Arrow FrightFest, the UK’s most popular horror and fantasy film festival, is back at London’s Cineworld Leicester Square and the Prince Charles Cinema from Thursday August 25 – Monday 29 August for five days of the very best of global genre cinema. With tickets starting from £15, this is one festival you don’t want to miss.
Celebrating its 23rd blockbuster edition with thirty-two world, twenty-two International / European and eighteen UK premieres, the world renowned event leads the way in attesting to the versatility of the genre and this year is no exception, with seventeen countries represented, spanning five continents.
The festival opens with the World premiere of THE LAIR, an action-packed gore shocker from Neil Marshall, who calls his latest monstrous creation “The Dirty Half Dozen meets THE THING”. Neil will be attending with star Charlotte Kirk and will also introduce a special 4K restoration screening of his modern classic, DOG SOLDIERS.
The Closing night film is the European premiere of Scott Mann’s FALL. Get ready for a pulse-pounding, vertigo-inducing experience as two best friends, stranded at the top of a remote, abandoned 2000-feet high radio tower, fight for survival.
One of this year’s special guests, making a welcome return, is horror icon Dario Argento, introducing the UK premiere of his latest giallo DARK GLASSES, which compares to the extreme thrillers he pioneered in the 1970s with THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE and DEEP RED.
SOMETHING IN THE DIRT, from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (SYNCHRONIC, MOON KNIGHT) is a fusion of DIY science fiction, pre-apocalyptic vibes and overwhelming paranoia. The visionary dream-weavers are currently filming Loki in the UK and SciFiNow will be hosting, and running Q&A’s, at the UK premiere screenings of their latest title, SOMETHING IN THE DIRT, on August 27th.
Also attending the festival is Brea Grant, here as director of twisted rock horror TORN HEARTS and star of NIGHT SKY, Jacob Gentry’s provocative indie science fiction fantasy.
Tom Felton, star of the Harry Potter franchise as Draco Malfoy, will be appearing to present his role in the latest Ben Parker film, BURIAL, which has it’s World premiere on Monday the 29th.
This year’s main screen line-up is chock-a-block with shock and awe, grindhouse style classics Ryûhei Kitamura’s sensational THE PRICE WE PAY and John Swab’s extraordinary CANDY LAND, the UK premiere of buzz title BARBARIAN, starring Georgina Campbell and Bill Skarsgård, the World premiere of anticipated slasher sequel TERRIFIER 2, continuing the gory misadventures of Art the Clown, Dominic Brunt’s hair-raising WOLF MANOR, also a world premiere, the Sundance sensation PIGGY, Travis Steven’s Tribeca hit A WOUNDED FAWN, Cannes Film Festival opener FINAL CUT, the French remake of ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, and H4Z4RD, the turbo-charged, splatter action movie of the year.
It’s a rich year for ambitious and quirky sci-fi movies and the main screens light up with Mali Elfman’s warm-hearted science fiction epic NEXT EXIT, the sensational sci-fi horror hybrid THE VISITOR FROM THE FUTURE, Quentin Dupieux’s quirky comedy time travel fantasy INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE.
Other main screen World premieres include TERRIFIER 2, continuing the gory misadventures of Art the Clown, MIDNIGHT PEEPSHOW, a twisted portmanteau threesome exploring the nightmare side of psychosexual fantasy, horror anthology sequel SCARE PACKAGE II: RAD CHAD’S REVENGE, Andy Mitton’s menacing supernatural horror, THE HARBINGER, Erik Bloomquist’s coming-of-age horror SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS, starring Cara Buono and stylish psychological chiller MASTEMAH from director Didier Daarwin, who will be attending. Also attending is THE CHAMBER director Ben Parker, for his latest thriller BURIAL. He will be bringing along the cast, including Tom Felton.
The documentary strand is as bright and bold as ever and FrightFest welcomes French cult icon Brigitte Lahaie, who will introduce the fascinating in-depth Jean Rollin documentary ORCHESTRATOR OF STORMS. The subversive and explicit is also explored in CULT OF VHS, which takes a trip down Memorex lane to nostalgically relive the allure and passion for straight to video titles and yes, those Video Nasties. Another cult favourite is Chucky, who is the subject of Kyra Gardner’s LIVING WITH CHUCKY. Kyra, daughter of FX designer Tony Gardner, explores what it was like growing up amongst this creative family of stars, eccentrics, technicians and a serial killing doll.
Blood-thirsty hounds, rampaging reptiles, a teacher-eating pupil and a gore-filled talent show…Brit horror hits a bloody sartorial vein this year with the World premiere of HOUNDED, starring Samantha Bond and Larry Lamb, Liam Regan’s EATING MISS CAMPBELL, Pat Higgins’ POWERTOOL CHEERLEADERS VS. THE BOYBAND OF THE SCREECHING DEAD and Paul W. Franklyn’s CROC! Also, there are outings for Paul Wilkins’ THE GHOST WRITER, Steve Johnson’s STALKER, and Christopher Hatton’s RAVEN’S HOLLOW.
Plus, we have the UK’s ‘First Blood’ class of 2022 – THE CREEPING, starring Sophie Thompson, Scott Lyus’s apocalyptic vision WALKING AGAINST THE RAIN, BITE a horror story of entrapment and cannibalism, Will Hugo’s THE GROUP and CEREBRUM starring Steve Oram.
The festival has a proud track-record for the depth and diversity of its Discovery Stand and this year three screens will be devoted to bringing the best new films from around the world. From Luxembourg there is the savage thriller WOLFKIN, from Mexico and Peru is the much anticipated HUESERA from director Michelle Garza Cervera and FrightFest’s first entry from Cyprus is the World premiere of paranormal thriller THE GHOSTS OF MONDAY. Other World premieres in the Discovery strand include Japan’s bold, unique fantasy NEW RELIGION from director Keishi Kondo, the subversive mockumentary EVERYBODY DIES BY THE END, and DAUGHTER, which marks the distinctive feature film debut for Corey Deshon and stars Casper Van Dien.
Plus, there are UK premieres for erotic spookfest HYPOCHONDRIAC, real-time black comedy thriller HOLY S**T!, gruesome murder mystery THE BREACH, serial killer drama THE LAST CLIENT, SUPER Z, which injects new blood into the zombie genre, FAMILY DINNER, which puts gut-punching shocks on the menu and THE ONCE AND FUTURE SMASH + END ZONE 2, Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein’s spoof documentary and END ZONE sequel in a double bill that is simply fake GRINDHOUSE heaven.
FrightFest was one of the first festivals to focus on the fresh and delightful work of Austin-based director Emily Hagins when it premiered MY SUCKY TEEN ROMANCE in 2011. Now she’s back big time with SORRY ABOUT THE DEMON, a supernatural horror comedy that is movingly funny. Having always embraced dedicated genre directors returning with new films we also welcome back Patrick Rea with his haunting domestic abuse chiller THEY WAIT IN THE DARK, Eric Pennycoff with THE LEECH, starring FrightFest favourite Graham Skipper, BUTTBOY’s Tyler Cornack with TINY CINEMA, a weird, fun and twisted look at humanity, and Alexis Bruchon with THE EYES BELOW, the second in his noir trilogy following THE WOMAN WITH LEOPARD SHOES
The monstrous and macabre line-up of films go on with a record entry of International and European premieres, which includes BITCH ASS, Bill Posley’s black exploitation horror, with Tony Todd, Tom Ryan’s award-winning frightener SPLINTER, kickass rocking gore-fest PUSSYCAKE, dark Faustian morality tale THE SUMMONED, home-invasion thriller, WHO INVITED THEM?, psychological family horror THE ONES YOU DIDN’T BURN, Spain’s EVERYONE WILL BURN, starring SEXY KILLER’s Macarena Gomez, John Ainslee’s human flesh-eating DO NOT DISTURB, new body horror SWALLOWED from Carter Smith (THE RUINS), Grégory Beghin’s survival horror DEEP FEAR, and packed shocker NIGHT OF THE BASTARD, from Erik Boccio and London May, creators of the multi-award winning BRUTAL REALITY, INC.
Plus, the live streaming age is given deadly digital treatment in Hannah Barlow’s SISSY, Joseph Winter’s DEADSTREAM and twisted social media thriller FOLLOW HER. Director Sylvia Caminer will be attending.
There are plenty of special events taking place this year – THE DEVIL’S HOUR is an upcoming six-part mind-bending thriller for Amazon Prime Video and FrightFest will be hosting a special exclusive preview with talent in attendance. The cast and crew will also be gracing the FrightFest stage for a special exclusive preview of WRECK, an upcoming comedy horror series coming soon to BBC Three. And even more talent will be on display when director Simon Sheridan reveals exclusive footage from his upcoming saucy 70s documentary series, KEEPING THE BRITISH END UP!
For the first time ever Alan Jones and national treasure Mark Kermode bring their stage show DUELLING EGOS: AN AUDIENCE WITH ALAN AND MARK to the Prince Charles Cinema, and Alan also takes the stage in his role as artistic director of the Trieste Science+Fiction Festival, to introduce the World premiere of CONTROL, the first Canadian sci-fi thriller to use real-time virtual production tools, and which will also play at Trieste.
Could it get any better? Well, yes, after three years THE DUKE MITCHELL FILM PARTY is back, so expect trailers, scary PSA’s, delightful celluloid discoveries but most importantly: utter chaos. There’s also a welcome return of the ARROW VIDEO PODCAST with co-host Dan Martin live at FrightFest to chat to the great and the bad.
Finally, there’s an extra pre-festival treat this year…Do you know your Cronenberg from your Carpenter? Your Pinhead from your Pumpkinhead? THE EVOLUTION OF HORROR, the UK’s biggest horror podcast, will be hosting a special horror pub quiz on the Wednesday night at the Phoenix club. So come join host Mike Muncer and podcast pals for the ultimate evening of horror trivia!
Festival co-director Paul McEvoy said today: “We are absolutely delighted with this year’s fantastic Arrow FrightFest line-up. This is the wildest and most diverse selection we have ever assembled. The mix includes a stunning variety of the latest must-see SF, thriller, fantasy and horror titles from around the world. With a vast array of premiere screenings, special events and incredible guests the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema will be the ONLY places for film lovers to be over the late August Bank Holiday weekend and we cannot wait to unleash our prime selections to our wonderful audience.”
Arrow FrightFest is pleased to announce two new presenting sponsors – SHUDDER and 101 FILMS. The Super screen at the Cineworld Leicester Square will be known as The Shudder Screen and the three Discovery screens will be known as 101 FILMS Discovery Screens 1, 2, & 3.