The world is such an unpredictable place for reasons you don’t anyone to say again. After going digital back in August for their annual summer festival, Arrow Video FrightFest will go virtual for the second time in 2020.
There was a ray of hope that this months planned physical event at the Cineworld, Leicester Square, could go ahead. Unfortunately the continuing COVID restrictions made it impossible and unsafe for Frightfesters to attend.
Thankfully the planned October event will go ahead online with a bumper forty-five feature film line-up merging with the in-cinema selection with new titles to provide an online festival experience.
The set up for the October event will be exactly like the August Digital event. The programme split between three screens (The Arrow ,Horror Channel Screens, and the Zavvi Discovery Screen), with the additional bonus of the Wednesday night features.
If the description of “Parasite and Get Out meets The Stepford Wives” tickles your fancy you should check out the World Premiere of Held. Kicking off the monstrous line-up with the latest from The Gallows franchise directors Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff. It’s followed by the gripping occult take on the Seven Deadly Sins, with Courtney Paige’s The Sinners (UK Premiere).
Vengeful spirits, evil awakenings, ghost cops and disappearing synchronised swimmers are all the rage on the Thursday. With four UK Premieres are presented, including Chris Smith’s pre-World War II horror The Banishing, Things will go bump in the night with the hilariously ghoulish murder mystery of Hayden J. Weal’s Dead. the terrifying cosmic chiller Sacrifice, starring Barbara Crampton, David Lynch fans should check out the trippy fantasy thriller Stranger. It’s time to go old school with the European premiere of the 1962 cult classic The Brain That Wouldn’t Die which is followed by the World Premiere of David Simpson‘s mesmerising Dangerous To Know, a three-hour journey into a dark psychological labyrinth of murder, madness and revenge.
Day Three (Friday) will have crazy cultists, wicked witch hunters and brutal home invaders will beset your TV screens. headlined by the UK premieres of Neil Marshall’s plague-driven tour-de-force The Reckoning and Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy and Swinging Sixties icon Rita Tushingham may look easy targets in Julius Berg’s The Owners , Maisie Williams and her gang wish they didn’t invade their home. Kohl Glass’ nerve-shattering Babysitter Must Die the nasty home invaders have a feisty babysitter to face.
There is a barrel load of UK Premieres on offer with crazy action body horror in Andrew Thomas Hart‘s Spare Parts. Hybrid Western horror from Aaron B Koontz’s The Pale Door, Takeshi Kushida’s captivating and visually mesmerizing Woman Of The Photographs. In Lodewijk Crijins’ Tailgate, is a Dutch Duel that will make Russell Crowe’s unhinged look like a PG. Brutally will be served cold in Adrian Langley’s Butchers, Jens Dahl’s sinister biohacking thriller Breeder. Argentinean powerhouse writer/director Laura Casabé is back with The Returned, and Jeffrey Reddick’s Don’t Look Back, your supernatural karma will be spooked with horrific consequences. Will Jewell’s Concrete Plans, will find five builders in bloody class warfare.
Saturday will be deadly including the much anticipated Frightfest presents Natalie Erika James‘ unforgettable Relic. Promising a new spin on the haunted-house movie (stay tuned for our video interview with the director).that, laced isolation and murderous desperation, runs through Let’s Scare Julie, all delivered in a cleverly filmed in one uninterrupted continuous take. Home invasion is taken to new gory heights in Canadian entry For The Sake Of Vicious. Family secrets trigger explosively violent consequences in Broil, and paranoia and religion clash in Thomas Robert Lee’s dark, coming-of-age shocker Blood Harvest (US Title: The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw).
Frightfest might have a dark heart, but they never forget about the great Home-grown talent. Marc Price (Colin) is back with a slightly bigger budget and the World Premiere of his space survival thriller Dune Drifter , home-grown survival thriller with a more pernicious intent in Adam Leader and Richard Oakes’ possession pandemic debut feature Hosts. Steve Guttenberg, Toyah Wilcox, Nicholas Vince and Dani Dyer, star in Heckle and The World We Knew , where gangsters battle demons in a Neo Film Noir with a dark, existentialist twist. Then we have Patricio Valladares’ Embryo, a deliriously twisted tale of alien insemination, cannibalism and true love, and the World Premiere of Tyler Russell’s Cyst, where a giant cyst monster goes on the rampage.
Along with the homegrown talent we have first time filmmakers with ‘First Blood’. Danielle Kummer and Lucy Harvey’s wonderfully infectious Alien On Stage, David Ryan’s blood-soaked Redwood Massacre: Annihilation, starring Danielle Harris. And the UK Premiere of Karl Holt’s Benny Love You where Chucky meets Fatal Attraction. There is also August edition replays They’re Outside and Playhouse.
Sunday it’s a global celebration with genre gems from around the world. Luciana Garraza’s Scavenger, is a slice of cruel Argentinian sci-fi action horror, harsh and heart-breaking Argentinian haunted house horror with Funeral Home and Origin Unknown, an innovative dark action fantasy from Mexico’s Rigoberto Castañeda.
The closing gala falls to the World Premiere of SKYLIN3S, the thrilling third entry in the epic sci-fi Skyline franchise. A new unforgettable geriatric horror villain in Honeydew. Murder has a new cutting edge in Jill Gevargizian’s stunning debut feature The Stylist, starring Brea Grant and Najarra Townsend, Another American female director continuing to make her mark is Imitation Girl helmer Natasha Kermani, back with Lucky, a clever slasher satire; a disturbing potent metaphor for our troubling times. The ever prolific Brea Grant not only stars but also wrote the script.
Canada has come up with the on-trend couture horror comedy of the year, so get ready for the UK Premiere of Elza Kephart’s Slaxx, the tightest fitting bloodbath in history as a pair of vengeful jeans goes on the rampage. Another Canadian selection is The Nights Before Christmas, where an FBI agent is tasked to track down a psychotic couple posing as Santa and Mrs. Claus. There is also a great British debut from director Damian McCarthy with Caveat, a terrifying journey through madness and memory loss.
FrightFest co-director Alan Jones said: “The latest safety regulations and social distancing measures brought in to contain the spread of Covid-19 meant we had no other choice but to cancel our much-anticipated physical edition of FrightFest in October. So the only option open to Team FrightFest, despite all the hard work everyone has put in over the past months, was to take the new normal by its devil horns and reconfigure FrightFest 2020 once more to give everyone an important horror fantasy lifeline. Our virtual event in August was so well received that we knew we had to do it again – with even more picks of want-to-see new releases, hot previews, unusual options and first-rate titles. Enjoy”.
Passes and Tickets go on sale today at 6pm. For detailed information on the line-up, ticketing details & event guidelines: https://frightfest.co.uk