As anyone who is unlucky to follow me on social media will know (you're not missing much - self-promotion and live tweeting of really old Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes mostly), this year I attended London FrightFest on behalf of the wonderful Starburst Magazine. I saw a lot of films while I was there - twentysomething in total - and spoke to some pretty great people. The festival is a wonderful experience; a celebration of all things horror, new and old. Not for nothing is it described as 'The Dark Heart of Cinema.'
Highlights include the riotous Deathgasm, seasonal anthology movies A Christmas Horror Story and Tales of Halloween, creepfest Slumlord, the dark and brutal Bait, and the mesmerising Curtain. I saw some not-so-good movies too, but the great by far outweighs the rubbish. The same applies to these reviews, I hope.
A Christmas Horror Story - The most fun I've had with a Christmas movie while sweating my balls off in late August.
Awaiting (Starburst version) - Diana Vickers (yes, that one) is Tony Curran's daughter in this surprisingly bleak backwoods horror movie.
Awaiting (Horrortalk version) - Same synopsis, same score, different review.
Awaiting - Interview with Diana Vickers - She wore shoes throughout the whole interview. And was lovely.
Bait - Paddy from Emmerdale's fantastically dark Loan Shark Em' Up.
Bite - Ew, on several levels.
Body (Horrortalk version) Oh shit, a dead body! Drunk girls try to tidy up a mess at Christmastime.
Body (Starburst version) - Take II.
Cherry Tree - Daffy as fuck, like The Witches crossed with Juno, plus body horror, burlap sacks and centipedes.
Curtain - The best horror movie about a shower curtain you will ever see,
Deathgasm - I laughed so hard I spilled my beer on my lap.
Demonic - Dull Blumhouse supernatural horror story crossed with equally dull police procedural. You know the type.
Hangman - Found footage, but good.
Howl (Horrortalk version) - The most fun werewolf horror since Dog Soldiers.
Howl (Starburst version) - Take II.
Inner Demon - A girl sits in a cupboard while the plot of a horror movie happens around her.
Landmine Goes Click - Technically proficient, terribly unpleasant sustained rape shit. I wish I had not watched that.
Night Fare - The Punisher meets Maniac Cop in a taxi.
The Nightmare - Don't have nightmares. Rodney Ascher would really, really like that.
Night of the Living Deb - Shaun of the Dead meets Bridesmaids.
Road Games - Too slow and melodramatic for me, although the final act livens things up.
Slumlord - Scummy take on One Hour Photo with a creep antagonist to rival The Human Centipede's Martin.
Some Kind of Hate - Smart and powerful: an angry It Follows.
Suspension - Predictable Halloween rip-off with a twist which ruins everything.
Tales of Halloween - Finds the anthology movie in rude health. Neil Marshall's killer pumpkin tale is a highlight.
Tales of Halloween - Interview with Axelle Carolyn & Neil Marshall
Turbo Kid - Adorable, hilarious, and so very bloody. Michael Ironside is having a ball, and so did I.
We Are Still Here - Gentle yet effective horror with surprisingly shocking violence, beautiful retro violence and Barbara Crampton.
And so it ends. Until next year, anyway. Thanks to Starburst Magazine and Horrortalk.com for having me, and hosting my opinions (even the stupid ones). And thank you to Film4 FrightFest for yet another bumper year of treats and goodies. 2016 can't come fast enough.