial killer Mick Taylor returns in Aussie horror Wolf Creek 2, which is complemented nicely by fellow Aussie film, Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, as well as New Zealand’s Housebound. Other international offerings are Serbia’s Nymph, Belgian/French effort Alleluia and Chilean ghost story The House at the End of Time.
If documentaries are your thing, Doc of the Dead offers a wacky insight into the phenomenal grasp that zombie culture now has on the 21st century. Let’s face it, as much as we love a good zombie film, it seems as though zombies are everywhere these days (and Doc of the Dead truly shows how zombies are EVERYWHERE!). Another documentary of note is David Gregory’s Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Dr Moreau, which looks at the aforementioned Stanley’s doomed attempt at making a new adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr Moreau.
As is always the case, there is much more to discover at Film4 FrightFest 2014 than you can shake a bloody machete at.
For the full list of the Film4 FrightFest 2014 line-up, visit the official site here.