Tearing its way back onto the screens of Vue’s flagship Leicester Square cinema in London for its sixteenth year, Film4 FrightFest returns in 2015, promising to pack an even bigger punch than ever before. Dragging itself out over five days of blood-soaked, terror-themed fun, the fan-favourite horror film festival will occupy even more screens than previous years when it lands from the 27th to the 31st August. Offering up a varied program of terrifying treats, ranging from big name UK premieres, to smaller, more fan-focussed and trashy titles, FrightFest remains very much the go-to festival for horror film geeks in all their forms.
Originally envisioned by a quartet of cinema devotees in producer Paul McEvoy, distributor Ian Rattray, journalist Alan Jones, and PR leader Greg Day, FrightFest has grown from its humble origins in 2000 at the Prince Charles Cinema to a huge, multi-screen, multi-city event. Although London remains the festival’s cultural hub, a second branch has since sprouted off in Glasgow, offering up an even wider range of ghastly delights, although it is still very much the nation’s capital that remains horror’s home.
Following swiftly on the heels of last year’s fiercely packed program that saw early previews of critically-acclaimed hits such as Adam Wingard’s The Guest, as well as Aussie shocker The Babadook, 2015 promises to be another year to watch out for. Although the full program is still yet to be announced (it will supposedly land online 3rd July), early rumours are hinting towards a return from festival favourite Eli Roth, whether that be with his recent Sundance sweeper Knock Knock or one of his many, many other projects, whilst more hopeful fans may well be turning their sights towards a possible early premiere for Guillermo del Toro’s latest, Crimson Peak, a whole two months ahead of its general release. One can always dream.
Ultimately though, no matter the slate, the festival always proves to be a fun-fueled hub for the darkly weird and wonderful side of film. One of the widest showcases of alternative genre film in the UK, and boasting regular appearances from cinematic legends such as George A. Romero and Tobe Hooper, Film4 FrightFest is every true horror fan’s heaven, promising the very dark heart of cinema served up exactly the way we like it: extra bloody.