Arrow Video FrightFest, the United Kingdom’s biggest horror and fantasy film festival, celebrates its 21st year by getting physical and returning to Cineworld Leicester Square in London. The fest has announced that it has scheduled a mind-blowing 34 new feature films, including 7 world premieres. Following is the fest’s official press release and lineup.
Following the cancellation of the traditional 5-day August event, Arrow Video FrightFest is back at the Cineworld Leicester Square from October 22 – 25, 2020, with a packed programme of thirty-four new features, presented over three screens. Embracing ten countries and spanning four continents, the nation’s favourite fear-a-thon includes seven World, two International / European and twenty-four UK Premieres.
Tickets will go on sale Monday, September 21.
As previously announced, the opening night attraction is the UK premiere of TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA, one of the most hotly anticipated action fantasy happenings of the year, and closing the festival is the World Premiere of HELD, described as “Parasite and Get Out meets The Stepford Wives”, from The Gallows franchise directors Chris Lofting and Travis Cluff.
British directors feature prominently: Neil Marshall joins us, alongside co-writer and star, Charlotte Kirk, with the UK Premiere of his plague-driven tour-de-force THE RECKONING, as does Chris Smith with the UK Premiere of his pre-World War II haunted house horror THE BANISHING. Also returning is Marc Price, who caused a media sensation with his Zombie horror Colin, made for £50. He’s back with the World Premiere of the slightly more expensive space survival thriller DUNE DRIFTER. A home-grown survival thriller with a more malicious bent is Adam Leader and Richard Oakes’ possession pandemic debut feature HOSTS, which enjoys a World Premiere, as does Will Jewell’s CONCRETE PLANS, in which five builders spiral out of control.
There are also extraordinary British debuts from director Gavin Rothery with his gripping futuristic thriller ARCHIVE and Damian McCarthy with CAVEAT, a terrifying journey through madness and memory loss. Both directors will be attending for their UK Premieres.
Then there is the popular ‘First Blood’ strand, sponsored by Horror Channel, which continues to unearth home-grown talent in spectacular fashion. There are four further entries this year with the World Premieres of Danielle Kummer and Lucy Harvey’s wonderfully infectious ALIEN ON STAGE, Leroy Kincaide’s paranormal chiller THE LAST RITE (based on real-life experiences) and David Ryan’s blood-soaked REDWOOD MASSACRE: ANNIHILATION, starring Danielle Harris. Last but not least is the UK Premiere of Karl Holt’s BENNY LOVES YOU, where Chucky meets Fatal Attraction!
FrightFest will also be physically screening RELIC, by first time writer/director Natalie Erika, who has crafted an unforgettable new spin on the haunted-house movie – a theme that, laced with isolated and murderous desperation, runs through Bryan Bertino’s harrowing THE DARK AND THE WICKED, LET’S SCARE JULIE, which is cleverly filmed in one uninterrupted continuous take, and HONEYDEW, in which a young couple seek refuge in a house belonging to an unforgettable new geriatric horror villain. Home is also certainly not where the heart is in Julius Berg’s THE OWNERS, in which the seventh ‘Doctor Who’ Sylvester McCoy and Swinging Sixties icon Rita Tushingham take on Maisie Williams and her invading gang, and home invasion is taken to new gory heights in Canadian entry FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS, an eye-grazing splatter rollercoaster ride.
There is a different kind of murderous ride with the UK Premiere of TAILGATE, a Dutch Duel with a ferocious bite, and the action continues with the UK Premiere of SKYLIN3S, the thrilling third entry in the epic sci-fi Skyline franchise, once again written and directed by co-creator Liam O’Donnell. Another successful franchise is The Final Destination and its creator, Jeffrey Reddick, gives us DON’T LOOK BACK, a new take on supernatural karma and its horrific consequences. And wanting to be someone else can have murderous consequences, as presented in Jill Gevargizian’s portrait of a female serial killer, THE STYLIST, a stunning debut feature based on her 2016 short, starring Brea Grant and Najarra Townsend.
Comedy horror, thankfully, is in rude health, and FrightFest has its finger on the genre funny-bone. So get ready for the UK Premiere of SLAXX, the tightest fitting bloodbath in history as a pair of vengeful jeans goes on the rampage. Other laugh-out-loud entries are New Zealand’s supernatural buddy murder mystery DEAD and Andrew Thomas Hurt’s crazy action body horror SPARE PARTS.
Completing the line-up is Takeshi Kushida’s captivating and visually mesmerizing WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS, Courtney Paige’s THE SINNERS, an occult take on the Seven Deadly Sins, John Berardo’s twisty teen slasher INITIATION, Teddy Grennan’s gritty survivalist thriller RAVAGE, with Bruce Dern in menacing form, Aaron B Koontz’s bloodthirsty hybrid Western horror THE PALE DOOR, Thomas Robert Lee’s dark, coming-of-age shocker BLOOD HARVEST (US Title: The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw), Adrian Langley’s brutally served dish BUTCHERS and, from the producer of It Follows, BROIL, a fairytale about a family with a monstrous secret.
Three shorts have been added to the monstrous menu: Italian director Federico Zampaglione’s BIANCA: PHASE 1 and BIANCA: PHASE 2 – a double-bill of creepy family stories set in Rome under lockdown, which Zampaglione shot single-handedly on his iPhone and LITTLE WILLY, Andrew Bowser’s dark comedy about a failed actor’s distorted relationship with the puppet he found fame with.
FrightFest co-director Alan Jones said: “Thrilled as we were that our virtual event in August was so well received, applauded and reviewed, nothing beats the real FrightFest deal and our globally envied community interaction. So we have extended our usual one-day Halloween celebration to an action-packed four-day get-together in order to put our mutually inclusive world back on track and fill that missing summer gap”.
The full guest line-up will be revealed in due course.
For detailed information on the line-up, ticketing details & event guidelines, visit https://frightfest.co.uk/tickets.html.
Look out for news of the FrightFest Halloween Digital edition coming soon.
Arrow Video FrightFest October 2020 takes place at the Cineworld Leicester Sq. between Thurs Oct 22 & Sun Oct 25.
We’d like to thank our two main sponsors: Arrow Video, Horror Channel and Zavvi.
CINEWORLD LEICESTER SQUARE
ARROW VIDEO SCREEN
THURSDAY 22 OCTOBER
18:00 TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA (UK Premiere)
Director: Yeon Sang-ho. With: Gang Dong-won, Lee Jung-hyun, Lee Re, Kwon Hae-hyo. South Korea 2020. 116 mins.
Four years after South Korea’s total decimation in TRAIN TO BUSAN, the zombie outbreak thriller that captivated audiences worldwide, acclaimed director Yeon Sang-ho brings us PENINSULA, the next nail-biting chapter in his post-apocalyptic world. Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won), a soldier who previously escaped the diseased wasteland, relives the horror when assigned to a covert operation on the quarantined peninsula with two simple objectives: retrieve and survive. When his team unexpectedly stumbles upon survivors, their lives will depend on whether the best – or worst – of human nature prevails in the direst of circumstances.
21:15 HONEYDEW (UK Premiere)
Director: Devereux Milburn. With: Sawyer Spielberg, Malin Barr, Barbara Kingsley, Stephen D’Ambrose. USA 2020. 106 mins.
It’s been a rough night for Sam and Riley taking a backwoods road trip. First, they’re kicked off a campsite; then, their car breaks down. Looking for help, the couple ring the doorbell of an isolated house owned by Karen, a peculiar older woman who lives with her even stranger son, Gunni. Waiting for someone to arrive to fix their ride, Karen offers them something to eat. And that’s when Sam and Riley’s night shifts from exasperating to a whole new screaming nightmare. A feverish blend of twisted violence and macabre humor introducing an unforgettable new geriatric horror villain.
FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER
12:00 DON’T LOOK BACK (European Premiere)
Director: Jeffrey Reddick. With: Kourtney Bell, Will Stout, Skyler Hart, Jeffrey Holm. USA 2020. 90 mins.
From Jeffrey Reddick, creator of the FINAL DESTINATION franchise, a thrilling new take on supernatural karma and its horrific consequences. Caitlin Kramer is a young woman trying to overcome her traumatic past. Walking through the park one day she sees a man brutally assaulted. But, instead of becoming a Good Samaritan, like her, no one intervenes to stop the attack. Instead they all start filming the shocking event with their smart phones, recording every bloody detail. Soon the uncaring witnesses find themselves targeted by someone – or something – out for revenge. Can Caitlin avoid her inevitable fate?
15:00 THE PALE DOOR (UK Premiere)
Director: Aaron B. Koontz. With: Melora Walters, Natasha Bassett, Zachary Knighton, Noah Segan. USA 2020. 96 mins.
The legendary Dalton Gang battles a coven of bloodthirsty witches in a hybrid Western horror with gunfights and gore. After gang leader Duncan reluctantly recruits his straight-arrow younger brother Jake to participate in their next great train robbery he’s seriously wounded when the heist goes sideways. Finding shelter in a seemingly uninhabited ghost town, Jake seeks help for their wounded leader and is surprised to stumble upon a welcoming brothel in the town’s square. But the beautiful women who greet them are actually a coven of witches with very sinister plans for the unsuspecting outlaws, especially the virgin among them.
18:00 THE OWNERS (UK Premiere)
Director: Julius Berg. With: Maisie Williams, Sylvester McCoy, Rita Tushingham, Jake Curran. UK 2020. 91 mins
The seventh ‘Doctor Who’, Sylvester McCoy, and Swinging Sixties icon Rita Tushingham take on Maisie Williams (Arya Stark in ‘Game of Thrones’) in the Home Invasion horror adapted from the graphic novel ‘Une Nuit de Pleine Lune’ from legendary creators Hermann and Yves H. One night in 1990s rural England, a retired couple finds their isolated house besieged by a gang of young criminals. The thieves think it will be easy to make them give up the secret of their safe. But they have no idea what nightmare they’ve gotten themselves into as they fight to escape the house alive.
21:00 THE RECKONING (UK Premiere)
Director: Neil Marshall. With: Joe Anderson, Charlotte Kirk, Sean Pertwee, Steven Waddington. UK 2020. 110 mins.
England. 1665. The great plague has caused a frenzy of fear, distrust and death. Desperate and terrified, the population turns to superstition, the Catholic Church taking cruel advantage of the grim witch-hunting opportunities presented. Recently widowed Grace Haverstock is at her wit’s end when her landlord attempts to force her into paying debts with sexual favours. Her refusal means she must face horrific interrogations at the hands of Britain’s most ruthless Witchfinder General. But she is not alone. And her journey won’t end here. Not without a reckoning. From Neil Marshall, director of THE DESCENT, DOG SOLDIERS, DOOMSDAY and CENTURION.
SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER
10:00 BROIL (UK Premiere)
Director: Edward Drake. With: Johnathan Lipnicki, Avery Konrad, Timothy V. Murphy, Annette Reilly. Canada 2020. 90 mins.
From the producer of IT FOLLOWS, a fairytale about a family with a monstrous secret. Bored Chance Sinclair is sentenced to live with her draconian grandfather, August, after a violent incident at school. Locked inside the sprawling Sinclair Estate, Chance begins to question the source of her family’s immense wealth and power. When her scheming mother hires a troubled chef to poison August, the family’s monstrous secrets are revealed over one bloody night. Every soul is up for grabs as a Games Night gets underway and Chance learns that being a part of this family is a blood-in, blood-out proposition.
12:40 FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS (UK Premiere)
Directors: Gabriel Carrer & Reese Eveneshen. With: Lora Burke, Colin Paradine, Nick Smyth, James Fler. Canada 2020. 81 mins.
It’s Halloween night and nurse Romina just wants to relax after a hard day. Suddenly all hell breaks loose when desperate Chris breaks in demanding angry justice for a wrongdoing from the past. The crazed intruder is owed a debt of blood and wants a mystery confession from his hostage. Then, just as suddenly, a band of masked mercenaries invade the house causing even more mayhem. New alliances will be tested as the occupants struggle to survive a night marked by death. Loaded with guts and gore, here’s the eye-grazing splatter rollercoaster head-on-collision to leave you begging for more.
15:15 BLOOD HARVEST (UK Premiere)
Director: Thomas Robert Lee. With: Catherine Walker, Hannah Emily Anderson, Jared Abrahamson, Don McKellar. Canada 2020. 93 mins.
Folklore horror brimming with unsettling atmosphere and haunting imagery, writer/director Thomas Robert Lee’s dark coming-of-age shocker is the bewitching surprise of the year. Young Audrey Earnshaw and her mother live covertly as occultists on the outskirts of a remote Protestant village. Having gone to enormous lengths to hide Audrey’s existence from the superstitious community due to her secret birth, Agatha is mortified when a local mourner catches sight of her offspring. Reeling from a series of inexplicable tragedies, hardships and crop failure, the whispers begin, suspicions grow and hysteria mounts. But Audrey’s powers are increasing along with the misplaced anger….
18:10 ARCHIVE (UK Premiere)
Director: Gavin Rothery. With: Theo James, Stacy Martin, Rhona Mitra, Peter Ferdinando. UK 2020. 109 mins.
2038: Robot whiz George Almore is closing in on human-equivalent Artificial Intelligence. Sequestered in an ancient and dilapidated bunker deep in the Japanese countryside, he splits his time between the project that is the focus of his life and keeping the shelter running. Facing the constant interruptions of routine maintenance, micromanaging from his superiors, and possible terrorist attacks, George struggles to not only make progress but also hide it as well. Because his ultimate goal is to be reunited with a Cyborg facsimile of his dead wife in the acclaimed debut feature from Gavin Rothery, conceptual designer of MOON.
21:20 RELIC (Preview)
Director: Natalie Erika James. With: Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin, Bella Heathcote, Jeremy Stanford. Australia 2020. 89 mins.
When elderly mother Edna (Robyn Nevin), inexplicably vanishes, her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) rush to their family’s decaying country home, finding clues of her increasing dementia scattered around the house in her absence. After Edna returns just as mysteriously as she disappeared, Kay’s concern that her mother seems unwilling or unable to say where she’s been clashes with Sam’s unabashed enthusiasm to have her grandma back. As Edna’s behaviour turns increasingly volatile, both begin to sense that an insidious presence in the house might be taking control of her. A deeply unsettling psychological horror, Relic is the unforgettable debut feature from writer and director Natalie Erika James who brings a fresh and profoundly human twist to the genre.
SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER
12:00 RAVAGE (UK Premiere)
Director: Teddy Grennan. With: Bruce Dern, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Eric Nelsen, Robert Longstreet. USA 2019. 77 mins.
Harper, a young nature photographer on assignment captures a disturbing event of a man being brutally whipped and beaten in the woods. After reporting the incident to the local sheriff, she is quickly captured by the culprits and taken to an abandoned farm in the woods to be tortured. She will have to use her survivalist skills to outsmart them, escape and take them out one by one. RAVAGE is a gritty , brutal and raw revenge thriller starring Annabelle Dexter-Jones (Succession), Bruce Dern (Nebraska) and Robert Longstreet (Doctor Sleep)
15:00 THE DARK AND THE WICKED (UK Premiere)
Director: Bryan Bertino. With: Michael Abbott Jr., Xander Berkeley, Marin Ireland, Tom Nowicki. USA 2020. 95 mins.
Something wicked this way comes… Conceived, scripted and ultimately shot on director Bryan (THE STRANGERS) Bertino’s own family farm, a harrowing interpretation of bereavement and faith found in isolated desperation – and the demons it can summon if such cavernous voids are left open to be filled. Louise and Michael have put their lives on hold to be with their dying father in his hour of need. But the secluded family farmhouse always has held disturbing memories for them both. And now the evil they always suspected lurked in the shadows becomes a screaming nightmare as one terrible event follows another.
18:00 DEAD (UK Premiere)
Director: Hayden J. Weal. With: Thomas Sainsbury, Hayden J. Weal, Jess Sayer, Jennifer Ward-Leland. New Zealand 2020. 90 mins.
A laugh-out-loud comedy horror buddy murder mystery… with ghosts. Marbles, a hapless stoner, can see dead people, thanks to a homemade drug. Officer Tagg, a recently deceased wannabe super-cop is on the trail of a serial killer. So when Marbles’ mum plans to sell the family farm, and the only way of buying it is taking the money offered by Tagg in exchange for his help, Marbles accepts. Will the unlikely duo of directionless medium and ghost cop get over their prejudices and navigate their way through ghouls, perverts, a mysterious hooded figure, and an unexpected shot at love.
21:00 HELD (World Premiere)
Directors: Chris Lofting & Travis Cluff. With Jill Awbrey, Bart Johnson, Rez Kempton, Zack Gold. USA 2020. 94 mins.
Emma and Henry’s marriage is losing its spark. In an effort to reconnect on their 9-year anniversary, they vacation to a remote luxury rental, complete with automated smart house features and integrated security. After suspecting a nighttime intruder however, they decide to flee, only to become forcibly trapped inside by the all-encompassing technology. Then a Voice tells them their entire movements are being watched, revealing intimate knowledge about their relationship. As events get more brutal and dehumanizing, Emma and Henry must work together to uncover the truth and find a way out before it’s too late.
HORROR CHANNEL SCREEN
THURSDAY 22 OCTOBER
18:00 TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA (UK Premiere)
21:30 THE BANISHING (UK Premiere)
Director: Chris Smith. With: Jessica Brown Findlay, John Lynch, Sean Harris, John Heffernan. UK 2020. 97 mins.
Hosting the premieres of CREEP, SEVERANCE, BLACK DEATH, TRIANGLE and DETOUR, FrightFest has a long history with director Chris Smith. So we are delighted to showcase his latest pre World War II horror about the most haunted house in England. Reverend Linus, his scandal-ridden new wife Marianne and her daughter move into a manor with a terrifying secret. When a vengeful spirit haunts the little girl and threatens to tear the family apart, they are forced to confront their beliefs and turn to black magic by seeking the help of famous occultist Harry Price or risk losing their daughter.
FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER
12:30 INITIATION (UK Premiere)
Director: John Berardo. With: Lochlyn Munro, Yancy Butler, Jon Huertas, Bary Johnson. USA 2020. 96 mins.
Director John Berardo pays homage to 1990s horror classics with a modern twist for today’s socially conscious generation. Teen Horror returns with a vengeance in an edgy slasher about a cruel social media game that spins out of control. Whiton University unravels the night a star athlete is murdered after a hidden assault allegation, kicking off a spree of social media-linked slayings. As a masked killer targets students across campus, a trio of sorority sisters race to uncover the truth behind the school’s hidden secrets – and the horrifying meaning of an exclamation mark – before becoming the next victims.
BIANCA: PHASE 1 (UK Premiere)
Director: Federico Zampaglione. With: Linda Zampaglione, Giglia Marra. Italy 2020. 9:06 min
A stylishly violent short horror thriller, shot in lockdown in Italy on writer/director Federico Zampalione’s iPad in three days and starring his ten year old daughter Linda in the title role and his partner, actress Giglia Marra. The story centres on the tense, unpredictable relationship between a girl and her mother stuck at home…
15:30 THE SINNERS (UK Premiere)
Director: Courtney Paige. With: Kaitlyn Bernard, Brenna Llewellyn, Brenna Coates, Keilani Elizabeth Rose. USA 2020. 90 mins.
Seven A-list students from a religious town get a lot more than they bargain for when they dabble in the occult. Calling themselves the Seven Deadly Sins, one of them confesses all their wrongdoings to the local pastor and the stakes get raised. Suddenly the fun games and sexy attic rituals cause one of them to end up dead. And the cat and mouse games begin. Who is killing them and how will they ever get their perfectly ‘innocent’ school lives back? Who can they really trust and who will help them find their way back to the light?
BIANCA: PHASE 2 (UK Premiere)
Director: Federico Zampaglione. With: Linda Zampaglione, Giglia Marra, Claudia Gerini, Marco Chermaz, Giula Chermaz . Italy 2020. 16:39 Min
Phase 2 of the Italian lockdown has begun and Bianca (Linda Zampagilone) and her mother (Giglia Marra) decide to go to the reopened local park to enjoy their new found freedom in the sun. But an evil presence is stalking them and when Bianca is kidnapped, her mother enters a nightmare world trying to find and save her daughter from a terrible danger.
Again shot on his iPad in three days and starring his ten year old daughter, Zampagione, who created, edited and produced the film single-handedly, has cast his former wife, actress Claudia Gerini in a cameo role and, obeying lockdown rules, involved only family members in the location roles – Marco and Giula Chermaz, his cousin and nephew respectively
18:30 SKYLIN3S (UK Premiere)
Director: Liam O’Donnell. With: Rhona Mitra, Lindsey Morgan, Alexander Siddig, James Cosmo. France 2020. ? mins.
First an extraterrestrial force threatened to swallow Earth’s entire population. Then a driven detective embarked on a relentless pursuit to free his son from a nightmarish alien warship. Now comes the thrilling third entry in the epic sci-fi action SKYLINE franchise, once again written and directed by co-creator Liam O’Donnell. Captain Rose Corley has extraterrestrial superpowers meaning she is the only person powerful enough to vanquish the alien marauders. When a virus threatens to turn Earth-dwelling friendly alien hybrids against humans, Corley assembles an elite team of mercenaries on a mission to the alien world to save humanity.
21:30 SPARE PARTS (UK Premiere)
Director: Andrew Thomas Hunt. With: Julian Richings, Michelle Argyris, Emily Alatalo, Jason Rouse. Canada 2020. 91 mins.
In a godforsaken bar in the middle of nowhere – an all-girl punk band, Ms. 45, rip the stage apart with their anarchy spirit. Their performance impresses an enthusiastic fan who lures the girls into a trap, sedates them, and starts… customizing them. The four wake up with an axe, drill or chainsaw attached to one arm and are forced to fight gladiator-style, in an arena-style auto-wrecking yard for the amusement of the Emperor and his sadistic townsfolk. The women must now truly band together and use all of their talents if they’re going to get out alive.
SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER
FIRST BLOOD STRAND
10:20 THE LAST RITE (World Premiere)
Director: Leroy Kincaide. With: Bethan Waller, Johnny Fleming, Kit Smith, Ian Macnaughton. UK 2020. 115 mins.
Fact can sometimes be stranger and more terrifying than fiction and here’s Leroy Kincaide’s chilling debut feature to prove it. Rooted in Kincaide’s love for THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, POLTERGEIST, THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE and documented case histories comes a terrifying tale based on his own real-life experiences with the paranormal. A medical student suffering from sleep paralysis finds herself plagued by a demonic entity after moving in with her boyfriend, in a classic ‘What If?’ shocker creating a congruent tone for the night, and a reality check for the everyday experiences juxtaposed between a darkness that forever lurks.
13:20 ALIEN ON STAGE (World Premiere)
Directors: Danielle Kummer & Lucy Harvey. With: Employees from the Wiltshire and Dorset Bus Company. UK 2020. 86 mins.
You read about it in the news. Now live the story of the Dorset Bus Drivers whose amateur dramatics group created a serious stage adaptation of the sci-fi horror classic ALIEN. Despite finding ingenious solutions to pay homemade homage, the show was a crushing flop. But fate suddenly had them whisked from their village hall to a London theatre to perform their accidental comedy masterpiece for one night only. With wobbly sets, awkward acting and dodgy special effects, will their debut in London’s glittering West End be all right on the night? And where is the Alien? It’s behind you!
16:00 BENNY LOVES YOU (UK Premiere)
Director: Karl Holt. With: Karl Holt, Claire Cartwright, George Collie, James Parsons. UK 2019. 94 mins.
Give three cheers for FrightFest alumni Karl Holt, a 2007 prizewinner in our Zone Horror Short Film Competition with HALFWAY. Finally he’s back with the feature length version of his first 2006 short where Chucky meets FATAL ATTRACTION! After the accidental death of his parents, Jack must sell his family home and start a new life. Cleaning out the house, Jack trashes his family belongings including his beloved childhood stuffed animal, Benny. It’s a move that turns lethal as Benny springs to life with one goal in mind, protect Jack at all cost, even if the price is death.
18:55 REDWOOD MASSACRE: ANNIHILATION (World Premiere)
Director: David Ryan Keith. With: Danielle Harris, Damien Puckler, Gary Kasper, Jon Campling. UK 2020. 104 mins.
Twenty years ago at the infamous Redwood Farm, the owner went mad and killed his family and himself. Shrouded in urban legend ever since, a stranger obsessed with the unsolved Redwood murders convinces a group of bereaved family members to venture into the wilderness in the hope of proving the existence of the notorious burlap bag-masked maniac. Their quest for truth sees a sinister turn of events, as the hunters become the hunted and a blood-soaked fight for survival ensues when they find that the sinister tales told of the axe-wielding psycho farmer are very real indeed.
21:45 HOSTS (World Premiere)
Directors: Adam Leader & Richard Oakes. With: Neal Ward, Nadia Lamin, Frank Jakeman, Jennifer K. Preston. UK 2020. 89 mins.
When a family invites their neighbours, a sweet young couple, over to celebrate Christmas Eve and some very happy personal news, they do not realize that their dinner guests had just become hosts to a malicious entity hellbent on taking over the world. And soon the family find themselves fighting for their lives in a night of unimaginable terror. Like THE STRANGERS at the festive season with an otherworldly twist, HOSTS is a simmering sci-fi thriller where the palpable tension of a singular event belies an even more sinister takeover on a global scale.
SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER
12:30 THE STYLIST (UK Premiere)
Director: Jill Gevargizian. With: Brea Grant, Najarra Townsend, Laura Kirk, Sarah McGuire. USA 2020. 101 mins.
Based on her 2016 short, welcome FrightFest alumna Jill Gervargizian to the exciting feature debut fold. Everyone dreams of being someone else… but for Claire that dream goes from an obsession to a living nightmare. Her job as a hairstylist allows her to move through other people’s worlds, but when the right target sits in her chair, she does more than observe the client’s life – she ends it, and keeps a permanent souvenir. Her lonely life, meticulous method and shocking secrets are suddenly thrown into turmoil when her regular client, Olivia, asks her to style her hair for her wedding.
15:30 SLAXX (UK Premiere)
Director: Elza Kephart. With: Sehar Bhojani, Stephen Bogaert, Romane Denis, Brett Donahue. Canada 2020. 77 mins.
The on-trend couture horror comedy of the year! At Canadian Cotton Clothiers the flagship store staff is preparing for ‘Monday Madness’. For joining the range of supposedly organic, GMO-free, fair-trade, ethically sourced tops and bottoms is the eagerly awaited new line of Super Shaper designer jeans – thermally activated denim that adapts to any body size. But one pair has been accidentally soaked in sweatshop blood and wants revenge on the hipster customers brought to the store by hot social-media influencer Peyton Jules. Get ready for the tightest fitting bloodbath in horror history guaranteeing a clean up in every aisle.
18:30 CAVEAT (UK Premiere)
Director: Damian McCarthy. With: Ben Caplan, Tiffany-Ellen Robinson, Jonathan French, Conor Dwane. UK 2020. 88 mins.
A stunningly unique feature debut from Damian Mc Carthy, director of the FrightFest 2010 short film, HE DIES AT THE END. A lone drifter, Isaac, suffering from partial memory loss, accepts a strange job from his old landlord Barrett, to look after his niece Olga, a psychologically troubled woman living in an abandoned house on an isolated island. When Barrett convinces Isaac to confine his movements to the house with a harness contraption and leaves the two of them alone, a game of cat and mouse ensues with Isaac fighting to survive amid the terrifying resurgence of his own memory.
THURSDAY 22 OCTOBER
18:00 TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA (UK Premiere)
21:25 DUNE DRIFTER (World Premiere)
Director: Marc Price. With: Phoebe Sparrow, Daisy Aitkens, Simon Dwyer-Thomas, Charlotte Mounter. UK 2020. 98 mins.
Remember Marc Price? The upstart director caused a media sensation at FrightFest 2008 after making his zombie horror COLIN for fifty quid. Well, he’s back, with a bigger budget for an ongoing battle for humanity when a group of rookie space fighter pilots face an armada of unbeatable enemy ships. When the trainee pilot and her mortally wounded gunner are shot down, they crash land on a nearby planet. An enemy craft offers the chance of spare parts to fix her ship, but then she spots another survivor – an enemy alien soldier with no intention of letting her escape.
FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER
12:15 WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS (UK Premiere)
Director: Takeshi Kushida. With: Toshiaki Inomata, Toki Koinuma, Hideki Nagai, Itsuki Otaki. Japan 2020. 89 mins.
From debut director Takeshi Kushida, a captivating, confident and visually magnificent romantic thriller. Solitary photographer Kai is afraid of women. This doesn’t keep him from shamelessly retouching their photos when asked because he’s expert with the Photoshop brush. On a forest trek, he encounters Kyoko, a model with a fresh scar on her chest. Asking Kai if he can erase the scar in future photographs so her social media profile can keep growing, soon she grows hesitant to show her followers an increasingly manufactured version of herself. And Kai is motivated for the first time to challenge his feminine perceptions.
15:15 BUTCHERS (UK Premiere)
Director: Adrian Langley. Cast: Simon Phillips, Michael Swatton, Julie Mainville, Anne-Carolyne Binette, James Hicks, Blake Canning, Nick Allan. Canada, 2020, 133mins
After their car breaks down, four youths find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere. One pair stay with the car whilst the other pair of friends head-off to find help. Little do they know they are being watched. Both group soon fall captive to a family of sadistic butchers, keeping their ‘fresh meat’ tied up in their wooden outhouse. With hints of WRONG TURN, the four friends have little time to escape before it’s their turn on the chopping block.
18:15 TAILGATE (UK Premiere)
Director: Lodewijk Crijns. With: Jeroen Spitzenberger, Anniek Pheifer, Roosmarijn van der Hoek, Liz Vergeer. The Netherlands 2019. 82 mins.
A Dutch DUEL with a ferocious bite. Hans is a self-confident, cocksure man who decides to visit his parents on the other side of the country. With his wife and two young daughters along for the ride, the road trip goes well. Until a road raging, traffic fight with a weird van driver causes a major family upset. Ed, the van driver, wants revenge and follows the family making their journey an assault course death trap. With Hans’ ego on maximum overdrive, he starts to lose control of himself as Ed pushes every fearful and vulnerable button.
21:15 CONCRETE PLANS (World Premiere)
Director: Will Jewell. With: Amber Rose Revah, James Lance, Kevin Guthrie, Charley Palmer Rothwell. UK 2020. 91 mins.
High in the remote Welsh mountains, five builders are bought together to renovate a sprawling old farmhouse. Housed in mouldy Portacabins, tensions soon simmer amongst the men and between the self-entitled aristocratic homeowner. World-weary old-timer Dave and kindly Foreman Bob try to keep the peace. But his nephew Steve falls under the malign influence of bigot Jim, the pair taking a dislike to Ukranian Viktor. As the weather closes in and payments are late, tempers fray. Blood is spilled. As the blue-collar men are confronted with an increasingly dark spiral of moral choices, Jim makes an astonishing proposition.
SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER
10:35 LET’S SCARE JULIE (European Premiere)
Director: Jud Cremata. With: Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson, Isabel May, Odessa A’zion, Brooke Sorenson. USA 2020. 83 mins.
Emma has recently moved in with her cousin Taylor after her father’s untimely death. The victim of a prank by Taylor’s friends, Emma ups the ante by planning to scare the mysteriously reclusive girl who lives across the street. All they know is Julie’s alone and the house is rumoured haunted after a little boy vanished years ago. But what starts off as a simple plan becomes a nightmare of wrong choices with horrific results in a surprising horror, cleverly filmed in one uninterrupted continuous take – once the camera started rolling it never stopped until the shocking end.
13:00 DUNE DRIFTER
15:45 WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS
SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER
12:15 CONCRETE PLANS
15:15 LET’S SCARE JULIE
6:15 TOTAL FILM AWARDS