We look ahead to Frightfest 2012, Film4’s London based festival of all things fantasy and horror…
UK horror and fantasy film festival Frightfest, backed by television channel Film4, will be returning to London this summer for the 13th time. From the 23rd to the 27th of August 2012, the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square will be home to a varied international selection of horrifically weird and wonderful films.
Described by director Guillermo del Toro as ‘the Woodstock of Gore’, Frightfest has been a regular feature on the London film scene since it was first held at the Prince Charles Cinema in 2000. Over the last thirteen years it has grown into a major international event, drawing in viewers from all over the world. Films screened at festivals past include Donnie Darko, Oldboy, The Wicker Tree, A Lonely Place to Die, The Human Centipede, and del Toro’s own Pan’s Labyrinth.
This year, the festival will open with the world premiere of Paul Hyett’s The Seasoning House, a harrowing psychological horror which tells the story of Angel, a deaf mute orphan planning her escape from a Balkan brothel staffed with girls kidnapped from war zones and forced into prostitution by soldiers. On the Frightfest website, the film is described as a ‘psychological horror in the nerve-shredding style of Alfred Hitchcock and Roman Polanski, but with an ultra modern twist’.
On Saturday 25th a special selection of four films, titled Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films that Ruled the ‘70s, will be screened; the four films will be Rome Armed to the Teeth, Milan Calibre 9, Cry of a Prostitute and How to Kill a Judge. This year’s Total Film Total Icon interview will be on Friday 24th, and will be with Dario Argento, Italian director of splatter fests such as Suspiria (1977).
Among the other highlights of the festival will be the UK premiere of Patricio Valladeres’s South American slasher Hidden in the Woods; based on true events, the film follows two sisters raised in isolation by their abusive drug dealer father. Expect torture, drug lords, chainsaws and maybe even a spot of cannibalism. Also to look out for Ryan Smith’s dark fantasy After, a road movie with a difference; two survivors of a bus crash awake in hospital to discover that they are the only people left alive in their small town. However, they quickly find that they are being pursued by strange creatures hidden inside an encroaching fog.
Frightfest 2012 will close with Tower Block, a British thriller from directors James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson. The remaining residents of a run-down block of flats will come under fire from a psychotic sniper who inexplicably traps them inside and begins to gun them down. This year’s festival looks to be action-packed as ever and for fans of horror and fantasy it is certainly not to be missed. Tickets for this year’s Frightfest are still available from the Empire Cinema box office and website.