The nefarious 9 – horror movies you must not miss at Frightfest 2016

The nefarious 9 – horror movies you must not miss at  Frightfest 2016

HCFF 2016 Poster Artwork

Horror Channel Frightfest 2016  sees the festival move to a new home at the 12 screen Vue Shepherd’s Bush and will run between Thurs Aug 25 & Mon Aug 29.

This is the 17th incarnation of the fabled festival of fear and features 62 new genre movies from 16 countries, including 19 world premiers.

Single screening tickets become available on Sat 23rd July but with such a huge haul of horrors to pick from you need to be diligent in selecting your scares.

With exclusive contributions from the filmmakers themselves, here is a guide to the flicks no true horror fan dare miss during this unique cavalcade of carnage.

Don’t worry if you can’t attend the Festival as these horror gems will be cropping up on your horror radar soon enough.

 

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 – BLOOD FEAST –

What ? :

A man replaces medication with breath mints and begins wooing a flesh-crazed Egyptian Goddess.

 USA 2016.        90 mins.

Why ? :

Because this charming slice of cinematic offal succeeds entirely in capturing the squalid ethos of the source material. Check for yourself when the original screens the next day.

Experiencing this regularly random remake with the Frightfest crowd will be a total blast. Including one of the finest lines of semen-based dialogue ever to be pitched from the left field. You will know it when you hear it.

The gore is gravely unpleasant and is executed with abandon by the ultra-talented Ryan and Megan Nicholson.

 

When ? :                                                                SATURDAY 27TH AUGUST

     HORROR CHANNEL SCREEN – 10.45 PM        ARROW VIDEO SCREEN – 6.15 PM      SPLICE MEDIA SCREEN – 9.00 PM    

What Frightfest says : 

Nothing so appalling in the annals of horror. Again! Prepare to be totally shocked by the even more gruesomely gory remake of the landmark 1963 original. Fuad Ramses and his family have moved to France where they run an American diner. Since business is not going too well, Fuad also works night shifts at the Museum of Ancient Egyptian culture. During the long, lonely nights he is drawn to a statue of the goddess Ishtar, which soon speaks to him in visions sending him on a rampage of murder and cannibalism and the preparation of another ritual blood feast.

What the filmmaker says :

– Director of Blood Feast – Marcel Walz –

How does it feel to be selected ? 

It is really a honor for the entire crew and especially me. When shooting Blood Feast we all knew that there was kind of a special feeling shooting a remake of such a classic horror movie. And now the world premiere at FrightFest UK is just amazing. We are more than happy being selected this year and I think Blood Feast will have a great premiere. Thanks at this point to the entire crew of FrightFest UK making this happen.

What were the greatest influences on the film ? 

Oh, of course, the original Blood Feast from 1963 made by the great Hershell Gordon Lewis. Well, it was very clear for us when we started developing the story that the original motion picture and its story would need to be used, extended and taken into the 21st century.
A remake has to stay close to the original of course but should use its own way to tell the story the audience already knows. I think we found a way to fulfill the expectations from the fans of the original and the audience in general.

The best moment of making the movie ? 

The entire shoot was just amazing, our crew put so much passion into this movie and our amazing cast did such a great job.
Robert Rusler as Fuad Ramses, Caroline Williams as his wife and their daughter Penny played by Sophie Monk not only worked together, you thought they were a real family.
And that is what made every moment of making this movie so special, cast and crew were a big family working together very professionally but still having so much fun in what they were creating. I think you will feel and see that when watching Blood Feast.

Who is attending the showing ?

I am going to attend the showing of course, and presently we are trying to arrange that the producers and some actors can attend, but that it is not confirmed yet.

 

beyond the gates-4

 – BEYOND THE GATES –

What ? :

  Estranged soul saving siblings attempt to subjugate a VCR game based shit-storm.

USA 2016.        86 mins.

Why ? :

Because it will expose the gently beating fragile heart of indie horror to the most appreciative anatomists of the genre in the world.

It sports a well judged kick-ass Soundtrack.

The divine Barbara Crampton (You’re Next, From Beyond, We Are Still Here) is shuddersome as fuck in it, and quite frankly, she is figuratively on fire in the horror movie cosmos right now.

When ? :                                                           SATURDAY 27TH AUGUST

         HORROR CHANNEL SCREEN – 8.15 PM        ARROW VIDEO SCREEN – 11.00 PM      SPLICE MEDIA SCREEN – 6.30 PM

What Frightfest says : 

Following their father’s mysterious disappearance, two brothers reunite to liquidate his business, a video store specialising in horror movies. Digging through all the fire sale stock, they find an old VCR board game entitled ‘Beyond the Gates’. Deciding to play the obscure game for a laugh, they soon realise it holds the connection to their father’s vanishing and the deadliest of consequences for anyone who dares fool around with it. The highly anticipated debut from Jackson Stewart, former assistant to Stuart Gordon, and co-written with Stephen Scarlata (JODOROWSKY’S DUNE).

What the filmmaker says :

– Director of Beyond the Gates – Jackson Stewart –

How does it feel to be selected ? 

It’s a dream come true.  Sounds like a cliche but when I visited Fright Fest Glasgow back in 2009, I was so enamored with the fans and the vibe there.  There’s nothing quite like watching a film with a Fright Fest audience and I can’t imagine how exciting it will be to finally show them ‘Beyond The Gates’.  It’s quite the honor to get selected.  Alan, Paul ,and Ian are men of great discerning taste that have held my respect for numerous years.  If they dislike something, they’re not shy about it.

What were the greatest influences on the film ? 

The biggest ones and (most obvious) are The Gate, Phantasm and The Beyond.  There’s also touches of House By The Cemetery,  The Vanishing (1988), Poltergeist,  Fright Night and Stuart Gordon’s masterful  From Beyond.

To elaborate slightly on the lead actors and the films that influenced their performances; I had Barbara Crampton watch Black Sunday and Black Narcissus for her role as Evelyn.  I wanted her to stay away from the over the top vibe of the ‘Nightmare’ or ‘Atmosfear’ VCR board game hosts and treat it as the 1980s version of throwback horror.  Naturally, Bava’s film made the most sense for that.

Chase Williamson watched The Onion Field which is a highly underrated film that has some interesting ideas about survivor’s guilt that I felt were interesting.

Graham Skipper watched Straw Dogs for his role as Gordon; a straight-laced, financial advisor type who has moved very far away from his past in an effort to avoid some old wounds.  And Brea Grant watched Poltergeist and The Beyond to provide a nice counter to the boys.

Past experiences of Frightfest and expectations for this year ? 

To be perfectly honest, the only time I have gone was in 2009.  I am trying to level my expectations somewhat because my excitement levels are rather high.  I am counting the days until it screens there.  I adore Alan, Paul and Ian — and some of the folks like Ailsa Scott, Catriona Proctor and a few other folks have been great to make friends with over the years.  I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and I hope they enjoy the movie!

The best moment of making the movie ? 

My favorite scene to shoot was one of the more low-key scenes between Brea and Chase when they’re sitting at the dinner table letting their guard down.  Chase and Brea were both exceptional and I could have spent a month shooting that scene with them.

As far as in the finished movie, there’s a certain character’s death which I get a huge kick out of watching with an audience.  I won’t spoil it here but it involves some entrails.

Who is attending the showing ?

Jesse Merlin (who plays Elric) the shopkeeper, myself, Wojciech Golczewski who composed the music and did the score for We Are Still Here and maybe another surprise guest depending on scheduling.

 

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 – THE WINDMILL MASSACRE –

What ? :

 Windy Miller Jason Voorhees cross has a lethal approach to flour sourcing.

The Netherlands 2016.        85 mins.

Why ? :

Because it comes from the talented creative team of Frankenstein’s Army and it will bring old-school slasher thrills to Frightfest.

“This isn’t hell…..It’s Holland !”

The proof of concept short was excellent and you may find yourself group cutting the umbilical cord of a new genre superstar.

When ? :                                                                MONDAY 29TH AUGUST

         HORROR CHANNEL SCREEN – 10.45 AM        ARROW VIDEO SCREEN – 1.30 PM      SPLICE MEDIA SCREEN – 4.15 PM

What Frightfest says : 

“A group of unsuspecting tourists awaken a mysterious evil whilst on a trip through the Dutch countryside in a nostalgia-tinged shocker. FRIDAY THE 13TH goes Amicus when a coach party embark on a tour of Holland’s windmills. When the bus breaks down, the strangers are forced to seek shelter in a disused barn beside a sinister windmill where, legend has it, a Devil-worshipping miller once ground the bones of locals instead of grain. As members of the group start disappearing, secrets are revealed that seem to mark them all for doom.”

What the filmmaker says :

– Director of The Windmill Massacre – Nick Jongerius –

How does it feel to be selected ? 

It feels great! A real acknowledgment and compliment to cast & crew and anyone involved to be selected for this really cool festival which lives and breathes horror and fantasy.

What were the greatest influences on the film ? 

My biggest influences are The Night of the Hunter with Robert Mitchum, Brian De Palma and Hitchcock. I saw The Night of the Hunter as a small kid and was totally freaked out by it. When I was prepping for the film I saw it again. It actually exceeded my expectations. It’s lighting, art direction and camera work are beautiful, scary and way ahead of it’s time. I’m also a big fan of Brian De Palma’s work especially his work up to the mid-eighties. His vision is so stylized but still in line with serving the story. Dressed to Kill is a film I can watch over and over again. Last but not least Hitchcock’s later films like Vertigo, The Birds and Psycho.

Past experiences of Frightfest and expectations for this year ? 

I’m actually new to the festival. I’m staying the whole period to see all the films and enjoy the festival

The best moment of making the movie ? 

There were a lot of really nice moments. But one in particular. It was  the third week into shooting. We had our 9th shooting night of the total 13 shooting nights. We were doing a death scene and because we did all the death scenes in camera it was a pretty tight and tense shoot where not much could go wrong. I can’t tell you in detail what happened because that would be a spoiler but there was as shot where the timing of actors, blood and gut effects had to be precise and we had only one take. But it didn’t go as I hoped it would and we were pressing for time. I followed my gut feeling and convinced everyone to do a second take and it just went perfectly. Even beyond what I had expected. To me, that moment was just so magical. Even without music, sound effects etc there was a collective feeling on the set that we kicked ass.

Who is attending the showing ?

Charlotte Beaumont, Adam Thomas Wright, Fiona Hampton and Tanroh Ishida have confirmed they would come. I’m waiting on answers from the others.

Raven Warrior 5

 – THE UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS-

What ? :

Isolated veteran becomes violently distraught as the memory of an atrocity assumes avian form.

UK 2016.        86 mins.

Why ? :

Because the filmmakers are among the most enthusiastic and authentic on the independent horror scene.

It will bring much needed psychological depth to a festival that seems drowned in gore this year.

From the creators of the critically cherished Lord of Tears, this could easily be the breakout hit of Frightfest.

When ? :                                                           SATURDAY 27TH AUGUST

                     DISCOVERY SCREEN 2 – 8.30 PM

What Frightfest says : 

Andrew Alburn, a homeless veteran suffering from PTSD, is plagued by flashbacks of a traumatic event he witnessed while serving in the armed forces. He retreats to the remote Scottish Highlands hoping to overcome his fear of Ravens, the dark creatures that populate his visions, but, in this bleak wilderness, his nightmares manifest into an enemy more powerful than he could ever have imagined. He must battle these monstrous entities as well as his inner demons to keep his life, and reclaim his sanity.

What the filmmaker says :

– Director of The Unkindness of Ravens – Lawrie Brewster –

How does it feel to be selected ? 

It feels like a huge honour to be selected by Frightfest, a festival that Guillermo del Toro describes as the ‘Woodstock of gore’ and known by horror fans around the world. We’re also thrilled to participate at a festival with so many great filmmakers – so to be a part of that and to share our work with fans who share our immense passion for the genre is the best feeling in the world.

What were the greatest influences on the film ? 

Our film was inspired by the trauma of those affected by war and by the ancient and terrifying warrior mythology of the Raven from Norse and Celtic legend. The intense claustrophobia of our film set in a lonely cottage in the highland landscape is also inspired by films such as The Evil Dead and Apocalypse Now. Our story confronts the very face of evil in a manner that will disturb audiences. We couldn’t pull our punches however as to do so would dishonour the very people whose personal stories inspired us in the first place.

Past experiences of Frightfest and expectations for this year ? 

I’ve never been to Frightfest so this will all be new for me, but most of all i’m looking forward to grabbing a beer with my fellow horror fans and to support the genre i love!

The best moment of making the movie ? 

My favourite moment during the making of our film was during the shooting of a scene that had about thirty human slaves in chains being whipped by giant crow-headed monsters on a freezing cold Scottish beach – especially when we bumped straight into a coach load of concerned looking tourists! Oh… We have such sights to show you.

Who is attending the showing ?

Myself the director, Sarah Daly the writer/singer as well as Michael Brewster our effects coordinator and of course the star of our movie Jamie Scott Gordon!

 

evil in us

 –  THE EVIL IN US –

What ? :

Cocaine cannibals in a cabin from Canada.

Canada 2015.               90 mins.

Why ? :

Because the filmmakers have already shown they can handle nasty no -budget nightmares with the brilliant short film Demons in the Dark.

The make-up department is brimming with talent, not least, Ryan and Megan Nicholson (again), so expect much strong bloody violence.

Canadian horror is thriving right now.

When ? :                                                              MONDAY 29TH AUGUST 

                    DISCOVERY SCREEN 2  – 6.20 PM   

What Frightfest says : 

Six school friends meet up for a fourth of July celebration on a remote island expecting a harmless fun-filled weekend. One brings some cocaine along to get the partying really started. What they don’t know is the drug is not what it seems; it’s actually a new bioactive compound peddled by a sadistic right-wing terrorist organisation. Anyone consuming it is then exposed to a virus causing fits of psychotic rage, mind-bending chaos and cannibalistic murder. Only Brie refused to partake and now she must fight to survive as everyone around her, including her fiancé, tries to savagely kill her.

What the filmmaker says :

– Director of The Evil in Us – Jason William Lee –

How does it feel to be selected ? 

Feels great! It’s an honour to be selected into such a cool festival with so many amazing films. 

What were the greatest influences on the film ? 

My father passed away 2 months before principle photography began. He was the driving force behind wanting to make the best film we could with the resources we had. The process of directing really became a healing process for me. The film is dedicated to his memory. Love ya Big T.

Past experiences of Frightfest and expectations for this year ? 

This is my first feature and first time getting a film into Frightfest, so I mainly just hope people enjoy the film and have a fun time watching it cause we loved making it.

The best moment of making the movie ? 

Realizing a lifelong dream of seeing something that came from the dark recesses of my warped imagination, projected onto the silver screen! It was truly one of the best experiences of my life and I hope there are many more films to come.

Who is attending the showing ?

Unfortunately, being poor Canadians, we won’t be able to make the trip overseas this time. I really wish I could be there. Hopefully next time we have another film ready we’ll make it over. Would love to visit the UK.

 

wearethefleshbanner

 – WE ARE THE FLESH –

What ? :

Post-apocalyptic taboo-crushing existentialism.

 Mexico 2016.        80 mins.

Why ? :

Because this challenging and difficult film will be a major talking point of this year’s festival.

The movie has been eulogised by both Alejandro Iñarritu (The Revenant)and Carlos Reygadas (Japón).

We Are the Flesh was secured by the excellent UK-based Arrow Films before it had even screened at Cannes.

When ? :                                                               MONDAY 29TH AUGUST

     DISCOVERY  SCREEN 1  – 3.35 PM      

What Frightfest says : 

In the aftermath of an apocalypse, Mariano withdraws to a house from which all existential meaning has been sucked out. Obsessed with transforming the rooms into a womb-like cave, he spends his days distilling alcohol from old bread. Then siblings Lucio and Fauna discover his retreat and in exchange for food help him create his environment. As remodelling progresses, Mariano shares his strange rituals and a disquieting sexual relationship emerges along with a dynamic in which darker desires do their destructive work.

What the filmmaker says :

– Director of  We are the Flesh – Emiliano Rocha Minter –

How does it feel to be selected ? 

I am really happy that the film is finding the right audience.

What were the greatest influences on the film ? 

I would say Cantinflas and Andrzej Zulawski (Posession 1981).

Past experiences of Frightfest and expectations for this year ? 

It is my first time! So I don´t really have any expectations, i would love that the movie shock the flesh of the audience in a really powerful and disturbing way.

The best moment of making the movie ? 

There were so many beautiful moments, making Tenemos la Carne was a dream come true but one of my favorite memories is this. When the actors had to make some nude scenes the DOP and I decided to be naked with them. It was an act of solidarity and to encourage them to cross the border, that was a moment of true filmmaking.

Who is attending the showing ?

I don´t know, i hope someone!

 

Screenshot (123)

 – THE NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE –

What ? :

Sordid and sticky STD solicited Spring break slime-show.

 USA 2016.        94 mins.

Why ? :

Because this will be the outrageous cult sensation of this year’s Frightfest.

Easily scooped the Best Horror Feature at the Pheonix International Horror Film Festival and took Best Special Effects and Jury award at Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival.

You can’t miss a movie with the tagline – Don’t forget your rubbers…and bazooka!

When ? :                                                                FRIDAY 26TH AUGUST

          DISCOVERY SCREEN  1 – 8.45 PM      

What Frightfest says : 

Outrageous, offensive, bloody to the BRAINDEAD max and hilariously entertaining. Let’s hear it for Jonathan Straiton and Ron Bonk’s slasher passion project, a winning ode to such 1980s horrors as FRIDAY THE 13th, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD and NIGHT OF THE CREEPS. Think SLITHER directed by John Waters as this slime-encrusted slice of grindhouse-styled schlock comedy horror has a zombie-like Sexually Transmitted Disease wreaking havoc in the remote Redwood Motel during spring break. Only the strong and resilient will survive the monster genitalia, fanged orifices, wet farts and bloody condoms – and we mean both cast and YOU the audience!

What the filmmaker says :

– Director of Night of Something Strange – Jonathan Straiton –

How does it feel to be selected ? 

When I read the acceptance email via my smart phone I nearly shot a load in my pants! Thank the almighty I didn’t because I was having dinner with my mom. I was raised Catholic so I feel guilty when good things happen, so when I got into FrightFest I was literally worried someone I cared about was going just drop dead!

What were the greatest influences on the film ? 

The Blob (1988), Night of the Creeps, Friday the 13th, Return of the Living Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Cabin Fever.

Past experiences of Frightfest and expectations for this year ? 

This will be my first Frightfest so I’m looking forward to checking out some awesome flicks! Oh, and getting on my wife’s nerves speaking only with an English accent.

The best moment of making the movie ? 

So many but without giving anything away, probably one particular scene where two characters find themselves in a sticky situation.

Who is attending the showing ?

Yours truly and my beautiful wife.

 

6ebafb95-1cbd-4ae3-bb87-8a30aeac6d05

 –  RED CHRISTMAS –

What ? :

Festive fuckery as an unexpected guest carves up a lot more than the turkey.

  Australia 2016.        82 mins.

Why ? :

Because it will bring thumping entertainment including a very nasty bear-trap death.

Australian horror is enjoying a prolonged invigoration that has its roots firmly embedded in Frightfest.

It has a great cast and played very favourably in the sharply curated Freak Me Out strand of the Sydney Film Festival.

 

When ? :                                                              MONDAY 29TH AUGUST 

          HORROR CHANNEL SCREEN – 6.30 PM        ARROW VIDEO SCREEN – 6.45 PM      SPLICE MEDIA SCREEN – 7.00 PM   

What Frightfest says : 

You’ll be dreaming of a Fright Christmas with this seasonal shocker, the feature debut from acclaimed Australian comic actor/director Craig Anderson. Matriarch Diane (genre veteran Dee Wallace) has invited her adult children to celebrate one last Christmas in their family home before she sells up and heads to Europe. Amid all the celebrations and domestic dramas, a mysterious stranger calls. Disfigured and cloaked, they invite him in until his extreme religious motives and anti-abortion message launches a rollercoaster of splatter and unearths shattering secrets. With a Silent Night setting, SUSPIRIA-style technicolors and socio-political underpinnings, this is one helluva Christmas cracker.

What the filmmaker says :

– Director of Red Christmas – Craig Anderson –

How does it feel to be selected ? 

As an Australian, I can’t wait to kick London in the nuts with this film.

What were the greatest influences on the film ? 

1974’s proto-slasher Black Christmas, Tony Kaye’s amazing documentary Lake of Fire, and romantic comedy The Family Stone.

Past experiences of Frightfest and expectations for this year ? 

I’ve heard a lot about it and all I’ve ever wanted to do is be there. So I am very excited.

The best moment of making the movie ? 

Dee Wallace standing in the doorway of the house, looking at the cloaked killer and asking “Explain to me again, why my character invites him in for tea?”

Who is attending the showing ?

I’m down under, racing through post production on a TV show so that I can party at Frightfest!

 

downhill

 – DOWNHILL –

What ? :

Break-neck blast of bonkers body horror on bikes.

 Chile 2016.        85 mins.

Why ? :

Because the trailer is insane and the movie, reportedly filmed in just 13 days, promises to be great fun.

The strange mix of genres seems to work out as it changes from sports film to thriller before manifesting itself as a full-on horror.

Downhill nabbed the Bunker Sonido post-production prize at the Blood Window Awards at the Ventana Sur Film Market. Its world premiere at The Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival also generated tons of positivity.

The hugely influential Mexican producer and festival director Pablo Guisa Koestinger (Here Comes the DevilScherzo Diabolico) was so hooked by Downhill he joined the project as executive producer. Koestinger, nicknamed Dr. Morbido, assumes the same role in two more of this year’s Discovery Screen presentations, The Similars and Benavidez’s Case and knows a winner when he sees one.

When ? :                                                                SUNDAY 28TH AUGUST

         HORROR CHANNEL SCREEN – 10.45 AM        ARROW VIDEO SCREEN – 1.15 PM      SPLICE MEDIA SCREEN – 4.00 PM

What Frightfest says : 

From the director of the hugely controversial HIDDEN IN THE WOODS duo comes a new supernatural shocker. BMX BANDITS meets H.P. Lovecraft in Patricio Valladares latest chiller from Chile. After his best friend dies in a racing accident, retired biker star Joe agrees to get back on two-wheels for an exhibition contest. On a test run with his girlfriend Stephanie, they stumble upon a badly injured man dying from a mysterious virus, and they become the target of a group of relentless killers ready to do anything to keep their demonic sect a secret from the rest of the world.

What the filmmaker says :

– Director of Downhill – Patricio Valladres  –

How does it feel to be selected ? 

So great, this will be my second time at Frightfest. The first time was at 2012 with Hidden in the Woods, chilean version. I love this film festival and the team too. When  i shoot this flick i think “damn this movie will be great in frightfest line up”, after, Boom, In the main screen this 28th August.

What were the greatest influences on the film ? 

A lot, but for me it’s some Sport/Thriller movies such as  A Lonely Place to die, Wolf Creek, and some UK movies like  Kill List and The Wicker Man, and Eli Roth movies of course.
With HP Lovercraft stuff.

Past experiences of Frightfest and expectations for this year ? 

AWESOME! A lot feedback from the audience and fans from horror movies, and good times in London. Beers and barbecues. This year my idea is more over the top than Hidden in the Woods, because, Downhill is in English, so more worldwide audience. I’m so proud of Downhill.

The best moment of making the movie ? 

PFFF, so many days were good moments, i don’t know which was the best, but for me, it was the locations, the south from chile, the mountain, we did this at almost winter with so nice crew and actors, the shooting was so cute and like a family in a party!

Who is attending the showing ?

Natalie “Perfect Butt” Burn (the principal actress), Barry Keating (co-writer) and Me.

Frightfest details :

Ticket prices for 2016 are: –

Full Festival pass £185.

Day pass Thursday 25th August £30, Friday 26th and Saturday 27th August £60, Sunday 28th and Monday 29th £50.

Single tickets for main and discovery screen film are £14.00.

Single tickets for these films and many others go on sale from the 23rd July 2016.

 

Once again, heartfelt thanks to all the directors and the people that helped link us up.

Bradley Hadcroft

 

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