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ATTRACTION REVIEW

Review: Frightfest 2017 – Friday

Our coverage of Frightfest 2017’s second day

Ticket Price: Full weekend pass £195, day passes from £33 to £66 and individual tickets £14.25 each.

Address: Cineworld Leicester Square, 5-6 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7NA

Website: http://www.frightfest.co.uk/index.html

Freehold

One good thing about Frightfest is that you’re able to see new films without knowing anything about them – before trailers deluge you with plot points. I went into this film totally blind, not even knowing the basic plot apart from the fact that it probably dealt with property at some point along the way. Read more about the film if you’d like but within ten minutes, this had already turned into something that I wasn’t expecting. What I will say is that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. With, effectively, a cast of two and never leaving the single location it’s set in, this movie shouldn’t work as well as it does. The natural dialogue and performances, coupled with what felt like a brisk running time makes this one easy to recommend.

IMDb: n/a

Sequence Break

Inspired by the Polybius urban legend (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polybius_(video_game)), this was a great little movie concerning a man being seduced by a mysterious arcade game that’s mysteriously left at his shop one night. The dreamlike visuals and score felt reminiscent of Cronenberg’s work and some of the scenes had a real Brain Damage vibe to them which I absolutely loved. It’s a very small film with a cast of five and harks back to 80s in many ways, not least in the way that it centers around full-size arcade machines! It seemed to be a pretty dividing movie but I definitely enjoyed it!

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5798432

Radius

When writing these little capsule reviews, I’m very reluctant to give away much of the plot at all. As mentioned earlier, the beauty of Frightfest is that you can come to a movie without being saturated by trailers that pretty much condense the film’s running time into a two-minute movie. And with this one, I knew absolutely nothing about it other than the title and it was great to let it unfold without waiting for certain moments to appear that trailers would have familiarised me with. It essentially concerns two strangers with amnesia who are bound to eachother for reasons I won’t get into. The fun of this movie is slowly watching the pair recover their memories and piece together what is happening to them. That said, this felt very much like a drama with a little bit of sci-fi thrown in rather than the other way around and you could essentially have the same film by removing the central gimmick. There were also a few odd character decisions that didn’t sit right with me. It was a good film but ultimately didn’t do anything special.

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6097798

68 Kill

It seemed pretty universal from the atmosphere in the cinema that this was the best film of the day with a kinetic pace and a cast of crazy characters that never outstayed its welcome. On paper, the premise – a couple scheming to steal $68k and then dealing with the fallout that inevitably occurs, sounds as routine as it gets but the lively directing and performances turn this film into something else entirely. Absolutely worth checking out upon its, hopefully soon, release.

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5189894

Leatherface

Expectations were pretty mixed on this one. On the one hand, you have a Leatherface origin story which has been somewhat done already with 2006’s The Beginning. On the other hand, it’s directed by the awesome duo behind Inside, an absolutely amazing French film from about ten years ago. Happy to report that this feels very much like one of their movies than it does a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film with only the end really bringing the overt ties to the series. It basically follows the same path as every other TCM film; concerning a bunch of teens in peril except that this time, the teens are the ‘bad guys’ and they’re on the run from the cops. There’s a bit of an unnecessary ‘whodunnit’ concerning which character will become Leatherface – the psychiatric hospital that they escaped from had changed the patient’s names to protect their identity. But overall, this was way better than it had any right to be and despite it being a franchise film, the directing team definitely make it clear that they called the shots.

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2620590

Dead Shack

We wanted to like this one, the poster, title and premise all pointed towards a fun time. The problem with horror-comedies though is that they usually end up being more of one than the other. The horror stuff here was totally toothless and the comedy was just a bit too obvious sometimes, especially where the borderline alcoholic father was concerned. And, by the time the film came to a close, it all sort of felt a bit pointless – the antagonist’s reason for being was more vague than I would’ve liked leading to a story I couldn’t really care for. That said, it was an easy watch but unfortunately, also a forgettable one.

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6401004

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