FrightFest 2018 is almost upon and the line-up is as scarily exciting as ever. The event is a dream for horror lovers, giving audiences and filmmakers alike the chance to screech their lungs out in a room full of fellow fans. Ask genre fans and they’ll all agree: there are few better places to watch a horror movie.
From grindhouse to art-house, feel-good to squeal-good, blockbuster to ghostbuster, FrightFest runs from 23th August to 27th August and will debut 70 new feature films from 18 countries, including world, European and UK premieres. It all takes place in the Cineworld Leicester Square and the Prince Charles Cinema.
This year’s festival opens with Jenn Wexler’s The Ranger and closes with Gaspar Noe’s Climax, and in between has everything from the new film written by Craig S. “Bown Tomahawk” Zahler – Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich – and The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, starring Aidan Turner, to Summer of 84 (from Turbo Kid’s François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell) and Upgrade (from Saw and Insidious’ Leigh Wannell), not to mention What Keeps You Alive, the latest from Colin Minihan (It Stands the Sands Red), and Possum from Matthew Holness.
For some, though, London is a little too far to make the pilgrimage. Even for those who do make it, it’s not always possible to see everything. Luckily, though, horror and VOD are best buddies. Whether it’s Mayhem, snapped up by AMC’s subscription streaming service Shudder, or FrightFest’s own relaunched digital label (FrightFest Presents) releasing a wave of festival favourites from this year’s event on VOD, digital distribution means that it’s easier than ever for genre titles to reach a wide audience, even if theatrical deals prove elusive.
Once again, we’ve picked our way through this year’s catalogue to find the most promising films available to stream in the near future. Whether you’re looking to catch up on an unseen gem or relive a crowd favourite, here are some of 2018’s best screamers headed to your living room soon. (Single tickets are still available to purchase for screenings throughout the festival here.)
Information about where you can watch the films will be added as and when it becomes available, along with reviews. Have a horror film you want us to shriek about? Get in touch on FrightFest[at]VODzilla.co.
Bad Samaritan – out on 24th August
Misfits and Mute star Robert Sheehan goes up against Jessica Jones and Doctor Who’s David Tennant, here on sensationally nasty form, in a white-knuckle home invasion thriller. Struggling photographer Sean Falco (Sheehan), who funds his lifestyle with a sideline in burglary, thinks he has hit the jackpot when he breaks into the luxurious house of the wealthy Cale Erendreich (Tennant). Things go wrong when Sean discovers a woman chained up in the house. Unable to free her before Cale returns, Sean reluctantly goes to the police to explain what he’s seen. By the time they investigate, Cale has covered his tracks, and the police tell Sean to stop harassing him. Sean soon realises Cale will stop at nothing to shut him up – permanently.
FrightFest screenings: 23rd August – 20.50 / 25th August – 18.45
A Bluebird in My Heart – out 2018 (Shudder)
Hardened convict Danny leaves prison looking for a fresh start at a shabby hotel run by a single mother and her rebellious daughter Clara. Working as dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant, all Danny wants to do is keep his head down. Then Clara is assaulted and the safe peace he found disappears as cracks in his armour emerge, he’s forced to face his old demons and blood drips through his hands. This was acquired by Shudder following its SXSW premiere, which is already a promising indicator of quality.
FrightFest screenings: 24th August – 14.00
Incident in a Ghostland – 3rd September
From the director of 2008’s Martyrs, Pascal Laugier’s latest is a thrill ride that’s as intense as it is disturbing. The subject of a brutal home invasion along with her mother and sister several years ago, horror novelist Beth has found solace in her writing – detailing the harrowing ordeal in her latest book. But when she receives a call from her sister Vera, apparently in a state of extreme distress, Beth is prompted to return to the isolated family home where the terrifying truth of that awful night soon begins to unravel.
FrightFest screenings: 24th August – 21.00 / 24th August – 21.30
He’s Out There – out 24th September
On holiday at a remote Canadian lake house, a mother and her two young daughters must fight for survival after falling into a terrifying and bizarre nightmare conceived by a psychopath. For ‘John’ has been lurking in the shadows for years every time the family took a holiday and even left a children’s picture book to help them cope with the terrifying scenario he has meticulously planned. Quinn Lasher’s film stars Yvonne Strahovski from The Handmaid’s Tale.
FrightFest screenings: 26th August – 15.30 / 26th August – 16.00
The Night Eats The World – out 27th August
Richard Matheson meets George A. Romero in a stripped-down, existential zombie chiller based on the acclaimed French novel by Pit Agarmen. After waking up in an apartment where only the night before a party was raging, Sam is forced to come to grips with a stark and horrifying reality. He is now totally alone and a plague of the living dead have invaded the streets of Paris.
FrightFest screenings: 26th August – 11.00
The Dark – out October (FrightFest Presents)
The film follows Mina (Nadia Alexander – The Sinner), a young woman who was murdered and stalks the forest that saw her demise. Anytime some unfortunate soul enters her area, they are quickly dispatched and become her feast. But when she stumbles across a young boy named Alex in the back of a car who shows signs of clear and horrifying abuse, she can’t bring herself to do away with him. Rather, she becomes his protector while trying to protect her own little world. As police and locals search for Alex to help bring him home, their own growing relationship seems to be changing Mina in ways she never thought possible.
FrightFest screenings: 27th August – 15.30 / 27th August – 16.00
Secret Santa – out November (FrightFest Presents)
Director Adam Marcus (Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday & Texas Chainsaw 3D) takes us to the Pope family’s Christmas Eve dinner, which goes horribly and hilariously wrong when someone puts something in the party punch causing everyone to tell the unvarnished truth at the already dysfunctional holiday reunion. When the head of the household psychopathically freaks-out, the scene is set for murderous mayhem and splatterific revenge as the deviant relatives reveal their long-buried hatreds and festering loathings.
FrightFest screenings: 27th August – 11.00
Our House – out on 24th August
After his parents are killed in a car accident, Ethan is left dealing with enormous guilt caring for his younger siblings. Quitting a promising future in technology, he devotes all his energy on a revolutionary experiment to bring his parents back to life. After several attempts with an electro-magnetic device, he finally breaches the wall between the living and the dead. But where exactly is that crossed line? And could he have brought something else back from a dark netherworld instead?
FrightFest screenings: 24th August – 11.45
Boar – out autumn (FrightFest Presents)
In the harsh, yet beautiful Australian outback lives a beast, an animal of staggering size, with a ruthless, driving need for blood and destruction. It cares for none, defends its territory with brutal force, and kills with a raw, animalistic savagery unlike any have seen before. Director Chris Sun’s (Daddy’s Little Girl) latest stars Bill Moseley (House of 1000 Corpses, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Devil’s Rejects) and John Jarratt (Wolf Creek).
FrightFest screenings: 24th August – 11.15 / 24th August – 11.45
Pimped – out autumn (FrightFest Presents)
A psychological thriller, Pimped follows Sarah Montrose, a woman who isn’t well-equipped to live within society’s accepted lines of behaviour, struggling with her own identity, desires, and loves. When all this is threatened by two scheming men, Sarah has to fight for herself to take revenge all the while embracing her psychopath alter-ego.
FrightFest screenings: 24th August – 18.45
Lifechanger – out autumn (FrightFest Presents)
A murderous shape-shifter sets out on a blood-soaked mission to make things right with the woman he loves but had to leave behind for her own safety’s sake. But zipping between ever-faster body snatches is becoming confusing, mind-bending and more debilitating by the minute. Something has got to give. Like dark romance, feral natural instincts and fractured sanity. Time to take a dive into the deep aliveness that comes from following your broken heart, in acting on what you love despite the monstrous circumstances, alien limitations, hidden emotions or fears of the shocking unknown.
FrightFest screenings: 24th August – 21.00
Fright Fest – out autumn (FrightFest Presents)
Blood runs rampant on Halloween night when the Mayor of Sommerton decides to mount a live Fright Fest event within the walls of a long abandoned lunatic asylum. Only problem is a van of criminally insane prisoners crashes just outside and the trick or treaters think their murderous acts are part of the performance. Enter if you dare.
FrightFest screenings: 25th August – 23.00 / 25th August – 23.30