Greg Nicotero talks about his career at FrightFest 2012

Greg Nicotero talks about his career at FrightFest 2012 and before receiving his Variety Award.

posted by admin at 2:35 am  

Alex Garland talks about Dredd 3D at FrightFest 2012

Screenwriter Alex Garland talks about Dredd 3D at FrightFest 2012 and the production of the film.

posted by admin at 2:33 am  

Rec 3 Genesis Review FrightFest 2012

Khaaaaaaaaaaaan! No, not the kind of genesis. But who could resist?

Demon zombies return in fine fashion in the third instalment of the Rec series only this time to crash a wedding party.

The first Rec was immensely enjoyable for its kinetic first-person take on zombies invading a block of flats.

Rec 3 maintains this level of energy only this time ditching the hand-held view for straight-on cinematic action.
After a diseased uncle becomes infected and begins straying from the buffet at the wedding service to the necks of relations, the bride and groom become separated and must face an epic struggle to make it through the evening.

The film’s setting of a wedding location offers untold points of comedy for the well-worn zombie genre.

Cornered by zombies the bride apologises to a guest for inviting her, only to have the guest admit she didn’t want to come but accepted to be nice and then have the bride in turn admit she invited her only because she thought her the guest wouldn’t really take her up on the offer.

Throw in striking images like a bride in white wearing a an exposed red garter while wielding a chainsaw and you have the makings of comedy-horror gold.

One thing: I’d recommend seeing this film on the big screen. As with Drag Me to Hell this film needs an epic big screen and a thundering sound system to be enjoyed, so make the most if it when it hits cinemas.

posted by admin at 2:04 pm  

V/H/S Review FrightFest 2012

Hands-down this is the film to beat at this year’s FrightFest 2012 film festival and I’m not saying that because I’m a fan of horror anthologies.

V/H/S is a horror-anthology in the tradition of Creepshow and Dead of Night, but it delivers a unique take on a well-worn genre in both form and content.

As the title suggests, footage in the film is presented through a grainy handheld first-person perspective. This has two great effects: firstly it gives the film a slightly gritty texture that makes the events we see unfold seem at once seedy as well as believable.

The second is that, in using handheld, it sets you up for expecting real-world style horrors and then brilliantly subverts this expectation by, well, I’m not going to spoil it, suffice to say that when the scares come, you will be surprised.

The performances in V/H/S have an improvised feel about them, making them perfectly suited to enhance the look of each segment as well as the believability.

Most of the stories are a slow burn, in contrast to the pulp-style of anthologies where the problem-to-be-solved is up and running from the word go.

As with most anthologies there are some stronger stories than others, but all of them were inventive enough and thought out to keep you watching.

The only frustrating thing is that the film is scheduled for release next year, but it’s definitely worth waiting for.

posted by admin at 2:03 pm  

V/H/S FrightFest 2012 Glenn McQuaid

V/H/S Director Glenn McQuaid talks about the making of the horror anthology at FrightFest 2012

posted by admin at 2:01 pm  

Nightbreed The Cabal Cut Review FrightFest 2012

I caught five minutes of the original Nightbreed back on the horror channel a few years ago and have never read the original novel Cabal on which this revised version of film is based.

Therefore it’s a bit difficult to judge how well this restored version of the film fulfils its ambition of presenting a full and true version of a piece of work that is held in regard by many fans.

What captured my attention more was the story of how Mark Miller, who was responsible for leading a fan revolution, got this project off the ground.

Hearing him speak at FrightFest, it was clear that he had a personal passion for bringing the film to light. He talked about tracking down lost footage, contacting film editors, meeting with Clive and even reconstructing the film and re-editing it using draft versions of the script and the novel.

To me, the story of how he’d put this film together was more interesting than the end product itself and indeed will be the subject of a documentary itself if the film gets its release on Blu-ray.

Standing on its own and coming to the film cold, The Cabal Cut is unlikely to appeal to anyone other than die-hard fans.

Translating a novel to film necessarily requires that you make decisions about what to keep and what to cut. William Friedkin went through William Peter Blatty’s novel underlining what could be filmed and what couldn’t when preparing The Exorcist to shoot. American Psycho managed to fashion a clean narrative while maintaining the essential intelligence of the book, while leaving out huge sections of gore that made the book infamous.

With the Cabal Cut, I got the sense that the producers were earnestly trying to put across what they loved about the source material, fuelling the addition of material, but which may overloaded the film and paradoxically limited the appeal of the story finding a new audience.

That said, Mark did end with saying that getting the film into a finished state was a continuing journey, one which was consistently relying on fan feedback and that what we saw wasn’t the end. Just the fact that the project displayed this open-minded means that I’m confident fans will one day be able to enjoy Nightbreed the way it was intended.

posted by admin at 1:03 pm  

Grabbers Movie Review FrightFest 2012

Following on from Cockneys Vs Zombies was the Irish horror-comedy Grabbers.

The plot concerns a pair of squid-like lifeforms that land on a small Irish island, where they begin to breed and multiply.

When these tentacle terrors begin picking off islanders one by one it’s up to the drunk police cop and his new prim and proper partner to put their differences aside and stop the creatures.

Grabbers attempts to inject a bit of fun into the creature horror genre while providing a solid adventure.
However, the comedic scenes are too compartmentalised from the action ones and it’s the action scenes, which are played seriously, that drive the story forward.

The net effect is that you’re set-up and paid off with laughs in some scenes while then being asked to take the action scenes seriously.

As with The Seasoning House, the effects, performances and direction are great, but the overall piece doesn’t hang together.

posted by admin at 12:26 pm  

Cockneys Vs Zombies Review FrightFest 2012

This film had FrightFest regulars psyched since last year, where rough footage of The Good Life’s Richard Biers trying to outrun an equally slow zombie with the aid of his Zimmer frame had the crowds howling with laughter.

Films with titles in the Vs format communicate exactly what’s inside the tin. You pays your money and you knows what you’re getting. More often than not the final product is a straight to DVD affair and few if any get a cinema release.

Cockneys Vs Zombies bucks the trend and deservedly so. From the lavish opening credits (which are some of the most gorgeous I’ve seen) it’s an unashamed piece of fun and works well as a Friday night pizza movie.

Unique effects in some of the death scenes make the film stand out (as well as some which make the audience laugh out loud) although the real stars of the show have to be the ensemble cast who make up the pensioners in the retirement home, headed up by Alan Ford.

Part of me wishes that the film had in fact been pensioners vs zombies, since this is where the bulk of empathy and lion’s share of laughs come from.

The parallel plot of youngsters trying to knock over a bank for a retirement fund for their older relative sags in the middle and seems a way of introducing guns into a picture, where in fact seeing a zombie beaten with a hot water bottle would have been funnier and in keeping with the film’s “make the best with what you’ve got” approach.

As an addendum, it’s great to see a UK film taking on the action/adventure mantle and delivering it with aplomb.

posted by admin at 1:55 pm  

Cockneys Vs Zombies Cast and Crew Interview FrightFest 2012

Director Matthias Hoene and writer James Moran and actor Alan Ford discuss the world premiere of Cockneys Vs Zombies at FrightFest 2012

posted by admin at 3:24 am  

The Seasoning House Review Frightfest 2012 Day 1

FrightFest 2012 kicked-off the new festival with an old tradition: premiering the festival with a UK film.

This used to be a standard event for every FrightFest in the early days, but with new and exciting films coming in from all over the world, the UK faced stiff competition to hold its slot.

The Seasoning House kicks off intriguingly with imprisoned housekeeper Angel emerging from an air vent and going about her duties of tending to the imprisoned prostitutes of the brothel.

Her knowledge of the house and general malnourishment give her a unique skill in navigating the airshafts of the house and to the ignorance of her captors.

After forming a friendship with a new girl, Angel is forced to confront her captors in a bid for freedom when things get out of hand one night.

The film starts off with a deliberately slow pace which is enhanced by Angel being a mute and communicating only through sign language.

This serves to great effect in highlight Angel’s distance from those she is forced to tend to and the fact that this for her has become routine.

When Angel makes the connection with the new girl, I looked forward to seeing how this relationship would survive under these horrible conditions or if at the end Angel would awaken from her numbness and help free her friend.

Unfortunately, a well-set up beginning falls foul when the tone of the film shifts from being about Angel’s relationship with the girl to emulating Die Hard, and for the last part, The Last House on the Left, descending as we do into chase nonsense.

There is strong sexual violence in the film, and had it been used to stress-test the relationship of the girls and its effects on them, it would have been justified. But when the film’s action section kicks off, it cheapens the significance of what the audience has had to sit through.

The direction of the film is great as it successfully builds up a claustrophobic environment early on and the action scenes are incredibly dynamic. Rosie Day does a phenomenal job as Angel, communicating a great range of emotions without saying a word, as does Sean Pertwee who really delivers the goods on the villain front.

Great direction and acting are hampered by a script which keeps changing its genre to no great overall effect.

posted by admin at 3:19 am  
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