Empire States: The FrightFest 2011 Post Mortem
Posted on Tuesday September 6, 2011, 09:51 by Empire Empire in Empire States
Year on year, the Fim4 FrightFest seems to grow in size and scale, and this August bank holiday weekend's was no exception, as the UK's best genre festival boasted a staggering 37 new features, as well as trailers, short films, Q&As, a live directors' commentary (on The Dead), a quiz and many other events, spread over four days (and five nights) on Screens One and Four of London's Empire cinema. So while you could easily be forgiven for thinking that horror is in rude health, quantity need not imply quality, and an excellent discussion panel held on Saturday sounded alarm bells over an industry that, at least in its homogenised Hollywood incarnation, has grown sick in all the wrong ways.
The guest of honour was polyhypenate independent filmmaker Larry Fessenden. That only two of his four feature films (Wendigo, The Last Winter) have ever been released on these shores, and even then only direct-to-video, explains why he is a voice in American ...
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Under The Radar: The FrightFest 2010 Post Mortem
Posted on Tuesday August 31, 2010, 16:29 by Empire Empire in Under The Radar
Now that the blood has been spilt, the killing is done and the screaming has finally stopped ringing in the ears, it is time to assess the state of horror as incarnated at this year's Film4 FrightFest. Over the course of an extended August Bank Holiday weekend, viewers were treated to a parade of disgust, depravity and death – 34 features split between two screens, as well as short films, trailers, panel discussions and Q&As.
Before turning to the new, though, let's start with the old. Horror icon Tobe Hooper was in attendance, bumbling his way through an on-stage interview like an eccentric uncle on too much medication – and his 1974 classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was given a welcome re-run on Empire's 20-metre screen, preceded by a showing of his rarely seen debut Eggshells (1969) in a recently rediscovered and remastered print. It is a time-capsule elegy for the end of the Sixties counterculture, part verité document, part experim...
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