August Bank Holiday is rolling around, in the same sort of way as a rhino that’s about to run you down. It’s big, it’s slow-moving, but somehow it’s on you before you realise it.
Normally at this time of year I would be getting ready to wallow in the mud at the Reading Festival. Due to circumstances both beyond (tickets sold out in 15 nanoseconds flat) and within my control (laziness) Radiohead will just have to manage without me. No, this year I shall be at Leicester Square, for a day of Frightfest.
The UK’s premier horror and fantasy film festival hits it’s tenth anniversary this year, and it’s ringing the changes in a big way. A move to the Empire, one of the bigger cinemas in The Square, and the opening of a second Discovery Screen for new talent. Which means more films, of course, and with that the chance to miss something you really want to see because something you want to see more is screening at the same time. So it goes.
I’m easing in gently, by just doing the Saturday, which has the highest concentration of must-sees for me. Unlike hardcore Festers like Leading Man Clive, who regularly do the whole thing, which can’t be good for you.
The real pick of the crop for me, is Giallo, the new film by Dario Argento. It seems like a move back to his stylish slasher roots, and should be an absolute blast. There are rumours that he might be attending, which would make me a happy horror head.
(FanBoy Fact: One of my discoveries of this year, Frederic Brown’s noir novel The Screaming Mimi, was the uncredited source for Argento’s first giallo, The Bird With The Crystal Plumage. Different kinds of pulpy yumminess).
One feature of the fest that I may well miss is the Zombie Walk around Leicester Square on the Monday morning. Don’t be fooled. That’s not makeup. This is what horror fans tend to look like after three days in a dark room with inappropriate nutrition and not enough kip.
I’ve meant to do Frightfest for years, and I’m really excited to be sitting down with some good friends and just indulging my geeky half.
Alright, two-thirds.Frightfest begins tomorrow evening with the premiere of seaborne shocker Triangle. Hopefully nothing like the old soap opera set on the Le Havre ferry…