Saturday, 29 August 2015

Frightfest 2015 Day Three


        Wow. Here's something completely unexpected. Unique, elegant, excellent. Bernard Rose's moving and thoroughly successful modern updating of the Mary Shelley novel dispenses with dwelling on the creation of the monster and instead follows him on his journey through an increasingly vicious Los Angeles. Superb acting all round, especially from Xavier Samuel as the monster, and Tony Todd as the blind man he befriends. So far in the festival, this is THE one to see. 

Alternate title: Frankenstein & the Monster From LA

Shut In

      A home invasion horror that promises to develop along the lines of Stephen C Miller's superior THE AGGRESSION SCALE with its socially challenged female protagonist who is incapable of leaving her home and has to deal with crooks who come hunting for her hidden stash of money. Unfortunately the third act all goes a bit preposterous but sadly not preposterous enough for what it's suggesting to really work. Watch AGGRESSION SCALE again instead.

Alternate Title: Three Men In A Box


       The spirit of Pete Walker country house class horror is alive and well in this, a film that starts off by aping the eccentricity of Freddie Francis' MUMSY, NANNY, SONNY & GIRLY before becoming a far grimmer and really quite bitter dissection of the British class system. It wouldn't be fair to reveal any of the twists and turns in this but rest assured, at the beginning, no-one living in the threadbare country house where most of the action takes place is who they claim to be. Another highly recommended.

Alternate Title: House of Death & Lies


        Metalllll!!!!! The funniest film I've seen at Frightfest - packed with great one liners, lots of huge dildo fights and of course a pounding soundtrack. A couple of metalheads form a band with their dungeons and dragons-playing geek friends and end up playing the 'Black Hymn' that causes everyone in the neighbourhood to turn into demons. Utterly daft, extremely good natured, and loads of fun. Winner.

Alternate Title: Death Metal Dildo Wielding Disc Cutters

Sun Choke

        The first bum note of the festival for me. Some terrific performances (especially from Barbara Crampton, who is deliciously scary) but the plot is not so much out to lunch as away on permanent compassionate leave. I have no idea what the title means (but neither did the director) or why that girl was trapped in the house or what she was up to. And after ninety minutes of art house arseing around I was none the wiser. 

Alternate title: Psycho Vixens

Night of the Living Deb

        Utterly charming. I usually steer clear of zombie rom-coms but this was the best of the bunch on the midnight slot to round up the total to six again today. And I was glad I did. It's another zombie apocalypse but perky Deb is determined to save hunky one-night stand boyfriend Ryan from the rampaging hordes and his awful family. Terrific lead performance by Maria Thayer and a pretty decent guest appearance by Ray Wise made this a lovely way to finish the evening. Even the film breaking down twenty minutes in didn't deter the audience from having a great time with this one.

Alternate Title: 28 Debs Later - this one suggested by NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB's director, whom I thank because it's now 2am & I have to be up tomorrow to crack on with Takashi Miike's new one - hurrah!). 

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