Tuesday, 1 September 2020

FrightFest 2020 digital - a slight summary


 Firstly, considering the scope for technological issues, there were none over the weekend (the couple of anxiety attacks about things were totally on my side). It was so easy from booking to streaming. I am sure it took a lot of work behind the scenes, but from a consumer/audience point-of-view, it couldn’t have been smoother. The FrightFest team are so good.

There were several moments I had to remind myself that I was actually attending a film festival. It was amusing remembering I had to rush to my own bathroom so I didn’t miss the film start time. But although I missed the party atmosphere of being in Leicester Square, I thought to myself that I could get used to this. I wonder if this will start a trend of more virtual festivals, post-pandemic? I would very much welcome a short film festival in this digital manner, for example.

Also, from the recorded introductions and Q&As, it just seems to me that this horror film making community are a such a nice bunch. I mean, this was obvious when we see them in person at the festival, but on recorded video clips and recorded Q&As, there’s a whole different vibe.

This year offered another litany of great female leads:

Angela Bettis (‘12 Hour Shift’)

Katja Herbers (‘The Columnist’)

Olivia Vinall (‘Fuel’ - short)

Billur Melis Koç (‘AV: The Hunt’) and

Tasia Zalar (‘Dark Places’)



‘12 Hour Shift’

‘The Columnist’

‘AV: The Hunt’

-      And the most laughs:

‘Two Heads Creek’

‘Werewolf’ (short)


And won me over although maybe not quite my thing…

‘Skull: The Mask’

‘A Ghost Waits’


Highlights? A few…

The hand in the washing machine in ‘Wash’.

Sword in Jesus statue in ‘Skull: The Mask’.

The monster costume in Skull: The Mask’.

“Nah, yeh?”, “Yeh, nah.” Etc, from ‘Two Heads Creek’.

The cave shot in ‘AV: The Hunt’.

Stormy Eiffel Tower shot in ‘Dark Stories’.

The twistiness of ‘12 Hour Shift’ and some sly undercurrents of social commentary.

‘AV: The Hunt’ being a pell-mell survivalist actioner without compromising its central message.


The vibe I’m getting from social media is that ‘Swerve’ is the one I now need to track down, the one that I missed out on and a highlight of the festival.

And so to next year… for now, I have to overstocked on FrightFest snacks, so I am off to deal with that matter...

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