The endless growth of Frightfest can be frustrating: sure the more prestigious the festival gets, the more exclusive the line-up becomes but it also means more and more people will be vying for tickets.
What can escape a lot of people’s attention however is the availability of the Discovery Screen: a smaller space dedicated to highlighting some of the smaller but highly interesting genre films out there. Those who will be sticking their heads into the Discovery screen this year will find themselves confronted by some true gems and to help you discover these gems we’ve put together a brief guide with the best of the fest.
So without further ado here’s our guide to little screen that could:
A Horrible Way To Die
A beautiful slow-burner of a film, Adam Wingard’s meticulously constructed exercise in character and mood plays like the distant causing of the type of Independent films favoured at Sundance.
Focusing on two seemingly disparate storyline, Wingard tells the story Sarah, a recovering alcoholic, who also has some fairly disturbing skeletons in the cupboard and Garrick Turrell, a serial killer who has just escaped confinement and is travelling towards something or someone.
It’s fairly clear that these two stories are set to clash but how they do clash is only one of the many intriguing details in this well-observed film. Guaranteed to remain with you long after the credits rolls ‘ A horrible way to die’ heralds the arrival of a true original.
Blood Runs Cold
First impressions can be misleading: first look at this slasher from Sweden can fool anyone into thinking that this is just another run-of-the-mill genre entry.
And to some extent such judgement would not be too far of the mark: dodgy acting and a less than stellar script mar this little gem badly in the first act. The setup of the film offers nothing original with Winona returning to her hometown and running into her ex-boyfriend Richard. Along with Richard’s friend Carl and his girlfriend Liz, the foursome make their way to the creepy old house Kate is renting whilst she’s in town. However as the night draws on, a strange song is heard on the radio and something malignant watches them all.
However once the killings start, nothing can stand in the way of the impressive stunts, the innovative kills and the truly frightening and impressive stalker in what can only be described as a micro-budge gem. I can’t think of any better way to spend a lazy afternoon!
The Man Who Saw Frankenstein Cry
Although Paul Naschy might be relatively unknown in UK, he is a true legend, the man who brought us the Daninsky legacy, the Spanish mummy and some timely critique of Spanish Fascism; and in this wonderful documentary genre audiences can find out exactly what made him so great.
Covering the entire length of his life and career and featuring interviews with not only his colleagues but also his family and famous admirers; ‘The Man Who Saw Frankenstein Cry’ is hands-down one of the best horror documentaries of the last 30 years. Guaranteed to leave you with a lump in your throat and utterly unmissable.
A brother and sister run away from home to find sanctuary in a nature reserve only for the sister to end up into the trap of a deranged killer – sounds simple right?
Now consider the film is from Israel and acts as a social commentary, too – welcome to the twisted world of ‘Rabies’.
Trying to film Israel’s first slasher film might seem like a fool’s errand at first but when the result is as unique and distinct as ‘Rabies’ even the harshest critics will have to fall in line.
Mixing as many sub genres of horror as you can imagine and touching on wildly subversive hot topics, ‘rabies’ is further proof that there is always something more to be said in something as staid as the traditional slasher film.
If you enjoyed ‘Martin’ or ‘The Hunger’ then ‘The Midnight Son’s a no brainer – Scott Leberecht’s updated vampire story is a stylish and unusual commentary and what might be the horror genre’s most standard character. Mixing the staples of indie cinema with vampiric myths the director creates a unique approach that will please even the most jaded viewer.
The Devil’s Business
So we did not get a chance to view The Devil’s Business before the festival – but it remains one of the most exciting titles on our list. Sean Hogan’s Pinter inspired tale of two hit man waiting for their target is bound to intrigue and dazzle in equal measure – so try and not miss the chance to experience it at the Festival!