Quality of films this year

All the news, gossip and information about FrightFest 2016
dundermifflin
Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:32 pm

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by dundermifflin » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:39 am

MrsBBC wrote:
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.
Well unless you operate within the film making community, ofcourse the better marketed films are going to get more hype and attention, and there's no problem with that. The thing is, a lot of the films that have big marketing campaigns are usually due to a distributor buying the film and marketing it AFTER it's had very good reviews, hence why they decide to market it to wider audiences than if it had received negative reviews.

THE BABADOOK, YOU'RE NEXT, THE GUEST etc were all fairly low budget films, but received excellent reviews when they premiered and due to that were then heavily promoted - I don't see any issue with that.

On the flip side, the vast majority of films that weren't marketed very widely and were shown at Frightfest this year and in previous years, weren't particularly great and didn't receive a lot of attention. There are ofcourse exceptions, with films like HONEYMOON and SPRING, but generally, films that receive a lot of attention and marketing following a festival debut are due to receiving critical acclaim when they premiere, or at least controversy.

We need more big films Frightfest! Please! Less "Downhill" and more "YOU'RE NEXT" please.

User avatar
morralex
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:48 am
Contact:

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by morralex » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:44 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).

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.
I totally agree. Said it on another thread too: I feel it has gone downhill in terms of quality the last few years. This year did end up having a couple of what you might consider tent pole films in the girl with all the gifts and under the shadow but they (for whatever reason) were exhibited at the margins of the programme. Stick those in the main screen at decent times along with the woods/Blair witch and something like I am a serial killer and all of a sudden the make up of the festival looks different. I know theres stuff that goes on behind the scenes but are too many b-movie type films these days. And it's ridiculous that a well-made, scary and intelligent film like under the shadow is on little screen at the same time that something generic and boring like the windmill massacre is on main screen.
@necrobaker

brad1000
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:18 pm

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by brad1000 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:50 am

A cynic would suggest keeping an eye on the next few waves of "Frightfest Presents" titles.
the house shot her !!!

User avatar
wakko
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:19 pm

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by wakko » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:03 pm

brad1000 wrote:A cynic would suggest keeping an eye on the next few waves of "Frightfest Presents" titles.
For a split moment I was thinking of buying "Some kind of hate" that tortured us with boredom last year and hide it in my friend's goodie bag. Then I thought it would be really mean.

User avatar
DJBenz
-----
-----
Posts: 638
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by DJBenz » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:14 pm

brad1000 wrote:A cynic would suggest keeping an eye on the next few waves of "Frightfest Presents" titles.
Wasn't something announced as being already acquired by FF Presents?

Diggler81
Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:45 pm

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by Diggler81 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:25 pm

A lot of films this year for me had a great base idea for a film however I felt that most films either ran out steam, were poorly scripted/Mis-Cast or just did not have the budget to get their 'vision' to look good.

Too many films felt rushed, lost their way or were just pointless. It feels as though too many film makers don't seem to get feedback on their ideas and so many films could have been a lot better with small tweaks etc.

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

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by Wolfshade » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:42 pm

I think 2014 was the last time we had a very strong line up, and last year and this year have been a bit weak compared to 2014.

For me the problem is the main screen, the Discovery screen's have been going up in quality in the last few years, to the point where many people are saying their favourites of the festival were on there, and most agree that plenty of the Disco films were easily worthy on the main screen. The main screen however, especially this year, had some absolutely hideous choices; Cell for example, why was it shown? It had been absolutely slaughtered by the critics and was widely regarded as a dreadful film. It wasn't even exclusive, as it was being realised in the UK the next day (and had just got a 1 star review in the Metro). Also Blood Feat, literally EVERYONE hated this, it was just embarrassingly bad, I really can't believe that out of all the possible choices for the fest, that Blood Feast was watched and everyone jumped up and said "what a great film, we totally need that at Fright Fest!". Also Downhill, I can't believe it was even stood a chance to be shown, considering it was from the people who made the widely hated Hidden In The Woods, but even ignoring that it was just a complete mess and never should have got anywhere near the line up.

I didn't like other films like Mercy and Abattoir, but I know some people did, so I accept tastes can differ, however Cell, Blood Feat and Downhill were hated by pretty much everyone, and I really can't believe these films were selected because they were genuniely regarded as films that the organisers thought would go done well. I appreciate there may be some "politics" regarding what gets shown, and showing one film may mean agreeing to show another (which would explain why films like Cherry Tree and Shockwave Darkside end up on the main screen), but I think the quality control on the main screen needs to be stepped up, it's gone too far if 3 of the main screen films are widely regarded by the audience as 3 of the worst films they've ever seen.

User avatar
DJBenz
-----
-----
Posts: 638
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by DJBenz » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:55 pm

Wolfshade wrote:I didn't like other films like Mercy and Abattoir, but I know some people did, so I accept tastes can differ, however Cell, Blood Feat and Downhill were hated by pretty much everyone, and I really can't believe these films were selected because they were genuniely regarded as films that the organisers thought would go done well.
I actually enjoyed Cell, but I think I was prepared for it. I'd read lots of bad things about it, so expected it to be awful and it was just... OK. Also Downhill, I think I liked it for its sheer ridiculousness. Blood Feast, however, was shite. Imagine switching this as the final movie of the day, with Night of Something Strange and imagine how pumped the audiences would have been?

That said, I think we can all accept there will be contractual obligations involved in what gets shown on the main screen. Stuff like:

You can have X film this year as long as it's Main Screen - Explains Abattoir and the more mainstream stuff from big(ish) studios.
You can have X film this year as long as our next film, Y screens next year - Banshee Chapter / Shockwave Darkside (same production company, films shown subsequent years)
You can have X film as a world/European/UK premiere as long as it's Main Screen - Blood Feast.

The thing is, what the men in suits who decide to make these offers don't realise, is that the prestige attached to Main Screen isn't what it once was because the Discovery Screen offerings get stronger every year. But horror festival/West End(usually)/premiere/Main Screen obviously still curries some favour with those in the film industry.

hemi777
Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:45 am

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by hemi777 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:22 pm

I really felt bad that the blair witch has not been there in this year frightfest after so much hype and also found footage 3D, The neighbour, Night of Something Strange, Devil's Kandy should have been in the main screen rather than discovery screen's.

User avatar
The Soapmaker
Undead Horde
Undead Horde
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:50 am
Location: London

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by The Soapmaker » Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:27 pm

DJBenz wrote:The thing is, what the men in suits who decide to make these offers don't realise, is that the prestige attached to Main Screen isn't what it once was because the Discovery Screen offerings get stronger every year. But horror festival/West End(usually)/premiere/Main Screen obviously still curries some favour with those in the film industry.
The lines between the Main and Discovery screens seem to get more blurred every year. Now the Disco screens all have a full programme rather than showing the same films a couple of times each, and I notice more and more empty seats in the weekend pass areas of the Main screens. And of course there's much less difference in the quality of the films shown.

I wonder if we'll eventually gravitate towards a system more like the London Film Festival, with no "Main" or "Discovery" screens but with a number of films showing simultaneously, and you'd just pick (in advance?) what you wanted to see.

It would need more planning by the FF organisers and by us, as attendees, and hopefully the weekend pass concept could still be retained, but it might work.

User avatar
DJBenz
-----
-----
Posts: 638
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by DJBenz » Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:37 pm

The Soapmaker wrote:I wonder if we'll eventually gravitate towards a system more like the London Film Festival, with no "Main" or "Discovery" screens but with a number of films showing simultaneously, and you'd just pick (in advance?) what you wanted to see.
Regardless of if it changes, I'll be doing a lot more research on films in advance next year. I try to do as little as possible so as not to skew my expectations, but it seems that's going to be the way forward to avoid missing the cream of the festival.

User avatar
morralex
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:48 am
Contact:

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by morralex » Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:38 pm

Wolfshade wrote:I think 2014 was the last time we had a very strong line up, and last year and this year have been a bit weak compared to 2014.
couldn't agree more. and main screen increasingly seem's like dumbed down rubbish for the masses. where's all the hard-hitting stuff?!
@necrobaker

User avatar
The Soapmaker
Undead Horde
Undead Horde
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:50 am
Location: London

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by The Soapmaker » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:54 pm

DJBenz wrote:
The Soapmaker wrote:I wonder if we'll eventually gravitate towards a system more like the London Film Festival, with no "Main" or "Discovery" screens but with a number of films showing simultaneously, and you'd just pick (in advance?) what you wanted to see.
Regardless of if it changes, I'll be doing a lot more research on films in advance next year. I try to do as little as possible so as not to skew my expectations, but it seems that's going to be the way forward to avoid missing the cream of the festival.
Yes, that's exactly what I've always done - I look at the titles and running times and that's about it. But it's become clear the last couple of years that a lot of the better stuff is now ending up in the Discovery screens so I may have to change my approach.

dundermifflin
Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:32 pm

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by dundermifflin » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:13 pm

Last post on this thread I'm going to make about this but.....

Have to say, for the first time since I started going to FF, next year will be the first year that I consider the choice of films on offer before deciding whether to go or not. Every year up until now I just blindly put my faith in the selections by the organisers, and every year up until 2014, there have been excellent films, a brilliant mix of controversy, cheesyness, critically acclaimed films, gore and genuinely frightening films. But this year and 2015, there has been very little quality, very little in terms of scares, and lots of B movie rubbish that, in all honesty, seems to be geared towards being released under the 'Frightfest presents' label rather than being chosen on merit for a film festival. Why is so much crap getting through? Last year was bad with Shockwave Darkside and others, but this year just had more films of that quality. Do the organisers even watch these films and genuinely think they are good enough, or is it all about who pays the most for a deal of some sort?

Normally I spend around £500-£600 on a pass, accomodation and food/drink but if we're going to get crap like this year and 2015 from now on for the majority of the 5 days, then I'll think twice. Next year, if there aren't any of the year's most hyped, or critically acclaimed films on the program, I might not go, and pay the extra to go to another genre festival abroad. This year and last desperately needed a couple of tentpole films, but all we got was mediocrity.

A shame in a lot of ways. FF is slowly moving away from what was once great about it, and becoming more of a lower tier/B-movie festival.

User avatar
DJBenz
-----
-----
Posts: 638
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Quality of films this year

Post by DJBenz » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:11 pm

dundermifflin wrote:Last year was bad with Shockwave Darkside and others,
Shockwave Darkside was 2014.

Post Reply