Overall Thoughts

All the news, gossip and information about FrightFest 2017
valido
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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by valido » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:16 pm

Trends included fun films and horrors directed by / starring women.
Trends also included two movies with a character named Tim who gets really upset when they call him Timmy.

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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by Alex J » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:28 pm

I know this was in The Terror of Hallow's Eve, but which was the other film?

As anyone growing up in the eighties will know, "Timmy" conjures up images of Timmy Mallett and there is surely nothing more horrifying than that!
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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by DJBenz » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:31 pm

Alex J wrote:
Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:28 pm
I know this was in The Terror of Hallow's Eve, but which was the other film?
Attack of the Adult Babies

valido
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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by valido » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:07 pm

"Timmy" conjures up images of Timmy Mallett
I'm not british so the first one that comes to my mind is Timmy from South Park.

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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by Alex J » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:36 pm

Thanks DJBenz - by the sounds of it I was fortunate to avoid Adult Babies !
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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by The Soapmaker » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:32 am

A good year, I think.

I was happy with the return to Leicester Square after the year in Shepherd's Bush (the tube journey home on the Monday night last year with a load of pissed-up, screeching Notting Hill Carnivallers was far more terrifying than anything at FrightFest). And although the screen and seating are different, the Empire felt much as it always did.

The selection of films was good - nothing truly exceptional, but nothing utterly dire either. And judging by the Top Fives, it seems like the balance was somewhat restored, rather than too much of the good stuff being in the Discovery screens as has seemed to be the case the last couple of years. I'm not opposed to the Disco screens, a bit of choice is good, but I like having a weekend pass for the big screen and that's where I want to spend most of my time, rather than spending hours on research just to avoid the dross.

I agree with TheDukeAbides that it would be nice to see a few more old fashioned creepy horror movies. A little more fantasy and tales of the supernatural, a bit less real-world nastiness. But horror has its trends and we are where we are at the moment.

I wish we could have the Quiz back - I know we're not all in one screen any more, but all the weekend pass holders are so why not go for it? Maybe the best of the short films could return to the main screen(s) too, I miss them.

The big IMAX screen was great, the view from over on the side better than I expected, but I can't imagine what it would be like in the front few rows looking up at that thing... overwhelming, surely? I'm already starting to worry about the seating scramble next year if we're back at the Empire....

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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by Whiptail » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:55 am

It was my first time so I didn't really know what to expect from the event, but was very surprised and happy overall. I have very bad social anxiety and am incredibly shy, but I found everyone to be very friendly and happy, with the horror screen and Duke Mitchell Party having great atmosphere. I was in Row L of the Horror screen and found the seats to be comfy with plenty of leg room. I would have liked the air con to have been a bit more powerful, but the heat wasn't a big issue. Great to see people taking no shit from mobile users at screenings

The bar in the Splice screens was so packed, I had to almost assault people to get past them to get to the toilets!

I would have liked the goody bag to have a few more bits in it rather than just leaflets for other films I have no interest in, but I did get a DVD or Banshee Chapter, which I actually rather liked. Most of the freebies were given out in dribs and drabs during movies. However if you weren't in the right screen at the right time or even in the wrong seat (middle of back rows), you missed out on some things (the horror channel T shirt and squishy heart for me, and I really wanted a heart).

The majority of films were entertaining, but I found most of them too comical and not scary enough for an event called *FRIGHT*fest. However, that might have been more to do with my choices, but maybe in future the blurb for the movies on the website and programme could be a bit more obvious about which films centre on comedy.

Despite my moaning (I really like moaning), I had a blast and will certainly be back next year!

Talking of trends, Haddonfield turned up more than once during the movies.

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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by namesy » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:19 pm

For me this was one of the best I have been to!

Positives
If I'd chosen better I think I would have had an incredible viewing experience so that suggests the line up was strong (the ones I missed had overwhelmingly positive comments)

Being in one screen with all the weekend pass holders brought back such a great atmosphere. I mean the standing ovation fit Adam Green just wouldn't have happened in the split Vue experience.

The Empire lobby is great for bumping into people. Last year I was rushing between screens, main screens were constantly missing each other so often didn't get that social part of it.

The Phoenix and the Imperial. You have two places you know people will be between films and each night. The Bush didn't have that except weatherspoons. The social aspect is what makes FF so special. I've been to others where that isn't there and the festivals are forgettable.

The Negatives
If you get the back row in the horror screen you get better leg room. But you also get heads in the way as the staggering isn't as big as all the other rows. Plus it's super hot there. Felt like there was never any air con on!

New seats in the PCC are really uncomfortable compared to before.

Shorts overlapped with other films (had to leave early to see Lowlife). Need a Showcase back in the main screen. Shorts are still really popular.

It was so good to be back in Leicester Square. Would rather pay an extra £1.50 a pint for getting that atmosphere back which has been missed since the last one at the empire.

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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by DJBenz » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:37 pm

namesy wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:19 pm
Being in one screen with all the weekend pass holders brought back such a great atmosphere. I mean the standing ovation fit Adam Green just wouldn't have happened in the split Vue experience.
He got one in Arrow too, even though the atmosphere in there was sorely lacking.

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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by kramdel » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:01 pm

While I was not able to make the Fest this year its great to hear so many positive reports, particularly regarding the quality of the films which I look forward to catching up with over the coming months.

I have been attending horror film festivals since Shock around the clock back in the 90s, and Frightfest since the Prince Charles days. I have not been for a few years now and while I blame work and family commitments reading through the comments I realise that the main reason that I don't make the effort to attend is that I feel Frightfest has changed.

I fully respect the amount of work that the FF team put in to the weekend itself and the community they have built around it. I am truly happy to see FF grow to become a world class and respected festival, and I love to read the enthusiastic reports from the weekend and hear about film fans having the time of their lives. But for me something is missing.

It started with the addition of the Discovery screens a few years ago. Before that I loved to turn up at FF for the weekend, take my seat and let 4 days of horror wash over me, some films were highly anticipated, others I had heard of but knew very little about and others I went in completely blind. The key for me was that the FF team had curated the best possible line up and all I had to do was watch and enjoy. First year I stayed in the main screen but soon realised that I was missing gems in the Disco, while the main screen showed films that were more mainstream in their subject matter or just really really bad; Zombie women of Satan vs Colin was a painful example.... The Discovery screen added choices and suddenly I needed to research films, watch trailers and select my programme.

Over the next few years looking at the quality of films at the festival I came to the conclusion that the amount of high quality movies remained about the same, but there was a lot more 'filler' and to get the best experience I had to put in a lot of work beforehand researching and planning. This removed the element of surprise and inevitably resulted in me just sticking to films that were close to my existing tastes rather than discovering surprising hidden gems - Back in the day, Monster Man from 2004 is a good example of a film I though I would hate and probably avoid, but had an absolute blast with.

Anyway, please understand these are personal opinions. Frightfest is still a wonderful thing and maybe I'm just too long in the tooth set in my ways and lazy to change. I look forward to continued success and attending events in the future ;-)

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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by Alex J » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:59 pm

I thought the Banshee Chapter was underrated when it screened a few years back - it definitely appealed to me too!
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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by ChrisReynolds » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:50 pm

I don't think there was any difference in the quality of the films from last year: my average score this year was 4.45 whereas last year it was 4.43, but I think the way the films were spread out was much better, with more of the best films going to the Main Screen whereas last year they tended to all be stuck on the Discovery Screen. I think this year just felt better because there were so many people back together on the main screen, so we got the amazing communal atmosphere of Frightfest back that we haven't since the last time we were at the Empire back in 2013. Having two main screens with staggered times actually improves things at the Empire because it prevents the huge crush in the lobby that happened when there was only one screen.

The festival running seems to get smoother every year. It was a pleasure to have everything running like clockwork.

There were also some good guests this year. The presence of people like Jennifer Tilly and Adam Green really help to turn up the energy and good-feeling and turned mediocre films into memorable experiences.

On the negative side, I think there were weak midnight movies this year. Psychopaths was bad and exactly the wrong thing for late on the first night (prompting a lot of walk-outs), while Dead Shack and Game of Death were just below-average films. Meatball Machine Kodoku should have been one of the midnight movies rather than playing once to a small audience towards the end of the last day. I also thought some of the short films were poor, maybe three showcases is too much. And bring back the "Turn off your bloody phone" idents. They were fun and encourage people to turn their phones off. I didn't see the need to show the Frightfest festival trailer so much before the films.

On the way the horror landscape looks this year, it feels that filmmakers have been moving away from the most horrific material towards more comedy and wish-fulfillment storylines and less gore and nastiness. With the political uncertainty around the world maybe this is what people want to see, but I miss some of the more sadistic films and some of the best films this year were the ones that played the horror straight.

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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by greenzombidog » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:59 pm

This year was okay. The only film that really got me excited was Imitation girl. Up until the final day I was feeling a bit dissapointed I was really only enjoying one or two films each day. Then monday came along and I enjoyed them all.

I love Frightfest, I talk to people sat next to me, I occasionally talk to people in the foyer, but for me Frightfest is all about the films. With the introduction of discovery screens the fest just got better for me. I love going through the list of films and researching them and choosing my perfect line up. This year I picked some turds but I still enjoyed myself.

I'm not so enamored to be back at the empire, I miss the twinkling lights on the ceiling and the big red comfy chairs. This year it was tough scaling those giant stairs and squashing my arse and legs into a tiny space and having to stand up to let the stragglers in. The sound and screen are great quality and I did have a fairly good view of the screen that required little to no head tilting but some of the magic has left that cinema for me. We could have done with having a turn off your bloody phone ident everyday aswell.

Maybe I was lucky with the screen I chose in previous years but I never felt the atmosphere was lacking at the Vue leicester square or Shepherds bush. I was still sharing a cinema screen with a group of people who want to be there as much as I do. I did miss that chinese buffet place from Shepherd bush and the vast amount of pound shops for snacks and drinks. leicester square is just so expensive by comparison.

Still wherever it is next year I will do my best to get a ticket.
Last edited by greenzombidog on Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by smogo » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:33 pm

It was my first Frightfest - I got day passes for Thursday, Friday and Saturday and so was in the Arrow screen for the main programme.

It's not Frightfest's fault of course, but quite why Cineworld thought it was acceptable to have seats so close to that enormous screen, and so far off to the sides, is beyond me. My allocated seat was right down the front left, and Cult of Chucky was very difficult to watch from that ridiculous position. Fortunately the screen was never more than half full for the rest of my time there, so I was always able to grab a better seat (having first checked on the website which seats remained unsold, of course).

I didn't manage to get all the Discovery screen tickets I wanted, largely because I had no idea that they were being released on 20th August, nor that we had to grab allocated seats for them. Fortunately a mate gave me the heads up after he'd been struggling with the website for half an hour or so, but I was on holiday, not checking Facebook or Twitter and so didn't get the information from Frightfest. Surely this info should've been made available at the time main screen passes went on sale, or even in a later email. But it did feel a bit like we'd been told that we'd bought a pass to ALL THESE FILMS, only to find out at a later date that you might not get to see any of the films on the Discovery screens.

It's good that unreserved tickets were made available to passholders half an hour before each Discovery screening though... although that fact wasn't widely publicised either.

As for the films themselves... I think I got off lightly, having liked 50% of my selection. I do wonder, though, if there just aren't enough good new horror movies to fill the screens, meaning that most punters will dislike most of what they see. Obviously having loads and loads of premieres brings Frightfest kudos, but I wouldn't object to a more discerning curation of the programme, with only the very best and/or most prestigious films selected to play.

Anyway, my highlights were Death Note, Attack of the Adult Babies and Fashionista, and my lowlights were Leatherface, Mountain Fever and Jackals, so I guess my tastes aren't exactly in step with everyone else's!

A couple more thoughts:

Leicester Square is a really lovely place to spend a weekend; I can't imagine a weekend in Shepherd's Bush being anything like as exciting.

It's a real shame that the late films are on so late, because it would've been impossible for me to watch any of them and get a train home. But maybe I should budget for a hotel next time....

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Re: Overall Thoughts

Post by chary » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:03 pm

I had a blast, having not been to frightfest since it left the empire, glad to see that nothing much has really changed. Although I noticed that lots of people leave as soon as the film finished, which made me feel sorry for the film makers, for me the best bit is to have that interaction with them, and considering that we were all on the same timetable not sure where they were all going.

I always stay in the main screen but that might change in the future, I was really tempted by the podcast and the Kane Hodder film and interview but for me the films always come first. What do people think about maybe showing one less film in the main screen so that people can choose to some of the activities that are going on, even if people want to watch films there will still be films showing in the other screens but it would also allow people a chance to take part in all the other things that the guys have arranged.

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