FrightFest 2012: First Films Announced
by Ben Bussey
Hot off the presses – well, okay, fresh in my inbox – is the news we’ve been waiting for from FrightFest. As is the norm, they’ll be announcing the full line-up at the end of the month, but for now they’re whetting our appetite with the announcement of the opening and closing films of this year’s festival. Also confirmed here is that this year the action will be spread out over three screens at the Empire Leicester Square, rather than the usual two.
Watch out, I feel a cut & paste coming on…
… Because we had so many other events battling with us for your prime attention in 2012, Team FrightFest knew we had to push the boat out in a massive way to stand out proud from the crowded calendar. And we feel we’ve done it with our biggest, best and easily most eclectic line-up ever. You’ll have to wait until June 29th before we reveal every must-see title but to whet your appetites we proudly present THE SEASONING HOUSE as our star-studded opening gala world premiere.
You’ve seen his name on every great British horror movie of the past decade from THE DESCENT and EDEN LAKE to ATTACK THE BLOCK and THE WOMAN IN BLACK. Now special make-up prosthetics and splatter genius Paul Hyett makes his directorial debut with THE SEASONING HOUSE, a harrowing exploration into war-torn terror and tense claustrophobia. Prepare for bloody psychological horror in the nerve-shredding Hitchcock and Polanski style but with an ultra-modern twist. There’s no doubt in our minds Hyett will follow in the footsteps of such other talents we have promoted early in their careers, like Christopher Nolan, Neil Marshall, Chris Smith and James Watkins. In fact, keep an eye out for a cameo from Marshall in this exceptional work of quality, sensitivity and hard-hitting action. And we guarantee you’ll fall in love with lead actress Rosie Day, making her amazing feature debut, as the deaf-mute brothel-worker Angel, ably supported by FrightFest friends Sean Pertwee and Kevin Howarth,
Once more Film4 FrightFest is delighted to be showcasing key British talent of the future with our opening choice – and also our closing film too. You will be on the edge of your seats watching the world premiere of directors James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson’s stunning suspense shocker TOWER BLOCK. Trapped on the top floor of their run down East End home Serenity House, a disparate group of neighbours are being shot at by a mystery sniper. Why? Who is it? What do they want? The action is rousing, the scares nerve-jangling and the tension riveting in this superior chiller showcasing nastily effective splatter chaos – by Paul Hyett! Trust us you are going to adore Brit stars Sheridan Smith, Jack O’Connell and Russell Tovey as they fight for their lives in this taut gripper. All the stars will attend this fabulous finale to FrightFest the 13th so you won’t want to miss it.
With three screens in operation this year at the Empire Leicester Square, there will be even more choice on offer for the discerning fantasy fan. As ever the main screen will showcase our major attractions, the Discovery Screen will focus on the gems we’ve found we know you will adore, and the new third screen will feature retrospectives, a FrightFest Glasgow catch-up of our most popular titles and some very special events. Expect a lot of very famous Italians to be in attendance throughout the August Bank Holiday weekend as our line-up will be reflecting the genre resurgence in that country. No clues, but do try to remember I am launching the updated edition of my FAB Press book on Dario Argento ‘The Man, the Myth and the Magic’ at FrightFest!
Other hints? There’s the anthology you want to see, the best Halloween 2012 release, the greatest serial killer thriller since HENRY and this year’s AMER. Plus the UK premiere of Paco Plaza’s much-anticipated [REC]3: GENESIS, the gruesomely hilarious second sequel in the groundbreaking Spanish zombie franchise that unfolds in parallel to events of the previous two episodes. Packed with gore gags, irreverent humour, jolting death and cleverly tied to the previous movies in wickedly surprising ways, Plaza’s romantic flair and fairytale feel refreshes the flesh-eating saga with a devious dexterity that never short-changes the [REC] horror heritage. And you never know we might just be able to tempt Paco and his leading lady Leticia Dolera (star of TVs MAD DOGS) over from Barcelona to attend this glittering occasion.
(…)It has become a tradition to reward all those who queue up overnight for their passes with a special preview. And this year is no exceptions and, boy, do we have a terrific movie for you, THE AGGRESSION SCALE, in which HOME ALONE goes extreme horror. From the director of AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION Steven C. Miller, a brutal revenge thriller in the spirit of the 1980s Cannon canon and tradition of A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. Four hit men are given a kill list of suspects responsible for $500,000 in stolen cash. The bucks stop at the Rutledge family, just moving into a remote house to escape all prying eyes. But the vicious home invaders have no idea they are about to meet two rebellious teenagers whose murderous conduct is already way off the psychotic scale. Get ready for hi-octane action and blood-soaked suspense with a razor-sharp edge in a down and dirty battle of wits in the ultimate war zone as we blow away those Sleepy Q cobwebs courtesy of Anchor Bay. (Editor’s note: you can read Marc’s review of The Aggression Scale HERE.)
That should get you all into the FrightFest the 13th spirit ready for the Thursday August 23rd kick off and we’re so excited about the whole event I’m not sure we’ll be able to contain all the secrets until then. Sod it, here’s another…what’s the one controversial monster movie you’d love to see the complete version of? We have that too. Very soon my friends, very soon…
‘One controversial monster movie you’d love to see the complete version of…?’ Ooh… if that means what I think it means…
Ears to the ground for more, folks!