Arrow FrightFest 2018 – Short Film Showcase 1 Reviews

After a hiatus from FrightFest for a few years I returned for the 2018 Festival at Leicester Square.

I’ve been out of the horror film scene for a while and came prepared to just see what’s new. No expectations for the main screen films. But the one thing I’ve always enjoyed at the festival is the short film showcase and I made a point to miss main screen films for these showcases.

Shorts are quickfire: each film lasts for as long as the idea holds and they’re executed with invention, zeal and most importantly a point of view. Not every short is great, but weaknesses can be forgiven and their nuances appreciated as the next film is just around the corner.

Anyway, in the interest of brevity here’s a rundown on what was shown at the Short Film Showcase 1. A small caveat: after drinking my fair share of water I did have to nip to the gents and so missed a few, so here are the ones I saw in full.

We Summoned a Demon: A pair of friends summon a demon with a view of one of them being gifted with the power of cool but when the demon doesn’t immediately oblige, drama ensues. The comedy around the foibles of summoning the demon, the performances, coupled with the effects and lighting, really kicked off the showcase with some much-needed fun. Fans of early Red Dwarf would like this.

Secretion: This was a very claustrophobic film and actually quite unnerving. The short was about the tension that builds between a married couple over dinner. The tension, something unspeakable and left to our imagination, is represented by a damp patch in the ceiling which grows larger and larger as time passes until the film’s conclusion. Done in black and white, with little dialogue, this short really made you work for every moment and succeeded in making you feel as boxed in as the couple.

Pie: A social coffee morning accompanied by a very special homemade pie lays the subtext for a conversation between two women who have something in common. The bright and happy production design and props plays against the eventual dark conversation and the performances deliver an emotional truth which keeps you hooked as the short takes its twists and turns.

The Front Door:  This one was my personal favourite. The smallest bit of forgetfulness on the part of a husband unwittingly invites an evil presence into his house. Cue hilarity and extended negotiations as the husband tries to get the invasion to leave his house without his wife finding out. The performance of the cult leader really made this piece shine.

Who’s That At The Back of the Bus?: A taut little piece about riding on the upper deck of a night bus alone. It’s odd choice of monster made me actually uneasy as it got nearer. Great pacing and editing.

Milk: A spooky supernatural family drama which centres around late night ventures into the kitchen. The slow reveal of the monster and the gradual build up to the abrupt climax really makes you lean in and then jump.

BFF Girls: A weird combination of Power Rangers with one of those sexual education films works to great comic effect with some genuine gross out moments. Best seen rather than explained but drew more than its fair share of laughs and ewwws from the crowd.

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Leamington Spa Comic Con 2018

Pictures of the some of the fine folk who turned up and bought copies of London Horror Comic at Leamington Spa Comic Con 2018.

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Lakes International Comic Art Festival (LICAF 17)

Pictures of the fine folk who picked up London Horror Comic 7 at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2017 (LICAF 17).

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London Horror Comic at London Super Comic Con 2017

Pictures of the fine folk who picked up London Horror Comic 7 at London Super Comic Con 2017.

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London Horror Comic at London Film and Comic Con 2017 – Day 3

Pictures of the fine folk who picked up London Horror Comic 7 at London Film and Comic Con 2017 – Day 3.

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London Horror Comic at London Film and Comic Con 2017 – Day 2

Pictures of the fine folk who picked up London Horror Comic 7 at London Film and Comic Con 2017 – Day 2.

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London Horror Comic at London Film and Comic Con 2017 – Day 1

Pictures of the fine folk who picked up London Horror Comic 7 at London Film and Comic Con 2017.

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Leamington Spa Comic Con 2017

Pictures of the some of the fine folk who turned up and bought copies of London Horror Comic at Leamington Spa Comic Con 2017.

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Why you should visit Leamington Spa Comic Con

I knew I’d made the right choice to exhibit at Leamington Spa Comic Con was when I was presented with a bacon sarnie and a cup of tea upon arrival.

This was the bacon sandwich and tea that changed everything for me.

Its proof of how you know you’ll be in safe hands when you (and if not, you should) attend LSCC later this month.

Let me expand.

If you’re a punter at a comic con you’re probably unaware of the utter ball ache it is as an exhibitor it is to drive, set up, sell and haul your wares back down the M25 in the same day (or God forbid, over the course of three days).

Exhibitors are a proud, plucky and nervous lot in much the same way that Batman’s foes are a cowardly and superstitious lot.

We’ve been up hours before the doors are open to the public and once the starting gun is fired we just want to make that first sale to justify our faith in our work but more importantly in our choice of the event.

It’s an organiser’s market these days.

The demand for table spaces typically outstrips supply and exhibitor curation (where exhibitors make choices about who they let exhibit before accepting money for tables) is now commonplace.

In short, there are thankless hurdles we have to undergo as exhibitors just to present our works to you on the off-chance it’s something that strikes your fancy.

But back to that bacon sandwich and cup of tea.

See, when I arrived at the first LSCC, in addition to being welcomed and shown to my table, organiser Dan Mallier had actually focused on providing a momentary comfort to all exhibitors who had chosen to attend and made the effort.

This isn’t the norm, I’d like to point out, but it does illustrate a number of things.

It illustrates caring for the people that make your event.
It illustrates attention to detail. It makes for a better experience (it was a pretty tasty bacon sandwich).
And it illustrates a desire and a want for all people – not just the punters – to have a good time.

Curating what can only be described as a good vibe between exhibitor and punter is what being an organiser is all about and yet is something overlooked by many larger and better financed conventions.

Done right, it makes an event memorable, enjoyable and provides a reason for exhibitors to return.

This is the third Leamington Spa I’m returning for and each time I’ve enjoyed healthy sales and great conversations with folks.

The event has also won an award and more importantly provides access to creators and work at a local level for the community.

If the above has piqued your interest then make the journey and see what the fuss is all about.

There are just two weeks left to get your #LCC2017 tickets! BOOK TODAY to avoid missing out: https://www.spatowncomics.co.uk/leam-comic-con

Were you at LSCC 2015? Check out some of the pics from the event here.

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London Horror Comic in Comic Heroes Magazine

First post of 2017!

London Horror Comic is featured in a two-page interview in Comic Heroes Magazine out now and featured below.

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