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Frightfest 2023 Poster Art Main



Written by Ryan Holloway

Saturday, there’s still plenty of gas in the tank so let’s Dive in. We’ve got creepy wall ghosts, zombies, eerie space bricks, the afterlife and plenty of blood! We’ll start in the main screen where we kicked off with Monolith starring the incredible Lily Sullivan- expect big things from her. A disgraced journalist takes a job at a conspiracy podcast where she uncovers a mystery surrounding strange objects that people have been reporting for years to no reaction. It’s a strong start to the day, one to look out for.

Cobweb, from Lionsgate is a far more glossy affair. Getting its International Premiere, the film stars Lizzy Caplan and Anthony Starr and surrounds their son Peter who hears a voice in the wall. He soon discovers his parents are hiding a very deadly secret. Creepy kid drawings, dark basements and that long-haired girl glitchy walking that Ring started and just won’t go away.

Director Quarxx, gives us Pandemonium, a French film and an anthology of sorts, that delves into literal hell and gives us a glimpse of just what the afterlife could look like. It’s a stunning film and also quite heartbreaking. Expect the unexpected.

monolith poster 01 cobweb poster 01 herd poster large 01

Herd gets its world premiere on the main screen. Directed by Steven Pierce and starring Ellen Adair it’s essentially a zombie film very much in The Walking Dead mould where humans are the real problem. It does serve up some fresh, or should that be rotten(?) ideas though. One to see.

The penultimate film on the main screen is Farang. Lots of good kills make this a splendid gore-fest. It’s kind of Commando meets The Raid, a relentless tale about an escaped convict from France who rebuilds his life in East Thailand, but when his past catches up with him and his family is attacked he goes on a full on revenge mission. Lots of fun.

Shuffling over to Discovery Screen One, we start on familiar ground with the 10th anniversary screening of James Wan’s The Conjuring. It’s still fantastic, and easy to see why it successfully spawned a new horror franchise.

The Moor directed by Chris Cronin is an effective story about a man who seeks the truth about his sons disappearance but finds more than he bargained for on a haunted Moor. Hence the title.

Isaac from director Tariq Sayed is a little more out there. A couple who lost their son enrol in a clinical trial by a cellular meat company (yum) who use their tech to create GM babies (not yum). Next up, found footage alert, we have The Glenarma Tapes. Pieced together from a police operation, it becomes clear that a deep in the Glenarma forest, a prank gone wrong became a fight for survival. Don’t you hate that?

pandemonium poster 01 the conjuring poster 01 isaac poster 01

Haunted Ulster Live ends Discovery Screen One’s evening. Director Dominic O’Neill offers up a ‘Ghostwatch’ inspired poltergeist hunt in a haunted house in Belfast. That’s got to get you interested surely!

Discovery Screen 3 now, starting with River, from Junta Yamaguchi. Described as a quirky fantasy, the film revolves, literally, around the guests of a hotel stuck in a two-minute time loop. A phenomenon we’ll all be feeling by day three. SpookT (the spelling of which makes me feel itchy) gets its world premiere. Director Tony Reames delivers a very cool tale about paranormal investigators looking into the disappearance of little girl.

Next up is something that we’re all a little curious about. New Frightfest sponsors Pigeon Shrine hold a live podcast about AI entertainment. It was a fascinating debate but you got the sense most people turned up to find out who Pigeon Shrine actually were. They make AI films… it’s a little cold.

Sean Hogan’s To Fire You Come at Last got its European Premiere. Refreshingly short (90mins is practically a short film these days) the film is a very creepy story about a man asking fellow towns folk to help carry his dead son's coffin on a long walk to the local graveyard. Thorns, a world premiere is about a thorned monster, there’s also a plot about a priest discovering his lost faith to stop it. Thorny stuff.

Closing the screens fun was Triggered, it’s not a GenZ movie as you might think but a film about a special forces operative with PTSD. It’s an action film where sadly the only demons are inner ones. Boo.

spookt poster 01 minore poster 01 thorns poster 01

Over on Discovery Screen Three, after a closed caption screening of Cobweb, we had the world premiere of Hostile Dimensions, starring and directed by Scottish filmmaker Graham Hughes. It’s delightfully bizarre, and follows a couple of documentary filmmakers who travel across different dimensions seeking the truth behind the disappearance of a graffiti artist.

Minore is a fun little monster film about an unlikely group consisting of a bunch of criminals, a bodybuilder and a band who fight off creatures from their idyllic Greek seaside who appear in a strange mist.

The UK premiere of 1982: The Greatest Geek Year Ever played us out. Director Roger Lay Jr takes a lot of us on a nostalgic joyride to the year that gave us John Carpenter's The Thing, Bladerunner, E.T., Tron, Poltergeist and more. What a year in film to be alive for!

The Saturday was a lot stronger than Friday with more buzzy films and an energy that you just don’t expect from us lot. There were actors dressed as zombies roaming the cinema in celebration of the film Herd. They blended in too much though, hardly got noticed among this this crowd!

Bring on Sunday!

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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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