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Frightfest 2023 Poster Art Main



Written by Ryan Holloway

Once again Leicester square is wonderfully awash with thousands of excited horror fans showering the area with black t-shirts that have truly withstood the test of time. Four screens, 22 films and a whole bunch of talent who have gleefully visited the sanctuary of Cineworld. In attendance was the legendary Monique Parent (That’s a Wrap) and Jenna Kanell (Faceless After Dark) who were real fan favourites tonight.

It’s been a day so let’s delve a little deeper into the darkness…

On the main screen we started with It Lives Inside, a playful little film from first-time director Bishal Dutta and starring Megan Suri as Samidha, a young teenager who is torn between her life in an American school and her homelife as part of a family who moved from India. When she smashes her friends jar containing a demon (oh no), she must face the evil or see her friends die in its wake.

Up next was the world premiere of Creeping Death, the first of two films starring Monique Parent. It’s a step down from the previous film but has fun with its story about a broken pact between humans and an otherworldly creature who stalks a bunch of teenagers who are just trying to have some fun on Halloween for Christ's sake!

it lives inside poster 01 creeping death poster 01 new life poster 01

Getting its European premiere, Where the Devil Roams — from The Adams Family — is a film about travelling sideshow performers who go on a macabre journey though the harsh depression era of America. It’s dark and eerie and unusual, a bit like a 90s music video from The Smashing Pumpkins but with more death and mayhem. New Life, from director John Rosman, got its European premiere and it’s a thrilling film starring Sonya Walger (Lost) as Elsa, a ‘fixer’ suffering from ASL who is charged with tracking down a girl on the run who is asymptomatic from a deadly virus that is killing everyone she meets. Bloody viruses these days eh?

Faceless After Dark, getting its world premiere and starring Jenna Kanell, has been described as a candy coloured queercore feminist revenge shocker. Well, it didn’t disappoint, it’s a great opportunity for Kanell to show her full range as she plays Bowie, an actress who, after starring in a clown based slasher movie, has failed to build any momentum after its success. The film starts out as a home invasion story but quickly goes down an even darker path, and it’s glorious.

The final film of the day, That’s a Wrap, stars Monique Parent who was available to do a quick intro before the film which was a delight as she oozes charm. The film is an homage to slasher films and has a lot of fun. The cast of the film ‘That’s a Wrap’ are invited to an exclusive wrap party and are slowly picked off one by one by someone dressed as the film’s killer – Mistress. Was that too many ‘wraps’? The word doesn’t look right now.

thats a wrap poster 01 a million days poster 01 trim season poster 01

There was plenty going on too on the other screens. Over on Discovery one, we started with A Million Days from director Mitch Jenkins. Getting its world premiere, this sci-fi actioner stars Simon Merrells and tells the story of an ecologically collapsing earth in 2041 and a mission to try to settle humans on other planets. Presumably so we can ruin those too..

Trim Season is inspired by the true story of missing women from Humboldt County, California. A group of kids travel to a remote marijuana farm in the hope of making some money but things don’t quite go to plan…obviously!! How to Kill got its World Premiere, a pretty cool story about a whole police station getting transported to a land of monsters and trying to get home. They had me at monsters!

Hammer Films return with Doctor Jekyll starring Eddie Izzard in the title role. This one is sure to get some attention pretty soon but Frightfest fans were lucky enough to see the film for its world premiere. One to look out for.

Closing Discovery One was Here For Blood from director Daniel Turres. A pro wrestler is forced into babysitting a 10 year old when his girlfriend gets caught up in college exams but uh-oh, demons show up, obviously, and blood and guts are soon flying. Sounds like it was written by A.I. but no…it’s real.

j horror virus poster 01 what you wish for poster 01 poundcake poster 01

Discovery Two kicked off with the fascinating documentary The J-Horror Virus, a great deep dive into how films such as Ringu and The Grudge became iconic the world over. Black Mold, from director John Pata and starring Agnes Albright is an hallucinogenic piece about a photographer visiting abandoned places for the rush. It soon goes wrong as a threat emerges. Terminator 3’s Nick Stahl shows up in What You Wish For. It’s edgy, it’s Noir-y and has a lot to say about our political and environmental landscape..yippee, escapism.

If you like serial killers and you like them making statements by only killing straight white men, and why wouldn’t you? Poundcake is for you! Inspired by 80s slashers (the best ones then) this one has some fun! Closing Discovery Two is Werewolf Santa, a social drama about the ramifications of.. ha, only kidding, it’s about Santa becoming a frickin werewolf. That’s all we’re gonna say about that!

the weird kidz poster 01 the ghost station poster 01 the knocking poster 01

Discovery Screen Three then!

Eight Eyes from director Austin Jennings, who produced The Last Drive-in with Joe Briggs for Shudder, is a trippy film about a man who crashes a couples holiday in the former Yugoslavia. It’s not a film about 8 eyeballs going on a killing spree..which also sounds good. Look it’s late ok! The Weird Kidz is a kind of messed up Goonies. Director Zach Passero offers us a funny, coming of age animated horror and boy does that sound good right?!

The Knocking got its UK premiere. After the murder of their parents, estranged siblings Mikko, Maria and Matilda are left handling their childhood home after their parents are allegedly murdered. The house of course is surrounded by forest and somethings lurking out there. Throw some childhood trauma in there and we really have a horror on our hands.

Finally we have The Ghost Station a film born from the highly acclaimed webtoon. A shocking incident is witnessed at the station which sparks an investigation into the stations strange events. The perfect film to end on as we all head to train stations slightly blurry eyed!

It was a great day and we’ll keep you informed on the rest of the festival right here!

Until tomorrow then.

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About The Author
Ryan Holloway
Author: Ryan HollowayWebsite: https://www.ryanholloway.net/
Staff Writer
As far back as he can remember Ryan has always had an obsession with films, and horror in particular. 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and ‘Alien’ were the first films that really stuck in the psyche and rather than scarring his tiny mind and running up a huge therapy bill, those films created a fascination with the dark side of life and art. Brought up by Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers (not literally), horror will always fascinate him no matter how absurd, dark, twisted, barmy or just plain wrong. Horror DNA gives him the opportunity, and excuse, to legitimise his macabre tastes and watch whatever strangeness comes his way.
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