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Frightfest 2022

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ChrisReynolds
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Frightfest 2022

#1

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Last edited by ChrisReynolds on July 21st, 2022, 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#2

Post by mightysparks »

Annoyed there aren't more trailers and/or info available for most films. How am I supposed to decide :'(

Also made an IMDb list of all the films: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls567753831/
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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#3

Post by peeptoad »

If anyone sees the new Benson/Moorhead piece please report back! That was one I missed when it was at Sundance earlier this year... :)
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#4

Post by ChrisReynolds »

mightysparks wrote: July 15th, 2022, 10:45 am Annoyed there aren't more trailers and/or info available for most films. How am I supposed to decide :'(

Also made an IMDb list of all the films: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls567753831/
Here's a playlist of all the available main screen trailers:


And a playlist for the discovery screen
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#5

Post by ChrisReynolds »

mightysparks wrote: July 15th, 2022, 10:45 am Also made an IMDb list of all the films: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls567753831/
I added the remaining missing films to IMDb:
Stalker https://www.imdb.com/title/tt21379060/
The Eyes Below https://www.imdb.com/title/tt21382392/
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#6

Post by Onderhond »

If you can, go watch H4Z4RD. Not quite a horror film (dark comedy with action and horror elements), but man what a ride! :D
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#7

Post by cinephage »

The BIFFF 2022 Lineup will be announced on Aug.10th, there is usually quite an overlapping with the Frightfest, so I'll be reading your returns closely...
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#8

Post by mightysparks »

Still trying to make up my mind for some slots. This is my current schedule spreadsheet:

https://i.imgur.com/FU6hc4E.png

Grey b/g for no interest at all. Orange for very little interest. Gold for definite choice. Bold font for most probable choices. Purple font for 'seen the trailer'. So little info for some films. And I can't tell if Croc is gonna be a crappy croc movie or a super fun one. I haven't seen the first Scare Package so not sure if they're worth checking out. Will most likely go for the main screen films if I really can't make a decision.

Been whittling down my decisions further:

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Can't decide between Scare Package 2/Croc, A Wounded Fawn/Pussycake, She Came From the Woods/The Leech, Candy Land/Bite (no trailer for Bite). No trailer for Hounded or Daughter, not that interested in The Harbinger and The Eyes Below is a cool idea but looks bad low budget.
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#9

Post by mightysparks »

Discovery tickets for VIP holders went out today and man, I clicked buy as soon as it opened and was 31 in the queue and missed out on 3/7 discovery films I wanted. I settled for other films instead, except I bought a couple of tickets for Bitch Ass coz I just don't care about the weird French sci-fi/comedy.

So my final schedule is:

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We fly out in just under 24 hours :circle:

I'm also excited coz last Frightfest I went to in 2016 I was unknowingly in the early stages of depression and PTSD and it was pretty painful and confusing. I'm even flying out and coming back on the same dates so it's nice to have a chance to replace that time with a (hopefully) more positive one.
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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#10

Post by Onderhond »

Thanks for supporting Belgian/Flemish genre cinema :cheers:
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#11

Post by mightysparks »

Maybe it’s jet lag or old age but my stamina this year is pretty poor lol. I was falling asleep during the last film and only got about 4 hours sleep afterwards so I’ll do my best to get through everything today.

Day 1 was pretty meh.

The Lair was painfully generic with awful actors/characters/accents and a lame CGI monster. My boyfriend was also not impressed. 4/10

Bitch Ass was decent fun. The villain wasn’t the most exciting but I liked the main cast of characters, the plot and the ‘games’ are fun but a bit rushed (not enough time to sit with the ‘torture’ and the deaths are too swift) and the editing is cool. Bf also enjoyed this one. 6/10

I watched the first Scare Package just before leaving and found it surprisingly charming despite the silliness. The sequel was just a drag though. Charm was non-existent and it felt so repetitive and jokes and references were dragged out unnecessarily. The wrap around was not as cool as the first and the film spent too much on it. But the individual anthology stories weren’t great either. 4/10

Hope there’s some nicer stuff in Day 2!
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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#12

Post by filmbantha »

So jealous of you right now Mighty! Really frustrated that frightfest didn't offer a virtual element to the festival this year. Will look forward to hearing how day 2 went, hope it's an improvement.
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#13

Post by mightysparks »

Day 2 was pretty good except for the last film :yucky: saw my favourite and least favourite film so far.

Next Exit
Expected a bit more genre and less romance but it’s ok. I wish it spent more time exploring the world and the after life concept instead of just focusing on a road trip and developing romance between these two characters. While they are likable enough and have decent chemistry, I wasn’t invested enough to care for the predictable turn of events. Not a bad film but not a very special one.

The Eyes Below
Good film that could’ve been a great short. It starts off a little slow and the middle gets a bit repetitive and loses steam and also the film is so dark it’s tough to even see what is happening during some parts. But it does all come together in the end and is satisfying overall. Use of sound, music, editing and light are used pretty nicely and there are some cool moments. And there is no dialogue in the whole film which I like. But there were typos in the credits which made me sad.

A Wounded Fawn
The first act is fantastic but unfortunately spirals into boring nonsense in the second act. Sarah Lind and Josh Ruben have great chemistry and there’s a lot of tension and uncomfortable moments as she starts to suspect something is not quite right. But then it becomes all about the Josh Ruben character and his mental issues and he’s just not as interesting as Lind or on his own (though both give great performances). Nor did I understand or care about the mythology stuff or whatever it was. Film looked awesome and there’s lots of good stuff in here but it really fizzled out for me. Credits were funny too.

Night Sky
A bit too slow burn for me without much payoff but still an ok film. I love AJ Bowen and will watch anything he’s in and he, along with Brea Grant and Scott Poythress are all good and fun to watch (hachis adventures). It just lacked spark and energy and it didn’t feel much different from other films like this. Wanted to know a little bit more about the sci-if elements because it annoys me when films like this are just a little too lo-fi but the drama elements aren’t strong enough to pull it off (this was the second film today that did this too).

Who Invited Them
Chose this film simply because the couple, Tom and Sasha, had the same names as my parents. Had few expectations but it was great. Low budget feel seeps in here and there but surprisingly great cast, all the jokes hit and the whole audience was laughing throughout. The tonal shifts to being more of a tense thriller work well too. Was never boring and went in a satisfying direction, though I didn’t really understand the final scene. Main thing preventing this from being a top favourite is that it never quite achieved that visceral awkwardness or tension to really pull you in but it is still a a super fun ride all the way through. Best film so far.

Midnight Peepshow
I like bad taste as much as the next guy but this is just pure bad taste with few redeeming qualities. It’s unapologetically seedy and sexual but clearly made by men with some kind of power/rape fetish. While some of the ideas had potential none of them were executed well. None of the women have any real agency and while the female actors are good they’re not given much to do except look sexy while being abused (and enjoying it). The whole film just made me too uncomfortable. And worst of all it’s just boring.
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#14

Post by peeptoad »

mightysparks wrote: August 27th, 2022, 7:42 am Night Sky
A bit too slow burn for me without much payoff but still an ok film. I love AJ Bowen and will watch anything he’s in and he, along with Brea Grant and Scott Poythress are all good and fun to watch (hachis adventures). It just lacked spark and energy and it didn’t feel much different from other films like this. Wanted to know a little bit more about the sci-if elements because it annoys me when films like this are just a little too lo-fi but the drama elements aren’t strong enough to pull it off (this was the second film today that did this too).
Thanks for the heads-up on this one. Seems like a worthwhile watch for the cast, like you said, even with what seems like a pretty basic plot based on the IMDB blurb.
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#15

Post by mightysparks »

You might miss out on your next favourite film if you listen to me :P
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#16

Post by ChrisReynolds »

I'm going to start posting some reviews here, while I have some spare time. I'll probably do most on Tuesday.

Dark Glasses / Occhiali Neri
I mildly enjoyed this, despite its weaknesses, and I feel it's Argento's most competently-made movie since Sleepless. It's a typical giallo mystery killer plot, but there are a couple of good suspense sequences, some Argento weirdness, cinematography that isn't horrible, and graphically bloody murders, even though the movie as a whole is a shadow of what he produced at his best. This won't be his swan song (he's making another movie in Paris next year, a remake of a 1940s Mexican thriller), but it's nice to see that he's not locked into the downward spiral that Giallo and Dracula 3D seemed to indicate.
5/10

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The Price We Pay
Ryuhei Kitamura's style and splatter sensibilities are always the strongest part of his movies, however, as seems to happen far too often, he's saddled here with a weak script that the gore scenes don't do enough to save. Most of the script is ripping off horror classics, with little of its own to offer, and particularly suffers from a lack of humour. Stephen Dorff is OK as the lead, a couple of gory deaths are impressive, but the movie as a whole is forgettable.
4/10

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#17

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Day 3

Something in the Dirt
Impressive considering this was made with a 3 person crew in the director’s apartments. Benson and Moorhead create dynamic and fleshed out characters and have great chemistry together. The mystery is intriguing but it feels like it never really goes anywhere and all the conspiracy stuff was repetitive and not particularly interesting.

The Leech
Was interested in this due to Gardner and Skipper and while they are both good the film is just kinda… nothing. I liked the idea but didn’t think the character dynamics and relationships worked that well and I wasn’t convinced by the characters or the plot developments. There wasn’t enough tension to pull it together and it was only occasionally funny.

LOLA
It took a while for me to get invested but once it got there I enjoyed the ride. Cool mix of archival footage and fictional footage and one of the more unique and entertaining alternate history stories—a genre I normally don’t like. I don’t know a lot about UK history of World War II so some stuff was probably lost on me but that didn’t matter so much. Some cool lead female characters and performances as well. And the film looked amazing.

Dark Glasses
Found this pretty boring. The protagonists were unlikable and bland and the killer had no real personality or presence either. Mostly just about an annoying woman talking to an annoying kid. Didn’t really take advantage of the main character’s blindness either. Characters make completely stupid decisions that make me care about them even less. I did like the dog and its involvement at the end but that’s about it.

Candy Land
Good elements that didn’t quite all come together. Characters are likable and interesting, performances are good, moves along nicely and is never dull. But Remy was just developed or utilized in a way that made her believable enough. I found it difficult to truly understand/feel her motivations and I was just a bit too confused by her to get invested enough.

Deadstream
Absolutely hilarious and a ton of fun. Great cast and tonal balance between comedy and horror. Never boring and always funny and creative and playful. A lot of fun to see with an audience too, it seemed like everyone loved it.
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#18

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Next Exit
The set up is good: a world where the existence of the afterlife seems to have been proven and two characters go on a road-trip to a euthanasia clinic run by Karen Gillan's character. Like quite a few films this year, this is sci-fi rather than horror. The film has a lot going for it, with good performances from the two leads and a decent script which balances out the depressing mediative stuff with a bit of humour, but the plot plays out in the most predictable possible. Karen Gillan is highly-billed and appears on some pre-recorded segments that the characters watch at the beginning doing her best Elizabeth Holmes impression. The film seems to be building up to the characters meeting Gillan and her revealing a twist but this never happens.
low 5/10

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Terrifier 2
Long-running slasher franchises with human villains often have to bring in supernatural lore to explain the killer's repeated resurrections -- see the zombiefication of Jason Voorhees and revelation of the parasitic demon that lives inside him, or the druidic curse that powers Michael Myers. Terrifier 2 decides to put together a similar mythology for their killer clown, leading to a slasher film around 140 minutes long with unnecessary magical elements. This is worth watching if you want some great gore special effects and sadistic murders, but it seemed fundamentally misconceived.
4/10

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#19

Post by mightysparks »

Day 4. Also did a rewatch of Dog Soldiers, cool to see that on the big screen and also interesting to compare how much better this was than Marshall’s latest.

Shortfilm Showcase 2
Everyone Forgot 6/10
Molar 3/10
Sucker 6/10
Unreel 4/10
Legs 6/10
Catch Your Breath 6/10
A Killer Outside 5/10
The Microscope 5/10
Bleep 7/10

H4Z4RD
Pumping with energy all the way through with creative use of shots (the camera never leaves the car but it never feels claustrophobic or dull), an energetic soundtrack and a sense of humour. The plot is simple but it never lets it feel that way. A lot of fun and engaging from start to end.

Wolf Manor
Didn’t get tix to the film I wanted to see in this slot and I have no idea why this was selected for main screen. A potentially fun plot concept but it does nothing with it and is instead a total bore. Characters are forgettable and the audience was laughing at things I didn’t even realize were jokes. Didn’t find it funny at all.

The Price We Pay
The set-up and location didn’t really interest me much to begin with and it never went anywhere plot-wise that changed my mind. Didn’t care for any of the bland protagonists or villains. Took itself way too seriously but was boring and had nothing to offer aside from a couple cool gore scenes.
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#20

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The Lair
This was the opening film at the festival and Neil Marshall's latest effort. I'm sorry to report that this is not only not a return to form, it doesn't even have the tacky entertainment value of his Hellboy remake or The Reckoning and is a step down from them. Like The Reckoning, this stars and is co-written by his wife/ambitious career woman Charlotte Kirk, in which she plays a super-competent fighter pilot with photographic memory who is shot down in Afghanistan and must fight her way through waves of Taliban soldiers and mutant monsters with the help of a bunch of stereotypes. This is real bargain-basement stuff with a single monster suit and CGI gunfire all filmed in a quarry in Hungary.
3/10

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Dog Soldiers (2002)
Really highlights the talent Marshall has at making thrilling films on a low budget, and the deficiencies of his most recent work. Tightly directed and well-scripted, it still holds up after twenty years. The film has just been remastered for its 20th anniversary. It definitely would have been better with a higher budget, as the film is sometimes forced to use darkness and fast-cutting to hide some of the deficiences, but this is a strong horror-action film.
high 6/10

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Wolf Manor
This played 2 hours after Dog Soldiers and is an amateurish effort by comparison. It's a bare bones werewolf slasher: we have a cast of people and one by one a werewolf kills them until there is only one character left and they kill the werewolf. To be fair it delivers what it promises: a werewolf kills and mutilates a bunch of people; but there's no tension or reason to care about the characters, and poor lighting/script/acting don't help. The director, Dominic Brunt, always comes across as a lovely guy, but his films don't deserve to play prime time slots on the main screen just because he has a lot of friends at Frightfest. People know to avoid his films by now, which is why the Discovery screen films in this slot sold out fast.
3/10

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#21

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Day 5. Skipped Burial to get drinks with my boyfriend but from what I hear this was a good decision. Overall I liked almost every film I saw this year, with only one dislike and a couple others under 6/10. Looking forward to seeing some of the other discovery films when they come out. Ranked list of this year’s films: https://boxd.it/i4xlM

Piggy
I liked parts of this but felt unsatisfied overall. It built up Sara and her life and bullying well (and the lead’s performance is good) but after she watches the van leave it doesn’t explore Sara’s guilt and mental state after this decision in an effective way. There’s just a lot of crying and shouting which isn’t enough for me. Not really sure what was going on with the villain guy and Sara. It just kept getting me invested in moments and then not taking them to places that worked for me.

Shortfilm Showcase 3
Eric 6/10
A Little Death 7/10
O, Glory 4/10
Who Am I 5/10
Crafty Witch 5/10
Machine 6/10
Lotus 5/10
Regulars 5/10
Foetal Attraction 5/10
7ft, Hairy and Handsome 4/10

My boyfriend liked the first three.

Barbarian
Not allowed to discuss this yet but I liked it. My boyfriend loved it.

Fall
Flawed but has enough moments of suspense and some cool shots that I enjoyed it for the most part. The major issues are cringey and generic dialogue and bland characters that are difficult to invest in (especially the lead). The relationship issues were also obvious from me just having read the plot so it doesn’t really do anything you don’t receipt. I do like one concept/one location films but I find dialogue and characters are something they annoyingly fail at a lot of the time.
Spoiler
Hated the twist. It was the same thing as 47 Meters Down but at least that kind of made sense. Here it was a disappointment and made a bunch of the film feel pointless. Either kill the character off or don’t, a twist was not necessary.
My boyfriend thought this was meh.
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#22

Post by ChrisReynolds »

I thought I should go back and finish off these Frightfest reviews, if anybody still cares, and also for completeness' sake.

Barbarian
This was the most high-profile film of the festival. It's a Disney-backed and security men were searching everybody for equipment as they were going in. It's got an unusual structure that gives it a stop-start rhythm, although I don't want to spoil too much because at its heart its a mystery film and the main pleasure is to understand how it all fits together. It's a hard one to rate, because although the mystery makes it compelling, the plot is increasingly driven by characters making stupid decisions/mistakes causing it to be a frustrating experience. I thought the first half-hour was excellent and then it tailed off.
5/10

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Eating Miss Campbell
If you're familiar with Troma films, you'll know the aesthetic at work: a focus on shock and gross-out gore and sex. The plot is a bit muddled as a consequence -- there's a plot about an eating competition where the winner gets to commit a school shooting, but it's only an excuse for lots of scenes of mutilation, cannibalism, paedophilia, date-rape, murder, etc., all thrown up on screen with the breezy tone of a children's comedy. This went down well at Frightfest, where people could cheer on the gore and laugh at the cheesy jokes, but to work outside a horror festival, the script should have had a few more drafts for the plot and the characters' actions to make sense.
4/10

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Night Sky
A mumblecore take on John Carpenter's Starman. It's nicely done, and has quite a cool ending, but it doesn't do much that's interesting or original, although I did appreciate the villain. A lot elements feel like they could have been stronger, and the ending is a bit unsatisfying.
4/10

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She Came From the Woods
A throw-back to eighties horror, with camp counsellors summoning up a witch who goes on a killing spree. I'm not sure how this went down, but I couldn't get past the appalling direction and baffling aspects of the script. Early on, a character has their head bashed in by a rock and are thrown into a fire in front of the entire camp, and after reacting to it briefly, the characters ignore it as if it never happened. This shoddy approach to coherent storytelling runs through the whole film and really annoyed me.
3/10

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Fall
A thriller about two women climbing up a transmission tower and getting stranded. It's by the producers of 47 Meters Down and seems like they said "Let's do the same film again, but with a climb instead of a dive," but I think this is a little bit better because it's more convincing. The opening climb in particular is well-directed and tense. After the women get stuck, the film isn't as good, but it's a fun ride, only let down by an unnecessary twist. I'm not sure why this was the closing film, as there were definitely better choices, but it wasn't a let-down or anything.
5/10

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