UPDATE: FrightFest is brining back it’s ‘New Blood’ contest which searches for new writers in the horror genre. Applicants can enter the competition here, with those short-listed invited to workshop their idea with a group of industry experts, including actress Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, You’re Next) and producer Jack Tarling (God’s Own Country, Await Further Instructions)
ORIGINAL STORY: The line-up for London’s FrightFest has been announced, and it’s a schedule filled with firsts, including the UK premiere of Gaspar Noé’s Climax, the latest acclaimed — but still shocking — film from the controversial director of Irreversible. A man who likes to push boundaries, Noé’s Climax is a dance movie cum drug-fuelled sex horror.
FrightFest will strike fear into the hearts of all-comers in London from August 23 to August 27, with a record-breaking 70 films screening at the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema.
The festival’s opening night film is The Ranger, Jenn Wexler’s punk-soundtracked post-modern slasher flick. Wexler will be making history as the first-ever female director to open FrightFest.
“We are honored and thrilled to be selected as this year’s opening night film,” Wexler, who will be attending the event, said in a statement. “I made The Ranger because I love punk rock and ’80s horror. We can’t wait to share it with fans in the city where punk has its roots, at one of the world’s best genre festivals.”
The festival will also feature a special preview of bonkers sci-fi thriller Upgrade, the latest film from Insidious creator Leigh Whannell. Frightfest attendees will also get the chance to see Saw alumnus Darren Lynn Bousman return with the European premiere of his nunsploitation flick St Agatha.
Other European premieres include Yoann-Karl Whissell’s serial killer thriller Summer of 84, Johnny Kervorkian’s Cronenbergian chiller Await Further Instructions and Robert D Krzykowski’s The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, starring Sam Elliott.
Takeshi Sone’s LGBTQ horror Ghost Mask: Scar looks like a must-see, while John McPhail’s zombie musical Anna and the Apocalypse sounds fascinating.
Other films we’re looking forward to include the batch of movies from women directors representing this year. Aside from The Ranger, there’s Mitzi Peirone’s Braid, Aislinn Clark’s The Devil’s Doorway and anthology film The Field Guide to Evil, featuring segments from Veronika Franz, Katrin Gebbe and Agnieska Smoczynska.
And if meta-experiences float your boat, you won’t want to miss Chris Collier’s documentary FrightFest: Beneath the Dark Heart of Cinema.
There will also be a special screening of Ghost Stories during which co-directors Jeremy Dyson and star Andy Nyman host a live commentary.
Full details are on the FrightFest website, where festival passes will be available from noon UK time on Saturday, June 30.