Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

The rotting remains of 2012's festival
Post Reply
steve806
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:30 pm
Location: Brighton
Contact:

Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by steve806 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:56 am

Over the weekend I found myself thinking it was a really weak year with not enough quality films but now with distance and hindsight I wonder if I was being harsh.

A number of posters have bemoaned a lack of quality this year and more often than not the comparison is 'where's the films to compare with LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and MARTYRS'. I am begining to think this comparison is unfair. Firstly, they were 2 of the best genre movies of the last decade, or perhaps any decade, and by sheer luck we got them not only in the same year but in the same afternoon (Sunday). What are the odds? And are we ever likely to be that lucky again?

My usual expectation for FF (I have done all 13) is that I will see:

a. 2 exceptional films
b. 1 huge letdown when expecting something special
c. 2 or 3 solid genre movies
d. 1 above average hollywood horror
e. 1 interesting but flawed film from a newish director
f. 1 unmitigated piece of s***e
g. A bunch of movies that were average or I didnt care for

Applying that logic to FF13 I saw
a. Sleep Tight and Chained
b. Berberian Sound Studio (and I got sucked into the LET THE RIGHT ONE/MARTYRS mentality as it followed SLEEP TIGHT and hoped the same treat would be repeated)
c. VHS/Maniac/Rec 3
d. Sinister
e. American Mary
f. Cant think of one and perhaps that is what has skewed perception of this year. Even the worst movies were competent. There was no 'Zombie Sluts' or 'Bubbas Chilli' this year.
g.There were a quite a few average movies this year and without a low point to balance the high points maybe this gave the impression of a poor year

Finally, I try to hold the thought that if one averages 1 cinema visit a week we are seeing half a years worth of films in 5 days and how many of the films you would see over that half year are actually any good?

So all in all I have now come to the opinion that this year was no worse or better than any other. My thanks to the team for their efforts and I look forward to FF's Valentines day.

User avatar
Wulfster
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 184
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:55 pm
Location: Local to London, England
Contact:

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by Wulfster » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:44 pm

Personally (and selfishly) based on my own experience, I thought it was a vintage year!

Being a fan of Ross Noble and meeting the gent, helped skew my view, but beyond that I think a lot of people have been acting on immediate gut reactions this year, and voicing their immediate concerns to the Frightfest guys somewhat unfairly.
I wonder if anybody has changed their views on some films after "mulling" it over.

Basically I go into the festival with 6 main expectations;
1) I WILL see some films that will immediately blew me away and become firm favourites.
2) I WILL see some films that were "under-my-radar" and surprise me with their quality and enterainment value.
3) I WILL see one or two films that I find somewhat prententious and be bemused and irritated by,
4) There may be one film that I hate with a vengeance
5) There WILL be at least one crap "giallo".
6) I will be intensely disappointed by the UK offerings.

So this year...
1) "Maniac" / "Eurocrime" / "Sleep Tight" / "Chained", and several others
2) "Sleep Tight" / "American Mary"
3) "Berberian Sound Studio"
4) "Hidden in the Woods"
5) "Tulpa" / "Paura"
but...
6) NO! I loved each and every one of the UK/Irish films. From "The Seasoning House", through "Cockney's", "Grabbers", "Stitches", to "Tower Block" -- Loved 'em all!!

I judge whether the fest is a good year or not, but the ratio of how many films I will remember and rave over, to the ones that I actually actively disliked.
...and this year there were MANY more films that I loved, compared to one that I hated, and 4 that I mildly disliked.

Part of the fun of frightfest is the sharing the variety of the genre with a like-minded crowd, and I think there's been a bit too much "Team Frightfest" bashing this year. There may have been some selections that proved to be questionable, but think of the studio politics and financial wrangling that goes on behind the scenes! I've never left a fest wishing I hadn't attended, and this year I thought it was one of the best.

But then I did meet Ross ... and the Soska Sisters :mrgreen:

bump3r1
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:06 am
Location: Newport, South Wales

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by bump3r1 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:10 pm

I have to agree with these posts, there was a point (saturday before Maniac) when i thought this year was going to be poor but on reflection i think it was one of the better years. I only walked out of one movie (Hidden in the Woods) this year in comparison to 4 last year (Theathre Bizarre, The Glass Man, Urban Explorers & Chillerama - all awful in their own right) and i don't really remember feeling anxious or wanting a film to end this year, aside from Grabbers as i was shattered.

Saturday was abit of a let down until Maniac but Sunday & Monday blew it out the water, loved nearly everything i saw.

For me 2010 was the best, Kane Hodder & Tony Todd walking around like there at home, crowd pleasing films like I Spit on your Grave & The Loved Ones, that year will be difficult to top for me.
You think darkness is your ally but you have merely adopted the dark, i was born in it!!

Welcome to prime time, bitch!!

Craig Beecham - Facebook.

streetrw
Frightfest Hardcore
Frightfest Hardcore
Posts: 1560
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:54 pm
Location: A hell of my own making
Contact:

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by streetrw » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:06 pm

It was pretty damn good: there were no films I flat out hated (even HIDDEN IN THE WOODS is at least technically competent unlike some films that have been shown at FF). I believe they managed to get the balance right between light and dark this year - not too much in the way of grim torture, bleak sadism and grotesque sexual violence, and several genuine crowd-pleasers to lighten the mood. The year of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and A SERBIAN FILM (nearly) was too downbeat and miserable, to the extent that middling fare like the banshee movie DAMNED BY DAWN genuinely looked a hell of a lot better than it really was because it wasn't torture and rape and meaningless suffering.

I'd have to go back through my lists and count up the * and ***** ratings to be sure, but while I didn't get any five-star classics this year - nothing as great as THE ORPHANAGE or PAN'S LABYRINTH - I had plenty of solid four-stars and only one one-star (HIDDEN IN THE WOODS).
http://streetrw.blogspot.com - For all your occasional film rambling needs.
http://twitter.com/streetrw - For when you really need to know what I had for breakfast.

AND NOW: SKYPE!

nagelfar
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by nagelfar » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:47 pm

My brother and I have been keeping scores on the movies we saw at FF for the last 3 years. 2012 was better than 2011 but not as good as 2010 going by our scores. Best year so far was 2009, the first year I attended but it was with a different person so it is hard to compare.

ChrisReynolds
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 214
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:01 pm

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by ChrisReynolds » Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:54 am

I think you only have to look at the lineups of previous years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Fri ... m_Festival) to see that this years line-up was one of the better ones, though probably nowhere near the best. I think it could quite well slot into the top 5, and a lot is going to depend on how disgusted you were by the amount of rape and sexual assault this year, whether you managed to see the excellent "American Mary" which for some reason was assigned the graveyard slot of first film on the last day, and whether you decided to see "The Inside" over either the short films and quiz or the ultra-generic "The Possession" (big mistake...)

I was actually intrigued enough to put the Imdb scores for every film shown on the main screen through the years into a spreadsheet to see what order the years came in when the scores are averaged out. (I ignored the reshowings of classic films into the rankings or else 2005 gets a huge boost from starting off the festival with Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, which also get better scores than anything else shown that year). I'm also not including the short films, or the films shown on the Discovery/Rediscovery screens in recent years although obviously in recent years you could have had almost an entirely different festival lineup.

The festival years from worst to best (not including 2012):

12. FF2000 (Score average of 5.48) - A whole bunch of awful films, of which "Christina's House" and "The 13th Sign" are the worst. Scary Movie also appears and actually gets a decent score on ImDb which is heavily biased towards the opinions of adolescent US males. A more realistic score for Scary Movie would put this year even lower. There were also two documentaries about Bava and Argento shown on the last day which boost the score. The only high points of this year are the pretty good "Pitch Black" and the brilliant "Audition".

11. FF2007 (Score average of 5.65) - Contained a punishing Uwe Boll double-bill of Postal and Seed and a ton of middle-of the road filler. "El Orfanato" was at least genuinely excellent and the best Frightfest final film. Next best films are "Disturbia", "1408" and "Girl next Door".

10. FF2010 (Score average of 5.67) - A lot of disappointing films, with "Dead Cert" and "Damned by Dawn" particularly bad. Score is boosted by the Video Nasties documentary, and the next best film is "Bedevilled".

9. FF2011 (Score average of 5.71) - Nothing amazing but nothing too dreadful either. "Tucker & Dale vs Evil" and "Troll Hunter" are the best, and "Rogue River" and "The Wicker Tree" the worst.

8. FF2003 (Score average of 5.72) - Despite containing "House of the Dead", the worst rated film ever to play at Frightfest, and having the lowest-rating best films with "Gozu" and "Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary", there's nothing overly bad here.

7. FF2006 (Score average of 5.72) - "Snoop Dogg’s Hood of Horror" is predictably the worst, but apart from that it's generally OK, finishing nicely with "The Host". The highlight is "Pan's Labyrinth", the 2nd best-rated film ever at Frightfest and quite a coup for them to get the UK premiere. This year rises higher if you include the Hammer Horror triple-bill.

6. FF2001 (Score average of 5.74) - "Cubbyhouse" scores the worst, "Battle Royale" and "The Devil's Backbone" the best. A huge leap up from the first year, and I will fondly remember it as the first time I attended. To this day I am still pissed off that Claire Denis pulled "Trouble Every Day" and we got "Ginger Snaps" instead, as even though it's a great film, I had already bought it on DVD months before and had watched it several times.

5. FF2009 (Score average of 5.75) - "Zombie Women of Satan" and "Smash Cut" score the worst, and the original "Girl with the Dragon tattoo the best. There were quite a lot of good to great films at this festival that helped boost its score, such as "Triangle", "Trick r Treat" and "House of the Devil", and although I didn't count it, John Landis came to introduce a remastered "American Werewolf in London". Also the year of the Human Centipede which although it cannot be described as good, was certainly a talking point.

4. FF2005 (Score average of 5.83) - Started off with a quadruple bill of Romero's Dead films from "Night" to "Land". I didn't include "Night" "Dawn" or "Day" in the score, but if you do, this year soars to second best. Apart from those "A Bittersweet Life" rates the best and "Day of the Dead 2: Contagium" the worst. Seems almost insulting to Romero to schedule Day of the Dead 2 into the same festival as his Dead films. Apart from that, quite a few good films.

3. FF2008 (Score average of 5.83) - Other people have mentioned this as a favourite year, and there is plently to recommend it. "Let the Right One In" is an instant classic, "The Chaser" also scores very highly. "Eden Lake" and "Martyrs" make this a good year for grim nastiness. Only "I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer" and "Scar-3D" following each other on the first day really let the year down.

2. FF2002 (Score average of 5.88) - IMO "Donnie Darko" is hugely overrated on ImDb and gives this year a big boost. Chris Nolan appeared to introduce "Insomnia", and there were quite a lot of good films there too. This year also managed to have its two worst films be tacky celebrity vehicles: the worst Frightfest opening film with the Paris Hilton vehicle "Nine Lives" as well as Busta Rhymes in "Halloween Resurrection" the next day. It's strange this year gets the second bet score when if you look at the list of films showing it doesn't seem that great.

1. FF2004 (Score average of 6.14) - The only year with NO BAD FILMS, the worst rated is "Il Cartaio". It has the best rated Frightfest opener with the brilliant "Oldboy", the best-rated film ever shown at Frightfest, and follows it up with "Switchblade Romance" (on which opinions vary widely but I enjoyed). Other highlights include "Hellboy" introduced by Guillermo Del Toro and the cast, and the last day also has "The Machinist". If you include the "Deep Red" reshowing, this year rates even higher at 6.21.

Frightfest all-time top ten (according to ImDb) starting with the best:
Oldboy (FF2004)
Pan’s Labyrinth (FF2006)
Donnie Darko (FF2002)
Video nasties: Moral panic, censorship and videotape (FF2010)
Let the Right One In (FF2008)
The Chaser (FF2008)
Battle Royale (FF2001)
The Machinist (FF2004)
A Bittersweet Life (FF2005)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (FF2009)

Frightfest all-time bottom ten (according to ImDb) starting with the worst:
House of the Dead (FF2003)
Day of the Dead 2: Contagium (FF2005)
Nine Lives (FF2002)
Seed (FF2007)
Cubbyhouse (FF2001)
Zombie Women of Satan (FF2009)
Dead Cert (FF2010)
I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer (FF2008)
Damned by Dawn (FF2010)
Smash Cut (FF2009)

User avatar
sherbetbizarre
Frightfest Hardcore
Frightfest Hardcore
Posts: 1426
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:41 am
Contact:

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by sherbetbizarre » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:35 am

Thanks for doing that - interesting reading. 2002 was my first full year, and probably still remains a favourite!

Alex J
Undead Horde
Undead Horde
Posts: 461
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:30 pm
Location: The Back Of The Beyond

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by Alex J » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:30 pm

An amazing piece of work Chris, ,many thanks for this.

I did notice that in the bottom ten there was no Bubba's Chilli Parlor - I guess this is because this is either not rated or perhaps has been voted for by the makers and not enough other people have seen it!
No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering.

Eddie Krueger
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:15 pm
Location: Glastonbury, Somerset.
Contact:

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by Eddie Krueger » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:09 pm

Great post!

One way to up those averages and avoid some of the “barrel scrapers” would be to reduce the duration of the festival. On balance though I think I’d still rather a five day jolly and risk some stinkers than have it cut short.

User avatar
Wulfster
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 184
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:55 pm
Location: Local to London, England
Contact:

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by Wulfster » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:59 pm

Yeah. Brilliant post Chris!
Totally negates all the knee-jerk criticisms.

I bumped into one of the team in London this week, and they were genuinely taken aback by the amount of apparent negativity in posts and tweets this year. Including one nameless celebrity critic who publicly slagged one of the most popular films that was shown! The fact that he was so relieved and grateful that I gave him mostly positive feedback and thought that it was a "vintage year" spoke volumes to me ...

Not my place to tell people what to think and we all have our own opinions, but I felt that the guys have certainly had some unnecessary bashing this year. After all, they're not bankers!! :mrgreen:

bump3r1
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:06 am
Location: Newport, South Wales

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by bump3r1 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:14 pm

Maybe its a blessing in disguise that there was negative feedback, i live in Wales and can't make the sleepy queue and nearly didnt get a pass this year, hopefully they won't sell out quite so fast next year.

And the more i reflect the more i feel that this year was actually awesome :)
You think darkness is your ally but you have merely adopted the dark, i was born in it!!

Welcome to prime time, bitch!!

Craig Beecham - Facebook.

stshaw
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:15 pm

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by stshaw » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:35 pm

I think that the question was this year better than last year or previous years is largely irrelevant. The only useful question is "Was this year any good?". To which my answer is without question - Yes!

I thought the festival overall was outstanding. Maniac, Chained and American Mary were all great. Sleep Tight is perhaps my favourite film of the year so far (but I saw it before Fright Fest). There were also films I hated, but its impossible to show 25 films that will be loved equally by each of the 1300 people in the audience. The guest line up was amazing. I think all of the films on the main screen (with the exception of Dead Sushi and After) had somebody associated with the film present. Most of the films on the discovery screen were also with guests in attendance.

I think that the "back lash" is something that always comes when something becomes genuinely successful. In addition a lot has changed in the last few years. 5 years ago a much smaller Fright Fest and Dead by Dawn were the only significant festivals in the U.K. Now we have a much bigger Fright Fest, the Glasgow and Halloween events, Dead by Dawn, Mayhem, Abertoir, Grim Up North, Celluloid Screams and probably a few I have missed in addition to the genre offerings of the Edinburgh and London film festivals. This dramatic rise in the number of genre festivals in the U.K. must make it increasingly difficult to find good films to show. Competition with other major European genre festivals (Fright Fest overlapped this year with the very large Fantasy Film Fest in Hamburg and Berlin this year) must also have an impact as the festivals compete for exclusives and guests.

If people really think they could do better then perhaps they should get of their arses and do it.

ChrisReynolds
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 214
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:01 pm

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by ChrisReynolds » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:12 am

This was a very good year, and a much better line up than we had for 2010 and 2011. People tend to forget the poorer films of previous years as time goes by and remember things with rose-coloured glasses.
The amount of rape and sexualised violence coloured the festival for a lot of people and I think that's where most of the dislike for this year is coming from. I know it was a world premiere and a UK film, but I think it was a mistake to open the festival with "The Seasoning House". I thought it was an decent enough film, but for all the weekend pass holders, the first film is setting the mood for the festival, and there were multiple scenes that were really uncomfortable to watch. That scene with the big bald guy raping a woman to death seemed to go on forever. Then the next day there was "Hidden in the Woods" and its wilful unpleasantness. Less than 24 hours into the festival and I reckon that I must have seen around a dozen rapes just in these two movies. Then V/H/S has its first segment heading for a date rape before the monster intervenes. I can't imagine how the women in the audience felt during this, especially the ones who were rape survivors themselves.
"The Seasoning House" should have been moved to a later slot, and "Hidden in the Woods" should have played the Discovery screen.

Muffy St. John
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:32 pm
Location: Soho
Contact:

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by Muffy St. John » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:43 am

Oddly FF13 was like a festival of two halves, the first half stunk REALLY BAD!! The second half was actually quite good. I for one am all for shortening Frightfest (maybe 1 less film on each of the long days?) Or reducing it back down to 1 screen so only the best is played. It's just a matter of fact that there are only a certain number of decent genre films made and available at the time of Frightfest. I really don't think I'm going to buy another weekend pass again (after having done so for many years) as the bad movies are just too draining. I just hope I make the right decisions when purchasing individual film tickets!

Wolfshade
Undead Horde
Undead Horde
Posts: 347
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:57 pm

Re: Was FF 13 any worse or better than other years?

Post by Wolfshade » Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:41 pm

Of the ones I've attended fully, I'd say:

2008 > 2011 > 2012 > 2010 > 2009

This year took a long while to get going and had some dross, but once it got going late Saturday/early Sunday, it had some of the best FF movies I've seen. Overall a slight let down compared with last year though, but still nowhere near my worst FF.

Oh and just out of interest, does anyone have a spare copy of the magazine from last year (2011)???? I seem to have lost mine and I was trying to have a complete set :(

Post Reply