Frightfest: The Hit List (part 1)

As any horror fan knows, this Bank Holiday Weekend just past belonged to Frightfest, the biggest, nastiest, loudest and scariest horror film festival in the country, and one of the greatest on the planet. I’d love to tell you all about the shenanigans that went on this year, but due to work commitments I could only pop along for two films. Fortunately, I has contacts. So I asked my buddies in the Corpus Crew to help out.

Today, lists of favourites from Simon Aitken and Brenden Lonergan. Leading Man Clive gets tomorrow all to himself as he’s written a bleedin’ essay, bless his black and twisted little heart. Aaaaanyway.

Simon Aitken, director of Blood And Roses and star of his own X&HT Spotlight, gives us his top five:

5. Troll Hunter
4. Tucker & Dale Vs Evil
3. Rabies
2. Kill List
1. The Innkeepers

Ti West’s haunted house chiller The Innkeepers was genuinely scary. There was a nice build up at the beginning of getting to know the characters and the inn, that when the ghostly goings up started to happen you really cared. Also sent a nice chill up your spine. I highly recommend it.

Brendan Lonergan, special effects guru to the cogniscenti (seriously, look out for his work in John Carter at Christmas, and on a certain highly anticipated prequel/reboot that I’m not sure I can mention), agrees with Simon on his pick of the fest:

The Innkeeper is my number 1 Film. It’s the reason why I love Horror; a great antidote for all of this people skinning people alive and sawing peoples heads off shit (sorry, I’m just really sick of it).

Followed by Tucker and Dale vs Evil.

Third is Final Destination 5.

Saying I enjoyed Kill List would be wrong, a bit like saying you enjoyed Schindlers List. The wrong adjective, but a damned fine movie never the less.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, I liked also. It was nice to see more monster movies this year.

Oh, and I forgot The Woman. A very good movie, but once again, I watch movies for enjoyment, not to be constantly reminded of how shit the world is, you can get that on the news (but that’s just me).

Fright Night was kinda fun, but whenever I think of the original, the remake becomes one big crappy wasted opportunity.

Panic Button was also kind of fun. So I’ve given you my top five, and a couple of extra thrown in for good measure.

There you have it. If you have any thoughts or experiences you’d care to share on this year’s FrightFest, go ahead and comment. Thanks again to Simon and Brendan. Drop by tomorrow for more Frightfesty fun, as Leading Man Clive takes over X&HT!

Friends and Fellow Travellers Update

This is, I should immediately stress, NOT a blog about not blogging. Members of the Readership must be very used to the way I drop off the radar at this time of year, as Nanowrimo starts to loom over the horizon and work in general kicks into high gear. So, no apologies. Business as usual. I do have exciting news. I just can’t quite talk about it yet.

Instead, then, let’s talk about other people’s exciting news. First up, X&HTeam-mate Nick Scott has his short film SNAILS screening this Saturday, October 2nd, at the Shortwave Cinema in Bermondsey. It’s a tale of family tragedy and rebellion, and the script is a cracker. NIck’s scripts are always great, but Snails is especially good, and he’s done a lovely job at bringing it to the screen. It’s showing at 4pm, and the Shortwave has an especially good bar.

Meanwhile, Simon Aitken’s Blood + Roses is FINALLY getting some well-deserved love. After it’s success at the Portobello Film Festival (more on that from Simon here) it will be shown at the Cornwall Film Festival this November. This is rather fitting, as the film was shot entirely on location in that lovely county.

But the big news is that Simon will be in Florida between the 8th-10th October, screening Blood + Roses as part of the massive Spooky Empire event. International attention for Blood + Roses is really important, and can only help it get a distribution deal and start making some of that sweet sweet cash. I’m really stoked for Simon. It’s taken a while, but one of the quirkier and more interesting horror films of the past couple of years is finally getting an audience. And as an added bonus, the guest of honour is probably my favourite director, John Carpenter. I’ve already put a request in for an autograph…

And finally, this Thursday, the tallest member of The Corpus Crew, Paul Davis, will be on The Horror Channel, introducing three of his favourite films as part of the Director’s Night. His choices are curious, informed and intriguing. Much like the man himself. There’s an interview with him on the Horror Channel website, which features a nice puff piece for Habeas Corpus. Which is always nice to see.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do … stuff. SEKRIT stuff. Shhhh…