Thursday, 7 September 2017

FrightFest 2017 - epilogue

This is all about the FrightFest main screen.

More than ever, it seemed that people came to applaud bad guys meeting gory and despicable just desserts, to wallow in the special kind of poetic justice that the Horror genre provides. It was ‘Killing Ground’ and ‘The Terror of All Hallows Eve’ that seemed aware of the consequences and the trauma of horror scenarios where others used the genre to be kill-happy and to generate a high standard of comedy. There was more laughing and clapping with glee than ever this year.

Some random thoughts this FrightFest:

- Hey, the glass ceiling caving-in scene in ‘Cult of Chucky’ verges on the pretty.
- I may not have been persuaded by ‘Death Note’, but seeing it on such a big screen – and it is a big screen – was the best way to see it.
- Yep, it wouldn’t have surprised me if I was the only one that dug ‘Psychopaths’. But it lingered with me and I know I am going to like it more on a second watch.
- …Trying not to be annoyed that I had to work Friday morning and miss three whole films. Do they not know how important this is?
- There’s a lot of sassy kick-ass girls this FrightFest, but for me it’s Harriet Dyer in ‘Killing Ground’ that topped them all. Maybe because nearly all the others were all fantasies of one kind or another ('Lowlife' excluded).
- Started watching ‘Leatherface’ and the guy next to me was still using his phone until the guy further on said loudly “Turn your phone off.” He did and then left halfway through the film and there was just something about this behaviour that made me think “He must be an industry person.” Afterwards, a FrightFrest friend said he recognised him as the producer of ‘Turbo Kid’, which I love.
- ‘The Terror of All Hallows Eve’ really bothered me with its message of “don’t lose your temper to revenge”, which is correct, but you couldn’t blame the kid and he didn’t deserve such a fate. Unfairness is one thing that really haunts me. For example, the characters of ‘Killing Ground’ and ‘Better Watch Out’ didn’t deserve this either, and that’s why these films were the most troubling for me. And that’s why I really liked them.
- ‘The Villainess’ was exactly what I thought it would be, and all the better for that. But the p.o.v. action that defined ‘Hardcore Henry’ I can see becoming old hat as a novelty very soon.
- The standard of writing and dialogue was so high this year, probably due to the demands of comedy.
- Such a litany of great female performances... almost in every film.
- Such good and strong horror comedies, from the satire of ‘Better Watch Out’ to the drunk dad of 'Dead Shack' to the dumb fun of ‘Victor Crowley’. I’m sure I enjoyed the latter more because I was with the right audience. 

The ones I liked best?  

- ‘Psychopaths’ because it was so intriguing and not ashamed of its artiness 
- ’68 Kill’ for being such a fun and mean-edged romp
- ‘Game of Death’ for being sly, cruel and well thought-out
- ‘Killing Ground’ for credible characters and for being genuinely gruelling 
- ‘Lowlife’ for being funny in despair and for having a neat ending without being obvious 
- ‘Better Watch Out’ for such a scathing take-down of certain Christmassy tropes

Second tier: ‘Dead Shack’, ‘Double Date’, ‘The Terror of All Hallows Eve’

See you next year, I’m sure.

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