The Horror, The Horror: Fright Feast On Film

As a fan of both Feast On Film and the Brainhownd film nights, a collaboration between the two was a solid lock for me.

The two North London film nights aren’t rivals. If anything, they support and encourage each other, and underground film-makers will regularly screen at both. They are drawn by the warm, inclusive atmosphere. They have slightly different feels. Brainehownd is a bit rowdier, thanks to the MC skills of stand-up comedians like David Whitney and Mike Shepherd. Feast is a little more thoughtful, as host James Rumsey directs Q&As with the evening’s contributors. Both are enormous fun, and you’re guaranteed to see some great short films.

The Brainehownd-curated night at Feast was a Halloween special–another reason to drag me in. Officially, I was there to support leading Man Clive and Simon Aitken, who were showing the teaser trailer for Habeas Corpus. Unofficially, I was there to drink beer and watch horror films.

There were some cracking shorts on display, and some genuine surprises. It was an eclectic mix, ranging from Bloody Cut Film’s Sucka Blood, a vicious little Grimm-style cautionary tale, to Molly Brown’s brilliantly rubbery CG animation The Evil Table. This mixed police procedural with monsters to hilarious effect.

In fact, the focus was strongly on humour. I’m pleased to point out that the one proper jump-scare of the night came from Habeas Corpus. Mind you, that moment made a Frightfest audience leap out of their seats. If you can freak out that bench of horror fiends, you know you’re doing something right.

There were two stand-out films of the night for me. Mike Tack’s The Domestic, a tale of suburban torture and revenge directed with real brio. It was shot entirely on an iPhone 4, and looked fine to these jaundiced old colourist’s eyes. Mike’s a real character, dry-as-a-bone funny and a real horror evangelist. A name to watch.

My favourite, though, was Bloody Cut’s second film of the night, Dead Man’s Lake. The set-up is pure 80’s slasher, with an isolated lakeside setting, two lovers and something nasty lurking in the woods. But that premise is just a ruse, and the final two minutes flip everything you’ve seen on its head. This one genuinely took me by surprise. I can’t recommend this one highly enough.

Fright Feast On Film was a riot of a night, a great chance to meet old friends and make new ones. Kudos to James Rumsey and Brainehownd’s Mark Brown for putting together a gem of an event.  Mike Shepherd was a great MC, although it should be noted that you don’t really want to cross him on the subject of Latin pronunciation.

If you fancy checking out some great shorts in a friendly, relaxed setting, Brainehownd and Feast are well worth the trip on the Northern Line. Feast On Film is on the third Wednesday of the month at Moor’s Bar in Crouch End. Brainehownd takes over the Hideaway Bar in Hornsey every second Tuesday.

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Rob

Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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