State of Horror Movies – FrightFest 2012

Just finished this year’s FrightFest and figured I’d do a couple of lines on the state of horror flicks.

The festival is a useful barometer of what’s happening in horror movies at a given point in the year. I can remember viewing the steady crop of films from Korea and Asia when they were innovating like crazy.

Exciting times.

The schedule of films this year had a few gems, but there was nothing of the calibre of say, The Orphanage, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon or Jeepers Creepers that kicked you square in the pants and reminded you of what the game was about.

The bulk of American films (which are more than likely to find their way into your local Cineworld) were formed of reheated leftovers from the plot lines of other films, with the usual thirty minutes of character development.

The exceptions would be American Mary: well-directed given the subject matter and with a great performance by Katherine Isabelle, but let down by having really nothing to say about the frailty of the body or mind. V/H/S was a gem of a film, breathing new life into the found footage sub-genre, but whether it will get the widespread release it deserves is another thing.

UK films seemed to have stumbled out of the dark ages while no-one was looking with firecrackers such as Cockneys Vs Zombies and Tower Block leading the charge. Subtle pieces like Berberian Sound Studio showed we could still be measured and thoughtful and unnerving.

Spain’s Rec3 provided universal appeasement with comedy and horror and Italian entry Tulpa was a standard whodunit that looked great.

Contrasting the horror films at the festival with the ones that have made it onto my shelf and the big difference seems to be the lack of a central idea or conviction held by the film-maker.

By idea or conviction, I don’t mean stories about race relations or pollution, but something that leads me to think the story I’m seeing is about more than going boo and delivering a witty one (or two) liner.

posted by admin at 9:27 pm  

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