Broken (l-r): Abbey Stirling, Eric Colvin, Nadja Brand, Simon Boyes and Adam Mason with Paul McEvoy
One of the best things about FrightFest 2006 is the way the forum community has developed and expanded, so whether outside the OWE or up in the bar there's always a group of like-minded souls ready to swap opinions and stories. On Sunday we arrived at the cinema early as I needed to find Kim and lend her some books which she'd been seeking for her degree course. After a quick chat with the Broken team it was inside for their introduction, preceded by another entertaining short, Snatching Time. Whilst it's no masterpiece, Broken is a huge leap forward from Adam's early work and is quite an achievement considering its tiny £10,000 budget. I spent some time talking to Simon and Eric up in the bar and various proud parents until Alan Jones caught me and asked why I wasn't in watching The Living And The Dead. I really wasn't feeling confident about this one but as I'd only missed a couple of minutes I thought I may as well give it a try. In fact it turned out to be one of the highlights of the festival; a completely different kind of horror which many - myself included - found very difficult to watch.
Simon Rumley and Kate Fahy with Alan Jones
Director Simon Rumley and lead actress Kate Fahy took to the stage afterwards for a Q&A with Alan Jones where they received much praise for their work - I also spotted Jonathan Pryce in the audience lending his support. James had texted me to say he was in town to catch Severance with his sister so I spent the next break meeting him for a coffee. Next up was In The Place Of The Dead, the latest short film from FrightFest favourite David McGillvray whose banter with Alan Jones had us all in stitches. French chiller Them was a tense affair and should play well when Metrodome release it here in the UK next January - we all had to fill in questionnaires giving feedback after the screening.
Guillermo Del Toro meets his fans
Guillermo Del Toro was seated by the Cinema Store stall during the next break ready to meet his fans and sign an array of cards, posters and DVD sleeves. Very affable, talkative and enthusiastic - as indeed he was at the Hellboy signing two years ago - he proved to be a big favourite with the FrightFesters.
Simon Boswell with Alan Jones
Before the next film there was a special appearance by composer Simon Boswell (who did the legendary Hardware score, amongst many others) who talked about his new album Close Your Eyes which mixes music from his soundtracks with newly recorded vocals - and we also got to see his first music video from the album, directed by Richard Stanley which featured the sight of Dario Argento doing a spot of rapping! Fascinating stuff and welcome surprise to the day's packed programme. After another dose of Trailer Trash, including such gems as Abby, Home For The Intimate Ghosts and Vampire Kids, it was straight into Butterfly: A Grimm Love Story, the boring cinematic account of the real life case of the German cannibal who advertised for a willing victim on the internet.
Edgar Wright with Paul McEvoy
The FrightFest team had some more surprises up their collective sleeves before the next film. First NZ director Chris Graham turned up to talk about his forthcoming horror film The Ferryman, and then Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead) took to the stage to introduce two trailers for Hot Fuzz which of course got a great reception. The Lost was one of Mike's tips for the weekend and didn't disappoint, a brutal little film based on the novel by Jack Ketchum bolstered by some terrific performances and a stellar soundtrack. With all the extra guests and surprises which had been squeezed in to Grim Sunday, it was no surprise that the timetable was running late by this stage. Just time for a quick dash to Subway and then back for the midnight screening of Sheitan, a wacky French horror starring a grinning Vincent Cassell which had 'cult movie' written all over it. Bonkers from the first minute I loved every moment! A fantastic finale to a bumper-packed day of entertainment.