Arrow FrightFest has showcased the best in genre short film from the UK and around the world since 2004, and this year in no exception, with eight countries representing three continents. From strange encounters to terrifying tech, from lurking monsters to deadly secrets, this year’s selection, which includes eight world premieres, unleashes the latest from upcoming and established filmmakers.
The Short Film Showcase kicks off this year with our international selection, which includes Brad Dourif as a vampire with an identity crisis in THE LIVING, real-life couple Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski battling with dark secrets in SKIN & BONE, and the Mike Flanagan-produced LOVE YOU MAMA, which shows the dangerous depths of grief. There are also new shorts by FrightFest favourites Izzy Lee and Chris McInroy, with Lee’s bizarre MEAT FRIEND and GUTS, McInroy’s distorted study of manhood. From Lebanon comes haunting love story THE LAST DANCE, and from The Republic of Korea, the Cannes award-winning CICADA.
Europe has three entries – Norway brings us aliens in FROM.BEYOND, France brings us an eerie evening in HALVES THROUGH THE NIGHT and Spain puts three people through aterrifying situation in THE DAYS THAT (NEVER) WERE. Finally, Canada is represented with the grotesquely sinister SMILE and scam shocker CRUISE.
The UK is very strongly represented with two showcases featuring twenty entries. Dangerous creatures lurk in hidden spaces in SUCKERand LEGS, starring Laura Carmichael and in THE MICROSCOPE, starring Johnny Vivash, and UNREEL, reality is rudely invaded. Plus, there are strange encounters to overcome in MOLAR and A KILLER OUTSIDE, whilst a couple’s relationship is pushed to the brink in BLEEP with Toby Williams. And women are forced to take drastic measures in BLOOD RITES, CATCH YOUR BREATH and EVERYONE FORGOT.
The second of the two UK showcases doesn’t let up on the dazzling display of daring originality – from A LTTLE DEATH, in which the male orgasm keeps the undead alive to FOETAL ATTRACTION, in which a porn addict receives an unwanted supernatural gift and MACHINE, where a bio-mechanical android rejects her sexuality. Friendship is given a twisted perspective in ERIC, REGULARS and O, GLORY and in LOTUS, unwinding can be a very dangerous thing with the wrong App. Also dangerous are mother / daughter mind games in WHO AM I? and you’ll wonder if love is worth the effort in CRAFTY WITCH and 7FT, HAIRY AND HANDSOME.
In addition, there are six shorts preceding main screen films. The international premiere of Alexandra Magistro’s haunting LOVE YOU MAMA, which is beforeWOLFKIN, the UK premiere ofAriel Baska’s avenging OUR FIRST PRIORITY, playing beforeTINY CINEMA and the World premiere of Helena Coan’s monstrous BLOOD RITES, which plays before SPLINTER.There is also the UK premiere of the wild LAZERPOPE from the same team as HOLY SH*T! which will precede that feature, the UK Premiere of Padraig Reynolds A WALK IN THE PARK and the insane ALIEN DICK from director Ryan Kruger which will both UK precede THE ONES YOU DIDN’T BURN.
The 2022 Short Film Showcases are dedicated to the memory of Dan Auty, friend and showcase alumnus.
Programmer Shelagh Rowan-Legg said today: “From vampires to ghost hunters, witches to serial killers, from the jungles of Brazil to the streets of Seoul to the wilds of the Fens and the kitchens of London, this year’s selection of shorts will surprise, horrify, entertain, and terrify the viewer. Our short films offer horror distilled, fear fermented, and chills shivering down your spine.”
The full line-up:
FRIDAY 26 AUGUST – SHORT FILM SHOWCASE 1
101 FILMS DISCOVERY SCREEN 3 AT THE PRINCE CHARLES from 15:45
Guts (London Premiere)
Director: Chris McInroy. Cast: Kirk Johnson, Jeremy King. USA 2021. 8 min.
Horace has the guts to get the job and get the girl, but that might be what’s standing in his way
From.Beyond (European Premiere)
Director: Fredrik S. Hana. Norway 2022. 14 min.
What we will experience on our first encounter with alien life is beyond our imagination.
Smile (UK Premiere)
Director: Joana Tsanis. Cast: Konstantina Mantelos, Ashley Laurence. Canada 2021. 7 min.
When a young woman struggles to smile, her depression becomes something truly monstrous.
The Living (UK Premiere)
Director: Cleo Handler. Cast: Brad Dourif, Cleo Handler. USA 2022 13 min.
A vampire with an addictive personality finds a therapist to help him kick his blood habit.
The Last Dance (UK Premiere)
Director: Dana Bizri. Cast: Eli Chkreba, Maria Sarrouh. Lebanon 2021. 7 min.
A young boy struggles to take care of his mother after she decides to keep the corpse of her dead husband.
Skin & Bone (European Premiere)
Director: Eli Powers. Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Thomas Sadoski. USA 2021. 17 min.
A drifter begins having haunting visions after taking a job on a secluded farm.
Halves Through Night (UK Premiere)
Director: Lina Laraki. Cast: Ibrahim Karansal. France 2021. 11 min.
On an eerie evening, a mechanic finds himself caught in the transitional space between the living and the dead.
Cruise (London Premiere)
Director: Sam Rudykoff. Cast: Simon Pond, Ray James, Chad Andrews. Canada 2021. 7 min.
We’ve all received scam phone calls, but what about the person making the calls?
Cicada (London Premiere)
Director: Daewoen Yoon. Cast: Nina Kim. Republic of Korea 2021. 17 min.
A prostitute encounters a visitor who seems both familiar and alienated to her.
The Days That (Never) Were (UK Premiere)
Director: Pedro Rivero, Kevin Iglesias Rodríguez. Spain 2022. 11 min.
Three characters are about to have the best time of their lives … until a strange phenomenon appears to interrupt everything.
Meat Friend (European Premiere)
Director: Izzy Lee. Cast: Marnie McKendry, Steve Johanson. USA 2022. 8 min.
An ex-con, sentient pile of hamburger meat teaches after-school lessons to a child.
SUNDAY 28 AUGUST – SHORT FILM SHOWCASE 2
101 FILMS DISCOVERY SCREEN 2 AT THE PRINCE CHARLES from 10:45
Everyone Forgot (International Premiere)
Director: Theo Kai Marlow. Cast: Anwen Bull, James Knapp. UK 2022. 18 min.
It’s Lily’s birthday and nobody seems to care. Maybe the handyman will come to her rescue?
Molar (International Premiere)
Director: Tiago Teixeira. Cast: Tadeu Batista. UK 2021. 5 min.
A man breaks into an abandoned house and finds something disturbing buried in a heap of dirt.
Sucker (UK Premiere)
Director: Alix Austin. Cast: Sophia Capasso, Annie Knox. UK 2022. 8 min.
Two sisters are pitted against each other by a giant, abhorrent leech creature.
Unreel (UK Premiere)
Director: Christopher Ian Smith. Cast: Nicole Joseph. UK 2022. 7 min.
A young projectionist discovers that the strange terror she watches on screen might just have invaded reality.
Legs (World Premiere)
Director: Celine Cotran. Cast: Laura Carmichael, Amit Shah. UK 2022. 16 min.
One night, Joy swallows a spider in her sleep, and soon develops an insatiable appetite for flies.
Catch Your Breath (International Premiere)
Director: Matt Sears. Cast: Samson Oliver, Toby Oliver. UK 2022. 9 min.
A shy boy is pressured by his brother into playing a game that is said to summon the ghost of the town legend.
A Killer Outside (World Premiere)
Director: Joe Zalias. Cast: Erin Shanagher, Nicola Gardner, Gareth Berliner. UK 2022. 8 min.
Believing she is being tormented by an alien entity, Caroline must distinguish between reality and mental illness.
The Microscope (World Premiere)
Directors: Elliot Vick, Reuben Vick. Cast: Johnny Vivash. UK 2022. 10 min.
An eccentric microscopist finally gets his hand on some rare samples, but he could never have imagined what he’ll see.
Bleep (World Premiere)
Director: Ben S. Hyland. Cast: Paul F. Taylor, Rebecca Shorrocks, Toby Williams. UK 2022. 8 min.
A couple’s relationship is pushed to the brink as they investigate a strange noise that’s woken them in the night.
MONDAY 29 AUGUST – SHORT FILM SHOWCASE 3
101 FILMS DISCOVERY SCREEN 2 AT THE PRINCE CHARLES from 13:30
Eric (UK Premiere)
Director: David Yorke. Cast: Jemma Moore, Oliver Powell. UK 2022. 14 min.
Joshua finally gets to meet Eric, the beloved dog of a girl he’s been dating.
A Little Death (UK Premiere)
Director: Maria Pawilkowska. Cast: Maria Pawlikowska, Neli Llado. UK 2021.
Eternal life is getting harder for the undead Tina, who subsists on the transfer of energies accessed during the male orgasm.
O, Glory! (London Premiere)
Directors: Joe Williams, Charlie Edwards-Moss. Cast: Sam Spruell, Emily Stott, Jonathan Livingstone. UK 2021. 16 min.
A psychiatric doctor and his assistant are called to an isolated country house to examine Deborah, whose brother believes she is losing her mind.
Who Am I? (World Premiere)
Director: Christopher Newberry. Cast: Chloe Wigmore, Mila Fowkes. UK 2022. 10 min.
A game between a mother and daughter whilst cleaning up a dead relative’s house starts to reveal truths about the past.
Crafty Witch (London Premiere)
Director: Laura-Beth Cowley. Rowan Charmichale, Ben Mitchell. UK 2021. 1 min.
Hopkins is up to his old tricks, but Winny has other ideas.
Machine (UK Premiere)
Director: Matthias Von Braun. Cast: Melanie Whitehead Smith. UK 2022. 2 min.
A bio-mechanical android bursts from her artificial fetal sac. She discovers her body and rejects her sexuality.
Lotus (World Premiere)
Director: Deri Watt. Cast: Ella Starbuck. UK 2022. 4 min.
A woman tries to unwind with a meditation app. It doesn’t go as planned.
Regulars (UK Premiere)
Director: Lauren Mackenzie. Cast: Tegen Short, Tom Glynn-Carney. UK 2021. 16 min.
An obsessed guy kidnaps the girl of his dreams and holds her hostage in his basement hoping to win her over.
Foetal Attraction (World Premiere)
Director: Roz Gomersall. Cast: Orlando Harrison. UK 2022. 7 min.
A middle-aged porn addict festers away while his audio-visual devices conspire with supernatural forces to deliver a strange gift…
7ft, Hairy and Handsome (UK Premiere)
Director: Kel Sneddon. Cast: Mackenzie Paterson, Struan Sloan. UK 2022. 7 min.
After being attacked by a werewolf, Nick begins to fantasise about the effects it will have on his body.