FrightFest 2013 Day 4


The Sunday loomed to be the day that would have a very quiet start with many a fan having a sleep in after three late nights of partying. This included Filmwerk who took advantage of the fact that they had already seen the first film. So after a good sleep, a hearty breakfast and a late morning combat with the London transport system, we were back on site ready at the Media wall for more action.


So far we learned that three films have been given a bit of special treatment.  Stalled – Which was showing in the Discovery screens (and had sold out both shows) was given a third screening on Monday. Opening film the Dead II: India was shown again on screen 2 – which apparently found a better home after a very mixed reception on opening night. And Willow Creek, from director Bobcat Goldthwaite had its second screening upgraded from one of the smaller Discovery screens to Screen 2 for its second showing – Which explained by I Spit On Your Grave 2 was a bit more sparse.


Another surprise is that No One Lives lead actor Luke Evans apparently wandered in off the street after having seen his poster outside the cinema to see how it played.

Andy Nyman was back once again to host the Quiz from Hell!  After that he then took it upon himself to sit in our seat!  But we let him off as he’s such a nice guy – that and we had work to do outside anyway!


The 666 Shortcuts to hell Short Film competition Quiz also played the 6 frontrunners fr the prize.  Although there was a bit of confusion as to who directed what – so when the winner was announced the audience literally had to screamed out to find out which one the director was responsible for.  And when the answer came “The necrophilia one!”  it was met with a resounded cheer!



Beyond that the day of films felt very much like the day before. There was a lot of films that served their purpose. Nothing really stank the auditorium up, but even less stood out from the crowd. A lukewarm year so far then. Can Day five bring in the real surprises?

Day four on the main screen looked like this!


This is your fairly basic and predictable stalker obsessive territory here. Stranger comes to town and takes up religion and helps spread good deeds across town. Local “single” mother is taken in by handsome stranger’s kindness and attention. A few laps round the track later together and suddenly the guy just won’t go away – to the point of rejection and then eventual retribution.

Missionary is handled fairly well and does have a couple of nice surprises along the way, but is easily just as disposable.


In Fear

A nice little slow burner of being lost in the countryside with road signs that seem to send you round in circle.  You know how it is, you are trying to take your brand new girlfriend to a fancy location and you run into a little bit of trouble with the locals.  And by that we mean that start stalking and attacking you on the roads.

Nicely performed and directed – In Fear makes the most of its small budget and builds tension nicely. A highlight on the big screen for day 4.


The Dark Tourist

The title for initially The Grief Tourist – but changed sadly to the slightly dumber The Dark Tourist. Thankfully the film itself is a fine piece of work. Certainly one of the more character driven and slow burning films of the festival. This one follows Jim Tahna (Michael Cudlitz) on his vacation – visiting locations of where a once infamous serial killer lived, worked and prayed.

Pruitt Taylor Vince and Melanie Griffith add weight to a rather cold and slow plod. We only ever get to know our main character literally by what we observe. Flashbacks may give away more detail, and a few twists along the way certain will make dozy eye viewers pay attention, but most of the turns in the plot come way too late into the plot and begin to wrap things up fairly swiftly.

This isn’t likely to throw Griffith back into the major limelight, but it is nice to see that she is happy and capable of doing small drama in supporting roles. Cudlitz puts in a terrific performance as a very tortured soul, but this one is for the “patient viewer” – which have been an even better title for the film.


The Conspiracy

More found footage. This time a couple of documentary film-makers decide to focus on conspiracy theorist – until their subject goes missing.  The two delve into the matter and find themselves discovering a thing or two about history and a cult that may end them both up in serious trouble.

The idea to show this in largely documentary style footage is brave. Much of the tension though is cut by the fact that the film consistently interrupts with what appears to be “Present Day” reactions from the key participants about what we are indeed watching.

This one isn’t likely to blow the roof off any cinema any time soon, but again it’s not the worst found footage movie you’ll see. But it is yet another one.


The Last Days

Spanish movie that explores a version of the future apocalypse and breakdown of society.  One day it turns out that we just can’t go outside without dying. So whilst trapped at home, work, church – wherever it may be – we follow a couple of men as they try to tunnel their way under the city to get to the people that are important to them in life.

The Last Days could have been an interesting take on the apocalypse if it didn’t fall down on its own silly logic. The performances are fine, the budget is still at the lower levels of the scale which don’t help the “money shots,” andf by the end it all just seems a little silly.


I Spit On Your Grave 2

Despite nobody asking for this sequel, and whilst not having the impact of the first remake, this follow up from the same director focuses on a new victim who is put through an entirely different ordeal. The format is the same – the first hour is very unpleasant, and the remainder of the film is all about payback and pay off.

The lead actress Jemma Dallander puts in a terrific and brave performance. The set-up of the film is suitably murky, but directed as tastefully as one might expect these days from a rape/revenge thriller.

The film is only let down by the pay off. Whilst there are a few torturous deaths that are truly worthy, there is very little in the case of euphoric high when the bad guys get taken down. If anything it kind of stumbles to a stop when you might still be hoping for a little bit more.  But none the less the effects are top notch and the film is much better than it had any right to be.


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