As all SCREAM readers no doubt already know, August is a big bloody and beautiful month for the Horror industry as one of Europe’s biggest festivals, FrightFest opens its doors for the 15th time to dish out gore from around the world to its discerning fans. This time with a brand new cinema venue VUE in Leicester Square, the increase in screens means even more horror if that’s possible. Think you can take it? Then let the heads rock n roll!
I for one am super excited this year! I’ve been reporting from FrightFest for Horror channel since 2007 and even before then had films Cradle of Fear and Evil Aliens premiere there so I’ve always had a strong and special relationship with the festival. A bond that is about to cut even deeper now as 2014 is the first year I actually have a film that I produced, wrote and co-starred in, getting its World Premiere and I am one proud bunny! SELKIE is my first short film which my brother Simon Booth directed and it’s a real departure from my usual splatter – I know some of you will like it, some of you won’t. It’s a folklore Horror set in times gone by that really is my love letter to Hastings and female creature mythology! Selkie is part of the short film showcase on Saturday 23rd August and I will SO be there! Hope to see some of you there too – come and say hello. Right – with my cheeky bit of self promotion over with – on with the superb highlights this month on Horror Channel.
First up to celebrate FrightFest Horror Channel kindly asked me to curate my own season of movies that were previous hits at FrightFest, films that I also introduce to get you in the mood for innovative horror!
EMILY’S FESTIVAL FRIGHTS SEASON – 18th to 24th August, 22:50
First up comes Dread a brilliantly nasty little horror adapted from a Clive Barker story. (Can’t go wrong with a bit of Barker) Starring Jackson Rathbone pre Twilight of course, three students decide to make a documentary on human fears and how to face them, but things get way out of hand. Not to be missed. Mon 18 August @ 22:50 DREAD (2009)
The following evening I choose slow burner The House of the Devil from indie director Ti West. Set in the 80’s this is effectively a superb period horror paying homage to the decade. Student Samantha needs cash fast and so takes an unusual babysitting job in a creepy mansion. Only she’s not there to babysit! If you fancy a change of pace from high octane action horrors – this atmosphere heavy piece is for you. Tues 19 August @ 22:50 THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (2009)
Wednesday night sees the big crowd pleaser from Norway take centre stage; it is of course Dead Snow. A massive festival hit and with an ever increasing fan base this is a fun, gore to the floor piece where the directors clearly know how to make a good horror! Fans will be very excited by the film’s sequel getting its premiere this year at FrightFest! Wed 20 August @ 22:50 DEAD SNOW (2009)
The following night comes Midnight Son. I chose this because it really is a breathe of fresh air with not a hint of garlic as this Vampire movie takes the somewhat teeny clichéd genre to a deeper intelligent level. A touching film about a modern day vampire and his fight for love and normality. Beautifully filmed I really recommend it, even if it does sound like Twilight! It Ain’t! Thurs 21 August @ 22:50 MIDNIGHT SON (2011)
I thought Friday night calls for a more fun, ‘mates and beers’ horror so chose the ground breaking career changing debut from Eli Roth – Cabin Fever. This is almost your typical teen slasher in the woods flick except there is no axe wielding psycho, here the killer is a microscopic flesh eating bug. This WILL get under your skin! Fri 22 August @ 22:50 CABIN FEVER (2002)
Saturday night sees a UK TV premiere with The Victim a directorial debut from cult actor Michael Biehn (Terminator, Alien) also starring his missus. An ode to sleazy 70s grindhouse exploitation, Annie’s best friend Mary is brutally raped and killed in the woods by high-ranking crooked cops, stripper Annie now finds her own life in jeopardy. Sat 23 August @ 22:50 – THE VICTIM (2011) UK TV Premiere
As Emily’s Festival Frights draws to a close on Sunday night I had to choose one of my favourite strange horror films for the climax – Pan’s Labyrinth. This is a ground breaking horror from Guillermo Del Torro, truly unique and hard to place. Child-like, haunting, magical, mythical, devastating, tragic and political! You know the plot and if you don’t, you need this film in your life! Sun 24 August @ 22:50 PAN’S LABYRINTH (2006)
August is already one busy month but hell we got even more to throw at you with three, yes three Saturday night UK TV premieres! How many other channels squeeze that much blood out eh?!
First up comes a true story from the producer of Monster clearly following similar themes of getting inside the mind of the notorious serial killer. This time it’s gay psycho, John Wayne Gacy. Based on the book The Last Victim, college student Jason Moss takes it upon himself to become Gacy’s new BFF in order to manipulate a confession out of him for a college project. Big mistake. A dark unsettling game of cat and mouse ensues as both men become entangled in each others psychology. Sat 9 August @ 22:55 DEAR MR. GACY (2010) – *UK TV premiere
Next up is a truly visual feast that fans of Italian Giallo and Dario Argento will simply salivate over. The UK TV premiere of AMER from Co-directors Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani. Virtually dialogue free comes a film high on super styling, sensational scoring and black gloved murdering! A woman’s life in three parts – all of them sexual and sensual. Its hard to pin point a story, its simply exquisite hypnotic and a must see. Its also one of FrightFest organiser Alan Jones’ fave movies! Sat 16 August @ 22:50 –AMER (2009) – *UK TV Premiere
The last Saturday of the month sees Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer. A brutal horror yarn inspired by actual events. Shortly after learning that more than 200 college students have gone missing in a rural area of the American Midwest, Maria Sanchez (Danielle Harris) receives a call from a man (Lance Henriksen) claiming to personally know the killer. As the stranger speaks of irrepressible bloodlust, the terrifying story of Cyrus (Brian Krause) slowly comes into focus. Sat 30 August @ 22:55 CYRUS: MIND OF A SERIAL KILLER UK TV Premiere
Ok you’ve no excuse – your bloodlust this August should be well and truly sated. Hope to see you at FrightFest!!!