Netflix’s Death Note will have its European premiere at this year’s FrightFest.
Returning to its old home of the Empire (now Cineworld) Leicester Square in August, the 2017 FrightFest sees the festival embrace VOD more than ever, with the opening night seeing Adam Wingard’s adaptation of the Japanese manga – which sees a student come across a supernatural notebook with the power to kill anyone whose name he writes in it – get second billing alongside the festival’s opening film.
Don Mancini’s Cult of Chucky will kick off the long weekend of horror with its global premiere on Thursday 24th August, with Mancini in attendance, alongside stars Jennifer Tilly and Fiona Dourif. Wingard’s Death Note will then premiere in the main screen, giving fans a chance to catch the remake before it is released worldwide on Netflix on Friday 25th August.
While Death Note is the first Netflix original to screen at the event, though, it marks the latest milestone in a thriving relationship between horror and VOD, as online streaming and FrightFest both provide a vital platform to genre titles looking to reach a passionate audience without the guarantee of a later theatrical release.
Indeed, FrightFest recently launched its own digital label, FrightFest Presents, to release films directly online, with titles such as Last Girl Standing and Landmine Goes Click now available on Netflix UK. Other films that have screened at FrightFest, including Downhill and The Neighbour, have since arrived on Sky Cinema and NOW TV. In the meantime, AMC’s subscription service, Shudder, has launched in the UK, giving horror filmmakers another opening for a release. Sun Choke, which screened at FrightFest in 2015, was released exclusively on Shudder in March.
“It’s very important,” Gary Stretch, director of last year’s festival opener, My Father Die, told us in an interview, when asked about the link between horror and VOD. “It’s half the business now, the industry – theatres are somewhat diminishing right now. I love the whole FrightFest set-up, the cool fans that they have and this built-in audience. It’s very exciting, but it’s also very scary in the fact that they know what they like – you can come into this thing and it’s like you’re going to a party of new friends who all know each other and then you come in and it’s like ‘Are they going to like me? Are they going to kick me out?’”
Other notable premieres lined up for the event’s 18th edition include Leatherface, a prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Replace, starring Barbara Crampton, Mickey Keating’s Psychopaths, and many, many more. Tyler McIntyre’s Tragedy Girls, reuniting the director with the festival after Patchwork screened at FrightFest’s Glasgow event, will close out the weekend.
A total of 64 films will screen at FrightFest 2017, which runs from 24th August to 28th August. Tickets (Weekend and Day Passes) go on sale at noon on Saturday 1st July. The line-up of shorts will be announced shortly.
To buy tickets click here, or to see the full line-up click here.