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The Fall
Photograph: FrightFest

Five must-see films to catch at FrightFest

London’s world famous horror festival has a bloody great line-up in store

Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Phil de Semlyen

Whether you love grindhouse, slashers, psychological horror or just have a thing for big dudes in hockey masks, London’s Arrow FrightFest is probably already flashing on your radar. Over five days in August, Leicester Square will again play host to a veritable feast of first-rate horrors, B-movie brilliance and the odd cult curio and a small army of horrorheads will be there to soak it up the viscera.

There are dozens of movies on the programme – which kicks off on August 25 – including 32 world premieres, so those genre lovers will be the first to clap eyes on a fair chunk of them. Here’s five films to make a Nic Cage-style beeline for.

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5 movies to see at FrightFest

The Lair
Photograph: FrightFest

1. The Lair

The headline news at this year’s FrightFest is the world premiere for Neil Marshall’s latest – the Geordie horror maven who gave us ‘The Descent’ and that bit in ‘Game of Thrones’ when literally everything explodes. ‘The Lair’ is being billed as ‘The Dirty Dozen meets The Thing’, and if it’s half as good as that sounds, it’ll be a hell of a ride. And while he’s in town, Marshall will also be intro’ing a 4K restoration of ‘Dog Soldiers’. Ah-hooooo!

Photograph: FrightFest

2. Fall

The festival closer is a survival thriller that will absolutely not be for anyone with vertigo. Directed by Scott Mann, who made 2015’s Robert De Niro thriller ‘Heist’, ‘Fall’ sends two friends (Grace Caroline Currey, Virginia Gardner) to the top of a 2000-foot radio tower and, well, leaves them there. A broken ladder, a bunch of callous rednecks and at least one vulture will crank up the high-altitude jitters. 

  • Film
  • Science fiction

If you imagine a mumblecore ‘X-Files’ episode featuring a couple of LA slackers and a floating slab of quartz, you’d barely be halfway towards conjuring the slowburn freakery of ‘The Endless’ duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s latest DIY indie. It’s not the goriest or scariest entry at this year’s fest, but it’s still an eerie mindfuck that will leave you shook up.

Raven’s Hollow
Photograph: FrightFest

4. Raven’s Hollow

If you like your chills to come clad in period garb and with a gothic vibes this Shudder-produced reimagining of the life of Edgar Allan Poe will be for you. It follows the great American horror novelist (played by William Moseley) to West Point and a spell as a military cadet. On exercise, he stumbles upon a dying man eviscerated and strapped to a rack who steers him to a tight-knit community guarding dark secrets. Look out, too, for those reliably great character actors, David Hayman and Kate Dickie, in its shadowy 19th century world.

Dark Glasses
Photograph: FrightFest

5. Dark Glasses

This year’s FrightFest is being graced by royalty: the grand duke of giallo himself, Dario Argento, is swinging by to unleash his latest slice of slicing, stabbing and chopping. ‘Dark Glasses’ follows an Italian escort (Ilenia Pastorelli) who is targeted by a serial killer in Rome and loses her sight in a car accident while chasing a suspect. It’s drawn comparisons with Argento’s earlier work, including 1971’s ‘The Cat O’ Nine Tails’, but also boasts sea snakes and rabid dogs.  

Arrow FrightFest runs Aug 25-29 at London’s Cineworld Leicester Square and the Prince Charles Cinema. Head to the official site for programme info and tickets.

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