Film4 FrightFest 2013 – Flickering Myth’s Picks

Flickering Myth co-editor Luke Owen looks at his picks for this year’s Film4 FrightFest….

We are just one week away from this year’s Film4 FightFest in London! Now in its 14th year, thousands of horror fans are flocking to London’s West End to see some of the genre’s premieres and previews as well as guest appearances and signings.

Flickering Myth will be covering as many of the films as possible during the festival, but if you’re planning on coming down, here are some of our most anticipated movies.

(by the way, if you are planning on going, buy your tickets as they are selling out fast!)

The Dead 2: India

Opening Frightfest this year, The Dead 2: India is the sequel to the Ford Brother’s critically acclaimed and award-winning The Dead which saw its premiere at Frightfest back in 2010. The sequel sees British turbine engineer Nicholas Burton trek from one side of the country to the other in order to see his pregnant girlfriend Ishani, all the while avoiding the undead who have taken over the country.

The first movie was a really great example of what is becoming a fairly tired genre. With so many zombie movies flooding cinemas and the bottom shelf of Asda’s DVD section, The Dead 2: India looks to further highlight how good the subgenre can be when not abused by lazy filmmakers. Based on the trailer, the movie looks gorgeous with some great action, a gripping story and stunning practical effects and make-up. Definitely one to check out.


Curse of Chucky

After a fairly long hiatus, the former Charles Lee Ray is back in Don Mancini’s Curse of Chucky. The Child’s Play series took a more tongue in cheek attitude in Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky after the poor performance of Child’s Play 3 (not to mention the negative connotations the film got from the Jamie Bulger case here in the UK) so it will be interesting to see Chucky go back to his horror routes.

Granted it should be noted that Tom Holland has said in interviews that he directed Child’s Play as a comedy…
Mancini has always been the father figure of the Child’s Play franchise having worked on every entry up until this point so it will be interesting to see how he fares as a horror director after the poor Seed of Chucky. Plus, it’s nice to see a horror franchise from the 80s get a sequel rather than a remake…


You’re Next

A lot of people have been talking about You’re Next for a long time. Our friends over at Haddonfield Horror have been raving about it and now, 2 years after its initial release, we’re going to see Adam Wingard’s home invasion horror.

Our own Ed Doyle has already seen the movie (the review will be published on the 21st August) which actually downplays some of the hype the film has received:

“In this game of two halves, the audience is expected to – as is par for the course with most horrors – simultaneously cower with the family and side with their killers, only to then unexpectedly grant encouragement to the individual who ensures no bad bodies are left standing. What results is a disarray of identification; a strewn mess of guts belonging to anonymous corpses and a confused sense that something either hysterical or downright discomforting has transpired.”


The trailer certainly looks blood soaked and packed full of tension and we are excited for the movie, but there is that certain ‘over hyped’ mentality that hangs over the movie.


Hatchet III

Adam Green has become a legend among the slasher community for his “no CGI” rule in the creation of his modern day slasher franchise Hatchet, and this third instalment looks to be the bloodiest of the lot. Fan favourites Danielle Harris (of Halloween 4 & 5) and Kane Hodder (the most prolific Jason Voorhees) are back as an entire police department, paramedic response team and heavily armed SWAT unit face off with slaughter power house Victor Crowley.

Expect blood, gore and testicles hanging from trees.


V/H/S 2

I think it’s fair to say we weren’t big fans of the first V/H/S here at Flickering Myth. Back in my review, I called it a, “horrendous movie” and stated that I would “be amazed if [there are] 10 films worse than this in 2013.”

However, the trailer for V/H/S 2 (formally known as S-V/H/S) does admittedly look a lot better and early reviews from its US release have been very positive. We’re cautiously optimistic about this one, but the stench of the first movie is hanging over this much like the ‘over hype’ of You’re Next. Like the zombie subgenre, found footage has become quite tiresome and almost dated, but the talent behind the movie (including Adam Wingward and Gareth Huw Edwards) could be the its golden ticket to success.


100 Bloody Acres
Horror comedy seems like it would be a simple thing to pull off (we’ll come on to that in a bit), but with so many failing and falling short, the trailer for 100 Bloody Acres suggests that they’ve cracked the code. Seemingly taking insiration from the 1980 cult classic Motel Hell, the movie tells the story of two brothers who kidnap people from the side of the road and then harvest their blood and bones for fertilizer to sell on. As they say in their own words, they’re not sick, they’re a small business.
The trailer features several laugh out loud moments and our lead character Reg Morgan looks very likeable as a man torn between his business and lust. There might be more misses than hits in the comedy horror world, but 100 Bloody Acres could be a surefire hit.


Frankenstein’s Army

Zombie movies are nothing new. War movies are nothing new. In fact, zombies in war movies are nothing new. But there’s something about Frankenstein’s Army that feels fresh and original.

Hailed to become an instant cult classic, Frankenstein’s Army sees a group of Russian soldiers stumble upon a mad scientists laboratory during the last days of World War II and discover an army of fallen soldiers whose body parts have been stitched together to create a new breed of super soldier. The film looks to be shot like Hostel with a cyberpunk Universal Horror Classic/Hammer Horror vibe. Much like The Dead 2: India (and Stalled when we come to it), Frankenstein’s Army looks to be a zombie movie actually worth paying money for.


No One Lives

Midnight Meat Train
director Ryuhei Kitamura is one of the craziest directors working today. Anyone who has seen Versus or Godzilla: Final Wars will know the kind of crazy visuals this man can produce and No One Lives looks to be no different. To sum up the movie in a sentance, it’s a psycho taking on a group of psychos in the ultimate cat and mouse game. This looks like it could be a lot of fun.

The film also features WWE’s dancing fat guy Brodus Clay playing a bad ass. Probably worth the money for that alone.


In Fear


We covered this movie at this year’s Sundance London and proclaimed it down as one of the best movies shown at the featival. Shot in only a couple of weeks, In Fear doesn’t have a script and the actors were told what would happen in each scene just before they shot it. This creates an amazing amount of tension as no one (yourself included) has any idea what is going to happen next.
From a personal standpoint, I cannot recommend seeing this one highly enough.


Stalled


The movie so popular at this year’s FrightFest that it’s had to have several screenings added – and even those are selling out fast!

Shaun of the Dead meets Phone Booth in this one location, one character zombie invasion movie. We don’t want to rave about it too much here, just watch the trailer and you’ll want to see it. Like 100 Bloody Acres, it looks to have cracked the horror comedy code and like The Dead 2: India and Frankenstein’s Army, it could be a decent zombie movie too.



The American Scream

Like many, we were very impressed with Michael Stephenson’s Best Worst Movie and his latest documentary The American Scream looks to be just as good.

With a slight hint of a Louis Theroux vibe, Stephenson delves into a small neighbourhood in which three men take Halloween really seriously. Really seriously. They spend their entire years building up to this one night of where all their hard work can pay off and Stephenson documents every facet of that.

It’s an fascinating subject matter and the people he interviews look interesting enough, but the question is – is there enough to warrant a feature length documentary?


Cheap Thrills

Just how far will you go to make some money?

Cheap Thrills is the feature debut of E.L. Katz and tells the story of down on his luck Craig, a man who has lost is job and is about to lose his home until he and his friend meet a wealthy couple who give them dares to do in order to make money – each one getting more and more violent. Based on the trailer, Cheap Thrills looks like a cross between 13: Games of Death and an episode of a Tales From The Crypt from season two called Cutting Cards.

Either way, this could be one of the sleeper hits of the festival. It might be on late at night, but it definetly looks worth checking out.

Those of course are just some of the movies playing at FrightFest this year. We’d also recommend R.I.P.D, Odd Thomas, For Elisa, Contracted and Big Bad Wolves.

For more information on this year’s FrightFest, visit their website. And remember, Flickering Myth will be covering all the movies above and a few more so keep your eye on the site over the next week or so.

Luke Owen is one of Flickering Myth’s co-editors and the host of Flickering Myth’s Podcast Network. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.

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