The UK’s premier horror event is ready to terrorize London once again! FrightFest 2019 has unleashed its full roster of films and events and this year they’re shattering their own records by bringing 78 films from 14 countries across six continents. Talk about celebrating your 20th anniversary with a bang!
The fest will open with Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy and will also be the home to the world premiere of the Soska Twins’ Rabid, a remake of David Cronenberg’s film of the same title. Also playing at the festival will be Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Crawl, Nekrotronic, Ready Or Not, and a special screening of Dario Argento’s Tenebrae, with the director in attendance!
One of the world premieres at this year’s FrightFest is Paddy Murphy’s The Perished, which we’ve written about before. At the bottom of this article, we have several exclusive BTS images, the film’s festival poster that was designed by none other than Christopher Shy, and a message from writer/director Paddy Murphy!
There’s a massive amount of information, so we’re just going to offer the press release below, which will highlight every film being brought to the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema.
FrightFest 2019 takes place August 22 through 26. Having been there last year, I can assure you it’s one of the world’s best genre film festivals and is a must-attend destination for horror fans!
As previously announced, this year’s festivities begin with the UK premiere of Ant Timpson’s deviously edgy stunner COME TO DADDY, starring Elijah Wood and reaches its bloody conclusion with the World premiere of Abner Pastoll’s superbly crafted crime story, A GOOD WOMAN IS HARD TO FIND. Other main screen international attractions include producer Guillermo del Toro and director André Øvredal’s SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK, producer Sam Raimi and director Alexandre Aja’s gruesome ‘gator yarn CRAWL, the Radio Silence gang’s lethal thriller READY OR NOT, director Kiah Roache-Turner’s futuristic Ozploitation classic NEKROTRONIC, Pedro C. Alonso’s startling captive chiller FEEDBACK, with a career-defining performance from Eddie Marsan, Kirill Sokolov’s splatterpunk action comedy WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! and Jason Mewes’ insanely brilliant MADNESS IN THE METHOD, starring Mewes, Vinnie Jones, Kevin Smith, Teri Hatcher, Dean Cain and with a final on-screen appearance from Stan Lee.
Making their second, very welcome appearance at the festival will be The Soska Sisters, attending for the World Premiere of RABID, their eagerly anticipated re-imagining of the Cronenberg classic. The sisters will also introduce a special retrospective screening of the original. Also attending is the legendary Dario Argento, here for a special screening of his giallo masterpiece TENEBRAE. He’ll also be in conversation with Festival co-director Alan Jones and signing copies of his book, ‘Fear’, which Jones has adapted and edited. More attending guests will be announced later this month.
FrightFest’s 20th year sees the return of directorial alumni like Adam Egypt Mortimer with his provocative psychological horror DANIEL ISN’T REAL, Christian Alvart with his twisted blockbuster CUT-OFF, Lucky McKee with the startling KINDRED SPIRITS, starring Thora Birch, Joe Begos with his terror trip BLISS, Larry Fessenden with DEPRAVED, a post-modern take on the Frankenstein legend, Padraig Reynolds with belligerent creature feature DARK LIGHT, producer Eli Roth with the grindhouse-inspired HAUNT, The Pierce Brothers’ bring us their chiller THE WRETCHED,Dan Bush is back with seat-edge shocker THE DARK RED, Jordan ‘Zombeavers’ Rubin teases us with tongue-in-chic horror comedy THE DRONE and ‘Level 16’ director Danishka Esterhazy gives us her fun-packed body-counter THE BANANA SPLITS. There is also the UK premiere of GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR, the directorial debut from returning producer Travis Stevens and DARLIN’, the directorial debut of past FrightFest ‘darling’ Pollyanna McIntosh Plus, those fur balls with teeth are back. CRITTERS ATTACK!, with original star Dee Wallace, will enjoy its UK Premiere.
FrightFest continues to present the films that are currently shaking up the genre scene and allowing it to transform and continually excite. Like Michael Goi’s MARY starring Gary Oldman and Emily Mortimer, the inventive EAT BRAINS LOVE from Rodman Flender, Seann William Scott’s stunning serial killer turn in BLOODLINE, Chelsea Stardust’s hilarious SATANIC PANIC, the unforgettable coming-of-ager KNIVES AND SKIN, THE BLACK STRING, marking the comeback of Frankie Muniz, Kelola Racela’s lustfully demonic PORNO, the incredible animation attraction TO YOUR LAST DEATH, Emma Tammi’s critically acclaimed THE WIND, Fernando Alle’s Troma-inspired MUTANT BLAST. and the two craziest Midnight Movies you will ever see – Valeri Milev’s fabulously inventive BULLETS OF JUSTICE and Fabricio Bittar’s Brazilian gorefest GHOST KILLERS VS. BLOODY MARY.
The genre scene in the UK continues to innovate and thrive, reflected in this year’s FIRST BLOOD strand. Life coaches become dead coaches in Staten Cousins-Poe’s gem of a feature debut A SERIAL KILLER’S GUIDE TO LIFE and Graham Hughes’ viral mockumentary DEATH OF A VLOGGER, gives the found footage format a much-needed shot in the arm. Then there’s Samuel Gridley’s darkly funny CRIMINAL AUDITION, Magnus Wake’s cleverly plotted and heart-pounding DARK SENSE and making up the fearsome five is Fredi Nwaka’s ARE WE DEAD YET, a cleverly crafted supernatural comedy-crime thriller.
Other home-grown selections include the European premiere of TALES FROM THE LODGE Abigail Blackmore’s portmanteau shocker, starring Mackenzie Crook and Johnny Vegas, Carl Strathe’s disturbing DARK ENCOUNTER, starring Laura Fraser and Alice Lowe, and the world premiere of Charlie Steeds’ flesh-eating horror THE BARGE PEOPLE. There are also world premieres for Justin Edgar’s nail-biting suspense thriller STALKED (AKA ‘Unseen’), Tom Paton’s heightened horror STAIRS and producer/director Lawrie Brewster’s FOR WE ARE MANY, in which directors from around the world unleash a legion of demons. And let’s not forget director Jack McHenry, who makes a welcome return with his crowd-pleasing HERE COMES HELL, which made huge waves at our Glasgow edition earlier this year.
Over the years FrightFest has showcased the best genre films Canada has to offer and this year a special strand has been created – ‘Canadian Chills’ – to highlight an exceptional bumper crop, which, apart from RABID, embraces the International premiere of Colin Minihan and director Kurtis David Harder’s smart chiller SPIRAL and the UK premieres of Tony Dean Smith’s sci-fi mind-bender VOLITION, Ray Xue’s entertainingly nasty EXTRACURRICULAR, starring Luke Goss, Chad Archibald’s deadly thriller I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD, Cameron Macgowan’s dark comedy chiller RED LETTER DAY and Jordan Barker’s unrelenting assault of pure terror, WITCHES IN THE WOODS. Then there are World premieres for Jay Dahl’s malevolent HALLOWEEN PARTY and Braden Croft’s compelling TRUE FICTION, Completing the line-up are Zack Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein’s FrightFest Glasgow hit FREAKS, the International premiere of Rob Grant’s sick, sea-faring adventure HARPOON and the UK premiere of the sinister and challenging HAPPY FACE, this year’s Duke Mitchell presentation.
Another country with a fine FrightFest pedigree is Argentina and this year is no exception; with the World Premiere of producer Javier Diment’s chilling chamber piece ROCK, PAPER SCISSORS, plus the European premiere of Herman Finding’s IMPOSSIBLE CRIMES and the UK premiere of Pablo Pares’ apocalyptic powerhouse I AM TOXIC.
The global cabinet of fear holds more…Tunisia is represented for the first time with the UK premiere of DACHRA, an intense folk horror that has broken box office records in North Africa and Japan offers up a forgotten musical cult gem from 1985 – THE LEGEND OF THE STARDUST BROTHERS. Ireland’s entry is Paddy Murphy’s THE PERISHED. Mixing horror and pertinent social issues, the film marks the debut of a new Irish genre voice.
Further indie discoveries on the monstrous menu are: Australian chase chiller THE FURIES, the elegantly scary THE SONATA, social media shocker DEADCON, DRIVEN, a smart, meter-running battle against evil, Eric Pennycroft’s brooding SADISTIC INTENTIONS, with Larry Fessenden, the horrifying Christmas cracker I TRAPPED THE DEVIL, the quirky, cutting FINGERS and THE DEEPER YOU DIG, a Coen-Brothers-esque story of grief and survival from Toby Poser and John Adams.
Documentary lovers will enjoy Dima Ballin’s THE MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION OF MICHAEL REEVES, charting the life and early death of the man who gave us WITCHFINDER GENERALand two documentaries from director David Gregory, MASTER OF DARK SHADOWS , an in-depth look at the talents of Dan Curtis, the ‘King of TV horror’ and SICK! SAVAGE! SENSUAL! THE REEL LIFE AND GHASTLY DEATH OF AL ADAMSON, which tells the bizarre and grim demise of one of Hollywood’s exploitation bad boys.
In a first for FrightFest, there will be a special preview of MAN OF MEDAN, the first game in The Dark Pictures anthology. This will be followed by a Q&A session with the key development talent behind the game. The much anticipated interactive narrative horror adventure, developed by Supermassive Games and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe, brings supernatural horror on board a ghost-ship adrift in the South Pacific. It is set to be released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One Aug 30, 2019.
Festival co-director Alan Jones, said today: “Over the last two decades we have tirelessly introduced our committed audiences to every trend, every new talent and every innovation that has put horror back in the collective cinephile conscious. Even after 20 years. FrightFest’s August event remains a key destination to see the latest genre movies in the manner for which they were made – on the Big Screen surrounded by fellow fear-mongers. Remember, it’s our party and we’ll scream if we want to!”
From writer/director Paddy Murphy:
The Perished will have its world premiere at FrightFest in Leicester Square, London as part of the film festivals 20th-anniversary event. This means the world to me as The Perished was borne out of FrightFest, when Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2, Everly, Mayhem) gave me a kick up the ass to get writing my second feature film in August 2017.
The festival means so much to me and it’s where I’ve met some of my best friends and people I consider family. It’s a venue where films like Pan’s Labyrinth, The Descent, Train to Busan and more have had their premiere. As a horror fan, I am beyond thrilled to know that the audience will be the first to see The Perished. Their opinion matters to me and I can’t wait to hear what they think of it!
Regarding the message of the film, I had grown concerned that as things in Ireland are not as fever pitch in relation to the repeal movement anymore that the film may have lost some of its relevance but then seeing what happened recently in Alabama and in Northern Ireland, it really occurred to me that this is not solely a Southern Irish issue, but one that women around the world will be able to identify with and relate to.
On top of that I am so incredibly blown away to be able to announce that our new poster was designed by acclaimed artist, Christopher Shy who has done posters for Godzilla, Pet Semetary, Artik, Harpoon, The Head Hunter, and many more. I was a huge fan of Chris’ work and never imagined we’d be able to get someone of his calibre on board, but the film really piqued his interest, especially as its influenced by films like The Changeling. We also got Massimilano Borghesi (Book of Monsters) onboard as Sound Mixer & Designer.
I honestly cannot contain my joy. This means more to me than I can possibly articulate and I’m so thankful to the organisers; Paul McEvoy, Alan Jones, Ian Rattray, and Greg Day for selecting the film and bringing me even deeper into the FrightFest family. Myself and several of the cast and crew, to whom I’m so thankful, will be in attendance.
More info about the film can be found on Facebook where we will be releasing new marketing materials weekly in the lead up to the event, including said trailer and new BTS and promo stills.