Film Discussion

FrightFest 2019 Diaries – Day Three

Two days down and we are on to the third. As I sat with my breakfast contemplating yesterday’s films and what to say about them, a fellow FrightFester sat with me and we shared war stories of the previous day over coffee and mini-pastries. At that point, I wasn’t flagging, or worrying about getting to the end of the weekend having just passed the half way line. But if I was, the kind of cool conversations with complete strangers who know each other only because they have a horror movie T-shirt and a red wrist band would be just what I needed to kick me into gear ready for the day.

Day three was a mixed bag, especially on paper. It looked to be the weakest of the days and, as such, decisions were made quite early on to skip a film (or two) and head to the pub for a decent (liquid) lunch. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best thought out plan!

Death of a Vlogger – World Premiere 

The downstairs screen in the Prince Charles cinema was hosting the “first blood” films all day today. Films from first time directors getting their horror stuff on the big screen for the first time.

Filmed entirely in a mockumentry hand held camera format, Death of a Vlogger follows a wannabe YouTube star as he experiences spooky goings on in his flat. Innocuous enough things soon become disturbing and violent while he and his girlfriend try to piece together everything while still keeping the camera rolling.

This one was great. Well made, scary and thrilling to watch. Twists going into twists, that weren’t really twists, but really kind of were could have been toned down a little. Not because it was bad, but it just felt like it was being dragged out for runtime minutes. Excellent though.

READ MORE: FrightFest 2019 – Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

Ghost Killers vs Bloody Mary – UK Premiere 

Sometimes, a film can surprise you. No matter what you think about the title, or the cast, or whatever. Sometimes you can go in knowing it’ll be a bit of a laugh, but not expecting it to be THIS much of a laugh.

Four mates, dreaming of superstardom as ghost hunters are called to a school to stop the very real, and very deadly Bloody Mary from cutting through the school’s entire register. 

Perfectly timed comedy between the stars of this Brazilian horror is one thing. But to also have some of the funniest gross-out scenes in a while makes it all the more special. Dancing foetuses wiggling ass, possessed poo, none of it was expected. But all of it was welcome. The best film of the festival so far.

From here, we headed to the pub and, not entirely by accident, didn’t re-emerge until several hours later. Thinking the state of Drone would be awful – only to be proven wrong by everyone who saw it – we queued for tickets for a discovery screen film lest we find ourselves incapable of making the last film.

Are We Dead Yet? – World Premiere

Another first blood film for the day. Freddy Nwaka’s film – centred on a crew of thieves holing up in a haunted house for the night because their getaway car ran out of petrol – forced the first walkout of the weekend.

Poorly made, badly scripted and not only showing nothing new or original but not showing any heart in its execution. The group decision was made to abandon ship at around the half hour mark. It’s tough to say negative things about a film like that; filmmakers try their hardest and it can be a real labour of love to get it done. But Are We Dead Yet is one of those rare occasions that you have to take a step back and wonder why this one is here.

READ MORE: FrightFest 2019 – The Furies

Why Don’t You Just Die! – UK Premiere

A Tarantino homage to finish the day off. This Russian revenge flick splashed with some great comedy was the palette cleanser everyone needed.

Part crime film, part comedy and part revenge. This confined tale of an apartment filled with awful human beings all trying to off each other is punchy, it’s bloodthirsty and it’s one for the recommendations list.

And that’s all she wrote for day three. Day four looms large and I’ve half lost my voice and could do with twice the amount of sleep than I actually got. Luckily, my Cineworld Card works at the counter and I can still get a discount on my coffee!

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