Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Frightfest 2011 Reflection

Some ruminations on the event that was Frightfest.
Watching 23 films across 5 days was nowhere near as brain boiling as I thought it would be, there wasn't too many real clunkers in there and some of it was just incredible. A vast majority of the films had directors and cast in attendance for Q&A's which were mostly interesting and occasionally enlightening. Although there were some daft questions, including this gem from the Kill List Q&A: "The violence in that scene was quite intense, did you mean to put it in?", Director (with massive sarcasm): "No. I was as surprised as you when I watched that".

Before the main evening films there were sometimes short presentations of forthcoming films, often introduced by the filmmakers, the most interesting being one called Cockneys Vs Zombies with Richard Briers and an Uzi. Seriously.
Sometimes there were short film tributes/homages to John Carpenter. The best of these was They Live where two friends violently disagree over 3D cinema culminating in a massive alleyway fight, one chap constantly brandishing a pair of 3D specs and demanding "Put on the glasses!".
There was also a selection of 'Grindhouse' trailers from a forthcoming compilation. They provided some of the weirdest moments of the whole event and featured a film titled "The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!", King.

We only missed 2 films (Chillerama & Detention), we got some quiz answers right but not enough to win so good thing we didn't actually enter, we missed the interview (Larry something?), we ate an absurd amount of pizza and saw Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet. Here's a couple of lists:

5 favourites:

1. Kill List
2. Troll Hunter
3. The Innkeepers
4. The Woman
5. The Glass Man

5 not favourites:

1. A Night In The Woods
2. Panic Button
3. The Holding
4. Deadheads
5. Vile

Thanks to Joe for being Hardcore To The Max. His words, not mine.

Monday, 29 August 2011

A Lonely Place To Die

(Frightfest Day 5)
Some breathtaking climbing shots, some beautiful falling and a shit third act close Frightfest.


(Frightfest Day 5)
Totally fucked up gore showcase. Includes death by horse, manure pump and landmine/ferret combo.

Sennentuntschi: Curse Of The Alps [Sennentuntschi: Der Fluch Der Alpen]

(Frightfest Day 5)
Convoluted but good.


(Frightfest Day 5)
Screams "Like me!" as hard as it can all the time, but it's difficult to do so because it's a shoddily plotted zombie version of Dumb & Dumber.

A Night In The Woods

(Frightfest Day 5)
Transparently a clinical Blair Witch rip off, and a bad one at that.

Brutal Relax

(Frightfest Day 4)
Highlight of today's short film showcase by a long, long way. Truly amazing but don't watch it at work.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Kill List

(Frightfest Day 4)
A truly remarkable piece that greatly benefits from knowing as little as possible before you go in and not troubling yourself about the little things as you leave.

Saint [Sint]

(Frightfest Day 4)
An undead dutch santa provides a fantastic rooftop pursuit but a messy morally fucked ending.

The Innkeepers

(Frightfest Day 4)
Delicious slow burn of a movie with a sublime combination of slackers and hauntings at its core.

The Divide

(Frightfest Day 4)
What could have been run of the mill is saved in the last half hour by intriguing character ambiguities and gooey brutality.

The Woman

(Frightfest Day 3)
Persevere with a difficult to believe set up and get rewarded with a truly unique film that slowly unfurls and doesn't go away when the end credits roll.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Fright Night [3D] [2011 Remake]

(Frightfest Day 3)
Starts off as a serviceable suburban vampire tale yet manages to end as a surprisingly enjoyable vampire romp.

Panic Button

(Frightfest Day 3)
The inevitability of horror movies based on social networking here matched by the inevitability of them being ropey bollocks.

The Wicker Tree

(Frightfest Day 3)
Robin Hardy replaces Edward Woodward's mounting frustration and dawning terror with his own old man's pop princess idolatory creating a piece more Hammer than wicker.

Troll Hunter

(Frightfest Day 3)
Superb rendition of Jim Henson's creature workshop gone rogue. Dense with wit and invention throughout.


(Frightfest Day 2)
Utterly pointless nastiness that succeeds at leaving a bad taste in the mouth but fails to instil any sense of worth in this type of film.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil

(Frightfest Day 2)
Frequently hilarious comedy of errors. And woodchippers.

The Glass Man

(Frightfest Day 2)
Brilliant performances describe a dark, slow smear of insanity.

Urban Explorer

(Frightfest Day 2)
Sends out the familiar, well worn message that every forgotten corner of the world contains an indestructible whacked out weirdo.

The Holding

(Frightfest Day 2)
A very British exploration of farming and child abuse where the over zealous editing appears desperate to be the star.

Rogue River

(Frightfest Day 2)
A totally mental couple kidnap a girl who proceeds to exhibit the usual level of raw idiocy required for such situations.

The Theatre Bizarre

(Frightfest Day 1)
6 stories, and roughly 3 too long.
1. A man searches for Lovecraft's Necronomicon but ends up having sex with a giant toad that has four breasts.
2. A man reacts extremely calmly to his wife's confession of massive sexual indiscretion (except he doesn't).
3. A man repeatedly dreams of getting his dick cut off. Features the dialogue "Lovecraftian vagina".
4. A man crashes into a moose prompting a childs first musings on mortality.
5. No men.
6. A man gets upset that he's being dumped so his lady friend eats his heart.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Final Destination 5 [3D]

(Frightfest Day 1)
Doesn't fix any of the faults present in previous installments, but does what it does better with an ending to be applauded (and it was).

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

(Frightfest Day 1)
Brilliant modern evocation of Machen.

The Curse

Awful eighties rot that takes some plot points from Lovecraft's 'The Colour Out Of Space'. Not all its plot points mind, I don't recall Lovecraft ever attempting to instil dread with an exploding cow.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Part Of The Weekend Never Dies

Exhaustively edited collage of micro moments depicting Soulwax doing their thing very effectively.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Cowboys & Aliens

A cinematic insult consisting of hackneyed stereotypes being nudged around a plethora of trite plot conveniences.

The Silent House [La casa muda]

Takes some thinking about for everything to slide into place.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Castle Freak

Appears to be saying that if you don't let your husband have a quick tumble in the bedroom then somebody's gonna get their tits chewed off.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Spy Kids: All The Time In The World [4D]

Rodriguez reigns in the preposterous CGI to deliver an adventure with a far more solid feel in this superior reboot.
The smell thing was a welcome addition. Didn't really work but I'm glad it was there.

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over [2D]

Disappointingly shoddy.

Horrid Henry: The Movie [3D]

The British film industry offers up a concoction of repulsively precocious stage school-acting, laughably inept direction and excruciating music numbers.
Charlotte liked it because it had a hamster in it.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Spy Kids 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams

A crazed whirlwind of energy carefully harnessed to produce a standout kids movie.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back [Original Theatrical Version]

A far more streamlined rendition of a Star Wars tale, and all the better for it.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


Goes for surrealism, comedy and commentary on modern cinema of which none were the homicidal tyre hunt that was promised.
All in all a hollow attempt at being clever that instead comes off as being obnoxiously smug.

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Call Of Cthulhu

One of Lovecraft's finest moments faithfully adapted and superbly realised as a 1920s silent movie.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Super 8

Abrams (who I swear has read a lot of Lovecraft) neatly embeds Cloverfield into the background of a Spielberg movie about some kids having a heartwarming adventure in the summer time.
Pretty damn ace.

Friday, 5 August 2011


Whilst my face was screwing up in displeasure at Kevin James getting outacted by an animatronic gorilla, Charlotte was reacting like she was watching Citizen fucking Kane.
She still has a lot to learn.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Star Wars [Original Theatrical Version]

Fun, campy, space romp that effortlessly captures the imagination.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Death Note 2: The Last Name [Desu nôto: The last name]

I didn't want to watch this but Lovefilm obviously had a different outlook on events.
So I watched some of the most outrageously convoluted cat and mouse activities ever portrayed on screen, so complex they require a rulebook (shown at the start) to understand and follow. Ridiculous.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

Hamfisted propaganda tale that takes a few too many steps towards silly and away from fun.