Quality of films this year

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dundermifflin
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Quality of films this year

Post by dundermifflin » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:00 pm

Mentioned it in another thread but just wanted to say how much lower across the board the quality of films were this year compared to the last few years. There weren't any standout films for me, and no surprises either. Usually there are one or two smaller films that really impress but none of the films I saw were memorable. Last few years Frightfest managed to secure the "big" anticipated films for that year (e.g. 2014 we got THE BABADOOK, THE GUEST and THE GREEN INFERNO and the year before we got YOU'RE NEXT).

There were lots of big genre films this year that were due to release around the festival this time, including DON'T BREATHE, BLAIR WITCH and LIGHTS OUT as well as a couple of others, but none of them ended up in the schedule. I know that deals fall through, distribution plans change etc but festivals like Frightfest really should be getting these kinds of films in the schedule. Big festivals like TIFF, SXSW, Sundance etc aren't particularly genre-led, yet show the big films. Even the London Film Festival last year had THE WITCH, which I think most people were looking forward to/expected to see at FF 2015 - and was shown at several other film festivals around the world prior to FF.

I just get the feeling that FF is falling behind a bit reputation wise. This year and last year just seemed to showcase more B-movies, cheesyness, cheaply made and poor films whereas up until 2014 it really seemed it had reached the pinacle in terms of horror showcase.

I've been coming to Frightfest since 2009 (but missed 2010) and really hope next year is a huge improvement film wise and Frightfest gets the big films it deserves.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by Persephone » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:09 pm

Difficulty is you have no idea what's going on behind the scenes. I'm sure they try their best to get the best line-up they can. I agree having mostly stayed in the Main Screen overall I think it was a weaker line-up than last year. But equally we did have some superb films like Train to Busan, Pet etc.I think losing the Blair Witch sequel was a shame. It needed just one or two more "big" films. Nothing from this year entertained me quite as much as Deathgasm, We are Still Here or Turbokid.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by wakko » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:31 pm

dundermifflin wrote:Last few years Frightfest managed to secure the "big" anticipated films for that year (e.g. 2014 we got THE BABADOOK, THE GUEST and THE GREEN INFERNO and the year before we got YOU'RE NEXT).
Those are all great films but "big" doesn't necessarily equal "better". I am actually not interested in the big-release-safe films as I know I can catch them later. Its the small stuff and sometimes you can see gems that may not get a release or very late release. Also to watch classics on the big screen no other cinema would screen.
That said I enjoyed the "The train to Busan" blockbuster as a sound finish.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by dundermifflin » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:19 pm

wakko wrote:
dundermifflin wrote:Last few years Frightfest managed to secure the "big" anticipated films for that year (e.g. 2014 we got THE BABADOOK, THE GUEST and THE GREEN INFERNO and the year before we got YOU'RE NEXT).
Those are all great films but "big" doesn't necessarily equal "better". I am actually not interested in the big-release-safe films as I know I can catch them later. Its the small stuff and sometimes you can see gems that may not get a release or very late release. Also to watch classics on the big screen no other cinema would screen.
That said I enjoyed the "The train to Busan" blockbuster as a sound finish.
By "big" I meant highly anticipated, talked about, lots of hype etc not biggest budget or most mainstream. All of those films I mentioned were either controversial or critically acclaimed in the festival season prior to Frightfest, and as FF is a genre festival and those were all horror/thrillers, it's just really disappointing when films like that aren't included.
Last edited by dundermifflin on Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by dundermifflin » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:24 pm

Persephone wrote:Difficulty is you have no idea what's going on behind the scenes. I'm sure they try their best to get the best line-up they can. I agree having mostly stayed in the Main Screen overall I think it was a weaker line-up than last year. But equally we did have some superb films like Train to Busan, Pet etc.I think losing the Blair Witch sequel was a shame. It needed just one or two more "big" films. Nothing from this year entertained me quite as much as Deathgasm, We are Still Here or Turbokid.
Like I said in the OP, I said I completely understand how difficult it is to organise things like this and how much planning it takes etc and I also know sometimes it isn't up to them and that distributors have their own plans. But as most of us are not privy to that information or the logistics of locking down films for the festival, we can only see the end result and obviously its disappointing to festival goers when the talked about films of the year aren't included.

It would be interesting to see behind the scenes after the festival has finished e.g. how films are booked for the festival, why ones aren't included etc.

I just think in my opinion, the most talked about, anticipated and hyped up genre films that received praise earlier in the year should be featured, or at least one of them. I was so excited in 2014 when I saw the lineup with TGF, THE BABADOOK, YOU'RE NEXT etc, but this year and last year nothing on the schedule particularly stood out and it felt like that after seeing most of the films too.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by The Soapmaker » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:14 pm

I thought the films on the Main screens were pretty woeful for the first couple of days, but improved quite a lot on Sunday and Monday.

It seems to me that since the advent of the Discovery screens, however many years back that was, the Main screen has drifted towards being the mainstream screen. I'm sure there must be films the distributors want shown as part of a package, and compromises must be reached. Something like Abattoir is a relatively big-budget effort and will always be on the Main screen, no matter how crap it is - although nothing will ever explain the enduring mystery that was Shockwave Darkside.

To be honest, I preferred the earlier FrightFests when there was only one screen. I like to just sit there and see what's presented, good or bad. Now - and especially this year - there's the feeling that there must be something better on the Discovery screens and I've been tempted to investigate them more. But that would involve changing my whole approach, researching films in advance, reading reviews, watching trailers... which isn't something I normally like to do as it removes a big chunk of the surprise element.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by The Soapmaker » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:21 pm

To go off on a slight tangent, were there any SCARY films this year?

I know what we find scary is a personal thing - for me it's the gradual building of tension, that haunted house sensation of knowing that something is going to happen but you don't know when. And absolutely nothing this year gave me that watching-between-your-fingers feeling. There were a few cheap jump scares as there always are, the odd bit of nasty gore, but nothing genuinely creepy.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by jonbly » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:20 pm

Agree that we seemed short on suspense / creep this year... but that may be down to what's available. On the plus side, we were also short on wobble-cam...
Last edited by jonbly on Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by hingethunder » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:32 pm

This blog from Alan is an interesting read on the topic of some of the "big name" films

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alan-jo ... 78778.html?

Maybe I'm reading too much between the lines but perhaps some of the major studios don't want to premiere their films at a "genre" festival to avoid turning off the mainstream audience?

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by ian » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:43 pm

i definitely felt like the first post until things picked up on sunday and monday. monday saved the festival for me, liked all the films i saw that day and most of my top 5 would be from it too.

i dont know if 2016 was a slow year for horror but there were generally better offerings in 2015, i thought only cherry tree was to the very low standard that at least 3 films managed to sink below this year.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by sherbetbizarre » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:17 pm

The Soapmaker wrote:To be honest, I preferred the earlier FrightFests when there was only one screen. I like to just sit there and see what's presented, good or bad. Now - and especially this year - there's the feeling that there must be something better on the Discovery screens and I've been tempted to investigate them more. But that would involve changing my whole approach, researching films in advance, reading reviews, watching trailers... which isn't something I normally like to do as it removes a big chunk of the surprise element.
For me, picking and choosing begins with sub-genre - I'll start with the Discovery Screens and easy ones were Giallo - Francesca, Pseudo & Real Documentaries - Hostage to the Devil, Population Zero, Fury of the Demon, & The Killing of America, UFO conspiracy - Man Underground, and Controversy - We Are The Flesh... then I'll see what they are up against. But that was an easy seven choices right there, all without reading spoilers.

With the main screen I spot films I don't think I'm going to enjoy sitting through, and look at other options. Of course, sometimes there are clashes, and I need to check out trailers etc. But I usually know about 30-60 seconds into a trailer whether its worth it or not.

It doesn't always work - I gave Pet a miss because I wasn't fussed on the idea of a man keeping a woman in a cage for 90 minutes...
To go off on a slight tangent, were there any SCARY films this year?
Of all things, Found Footage 3D delivered some scares!

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by sherbetbizarre » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:19 pm

dundermifflin wrote:There were lots of big genre films this year that were due to release around the festival this time, including DON'T BREATHE, BLAIR WITCH and LIGHTS OUT as well as a couple of others, but none of them ended up in the schedule.
Lights Out is already on release, so never in contention.

Btw you could have popped over to the Westfield Vue and seen it there!
Last edited by sherbetbizarre on Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by The Soapmaker » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:51 pm

sherbetbizarre wrote:For me, picking and choosing begins with sub-genre - I'll start with the Discovery Screens and easy ones were Giallo - Francesca, Pseudo & Real Documentaries - Hostage to the Devil, Population Zero, Fury of the Demon, & The Killing of America, UFO conspiracy - Man Underground, and Controversy - We Are The Flesh... then I'll see what they are up against. But that was an easy seven choices right there, all without reading spoilers.
That's not a bad approach, and one which I might need to consider next year!

Found Footage 3D I never so much as considered, but I'll try to watch all the Discovery films eventually if they appear on DVD or Blu-ray.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by MrsBBC » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:30 am

dundermifflin wrote:Mentioned it in another thread but just wanted to say how much lower across the board the quality of films were this year compared to the last few years. There weren't any standout films for me, and no surprises either. Usually there are one or two smaller films that really impress but none of the films I saw were memorable. Last few years Frightfest managed to secure the "big" anticipated films for that year (e.g. 2014 we got THE BABADOOK, THE GUEST and THE GREEN INFERNO and the year before we got YOU'RE NEXT).
Across the board, I feel the opposite.

Big and anticipated is just another way of saying, well marketed, and has no bearing on whether or not anyone will enjoy the film. Personally, I'm not drawn in by big name films, and am more intrigued from reading my way through the individual film descriptions. Most big draws over the last few years have disappointed me, and then this year I loved Cell.
Different strokes eh?
Looking at the top 5 thread so far, my top 5 seems way off.

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Re: Quality of films this year

Post by dundermifflin » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:31 am

sherbetbizarre wrote:
dundermifflin wrote:There were lots of big genre films this year that were due to release around the festival this time, including DON'T BREATHE, BLAIR WITCH and LIGHTS OUT as well as a couple of others, but none of them ended up in the schedule.
Lights Out is already on release, so never in contention.

Btw you could have popped over to the Westfield Vue and seen it there!
It was only released a few days before FF, I don't see why a deal couldn't have been struck to have the UK premiere at FF, would have been great for opening night.

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