If you are a fan of horror films like myself then there is a festival held in Leicester Square London every August bank holiday that not only shows the best in horror films to come but also highlight some gems that you should keep your eye out for.
This year’s frightfest is the 13th one and the selection of films on offer is the biggest collection of horror films that has ever been shown at a UK festival. On offer is a huge 48 films so I thought I would sift through each and every one on offer and pick the 11 films that I think you should either see at the festival itself or catch later, now it would be really silly of me to explain each one of the 11 films, so I have picked the 5 top movies and included the trailers, but that by no means means you shouldn’t look out for the other six too…
WARNING: THESE TRAILERS ARE NSFW
Directed by the Soska Sisters who were responsible for Dead Hooker in a trunk, American Mary centres around a medical student that gets embroiled in the underground world of body modification in an extreme way. The film stars Ginger Snaps’ Katherine Isabelle in a role that you would never expect as this is a really dark and extreme film that will make any horror fan excited, out of every film at this year’s Frightfest this is the one that people are looking forward to the most and hoping that it doesn’t disappoint.
Back in 2007 an unknown Spanish director by the name of Jaume Balaguero released upon the world a found footage horror film that shook up the genre, that film went by the name of REC, after the sequel the director thought he didn’t want to do another REC film for now, so instead went off with his own idea of terror and that is Sleep Tight. Taking a simple formula that centres around a caretaker in an Apartment Complex that seems to take his job a bit to seriously, Balaguero is attempting to give that type of horror the injection that he gave to the found footage film and as you can see from the trailer he might of pulled it off, this is a really tense, edge of your seat film that’s not strictly horror but has enough terror in it to make any horror fan happy.
It’s really difficult to do a movie about somebody getting kidnapped and doing something with it that makes it feel fresh. Well the director of Chained, Jennifer Chambers Lynch, is trying to do just that and I think she might of just pulled it off. Yes she is following the same route these kind of films have went down before but this time she is injecting it with something that has been missing and that’s heart; you need to care not only for the boy that has been kidnapped but also for the person who has taken him and it looks like she has done that. This for me might be the surprise film of Frightfest.
Sawney: Flesh of Man
Before I go into why you should try and see this film, I will have to say that the trailer is NSFW as it contains extreme scenes of gore and sexual nature.
There warning over, so why should you be interested in Sawney? Well, if you are a fan of the extreme side of horror then this should be on your radar. The story is a simple one that centres around a family that has been responsible for the disappearance of thousands of people over the years in the highlands of Scotland and as you can see from the trailer the reason for this is down to something really extreme. I love a film that’s not afraid to throw the gore at you and this looks like it does that in bucket loads, if you have got a weak stomach when it comes to an insane amount of blood then stay away. You have been warned.
Probably the most straight forward horror film of this year’s show, Sinister centres around a father that discovers a film that shows what happened to the family that originally lived in the house that he bought. So why have I picked this film? Well first off it might be the film that shows you what Ethan Hawk can do as he is a actor that nobody holds in high regard, secondly it looks like a really creepy film, I could be wrong and after people have seen it they might shout at me for picking it but I hold high hopes for this one.
Best of the rest:
Now, like I said in the introduction, this year’s Frightfest has more than 40 films on show and i couldn’t go over each one, so I picked the 5 that i think people should see (above). These are six other films that should be peaking your interest.
Cockney’s VS Zombies – I don’t think I need to tell you why you should be interested in this butit looks a lot of fun.
V/H/S – This is the film that has every horror fan foaming at the mouth to see as it’s a found footage film with a twist in that it tells five stories and not one, yes it does have its problems at times, but there is no denying that this should be one film at the festival that needs to be seen.
Maniac – Any director who can make you uncomfortable watching an Elijah Wood film deserves a big pat on the back from me, yes this is another remake of a 80s film, but it’s one film that very few people have heard of and one film that should be high on your list.
Community – I like these films that slip under people’s radar without causing a stir and this looks like it could be one of those, the film centres on a community that likes to keep to themselves in extreme ways, especially if a camera crew is trying to snoop on them…
The Thompsons – The sequel to the virtually unknown horror film The Hamiltions which I found it to be a interesting low-budget horror film. I have high hopes for the sequel, but also a few worries that it will not feel as original as the first film…
Grabbers – I love stupid little throw-away monster movies that make you laugh and Grabbers looks to be that, yes the film has already been released in Ireland but the reason why it’s on my list is that we need a movie that is just fun from start to finish rather than it being a serious horror film.
SPECIAL MENTION: Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut – This is one of Clive Barker’s best horror films and the only reason it’s on my list is that this is the version that Barker wanted to be released originally but instead had to be cut and for years nothing had been seen or heard about this version. The big thing though about the Cabal Cut is that this is the only chance and place in the UK that you will get to see this version as there is no plan to release it, so if you are going to Frightfest then this needs to be top of your list.
So these are just a few of the films that should be on your list to view at this year’s Frightfest and beyond, a lot of them don’t have release dates and some of them don’t even have distributors, so it might be a while before we get to see some of the films but when they do come out I highly recommend each one of these.