Another year, another beautiful Horror Channel FrightFest is done and dusted. I’m only just recovering! It was their biggest year, and they had a little special guest in the form of Connie wandering the VUE in Shepherd’s Bush, London. The puppet was on loose and in fine form for the World Premiere of Connie on 27th August.
Connie was screened as part of the Short Film Showcase One, alongside some really impressive shorts in terms of story, character and production values. It’s always a pleasure to see the work of other filmmakers, and hear about their thrills and challenges in bringing their vision to life.
It was a tremendous experience being part of FrightFest’s big annual five-day festival and an incredible place for our world premiere. It was a joy and the film received a great round of applause and lots of lovely support.Connie did lots of nibbling and fondling, so apologies to her victims. She didn’t mean to make you feel cheap. But she would if you gave her £20…
FrightFest is like a second Christmas for me. It has a wonderful inclusive atmosphere and it’s great to be around so many film fans who just ‘get’ what you’re trying to do.
There were so many films at the festival, but here are a few of my personal highlights. If you want more info on them, you know where Google is…
I cried buckets – I was destroyed for about twenty minutes after this film. It’s a genuinely terrifying zombie film set on a moving train, but with a big heart and the relationship between a father and his young daughter at the centre of the action. It’s nail-biting stuff, with characters that I actually cared about – rare for a film to have that kind of impact on me these days. Go and see it or rent it. I wish I’d thought of it!
Carson D. Mell’s microbudget debut feature felt like a Duplass Brothers creation in terms of tone and look (a great compliment). This was in the Discovery screen, but could have played the main screens. Steve Zissis (Togetherness) is brilliant and offers great balance to the insanity of Os, a crazy exorcist, played beautifully by Mark Proksch. It’s creepy and laugh out loud funny.
A true crowdpleaser of FrightFest this year from the co-creator of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Even people who hate found footage commented on how much they loved this film. It cleverly pokes fun at the subgenre, whilst maintaining the creepiness. Plus, I jumped out of my seat at the ending. A great scare.
From the moment this year’s line up was announced, this was the film that I just *HAD* to see. Samantha Robinson is incredible in the lead role. She looks like she’s just stepped off a Russ Meyer set. The Love Witch is about much more than its aesthetic. It’s a deftly written script by a real auteur, in my view, of modern cinema. I can’t wait to see what Anna Biller creates next. Whatever it is, I think it’ll be handmade with lots of TLC.
Another film I wish I’d thought of. Luciano Onetti’s Argentinian tribute to the Italian Giallo genre is a visual stunner. There’s a fantastic twist, great disco soundtrack, and lots of heightened drama. It looks authentic to the period of these films, 70s, but was made in 2015. Plus, it has one of the best posters from FrightFest this year.
And of course, the impressive short film programme. It was an honour to be part of it.
Massive thank you to Paul McEvoy, Ian Rattray, Greg Day, Alan Jones and Shelagh Rowan-Legg.