Eleven countries are represented, with titles ranging from Canadian entries BLOODTHIRSTY, Amelia Moses’ simmering LGBQT+ werewolf movie and sinister isolation thriller MOTHERLY to Francesco Erba’s AS IN HEAVEN, SO ON EARTH, a stunning Italian blend of live action and Gothic puppet animation. Then there’s Péter Bergendy’s sumptuous POST MORTEM, an epic Hungarian ghost story, Frida Kempff’s Swedish entry KNOCKING, a breakout Sundance sensation, and Belgium’s latest wildly inventive genre hit is the hallucinogenic HOTEL POSEIDON, a directorial feature debut from Stef Lernus. And from the UK, the cut-throat world of social media influencers is given the terror treatment in the World premiere of Marcus Harben’s FOLLOWERS.
Familiar FrightFest luminaries grace this year’s event. Graham Skipper teams up with NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchise icon Lisa Wilcox to star in the world premiere of Mel House’s metaphysical horror MYSTERY SPOT, and after beguiling FrightFest with DRIVEN, director/writers/stars Glenn Payne and Casey Dillard present the World premiere of their new slasher, KILLER CONCEPT. Also welcomed back is Marcel Walz, who continues the terror travails of serial killer thriller BLIND with the UK premiere of PRETTY BOY.
Michael Mongillo, who wowed FrightFest in 2017 with DIANE brings us the World Premiere of intense body snatcher THE CHANGED. This will be an additional main screen presentation, with the leading cast in attendance. The one-take time travel suspense comedy, BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES, will now be shown as part of the Discovery stand.
The festival continues to unearth genre gems from South America and this year there are three shining examples from Argentina: Gonzalo Calzada, writer/director of the FrightFest 2018 selection LUCEFERINA, returns with the UK premiere of his astonishing tour de force NOCTURNA: SIDE A – THE GREAT OLD MAN’S NIGHT, and there are European premieres for José María Cicala’s SHADOW OF THE CAT, starring Danny Trejo as you’ve never seen him before and Alejandro Cohen Arazi’s cult hit THE UNBURIED. Plus, from Mexico, comes FORGIVENESS, a surreal, violent and revenge-laden horror thriller by new Mexploitation maestro Alex Kahuam.
The US continues to lead the way with innovating indie genre filmmaking and this year’s Stateside shockers are testament to that. ISOLATION is an incredibly rich anthology of nine chilling tales shot in lockdown, whilst BAD CANDY has been hailed as the best Halloween portmanteau since TRICK ‘R’ TREAT. Then there’s ANTIDOTE, which goes deep inside a horror hospital, Stephen King Simmons’ stunning black-and-white feature debut THE PARKER SESSIONS, which goes beyond our wildest existential nightmares, GREYWOOD’S PLOT, a creature feature send-up for our times and the intense drama TOUCH – the winner of the NYC Independent Film Best Movie and Director awards.
The fearsome fun continues with RED SNOW, a bloodsucking spook-a-blast that puts a stake through the heart of comedy horror, the unique LAGUNA AVE. where metal fetishism goes the full John Waters route, Beau Ballinger’s SHE WATCHES FROM THE WOODS, a chilling walk between supernatural curses and mental health, the disturbing familial psychodrama CAPTIVE and the out of this world NIGHT DRIVE
FrightFest has always championed genre documentaries and this year’s picks are at their engaging best. WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR has been attracting much fantasy festival attention and it’s a 3-HOUR PLUS enchantment. Absolutely astonishing also is THE FOUND FOOTAGE PHENOMENON, which tells you everything you need to know about the roots and growth of the shaky-cam genre and POV Cinema. Finally, Paul Hunt and Julie Kauffman’s obsessive THE BRILLIANT TERROR, is a totally absorbing delve into the Grassroots Horror movement.
The Arrow Video FrightFest First Blood strand has become a film industry watchword for those in the know wanting to discover the next great genre talent pool from the UK and Ireland. The five titles chosen for 2021, all World premieres, once more show the range of innovation and exciting breadth of the professionalism waiting to burst through into the mainstream. Seb Cox’s ARE WE MONSTERS is a unique werewolf coming-of-age saga, Ian Steele’s BOY #5 is an innovative take on the vampire myth, Leroy Kincaide’s THE LAST RITE is an authentic paranormal rollercoaster ride and Conor Buro’s WHEN THE SCREAMING STARTS is a spirited horror mockumentary. Finally, from Ireland, is Richard Waters’ BRING OUT THE FEAR, which explores a doomed relationship on its final day. Richard is a longtime FrightFest community member and a graduate of the festival’s innovative ‘New Blood’ strand.
Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK’s biggest horror and fantasy film festival, takes place at the Cineworld Leicester Square from Thurs August 26 – Monday 30 August, 2021.
Festival co-director Paul McEvoy said today: “At Arrow FrightFest this year we are thrilled to be presenting so many incredible new works from the International genre landscape. We’re showcasing a myriad of World Premiere screenings from many new and exciting talents, along with familiar names. The thrills are diverse and sensational, proving that the genre is truly alive, kicking and flourishing in these troubled times. We cannot wait to share the excitement with everyone”.
Tickets are available now from Frightfest