First it was Glasgow, more recently London, now it’s time for Halloween! Today the clod heart of cinema Pigeon Shrine FrightFest Unveil their Halloween line-up entangled with urban chillers and revenge.
The UK’s biggest genre film festival is back at the Cineworld, Leicester Square London with a terrifying two-day Halloween event on the last weekend of October. Featuring nine gore-tastic premieres not yet seen in the UK.
Your cold heart and mind will be tested with the World premiere of Sam Clemens’ urban psychological chiller The Waterhouse. This is directorial debut for the director who is the son of famed genre writer/director Brian Clemens. The second film of the night will be the International premiere of taut Halloween slasher He Never Left. Another directorial feature debut of this time from James Morris. Argentinian director Gabriel Grieco, will be in attendance with the UK premiere of his shocking feminist revenge horror Maria.
Saturday kicks off with the International premiere of the wonderfully weird and gleeful flesh-eating horror musical Eldritch U.S.A. from Ryan Smith. Another directorial feature debut with Lovely, Dark And Deep , from Teresa Sutherland (The Wind, Midnight Mass). An uncanny shocker containing strains of folk horror, psychodrama and cosmic fever dream.
The feature film debuts continue with Karoline Lyngbye’s haunting, twist-heavy Danish thriller Superposition. French director Saïd Belktibia‘s Hood Witch, debut film makes UK Premiere, a horror-thriller about a mobile app gone wrong has a dark, social and feminist edge. This is followed by the UK premiere of The Last Video Store, a lifelong genre movie geeks must band together to survive the supernatural apocalypse happening outside their door.
Stay out of the blue light! Completing the line-up is the World premiere of terrifying ghostly thriller Blue Light, from director Andy Fickman (Race from Witch Mountain, Heathers: The Musical). A prequel and sequel are already in the works and Andy will be hosting the screening.
FULL LINE UP:
FRIDAY 27 OCTOBER
18:15 THE WATERHOUSE (World Premiere)
Synopsis: After stealing a priceless painting, Eric, Matt and Paul arrive at a secluded safe house by the sea to discover their fourth accomplice missing. With tensions running high and trust running low, three girls are washed ashore after a boating accident. Sheltering them, a deadly game of deception begins to conceal who, why and what they are doing there. As the house is plunged into darkness, Matt also goes missing along with one of the girls, amid loud shrieks for help. Was one of them responsible or is there a more sinister presence lurking at the water’s edge?
Director: Sam Clemens. With: Alan Calton, Michelangelo Fortuzzi, Laral Lemon, Lily Catalifo. UK 2023. 84 mins.
20:35 HE NEVER LEFT (International premiere)
Synopsis: After hearing strange noises coming from an adjoining motel room, a federal fugitive and his girlfriend inadvertently become targets of the notorious “Pale Face” killer, whose legend has consumed and haunted the local community for decades.
Director: James Morris. With: Colin Cunningham, Jessica Staples, Charla Bocchiochio, David McMahon.US 2023, 97 mins.
22:50 MARIA (UK premiere)
Synopsis: Maria Black is the biggest porn star in 2024. When she’s falls into a coma after a car crash, her medical outlook is dim. Then her body disappears from the hospital, media speculation is rife but soon the news cycle moves on. Until 2027 when it seems Maria has been reborn and is anxious to resume her XXX film career. Director Dario George wants her to appear in his new production but when she tragically dies mid-shoot, hatches a shocking plan to cover up the accident. However, Maria is now part of The Metropolis Project and is out for revenge.
Directors: Gabriel Grieco, Nicanor Loreti. With: Dana Panchenko, Sofía Gala Castiglione, Malena Sánchez, Magui Bravi. Argentina 2023. 70 mins.
SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER
11:30 ELDRITCH U.S.A. (International Premiere)
Synopsis: Summon up a deity with a little ditty in a Lovecraftian horror musical featuring original songs by Fox Royale. Brothers Geoff and Rich have competed all their life for parental affection, career ambitions and romantic pursuits. Egotistical Rich always seems to win leaving sweet-natured younger sibling Geoff in his shadow. When tragedy strikes their family in a freak accident, panicked Geoff seeks out a backwoods cult rumoured to have supernatural powers. But the amateur cult unleashes sinister forces beyond all control and musical mayhem ensues.
Directors: Ryan Smith, Tyler Foreman. With: Graham Weldin, Andy Phinney, Cameron Perry, Aline O’Neill. USA 2023. 99 mins.
14:00 LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP (UK Premiere)
Synopsis: Lennon (BARBARIAN star Georgina Campbell) finally gets her long-awaited position as a park ranger in an isolated outpost. Immediately she is shrouded in strange mystery and conspiracy theories pertaining to bizarre disappearances and visions quickly start to manifest, blending the past, present, and even more sinister future. In this dangerous, twisting and writhing landscape, will she uncover the origins of a tragedy that has haunted her since she was a child.
Director: Teresa Sutherland. With: Georgina Campbell, Nick Blood, Wai Ching Ho, Soren Hellerup. USA 2023. 87 mins.
16:00 SUPERPOSITION (UK Premiere)
Synopsis: Stine and Teit, your average urban middle-class artists and intellectuals, leave Copenhagen for the wilds of neighbouring Sweden’s forest. Soon, they find out that something is strange there – most disturbingly – when their son Nemo suddenly thinks his mother isn’t really his mother anymore. It becomes clear once Stine and Teit discover that they have neighbours who look exactly like them – mirror images made flesh and blood.
Director: Karoline Lyngbye. With: Marie Bach Hansen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Mihlo Olsen. Denmark 2023, 105 mins.
18:40 HOOD WITCH (UK Premiere)
Synopsis: Iranian French actress Golshifteh Farahani (from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S REVENGE) plays a woman who makes a living smuggling exotic animals and other illicit products. She branches out with the creation of a mobile App that connects clients with mystical marabout healers, but when a user’s consultation takes a tragic turn, she finds her facing a violent backlash that could cost her and her son their lives.
Director: Saïd Belktibia. With: Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant, Mathieu Espagnet, Jérémy Ferrari. Iran/France 2023.
20:50 THE LAST VIDEO STORE (UK Premiere)
Synopsis: A young woman takes a collection of old videotapes to one of the last video rental stores in the world. Unbeknownst to her, she is in possession of a legendary ‘cursed tape’ that holds the power to connect the real world with another dimension in which B-movie fantasies become a reality. When she and the video storeowner unwittingly reawaken its curse, a raft of cinematic villains is unleashed.
Directors: Cody Kennedy, Tim Rutherford. With: Kevin Martin, Josh Lenner, Vanessa ‘Yaayaa’ Adams, Lelan Tilden. Canada 2023. 90 mins.
22:55 BLUE LIGHT (World Premiere)
Synopsis: Seven childhood friends excitedly embark on a road trip in an old RV to the coolest underground music festival out there – Blue Light. When they break down on an isolated road,
they soon realise something eerie and unworldly is hiding in the woods. Their nightmare journey to hell has begun from which there is no U-turn. Will they find the courage to fight and survive?
Director: Andy Fickman. With: Bella DeLong, Amber Janea, Daryl Tofa, Ana Zambrana. USA 2023.109 mins
Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director, said today: “We’re thrilled to announce our Halloween 2-day extravaganza. We’ve assembled nine new genre titles to make this year’s Halloween event a happy haunting ground with all treats – no tricks – to satisfy your jaundiced appetites”,
Pigeon Shrine FrightFest Halloween will take place 27th & 28th October 2023
Passes and tickets go on sale at noon on Saturday 30th September.
Prices: Two-day pass – £70 | Friday 27th day pass – £35 | Saturday 28th Day pass – £55
Single tickets – £15
All tickets are subject to ticket costs.