How did you find the line-up overall..?

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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by djwoody »

Not enough full on, balls to the wall horror and too many 'slow burn dramas'. Quite disappointed overall
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by nagelfar »

@maxmum: get out of my head!

@ all others: I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling this way.
It was my second year at FF, flying over from Austria specifically to attend. Last year was an absolute blast, especially as I liked how diverse the selection was - something I was REALLY missing this year. It felt as if 50% of the movies where revenge/torture/drama thrillers, 90% of those of the slow burning kind.
This is fine if you have one movie like that, two, three, no problem but so many?! I just missed films such as Trick'r'Treat, House of the Demons or Pontypool!
Damned by Dawn, although flawed (get rid of those fucking ghosts, more screentime for the Banshee!) was such a welcome exception to the rule.
I also felt, that the focus was too much on british movies and filmmakers this year. Yes it is a british festival but this is NO excuse whatsoever for garbage such as Dead Cert. Same goes for Isle of Dogs, while not as bad as Dead Cert and with some genuine funny moments this had an atrocious sound mix and some of the most garbled storytelling I've seen so far. English is not my first language but I was glad to hear, that even british people had trouble with the dialog (if you could hear even hear it over the pounding music), I was already questioning my ability to understand english :)
Also don't get the hype around Monsters. Yes, if the 15k figure is right this is astonishing in it looks but it felt more like a romantic comedy than anything else. This is all getting hyped out of proportions and I don't understand how anyone could NOT get the ending/circular storytelling, it was as blatantly obvious as were the "illegal alien/USA" references.
I won't even get started on movies like Christopher Roth, is this seriously the best you could find for the Discovery screen? If so, it does not bode well for the "genre" (probably the most overused word of the weekend).
Still, we had fun again and saw 26 out of a possible 27, didn't walk out of any although, in hindsight I wish I did (at least 2 out of those 26).
Huge thumbs up for the short movies, those were all entertaining and really well done, it is simply astonishing, what you can do nowadays using a camera, some smart storytelling and a laptop, Papa Wrestling was just perfect in its execution, How I survived the Zombie Apo. looked stunning, I loved how one of the guys in the audience asked, if we could see it again, really!
Also loved "Buried". I'll probably see a Serbian Film uncut in Austria and "Buried" had me sitting at the edge of my chair, the final 10minutes just destroyed my soul (as if I had one...) just utter perfection, loved it.
One final thought: Some people were asking, if perhaps the "genre" right now wouldn't offer better/more (diverse) movies than that, those I want to show two Festivals, that are taking place in the coming weeks, Fantasy Film Fest in Germany (which I skipped in favour of FF as FFF didn't have a lineup when I booked FF) and /slash Film Festival in Austria. Both of those have a more diverse lineup than this years frightfest.
Fantasy Film Fest:

/slash Film Festival:
* Frozen
* Gake no ue no Ponyo / Ponyo
* Ghosts … of the Civil Dead
* L.A. Zombie
* Monsters
* Pintu Terlarang / The Forbidden Door
* Rammbock
* Rubber
* Samâ wôzu / Summer Wars
* Srpski Film / A Serbian Film
* Surprise Film
* Tetsuo: The Bullet Man
* The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
* The Loved Ones
* The Road
* Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
* Valhalla Rising
* Yattâman / Yatterman

In Memoriam

* Phase IV
* Possession
* The Cabinet Of Caligari

Midnight Madness

* Alien vs. Ninja
* Kyonyû doragon: Onsen zonbi vs sutorippâ 5 / Big Tits Zombie
* Sentô shôjo: Chi no tekkamen densetsu / Mutant Girls Squad


* i
* I Love Sarah Jane
* Örstutt Jól / Unholy Night
* Red Dead Redemption: The Man from Blackwater
* Zombiekurzfilmrolle
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by Wolfshade »

I had an absolutely great time at Fright Fest this year, and I saw loads of awesome films...BUT i agree the quality of the line up was a bit lacking in places, the line up was certainly better than the line up last year, which I found very disappointed, but nowhere near the quality of the 2008, 07, and 06 line ups.

For the last 2 years, we hardly seem to be getting any big profile horror films that are going to have a cinema run, I know there’s the “but can you see that in your local cinema in a few months” argument, but I think there’s been far too many poor and forgettable direct-to-dvd films on the line up for the last 2 years at the expense of more popular films that would have gone down better and seem to have been omitted just because they’re having a cinema run. Looking at 2007 there was the likes of The Orphange, wAz, Day Watch, Black Sheep, Disturbia, 1408, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and Cold Prey, all of which were high profile films with cinema runs that all went down well, in amongst some of the smaller and more independent films that didn’t make it to the cinema.

The vast majority of the films last year seemed to be forgettable direct-to-dvd stuff (Coffin Rock, Shadow, Hierro, Smash Cut, VG vs FG, Hills Run Red, Infestation, Giallo, Dread, etc), and it was a similar story this year, although some of the lesser known films were much better (Bedevilled, Dream Home and Outcast being some of my favourites of the festival), there isn’t really much excuse for the likes of Dead Cert and Isle Of Dogs being on the line up.

Buried was only a last minute addition to the line up, and it went down brilliantly, and everyone I spoke to loved it, this is the sort of movie that’s perfect for Fright Fest and should have been immediately snapped up….but why were Dead Cert and Isle Of Dogs included ahead of it? It might be a big film soon to be at the cinema, but it was great seeing it on such a massive screen with such a massive audience and being able to say we saw it first.

Also another quibble is the one several other people have raised about the line up being slightly uneven, too many REVENGE films in there….and also with F being shown on the Saturday, showing Cherry Tree Lane on the Sunday was a poor decision. We’d just watched an excellent “hoodie horror” in F the previous night, and CTL afterwards was just a disappointing water-down offering of more of the same. I would have liked there to be more gorey monster/ghost/supernatural classic kind of horror films too – Hatchet 2 and Damned By Dawn were the only films that really fell into this bracket and both were poor.

But anyway that’s just my thoughts on how it could be improved, as I said I did have a great time this year, and I’ll continue to come to the fest because I always enjoy it.
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by voor »

i'm going to write a longer post later about why I thought this was one of the top line-ups Frightfest has ever had but first I have a little bone to pick for selection of the two festivals: I agree Fantasy Film Fest is rather terrific line-up BUT Slash simply has nothing new there - I mean look

/slash Film Festival:
* Gake no ue no Ponyo / Ponyo - OUT ON DVD
* Ghosts … of the Civil Dead - RETRO (1988)
* L.A. Zombie - NEW
* Monsters (FRIGHTFEST 2010)
* Pintu Terlarang / The Forbidden Door - SCREENED AT LONDON LAST YEAR
* Rammbock NEW
* Rubber NEW
* Samâ wôzu / Summer Wars - AVAILABLE ON DVD
* Srpski Film / A Serbian Film DENIED BY BBFC
* Surprise Film
* Tetsuo: The Bullet Man NEW
* The Human Centipede (First Sequence) - SCREENED LAST YEAR FRIGHTFEST
* The Loved Ones - FRIGHTFEST 2010
* Tucker & Dale vs. Evil - NEW
* Yattâman / Yatterman - DVD

In Memoriam

* Phase IV
* Possession
* The Cabinet Of Caligari

Midnight Madness

* Alien vs. Ninja - SCREENED FRIGHTFEST 2010
* Kyonyû doragon: Onsen zonbi vs sutorippâ 5 / Big Tits Zombie - NEW
* Sentô shôjo: Chi no tekkamen densetsu / Mutant Girls Squad - DVD/ JUST AWFUL

If this line-up was presented to me at any point, I'd simply not have gone - midnight madness made ENTIRELY of Japanese Gore-Action films? When we got DREAM HOME over here.

I think this is more than a little unfair to say that this line-up is better.
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by deathwish3 »

No matter what, it is someones incredibly hard work that makes a film and despite seeing some absolute shockers the one that outstood for me was The Dead, here was a 'beautiful horror' taking some of the best zombies i have ever seen and it was refreshing to see some real attention to technical film making as opposed to just reams of gore which is easy to do!
well done all!
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by nagelfar »

voor wrote:I think this is more than a little unfair to say that this line-up is better.
I didn't say it was better, I said it was more diverse! Some people might be able to sit through 10 and more hours of revenge/torture movies, I just don't want to, I need some stupid, mindless, gory action inbetween.

And as for the midnight screenings, FF does something quite similar, showing Japan Shlock and Co movies at the end of the day.
But yes, I loved Dreamhome and would love to see it again.
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by Jim Fear »

I personally think that this years line-up was great as far as quality goes. Sure, there were some poor films on offer (I'm talking to you Dead Cert) but there's always going to be some films that play better to a FF audience than others. I think the theme of the films doesn't really make any difference as long as the quality is there - and when you have films as good as The Loved Ones, Dream Home and Monsters I don't think theres too much to complain about.
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by The Soapmaker »

nagelfar wrote:And as for the midnight screenings, FF does something quite similar, showing Japan Shlock and Co movies at the end of the day.
True, but this year they also had what turned out to be two of the most "top-fived" films of the festival - Dream Home and The Loved Ones.

Annoying for me, because I don't hang around for the late films - it's usually safe to assume they'll be rubbish.

It seems a very strange decision that The Loved Ones, in particular, wasn't on earlier in the day. Fortunately it's out on DVD pretty soon.
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by nagelfar »

The Soapmaker wrote: True, but this year they also had what turned out to be two of the most "top-fived" films of the festival - Dream Home and The Loved Ones.
True, both of them were awesome but still, there are people like me who, after a whole day of watching serious movies, like to end the day with some mindless splatter while having a beer or two, as such I wholly support the screening of movies such as Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl.
I totally agree though, that DH and TLO, should have been on much earlier instead of retarded stuff such as Dead Cert and Isle of Dogs and they should have shown more funny gore movies later on (Big Tits Zombies e.g.). Would have been a Win/Win for the both of us.
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by Maniacal »

For me it's removing the Discovery Screen and letting some of those fine films play up on the big screen while gettting rid of films like Red Hill, 13 Hours, Cherry Tree Lane and Dead Cert.

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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by steve806 »

I thought it was a solid line up this year. I lacked a true stand out film (Donnie Darko, Martyrs, The Orphanage, Pans labyrinth etc) like we have had in previous years but equally I dont think there was anything truly awful like some other years (Bubbas Chili Parlour, Zombie Sluts of Satan etc).

I felt Monsters, The Loved Ones, Bedevilled and Buried were all very strong movies and a few others were flawed but interesting. Given that I saw approx 30 films in 5 days I think that 5 or 6 good movies is a decent hit rate. No worse than the hit rate I get throught the year at my local multiplex and once you consider that everyone has their own opinion then the team have probably managed to include something to please everyone.

Not to bothered by the glut of revenge films, I guess that is just where the market is right now. I seem to recall over the last few years of Frightfest people have complained there were too many torture prawn one year, to many french films another year, too much J Horror another year - I just think to some degree the guys can only work with whats out there added to the difficlties of dealing with distributors. I for one would love to have seen John Carpenters The Ward in this years line up but the films distributors will not give any films to FF.

All in all another good event and as always I will be back again next year.
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by Reanimator »

I really enjoyed this years line up - thought it was slightly stronger than last year and most of the films were good or excellent.

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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by sherbetbizarre »

Just listened to Chris & Phil Present... Fright Bites DAY 3...

...and Cherry Tree Lane is another script which the director wrote "in about a week", but was quite happy to film it as is...

Wow, seriously? I think both that and Hatchet II would have benefitted from rewrites, if only to sort out pacing issues.

And Monsters - far too devoid of dramatic conflict for me - didn't even have a script!

Maybe FrightFest should organise a competition where we submit are own ideas for -- OH WAIT!!
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by ZombieCommand »

I wasn't that impressed with the 2009 line-up but looking back on it after this year I have fond memories of the variety of films it contained. Last year I was in the Discovery Screen for about half the time and missed a few films that would probably have made 2009 even better for me (House of the Devil, Trick or Treat) but, as was, I felt even it lacked decent 'horror' films.

I was hugely bored by most of this year's line-up and I think my definition of horror is much more narrow than Paul et al. I don't think revenge films (for the most part) are horrific. I understand that it's accepted as part of modern horror, but I don't think they should be. Horror, for me, comes from you putting yourself in the character's position and thinking how bad it'd be to try and get out, but revenge films rely on the audience connecting with abusers first and then being terrified of the retaliation.

You can argue (probably quite well) that the horror is from the initial act of abuse and then the audience is given resolution/release through the vengeance; but I just don't find that at all scary. You know the main character will survive and you know the abuser's death is a given. It's the fear of what could happen that is scary, not foregone conclusions.

That said, last year's The Horseman was one of the highlights but the revenge films this year were just nowhere near as good. Indeed the biggest issue this year is that all the films were slow and the same. Not so much the sub-genre itself.

Having had a quick recap in my mind, I think most of the films this year on the main screen were technically horror, but the ones that weren't stood out so much that it really put a block in my mind as to how many were. It feels like the whole weekend was marred by these out of place films.

Films that (I feel) belonged there:
Hatchet 2, Primal, Dead Cert, TCM, F, The Tortured, 13 Hrs, I Spit On Your Grave, (missed Dream Home but expect it was fitting), The Pack, We Are What We Are, Damned By Dawn, Buried, The Loved Ones, The Dead, The Last Exorcism

Films that belonged there that were actually any good:
Hatchet 2 (passable), Primal, TCM, F, The Pack (passable), Buried, The Loved Ones, The Dead (passable), The Last Exorcism

Films that (I feel) didn't belong that were actually good:
Monsters (loved it), Bedevilled (bit slow but at least made sense which is a rarity for Asian cinema), Red Hill (dodgy CGI panther aside)

Films that didn't belong that were bad or worse:
Isle of Dogs, Alien vs Ninja, Eggshells, Christopher Roth (saw it place of Cherry Tree Lane)

Red, White and Blue holds a weird place for me, because it was fantastic up until the guy started killing people. Seeing as how that was the point of the film though, it's hard to say it was actually good.

Things that worked:
Video Nasty doc (brilliant, one of the highlights), the previews before films, Douche Brothers (natch), the timing between Main and Discovery screens this year.

Things that didn't work (or at least work as well):
The Quiz (has to be hard to separate the winners, but leaves out those less familiar with the genre), the short film showcase (far too many to watch all at once, had me pleading for it to end despite some great shorts in there), Q&As with people from films that were bad, goody bags were a bit poorer this year though I appreciate there's not too much you can do about that (besides which I'm not there for the free stuff).

140 (or less) character reviews of the films I didn't like:
Dead Cert - Wasn't as terrible as everybody else thought, but certainly wasn't any good. Possibly deserved it's place.
The Tortured - Terribly written and acted, seen worse gore when making chicken soup.
13 Hrs - More bad British horror; contrived and tired. Still, Gemma Atkinson with low tops in crawl spaces. The 15yr old in me thanks you.
ISOYG - First couple of kills were very good, rest of film is fully 'meh'.
WAWWA - Slowest film of the weekend, feels like an over extended first act and is useless without it's sequels
Damned by Dawn - Shoddy. Suffered immeasurably from Evil Dead comparison (and attempt to imitate). Oversold.
Isle of Dogs - Seriously shit. Not even close to horror. Not even close to good.
Alien vs Ninja - At least I knew roughly what I was getting into. Didn't expect it to be quite so bad though.
Eggshells - Understand the reason for putting it on, but really, why bother.
Christopher Roth - Only horror if you consider something like The Da Vinci code horror. Also confusing and not very good.

So, that brings me onto my suggestions.

1) More variety
I want a couple of slashers, I want a couple of monster films (including zombies :D), I want a couple of paranormal/ghost/dark fantasy films, I want a couple of Euro-horrors, I want a couple of Asian horrors, I want a couple of world cinema films, find good British films, I want a couple of comedies, I want a good revenge film, I want a good gore film, I want an animated film, I want an experimental film, I want a film that'll make me sleep with the lights on, I'll even take a 3D film!
Anything that means I don't get bored by watching the same slow film play out over and over again.
2) 9pm blockbusters
I want films that are going to get a mainstream release. I don't care if they're coming out in the next couple of months. I don't care if there's a moratorium on reviewing them. I just want to be entertained in the 9pm slot.
Wasn't actually too bad this year with Buried, Monsters and The Last Exorcism, but I want more. Devil, Resident Evil, Saw 3D. I want people to be jealous that I've seen it before them.
I know this'll be the hardest request to fill (Kaboom! not wanting shown until closer to release a prime example), plus I don't think everybody feels the same way.
3) Lose the crap
I appreciate the need to appease film makers and distributors, plus what I think is crap other people may think is gold (Jerry! GOLD!), but anything that doesn't have a real chance at being somebody's favourite film, punt to the discovery or better yet drop.
4) Make the Discovery screen for real Cinephiles
Extended Q&As, more documentaries, put the experimental stuff in here, shorts in here, have a director/cast commentate over their film (a reshowing of a main screen film perhaps). Make the Discovery screen about discussion. Show first cuts/test screenings and get the audience to participate to improve a film. Show the originals for films getting Hollywood remakes.
There are always films in the Discovery that would be better than some of the crap on the main screen. Sort it out. Tighten up the requirements.
5) Sort out the breaks/ let us know what's coming up
I want an hour for dinner. Getting to something like Bella Italia and back in 45 minutes is tight and I don't want to eat McDonalds 5 days in a row.
Appreciate this is hard to do as well, but if you tell us when and what the special previews are before which film in the morning I can decide if I can afford the extra 15 minutes to eat.

Whinging aside, you guys all do a great job putting Frightfest on and perhaps it's more indicative of the state of horror rather than anything you guys could have done but if I could have had a realistic but better FF it might have looked like.

Hatchet II - Primal - Devil's Playground
Julia's Eyes - TCM - Tobe Hooper - Burning Bright - F - Devil - The Incite Mill
Rammbock - Box of Shadows - Outcast - ISPOYG - Tucker & Dale vs Evil - Dream Home
The Pack - The Violent Kind - Damned By Dawn - The Loved Ones - Buried - Deserted House
Video Nasties - Shelter - The Dead - Rubber - The Last Exorcism

To be honest I'm pretty sure the guys on this forum could do better, and I've deliberately left in some films I didn't like because they fit and could be someone's favourite film, but I feel this is more representative of a wider range of horror that we could have done with.

Anyway, this is too long now and I've lost what I was aiming for. I had fun, but not as much fun as last year, will see you all in October hopefully :)
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Re: How did you find the line-up overall..?

Post by Satans Puppy »

It had a few too many Slow Burn films for me and while it disappointed me a little it made I Spit and the Loved Ones stand out all the more :) which can only be a good thing cause both were awesome and the audience really showed their appreciation.

However, some of the Discovery Screen films could have been shown on the main screen... Burning Bright definitely would have had my vote for the main line up instead of Damned By Dawn.
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