Film4 FrightFest 2015 is bigger, bolder and bloodier than ever

FrightFest 2015 poster

Tickets for this year’s Film4 FrighFest are on sale now (online only) and here’s the full rundown on what’s heading into the Temple of Terror, aka the Vue West End in Leicester Square, from 27-31 August. Welcome to the Dark Heart of Cinema…

Apart from opening with David Keating’s CHERRY TREE, there is the world premiere of Steve Oram’s hilarious and very disturbing AAAAAAAAH!, Dominic Brunt’s sharp-edged female revenge saga BAIT, Ben and Chris Blaine’s sexually charged zom-rom-com NINA FOREVER, Mark Murphy’s tale of twisted minds, AWAITING, Paul Hyett’s much-anticipated HOWL, Adam Levins’ sinister family drama ESTRANGED, Howard J. Ford’s pulsating child-abduction thriller NEVER LET GO, Corin Hardy’s Sundance sensation THE HALLOW, Ruth Platt’s morally-challenging chiller THE LESSON, Liam Regan’s gruesome revenge saga BANJO, Eugene McGing’s supernatural haunter THE UNFOLDING and finally AFTERDEATH, a hellish thriller by new directors Gez Medinger and Robin Schmidt.

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The Main screens shine brightly with a vivid, stellar mix of the monstrous, the macabre and the must-see. Apart from our closing anthology TALES OF HALLOWEEN and our ‘gorious’ festive attraction A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY, there is Iain Softley’s cleverly vicious CURVE, Bernard Rose’s stylishly affecting FRANKENSTEIN, Adrian Garcia Bogliano’s masterpiece SCHERZO DIABOLICO, Abner Pastoll’s deranged ROAD GAMES, Alistair Legrand’s genre-bending shocker THE DIABOLICAL, Ted Geoghegan’s well-received ghost story WE ARE STILL HERE, Adam Schindler’s agoraphobic SHUT IN, Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell & Yoann-Karl Whissell’s post-apocalyptic romp TURBO KID, Bruce McDonald’s Halloween horror HELLIONS and Levan Bakhia’s explosive LANDMINE GOES CLICK. Plus, the Israeli Paz Brothers put the grim in pilgrimage with JERUZALEM, director Adam Egypt Mortimer gives us his cutting-edge “feminist slasher movie” SOME KIND OF HATE, first-time director Eric Hannezo gives us his version of RABID DOGS, STUNG lets loose a battalion of giant wasps and Australian director Ursula Dabrowsky bring us her highly unusual shocker INNER DEMON. Completing the main screen mayhem is splatstick psycho-thriller DEATHGASM, suburban shocker SLUMLORD, the brilliantly unnerving EMELIE, the stark, gore-filled NIGHT FARE and JAMES WAN’S DEMONIC.

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Embracing the ever-burgeoning independent arena, this year’s increased number of films in the Discovery Screens illustrates the growing global investment in the genre. From Australia and France, Mexico and Russia, Argentina and Peru, FrightFest showcases the most electrifying examples, including world premieres for Jaron Henrie-McCrea’s CURTAIN, Russell Friedenberg’s WIND WALKERS, Padraig Reynolds’ WORRY DOLLS and Benjamin Moody’s LAST GIRL STANDING. There are European premieres for Ben Cresciman’s SUN CHOKE, Kyle Rankin’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB, Valentin Javier Diment’s THE ROTTEN LINK, John Fallon’s THE SHELTER, Adam Mason’s HANGMAN and Brian James O’Connell’s BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS. UK premieres score highly too with Mickey Keating’s POD, Perry Blackshear’s THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE, John Knautz’s GODDESS OF LOVE, Anthony DiBlasi’s MOST LIKELY TO DIE, Alberto Marini’s SUMMER CAMP, Rodney Ascher’s THE NIGHTMARE, Zak Hilditch’s THESE FINAL HOURS, Pavel Khaleev’s III, April Mullen’s FARHOPE TOWER, Jeffrey Lando’s SUSPENSION, Isaac Gabaeff’s monster mash-up THE SAND, Eduardo Schuldt’s Peruvian horror THE ENTITY, Tyler Shields’ feature film debut FINAL GIRL 14 year-old French director Nathan Ambrosioni’s HOSTILE, Takashi Miike’s OVER YOUR DEAD BODY, David Gelb’s THE LAZARUS EFFECT, Dan Berk & Robert Olsen’s BODY, Isabel Coixet’s ANOTHER ME, Chad Archibald’s BITE, Joe Chien’s ZOMBIE FIGHT CLUB, and Josh Forbes’ CONTRACTED: PHASE II. There is also a special screening for Paul Goodwin’s FUTURE SHOCK! THE STORY OF 2000AD. This selection is bound to cause much heated debate and ecstatic discussion.

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In the Retrospective section, this year audiences will be able to discover an eclectic programme straddling grindhouse to art-house with brand new restorations of the classic HELLRAISER, the giallo masterpiece YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY, the exploitation duo MADMAN and THE MUTILATOR, the cult Hammer Horror CAPTAIN KRONOS: VAMPIRE HUNTER, the high camp HAWK THE SLAYER and the high-end horrors TENDERNESS OF THE WOLVES and THE REFLECTING SKIN.

Alan Jones, Festival co-director, said today: “It is with great pride that we announce the line-up for the UK’s biggest, best and most renowned genre festival which is now a globally recognised brand. Our sixteenth year sees yet another enhancement of its core mission to bring the finest in home grown and international fear to the dark heart of London’s West End. Embracing everything outstanding about the horror fantasy genre, whether it be from mainstream mayhem or director’s daydream to quirky independents and major talent detection, the Temple of Terror that is Film4 FrightFest returns with a vengeance to the flagship Vue Cinema in London’s Leicester Square”.

Julia Wrigley, Head of Film4 Channel, added: ““The relationship with FrightFest is extremely important to Film4 – the channel has always been committed to bringing our audience the very best in horror, so joining forces with such a major genre event keeps us connected to the fans and filmmakers who generate all the excitement. We try to capture that in our annual FrightFest season and weekly Saturday Night Shocks strand, but it’s what the team create in a festival setting that keeps us coming back as title sponsors. This year we’re thrilled to be a part of the weekend itself thanks to a new Channel 4/Film4 short-film scheme and to be starting what we hope will be an ongoing debate with our new website feature bringing together the best horror films of the century so far, voted on by a panel of experts. Ultimately, FrightFest is always a huge inspiration whenever we think about horror at Film4.”

Festival and day pass sales will go on sale Saturday 4 July at noon and will only be available online.

Single tickets will go on sale on Sat 25th July 2015.

A festival pass will cost £185. Day passes are: Thursday £30, Friday & Saturday £60, Sunday & Monday £50. Single tickets will be £13.25.

 

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The Woman in Black: Angel of Death | DVD review – You can dodge the bombs, but not the ghost

Woman-in-Black-Angel-of-Death

The remorseless black-clad ghost from author Susan Hill’s enduringly popular supernatural tale unleashes more terror in The Woman in Black: Angel of Death, the sequel to Hammer Studios’ genuinely chilling 2012 horror film The Woman in Black. This time, it is young teacher Phoebe Fox and a class of evacuee children, refugees from Blitz-torn 1941 London, who encounter her baleful presence in and around desolate Eel Marsh House, as does Jeremy Irvine’s tormented RAF pilot, stationed nearby. When things go bump, director Tom Harper duly makes us jump on cue, but the patchy script ensures the scares don’t have quite the same impact as before. Which is a shame, as the misty, moonlit settings remain eerie, while Fox does a good job of conveying the melancholy and loss secretly haunting her character.

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Certificate 15. Runtime 98 mins. Director Tom Harper.

The Woman in Black: Angel of Deathis released by Entertainment One on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday 13 July and available now on Digital Download.

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Win a Blu-ray™ of stylish thriller “Focus” starring Will Smith & Margot Robbie – available from 6 July

Focus

To celebrate the release of the smart heist thriller starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie, on Blu-ray™ and DVD from July 6, we are giving you the chance to win FOCUS on Blu-ray™!

Will Smith stars as Nicky, a seasoned master of misdirection who becomes romantically involved with novice con artist Jess (Margot Robbie). As he’s teaching her the tricks of the trade, she gets too close for comfort and he abruptly breaks it off. Three years later, the former flame—now an accomplished femme fatale—shows up in Buenos Aires in the middle of the high stakes racecar circuit. In the midst of Nicky’s latest, very dangerous scheme, she throws his plans for a loop… and the consummate con man off his game. See the trailer here:

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To enter this amazing competition,  just answer this question and email your answer and your details (with FOCUS in the subject line) to movietalk@timeinc.com:

True or False?
FOCUS was shot on location in these three distinctly different world-renowned cities: New York, New Orleans and Buenos Aires.

FOCUS is available on Blu-ray™ and DVD on 6 July and on Digital HD™ now
For further information on FOCUS, join us here www.facebook.com/FocusMovieUK or follow us @WarnerBrosUK

© 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

Competition closes 4pm Monday 24 July 2015. Terms and Conditions apply.

 

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Focus | DVD review – Con-man Will has tricks up his sleeve but incandescent Margot steals the movie

Focus - Will Smith, Margot-Robbie

Will Smith and Margot Robbie team up as veteran and novice partners in crime for slick caper movie Focus, but with Smith misplacing his usual charm it’s the incandescently sexy Robbie who steals the movie.

Smith’s slick confidence trickster initially takes Robbie’s inexperienced grifter under his wing for a series of scams in New Orleans. But when their paths cross again in Buenos Aires three years later in the midst of an elaborate con game involving Rodrigo Santoro’s millionaire Formula 1 racing team owner, her appearance threatens to wreck his new scheme.

As the plot twists and turns this way and that, the trickery is often dazzling, but when it comes to the eventual outcome most viewers will be a step ahead.

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Certificate 15. Runtime 100 mins. Directors Glenn Ficarra, John Requa.

Focus is released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday 6 July and available now on Digital Download.

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The Wedding Ringer | DVD review – Some things old, borrowed and blue, but very little new in Hart & Gad’s wedding comedy

The Wedding Ringer - Josh Gad, Kevin Hart

Friendless groom-to-be Josh Gad hires professional faker Kevin Hart to be his pretend best man at his forthcoming wedding to blonde beauty Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting in the highly contrived and strenuously unfunny buddy comedy The Wedding Ringer. To prevent the flimsy charade from being exposed, Hart winds up in one scene setting the bride’s grandmother on fire. The filmmakers’ efforts to distract from the feebleness of their own efforts are similarly desperate. Loudmouth Hart swears copiously, while the tubby Gad (the talking snowman in Frozen) gets pitched into a series of undignified scrapes that end with damage to his genitals. Laughs, though, are few and far between.

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Certificate 15. Runtime 101 mins. Director Jeremy Garelick.

Focus is released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday 6 July.

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Win It Follows T-shirt and film soundtrack

It Follows Tee

It doesn’t think, it doesn’t feel, and it doesn’t give up!
After her dream date goes badly wrong, 19-year-old Jay discovers that a mysterious curse has been passed on to her. She begins to experience terrifying visions and the feeling that she is being followed wherever she goes. Only she seems able to see these deadly pursuers, who walk slowly towards her with only one purpose – to kill. Jay is in a race against time and must prove to her friends that she is in deadly terror and convince them to help her combat the seemingly unstoppable ‘It’ before it gets her.

A genuinely scary thrill ride that will stay with you for days afterwards, featuring a stunning break-out performance from Maika Monroe, IT FOLLOWS is a benchmark horror classic for a new generation of fright fans and its out now on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD from Icon Home Entertainment.

To celebrate its release, we have two fantastic T-shirts to give away as well as the soundtrack (as download). To be in with a chance of winning, just answer this question and email your answer and your details (with IT FOLLOWS in the subject line) to movietalk@timeinc.com

Q: What is the stage name of It Follows composer Richard Vreeland?

  •   Peace Maker
  •   Disasterpeace
  •   Piece of Cake

Competition closes 4pm Monday 17 July 2015. Terms and Conditions apply.

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Biggles: Aventures in Time (1986) | The enjoyable British fantasy gets a remastered HD release

Biggle_Blu-rayFrom OEG Classic Movies, comes a re-mastered and restored print on Blu-ray and DVD of the 1986 fantasy adventure, Biggles: Adventures in Time.

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Based on WE Johns’ much-loved adventure stories, this British-made fantasy was a valiant attempt at bringing the RFC flying ace hero to a new generation, but with an in vogue sci-fi twist.

Manhattan entrepreneur Jim Ferguson (Alex Hyde-White) is dragged back in time to the trenches of Western Front in 1917. There he meets his ‘time-twin’, flying ace James ‘Biggles’ Bigglesworth (Neil Dickson). Together, the two men embark on a mission to destroy the German’s deadly new sound weapon and defeat dastardly Hun, Eric von Stalhein (Marcus Gilbert).

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Featuring music from Deep Purple, Motley Cru and Jon Anderson from Yes, and the legendary Peter Cushing – in his final film role – this is enjoyable Saturday matinee fare.

The HD restoration is a pleasure to watch and so pristine that you can see the breath of the actors (the film was shot in winter), which is a far cry from previous DVD releases. A restored trailer is included as the only extra.

READ MORE…

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Jupiter Ascending | DVD review – The Wachowskis’ sci-fi adventure: cosmic misfire or future camp classic?

Jupiter Ascending - Mila Kunis

The Wachowskis’ siblings first original movie since The Matrix, sci-fi adventure Jupiter Ascending is a cosmic misfire: spectacular to look at but spectacularly silly, especially when stars Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum are taking stabs at the ridiculous dialogue.

Kunis is the eponymous Jupiter, an immigrant cleaner in present-day Chicago who learns she is actually space royalty after pointy-eared space soldier Tatum whooshes in on his nifty space skates to rescue her from space assassins. It’s the movie that is in real peril, though, as we and Jupiter struggle to get our heads round the notion that she is the genetic heir to an intergalactic dynasty.

Eddie Redmayne almost rescues things as the story’s chief villain, a literal master of the universe who drips with such cosmic disdain that he can’t be bothered to raise his voice above a galaxy-weary whisper. And, playing his brother and sister, Tuppence Middleton and Douglas Booth are deliciously decadent, too. The Wachowskis’ batty plot very nearly smothers the film’s kitsch pleasures, but they’ve come up with a future camp classic, without a doubt.

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Certificate 12. Runtime 122 mins. Directors The Wachowskis.

Jupiter Ascending is released on DVD & Blu-ray by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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It Follows | DVD review – Seriously scary horror thriller unleashes a new threat for America’s suburban teens

It Follows - Maika Monroe, Jake Weary

More than 35 years after John Carpenter’s Halloween, leafy American suburbia remains a perilous place for teenagers. However, the threat youngster Jay (Maika Monroe) faces in horror thriller It Follows is no knife-wielding maniac. Instead, her implacable foe is a pursuer who can take the form of a succession of different people, all walking towards her at a slow but relentless pace. Only she can see the stalker and her only hope of survival is to pass on this curse to someone else. There’s something uncannily eerie about the unnamed entity, and the fact its origins are never explained only makes the film more unnerving. Jay and her teenage friends are portrayed with refreshing sensitivity but above all, It Follows is seriously scary with the remorseless antagonist becoming genuinely horrifying as we wait to see from where and in what form it will appear next.

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Certificate 15. Runtime 96 mins. Director David Robert Mitchell.

It Follows is available on DVD, Blu-ray, VOD and Digital Download from Icon Home Entertainment.

Special features: Interview with the composer Disasterpeace; Audio Commentary with Danny Leigh (Film 2015) and Mark Jancovich (Professor of Film and Television Studies, UEA); Theatrical Trailer; Gallery

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House of Cards Season Three | DVD review – Kevin Spacey’s devious Frank Underwood is back to his double-dealing best

HOUSE OF CARDS SEASON 3 SBRP619801UV_3D - SPECIAL PACKAGINGOne of the most compelling characters on TV, Kevin Spacey’s awesomely devious US politician Frank Underwood returned for another term of magnificently Machiavellian scheming in House of Cards Season 3, shown on Netflix earlier this year and now available on DVD.

Six months have passed since we last saw him, being sworn in as US president having engineered the resignation of the incumbent. He’s climbed to the very top of the greasy pole.

But attaining his life’s ambition hasn’t softened him in the slightest, as the eye-popping opening scene of episode one – which shows Spacey’s Frank urinating on his despised father’s grave – makes abundantly clear. After two seasons of ruthless double-crosses, stiletto-sharp backstabbing and a couple of murders, aided and abetted by his Lady Macbeth of a wife, Robin Wright’s Claire, Frank can still startle us.

House of Cards - Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood

Yet things haven’t been going entirely his way in the six months since he first got his feet under the desk of the Oval Office – his approval ratings have plummeted, his flagship ‘America Works’ jobs programme is stalling and his Democratic Party colleagues want to give him the chop.

Stir in Claire’s audacious scheme to become US ambassador to the United Nations and the reappearance of doggedly loyal but dysfunctional henchman Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), left for dead with his head bashed in by born-again former call-girl Rachel Posner last time around, and this season of House of Cards more than lives up to its predecessors for deadly double-dealing and intrigue.

House of Cards: The Complete Third Season is available on Digital HD, DVD & Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Certificate 15. Runtime 681 mins.

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