Friday, August 31, 2007

FrightFest 2007 - Day 4 (Sunday)

Paul Spurrier and Me in the Odeon bar

Had to get a few supplies on the way in preparation for Monday's zombie walk, so arrived just in time for Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door (to give it its full title, so as not to be confused with the Elisha Cuthbert comedy...) Alas, no comedy here, this was grim stuff based on a true case of child abuse and murder which left some in tears at the end. Definitely the most affecting film of the festival but not one I'd wish to see again. Director Kit Ryan was on hand to introduce Botched which sounded awful but in fact provided some much needed light relief after the previous film. Not a great film by any means, but programmed at the right time and its wackiness amused if you were prepared to excuse the dodgy Russian accents and run with it. Next up was the eagerly anticipated / dreaded Uwe Boll double-bill with the good doctor himself in attendance. He seemed very much at ease and ready to take on any criticisms that would later come his way... Postal wasn't quite as funny as I'd hoped for; offensive to everyone, but on the same kind of level as Troma or Team America, the jokes were hit and miss, but it certainly had its moments. A quick bite to eat with Rob and Nicola and then we returned for Seed, a bleak nihilistic film which featured a brutal prolonged hammer attack - the most shocking thing I saw all weekend. It certainly divided the audience and led to a heated Q&A afterwards. For me, the film worked and is still haunting me with its unpleasant images even now. I bumped into Paul Spurrier on the way out so he joined Thurein and I for a beer and a chat up in the bar - and the good news is that a UK DVD release of P should be with us very soon! Thurein managed to get his photo taken with Reece Sheersmith whilst I said hello to Paul Andrew Williams, and then we dashed back downstairs to watch a long teaser for his forthcoming film The Cottage. Looked very funny, but the jury is out on the man-trap gag which seemed to be totally ripped off from Severance. Director Tom Shankland introduced WΔZ, a gritty urban thriller in a similar vein to Se7en which boasted an intelligent script and some fine performances - one of the strongest films of the festival and one to look out for.

Audiencewalkers - Steve, James and Me

Before the last film of the evening the lovely Emily Booth and Marc Morris took to the stage to introduce a feature on their Grindhouse trailer collection, coming soon to DVD. And then it was Skinwalkers... or rather Audiencewalkers as I then christened it, due to the huge amount of walkouts. It was your typical glossy PG-13 horror/fantasy with appalling dialogue and cheesy action scenes - exactly the type of film I'd be fast-forwarding through if I had the DVD. So we gave it thirty minutes then bailed ourselves, and then laughed when we bumped into James, Jodie, Sarah, Craig, D and Stuart out in the foyer who'd all had the same idea! Steve and I joined James and Jodie for a sneaky free beer up in the bar and that made it all better.

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