Sunday, 30 August 2015

Frightfest 2015 Day Four

Over Your Dead Body

        Takashi Miike tackes the kwaidan and links it to some very weird goings-on in the present day as cast and crew rehearse a lavish stage production of a classic ghost story, and fantasy and reality begin to bleed into one another. Similar to AUDITION in that all the extreme horror happens right at the end. I'm still not quite sure what was going on altogether but this is beautifully filmed and with Miike's trademark stamp of exquisite cruelty.

Alternate Title: Stage Struck

These Final Hours

        Incredibly moving and pitch-perfect Australian end of the world picture. The bomb goes up but it's twelve hours until the effects reach Australia. Exploring just how people would spend their last hours on earth this is a film that pulls no punches, is remarkable affecting and touching and has an ending that is just right. Go and see it when it finally gets a UK distributor.

Alternate Title: All Good Things

Road Games

        Nothing to do with Richard Franklin's early 1980s slasher starring Jamie Lee Curtis, this is all about fear and murder in the French countryside. ROAD GAMES has been compared to Robert Fuest's AND SOON THE DARKNESS. By the end I could see why but Fuest's film is rather better, although you do get the added bonus of Barbara Crampton speaking French.

Alternate Title: Let's Go France!...Not

Summer Camp

        Oh yes! Coming entirely out of left field (I had no idea what this one was about) this may well be the best horror film of the festival. At the Q & A afterwards the director said the plan was to make [REC] meets EVIL DEAD, which it is, but fans of those two movies will find plenty of original twists and turns in this as well as plenty of edge of the seat ferocious violence. With an ending that had the Frightfest audience cheering and clapping at its sheer delicious outrageousness SUMMER CAMP becomes my number one film so far.

Alternate Title: I Drink Your REC.

(I know, that's not very good, is it? But goodness they need a better title than SUMMER CAMP)

A Christmas Horror Story

        An anthology idea that takes Christmas as its theme and William Shatner as its link and delivers a film that needed some rewriting and a lot of tightening up. Some of the ideas are excellent (changelings, the Krampus) and one sequence that plays like a Robot Chicken gag has a superb punchline, but overall this isn't anywhere near as good as it could be. The stories are told in an interlinked way that doesn't serve them well - standard beginning middle and end for each would have worked much better and would have prevented climactic moments being defused by cuts to the next scene of another story. William Shatner is great, though.

Alternate Title: William Shatner's Zombie Elf Massacre

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