FrightFest Presents brings you great movies from the World's best genre festival
Following the successful launch of Phase One, the second wave of titles to be released under the FrightFest Presents banner are now oﬃcially conﬁrmed as VIDEOMAN, F.U.B.A.R, THE NIGHT SITTER, DEAD ANT, A YOUNG MAN WITH HIGH POTENTIAL & THE RUSALKA.
VIDEOMAN is released on Digital & DVD 18th February 2019
Director: Kristian A. Söderström
Cast: Stefan Sauk (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Lena Nilsson, Morgan Alling
BritFlicks Review: Kristian A Soderstrom’s dark, affectionate tale throws together two functioning alcoholics trapped in past glories. He’s an avid VHS collector facing financial ruin. She’s an eighties obsessed divorcee on the brink of losing her job. When a British buyer offers him ten thousand euros for his prized copy of Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE all his prayers are answered until it goes missing. The frantic search around Gothenburg sees him suspect and upset his cabal of VHS buddies while at the same time, an unlikely romance blossoms. Despite there being no seductive, leather gloved prowler, Soderstrom’s debut feature is most definitely a loving ‘giallo’ pastiche, but without gruesome deaths or needless misogyny. In particular, seasoned watchers of the Italian sub-genre will raise a knowing eyebrow at the bottle of J&B whisky our anti-hero guzzles from in most scenes.
The powers that be at Frightfest towers have always thrown curveballs at their audiences from across the genre. Swedish noir comedy, VIDEOMANNEN, is one of those they manage to knock out of the park.
F.U.B.A.R is released on Digital & DVD May 2019
Director: Ben Kent
Cast: Mark Heap (Green Wing), Sean Verey (Skins), Danny Kirrane (The Inbetweeners)
BritFlicks Review: Stag party goes wrong comedy-horror is a well-trodden path, and if there was a game called 30-something archetype bingo this film would be shouting house. You’ve the slightly pathetic, put upon stag. He is surrounded by the: smarmy git whose a cut above; recent parent who thinks he’s the first person to father a child; the loud, tragic clown in need of love; the brother-in-law whose there under duress; the university drug dealer whose never grown out of the irresponsible lifestyle; and the guy from work you’re obliged to invite because you went to his stag do. Add to that youthful septet the ex-forces father-in-law – Gerald – played by the brilliantly versatile Mark Heap (GREEN WING, FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER) and you’ve got yourself a stag party of eight.
Cynical as that breakdown may sound it works beautifully. What makes this film stand head and shoulders above many comedy-horror films is in the writing. Elements of the group, genuinely feel like real, heart-felt friends who’ve just grown apart from each other. When they hark back to being teenagers you can see the flame of nostalgic desire to be kids again in their eyes. It’s beautifully shot and edited. Sounds trite, but in an age of low budget, quick shoots, it’s great watching a feature-length British comedy-horror that knows it’s a film so has taken the time to look and feel like one. Hats off to cinematographer Ewan Mulligan.
Ben Kent’s script excellently exploits the escalating consequences of a gang of numb nuts who accidentally kill a pretend zombie they’re meant to evade and increasingly make their situation worse by being even more stupid for the horror lolz.
THE NIGHT SITTER is released on Digital & DVD May 2019
Written & Directed by: John Rocco & Abiel Bruhn
Cast: Elyse Dufour (The Walking Dead), Jack Champion (Under the Dome), Jermaine Rivers (MacGyver), Amber Neukum (Being Mary Jane), J. Benedict Larmore (Your Worst Nightmare), Joe Walz (A Crime to Remember) , Deanna Meske (NCIS: New Orleans, Elsa & Fred) and Bailey Campbell (The Circle, Flesh & Bone)
BritFlicks Review: Tom Hooper, turned up to maximum oddball by theatre actor Joe Walz, is a wannabe TV paranormal investigator. He leaves his son, Kevin, and his new girlfriend’s pain in ass son, Ronnie with babysitter, Amber - played by THE WALKING DEAD’s Elyse Dufour. She is new to the area and has no references. Hooper overlooks this, but insists that everyone stay out of his locked office while he’s out. Like that was ever going to happen. Amber soon reveals herself to be a thief and starts filling her pockets with loot, but the two kids spoil the easiest robbery gig in town by inadvertently evoking the witches known as ‘The Three Mothers’ - literally - from the pages of a sacred text they find after picking the lock of the forbidden office.
Abiel Bruhn & John Rocco cook up a storm with their badass witches whose raison d’etre is to cruelly, as possible, sacrifice children. When smart mouthed Ronnie meets his maker, it is a satisfyingly grim moment.
Fans of Avatar should keep a keen eye on teen sensation Jack Champion who plays Kevin. It’s an early sighting of what to expect from someone James Cameron has already cast to play Javier 'Spider' Socorro in both Avatar II & III.
THE NIGHT SITTER is a practical SFX laden, gory hoot of a Christmas horror that leans heavily on Dario Argento’s bold lighting and colour palette, and then takes its high jinks burglary lead from HOME ALONE - an unlikely, but potent mix of movie ingredients.
DEAD ANT is released on Digital & DVD June 2019
Director: Ron Carlson
Cast: Tom Arnold, Sean Astin, Jake Busey, Leisha Hailey
Synopsis: When the “one-hit-wonder” glam-metal band “Sonic Grave” embark on a trip to Coachella in hopes of a comeback, their peyote trip pit stop in Joshua Tree incites an “unworldly” vicious attack, and they must “rock” themselves out of harms way.
A YOUNG MAN WITH HIGH POTENTIAL is released on Digital & DVD June 2019.
Director: Linus de Paoli. He is known for his work on Dr. Ketel (2011), and The Boy Who Wouldn’t Kill (2009).
Cast: Adam Ild Rohweder, Paulina Galazka, Pit Bukowski
BritFlicks Review: Piet Carnell is a brilliant computer science student who rarely leaves his apartment. Enter Polish student Klara who convinces him to be her study partner. A friendship blossoms, but he misreads this for intimate affection and is embarrassed and humiliated in the aftermath.
His increased sense of self-loathing leads him to conclude drugging a woman would get him what he desires. He tries the sedatives on himself and when he comes too, Klara is in his apartment. She wants to apologise, but when she pauses to takes a sip of his doped glass of water opportunity knocks for this troubled man.
The attempted rape of unconscious Klara is as pathetic as it is vile and cruel. However, it quickly turns to murder when she ODs.
Here the film changes tack as it delights in confronting you with the dark, technological nightmare of the always on, always connected world we now live in. It’s a lengthy sequence that is fraught with the tension you’d associate with a good thriller, but Piet’s muddling through resolves nothing hopeful for society. It only serves to shock you more and entrench your outrage in the amorality of the final outcome.
Linus de Paoli’s film taps into the ugly phenomena of lonely men who are convinced they are victims of a global conspiracy by women not to have sex with them. A YOUNG MAN WITH HIGH POTENTIAL is a warning that people do need human contact to grow emotionally. It should never be substituted by an over reliance on screen-based interactions because rather than alleviate isolation and despair technology only serves to heighten it.