23rd Aug2017

London Frightfest 2017: Ten Unmissable Movies

by Phil Wheat

Horror-Channel-FrightFest-2017-poster

With 2017′s Horror Channel FrightFest, the UK’s biggest genre film festival set to kick off this Thursday (August 24th), running across the Bank Holiday weekend to Monday August 28th at the Cineworld Empire in London’s Leicester Square AND the festivals old home, the Prince Charles Cinema, we thought we’d take a look at the festival line-up and highlight ten of the films we think you should definitely NOT miss – broken down day-by-day!

THURSDAY 24th AUGUST:

Cult of Chucky

Confined to an asylum for the criminally insane for the past four years, Nica Pierce is erroneously convinced that she, not Chucky, murdered her entire family. But when her psychiatrist introduces a new therapeutic “tool” to facilitate his patients’ group sessions – an all-too-familiar “Good Guy” doll – a string of grisly deaths begins to plague the asylum, and Nica starts to wonder if maybe she isn’t crazy after all. Andy Barclay, Chucky’s now-grown-up original nemesis races to Nica’s aid. But he’ll have to get past Tiffany, Chucky’s bride, who will do anything, no matter how deadly or depraved, to help her beloved devil doll.

FRIDAY 25th AUGUST:

Freehold

The feature debut from acclaimed commercials director Dom Bridges and written by Rae Brunton (the OUPOST franchise) is a dark urban morality tale with an underlying streak of jet black comedy. Hussein, a wide-boy estate agent, doesn’t realise he’s sharing his apartment with a forgotten stranger, a master of concealment… until his malicious campaign of deranged sweet revenge starts to really hit home. A roof above our heads is a basic human need so why are we all fighting each other over it? A genre riff on home invasion chillers and a searing comment on the cut-throat housing market.

Sequence Break

ALTERED STATES meets VIDEODROME in a surreal sci-fi romance written and directed by one of FrightFest’s favourite people, Graham Skipper, star of ALMOST HUMAN, THE MIND’S EYE and BEYOND THE GATES. A reclusive video arcade technician encounters strange metaphysical forces that result in bizarre bio-mechanical mutations when a new console appears in his shop. Reality itself threatens to fracture as he works to solve its mystery and the new chaos that has entered his life as he hurtles towards a shocking self-realization. Let the haunting kaleidoscope of stunning colour, grotesque visuals, stylish fright and disturbing horror begin!

SATURDAY 26th AUGUST:

Ruin Me

Every Halloween, more extreme haunted attractions open for business, each promising even more thrills. Some have taken this to a whole new level. Welcome to Slasher Sleepout: The Ultimate Horror Movie Experience combining camping, haunted house, and an escape room into one extreme 36-hour event. Six strangers are hooded, dropped in the middle of the woods, and must survive a simulated horror movie. Alexandra, the only participant who has never even seen a horror film, reluctantly tags along with her boyfriend. But when the other campers start to die before their eyes, Alex becomes the star of her worst nightmares.

SUNDAY 27th AUGUST:

Devil’s Gate

A wife and child have gone missing in the small town of Devil’s Gate, North Dakota. While all indicators point to husband Jackson Pritchard as the prime suspect, pushy outsider FBI agent Daria Francis instinctively feels something else is going on in this incestuous hamlet and together with deputy Colt Salter goes to investigate. And indeed they do track down Pritchard, a man caged in unrelenting darkness and despair. But nothing is what it seems in this mind-bending carnival of delights featuring hi-tone scares, unhinged performances, astonishing special effects, wonderful sound design and dizzying twists and turns.

Replace

From first-time German director Norbert Keil and the visionary mind of Richard Stanley (HARDWARE, DUST DEVIL), featuring horror diva Barbara Crampton (RE-ANIMATOR, YOU’RE NEXT), a stylishly viral love story about reverse aging. Afflicted with a dermatological disease that causes her skin to crumble away, young and beautiful Kira discovers she can replace it with the skin of other girls. However the treatment is expensive and debilitating but rather than watch her body fall apart Kira makes a deadly decision. Accompanied by her lover she embarks on a murder spree so she can have a constant supply of donors.

The Villainess

Direct from the Cannes Film Festival 2017. Sook-Hee is a trained assassin who was born to kill. She was just a little girl when the training started in China. And after the death of her mentor, when the chance of starting a new life was given to her, she came to South Korea as a government agent. The National Intelligence Service promised her freedom after ten years of active assignments. So begins her new double life as a theatre actress-cum-hit-woman until the dark secrets from her past start to reappear. Then she gets a new mission and it changes everything.

MONDAY 28th AUGUST:

Better Watch Out

On a quiet suburban street tucked within a ‘safe neighbourhood’, Ashley has turned up to babysit 12-year-old Luke for the evening while his parents are out for a Christmas party night. Ashley is Luke’s favourite babysitter and he’s looking forward to spending time with her again. Suddenly a brick crashes through the window reading ‘You Leave, You Die’ and they hear someone sneaking around the house upstairs. But Ashley is soon to discover that this is a far from normal home invasion in a very dark and twisted thriller that’s also a hell of a lot of frightful fun.

Terror of Hallows Eve

Fifteen-year-old Timmy Stevens is brutally beaten up by High School bullies on Halloween. Yearning for revenge while carving out a pumpkin head, unknowingly he summons up the evil spirit of the hideous Scarecrow. And before long Timmy has unleashed a mighty supernatural force offering to grant his dark desires to scare his hated enemies to death. Be careful what you wish for! From writer/director Todd Tucker (MONSTER MUTT), special make-up genius behind PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, OUIJA, FRIGHT NIGHT 2 and GEOSTORM, a charmingly chilling, affectionately creepy, retro-styled horror for the ages.

Tragedy Girls

The freshest, funniest, most frightening slasher send-up since SCREAM. High school seniors Makayla and Sadie are obsessed with their social media presence as authorities on crime. Their interest in murder is more than just academic though as they are the hands-on type. Trapping a serial killer to foster a mutually beneficial partnership, they see their profile rise, along with the brutal slayings in their small town. Can their sociopathic friendship stand the strain of national stardom? Will their captive maniac play along? Who will be the prom queen? So many questions, and the answers are HEATHERS, hilarious and horrific.

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