It’s that wonderful time of year again. The crowds have descended upon London’s Leicester Square for five days of genre movies, filmmaker Q&A sessions and drinking in excess. Five wonderful days of chatting to someone in the seat next to you, starting as strangers and maybe ending the weekend as best buddies.
As the masses zombie walk from the pub to the Cineworld IMAX screen, one of the best parts of the UK’s premier horror film festival is the anticipation and excitement of what’s to come. That is turned up to eleven when the lights go down and the Twisted Twins themselves, Jen and Sylvia Soska – directors of massive genre hit American Mary – step into the spotlight to introduce festival directors Alan, Paul, Ian and Greg. The foursome appear, to one hell of a round of applause, and we are off.
READ MORE: FrightFest 2019 – The Wind
Come to Daddy – UK Premiere
Elijah Wood’s 30-something Norval visits his semi-recluse father only to have the old man die just a couple of days in to the trip. When overcrowding at the coroner’s office means the body has to stay in the house, Norval starts experiencing weird goings on and strange bumps in the night.
Director Ant Timpson was in attendance to introduce his directorial debut and its dark origins. Come to Daddy is a good film, and a great opener, that is weird, bizarre and darkly funny. It takes the film a little while to find its feet as it reveals all its tricks, but once all the cards are on the table, it’s a grim but hilarious little gem to be sought out once FrightFest Presents gets it out into the world.
Crawl – UK Special Preview
Modern horror legend Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) was front and centre to introduce his latest creature feature. The first of two mainstream release films tonight, Crawl is a claustrophobic horror where a swimmer and her father fight against Mother Nature and a couple of dinosaurs as a hurricane and the subsequent flooding bring a pack of hungry killer alligators to the neighbourhood.
Tense, scary and unapologetically bonkers, Crawl hits cinemas nationwide today and should be seen by everyone. It’s a tremendously fun experience, with enough jumps and nail-biting moments to satisfy everyone.
READ MORE: FrightFest 2019 – Dark Encounter
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – UK Special Preview
Another film due for release the day after the FrightFest crowd saw it, this time with Troll Hunter director Andre Øvredal introducing the film and explaining the journey to get this family-orientated horror to the screen.
Based on a book of the same name, Scary Stories is what happens when The Goonies meets Stephen King. When four friends find a story book in a haunted old house, they awaken something terrible that makes a point of showing them just how bad it is. The book begins to write its own stories, right in front of these children, and brings the kids’ worst fears to life one by one and uses those fears to exact its revenge. Guillermo Del Toro’s influence is felt at every turn as this delightful monster movie ends the night perfectly.
One day down, four to go.
Tomorrow is a busy day of running around between cinemas for screenings and hoping I’ll be able to find time to nip into Burger King.
Until part 2…
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