Paracinema at Derby Film Festival Saturday review

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We were delighted to cover the Saturday programme of Derby Film Festival’s celebration of horror Paracinema this past weekend.

Death Laid an Egg

We kicked off with the restoration of early giallo thriller Death Laid an Egg, with a special introduction from Nucleus Films who have restored the film with extra footage long thought lost.

As one of the earlygiallo’s Death Laid… has alot of the calling cards of the films of Bava and Argento that would prove popular in the 70’s and 80’s.

These include a black gloved killer, a very distinct soundtrack, which was described beforehand as a ‘hangover’s worst nightmare’.

Although some of the scenes edited into the film sometimes take you out of it, mainly because some scenes use subtitles whereas others employ dubbing, the makers have to be commended for their efforts in making a more fleshed out version of the story.

Death Laid an Egg is essentially a love triangle between a husband and wife who run a chicken farm and their assistant Gabrielle.

It screams 60’s with its loud colours and fashion, and makes for more of a drama rather than a murder mystery, which most giallo’s became.

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After an introduction from Writer/Director Ashley Thorpe, we had the superb animated documentary Borley Rectory.

The project was a labour of love for Thorpe, taking years to complete between having children and getting the project funded through crowdfunders.

Starring Reece Shearsmith, it tells the story of the most haunted house in Britain, going through the houses twisted history and strange goings on like a pop up horror book come to life.

The fact it is so unique in its field makes it quite a compelling watch but the story is knitted together neatly by Thorpe who mashes its history together with ease.

Using green screens and actual props from the Rectory (which burned down over 70 years ago), its the sincerity of Borley Rectory which shines through as one of the best ghost tales in recent memory.

All Light Will End

The thing about film festivals is sometimes you have to make a choice between two films; and sometimes that choice is extremely off the mark.

Playing at around the same time as All Light Will End was a screening of the classic Nosferatu with a line score in the local cathedral. I wish I had gone with my gut instinct and gone with the classic over a very middle of the road horror.

Centering on a young successful author who returns home after many years away, All Light Will End does bring some interesting concepts to the table but falls apart badly in its muddled finale.

At times it has shades of Nightmare on Elm Street but by its final credits any sort of promise it had has quickly evaporated into something bland and forgettable.

Note to self – go with the vampire next time.

We will have a review of Hippopotamus, which also screened in the next few days.

Find out more about Derby Film Festival HERE

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