Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

The place to discuss FrightFest 2018 - Dates this year are 23 - 27th August.
Vice
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:01 pm

Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by Vice » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:56 pm

Just thought I'd post my thoughts today. Very disappointed with the lineup, which has continued a trend since 2015 of being below expectations.

I'm sure there are some fantastic hidden gems in there, but this isn't the Frightfest I used to know and love.

Where are the coups, the tentpole films, the highly anticipated films that Frightfest used to secure? FF just feels like its been relegated to a B-movie festival. I used to rate FF up there with the other top tier genre festivals, but not anymore.

Don't get me wrong, I love a b-movie, films that are a bit leftfield and completely away from the mainstream, but what I used to love about FrightFest was how well the balance was struck - there would be a few real coups, tentpole, highly anticipated more mainstream films, a few crazy/lighter hearted comedy-horrors, a few unknown indie directors with first time features and a few b-movies that ordinarily wouldn't get much of a look in elsewhere.

For me, the last true great FrightFest was 2014 - films like THE GUEST, THE BABADOOK, THE GREEN INFERNO, CREEP, COHERENCE and several others - all big, hyped films that had a real sense of anticipation about them. Sure there have been a few individual films since then, but more the exception than the rule.

Up until 2014 I've LOVED every FrightFest I've been to, and was always very excited about the lineup. But 2015 onwards there feels like there has been a real decline in the quality of the selection. I appreciate there may be more films on offer, and more opportunities given to up and coming directors to showcase their work etc - but this is FrightFest - it was one of the world's premier horror film festivals, and now just feels like an above average indie film festival with a lot of selections feeling a bit nepotistic and just favours to friends/previous alumni.

With FF supposedly marketing itself as one of the biggest genre festivals in the world, we really should be getting films like SLENDER MAN, MANDY, THE NUN, THE PREDATOR - all of which are due to for release very close to FF. Potentially even previews of the new HALLOWEEN, OVERLORD, SUSPIRIA (remake). Also missing are the controversial films like THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT - which is due within weeks of FF. I miss the controversy - in previous years we've had the likes of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, A SERBIAN FILM (well, it was announced anyway) etc.

I understand that the distributors have their own plans, but surely if FF had the prestige/pull it supposedly has, these distributors should be wanting to show their films here. Doesn't seem to be a problem for SXSW, TIFF, BIFF or even lower tier festivals.

It just feels like the spirit of FrightFest has gone. I miss the sleepy queue too! This will be the first FF I've missed since I started coming in 2010. Sorry to put a downer on things. I will miss the people and the shenanigans, and if FF ever returns to the glory days then I'll be back. But in all honesty, I'd rather save my money and put a little extra in and venture abroad to another festival.

Thanks for the memories guys, and to the organisers who have provided much entertainment over the years.
Last edited by Vice on Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

ArghZombies
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:35 pm
Location: Southampton
Contact:

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by ArghZombies » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:31 pm

A lot of this is probably more down to London Film Festival than Frightfest really. If a film gets booked at LFF then it can't be shown at another festival.

But hey, that's one less person getting infront of me in the online queue I need to worry about, I suppose.
Twitter: @ArghZombies

User avatar
Whiptail
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:50 am

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by Whiptail » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:00 pm

Im dissapointed too. Theres nothing BIG on the list, nothing that really makes me excited to see (last year had Chucky and Leatherhead!)

The ones that are on the list seem to be comedies and documentaries, mixed with psycho killers, home invasions and zombies (all of which have been done before).

I've only ever been to one FF, but are documentaries about the Sex Pistols and Flash Gordon normal for a FF Schedule? Seems that they could be used for some more hard hitting, shocking, stomach churning or even vintage films (as Arrow is supporting us this year).

Theres only just enough to interest me on the list to make it worth my while, but id like to know other peoples views on the lineup. Is it just me who isnt happy?

valido
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by valido » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:40 pm

Mate, this is mostly unfair.
I am aware of the LFF issue that denied us a few good titles in the past, but Climax was definitely something I was expecting to be there and we got it instead. I would have said you were crazy to expect Lars Von Trier, but we got Gaspar Noé!
Also: Upgrade is 100% mainstream.
Also: I don’t remember that many previews of movies that were supposed to be released in november in the past editions. Most of the time they aren’t completed yet.
Also: anything is better than any entry from the ConjuringVerse.
Also: there’s a good 6/7 titles here that I was really anticipating.
Also: you kind of make it sound like they do it on purpose, which I’m sure it’s not what you’re really thinking.

Fair point about Mandy, that’s literally the only one I was kind of sure we would get.
But Climax is bigger.

valido
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by valido » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:03 pm

Seriously guys, the new Pascal Laugier, the new Puppet Master... I don’t get the disappointment. But, as someone already said, I won’t complain about a faster queue.

ChrisReynolds
Undead Horde
Undead Horde
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:01 pm

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by ChrisReynolds » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:20 pm

We get threads like this every year. It's often the case that the lineup doesn't look that exciting because these are films that haven't had a chance to build buzz. The festivals look better in retrospect when we know what the good films were. The OP holds up 2014's lineup, but I don't think things like The Guest, Creep and Coherence had a higher level of buzz than some of the films this year. They pretty much did look like indie horror movies to me at the time, and the buzz around Green Inferno was negative and it turned out to be rubbish. The Babadook was a hit and is still talked about, but Climax easily equals it in buzz. It was one of the highlights of Cannes, and I think more were people talking about it than the films that actually won the competition. If the LFF had got it they'd have made it one of their overpriced Gala screenings for sure.

As for the mainstream releases, Frightfest tends not to get big studio-backed films because the studios prefer to do their own premieres immediately before release date to get maximum publicity and to control the critical reception. In recent years Frightfest has tended to get these films only as free, one-off, preview screenings.

I do expect to see Mandy , The House that Jack Built and Suspiria turn up at the LFF.

Edit: This thread should probably be merged into a general "Discuss the lineup" thread.

DJBenz
-----
-----
Posts: 715
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by DJBenz » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:37 pm

Whiptail wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:00 pm
(last year had Chucky and Leatherhead!)
You need to hand in your horror card until you can get Leatherface's name right. :lol:
I've only ever been to one FF, but are documentaries about the Sex Pistols and Flash Gordon normal for a FF Schedule? Seems that they could be used for some more hard hitting, shocking, stomach churning or even vintage films (as Arrow is supporting us this year).
If you read the full release, this is in reverence to The Scala Cinema where Shock Around the Clock (the 'origin' of Frightfest, apparently. I didn't know that but I did go to a couple of Shock Around The Clocks at The Scala in the 90s) was held many years ago. That cinema used to show a wildly eclectic mix of films so this is just a nod to those days. Besides that, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle is an excellent film so getting the chance to see it in 35mm is a huge bonus.

My own personal opinion? I'm never aware much of the vast majority of Frighfest titles that get announced, but it's always a great weekend regardless. It's not all about the films anyway, it's much more than that. Think back to January, when a film called Hereditary premiered at Sundance from a first-time director. Nobody had heard of that either.

valido
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by valido » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:47 pm

Nobody had heard the slightest about The Human Centipede when we got the world premiere at 3pm. That’s when the buzz started.

User avatar
Whiptail
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:50 am

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by Whiptail » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:30 pm

DJBenz wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:37 pm
Whiptail wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:00 pm
(last year had Chucky and Leatherhead!)
You need to hand in your horror card until you can get Leatherface's name right. :lol: .
Whoops! I always get that wrong. Its 'cos there was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle villain called Leatherhead and I get them confused. think I have them filed in the wrong place in my head.

User avatar
Whiptail
Walking Dead
Walking Dead
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:50 am

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by Whiptail » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:34 pm

valido wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:40 pm

Also: Upgrade is 100% mainstream.
Could you tell me why its mainstream? Ive never heard of it and has none to little hype preceeding it. What makes something mainstream?

ChrisReynolds
Undead Horde
Undead Horde
Posts: 281
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:01 pm

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by ChrisReynolds » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:11 am

Whiptail wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:34 pm
valido wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:40 pm

Also: Upgrade is 100% mainstream.
Could you tell me why its mainstream? Ive never heard of it and has none to little hype preceeding it. What makes something mainstream?
Well, it's a Blumhouse production, the popular Leigh Whannell writes and directs, and it will get a cinema release. Like many of these low-budget productions, advertising will probably only ramp up two or three weeks before release.

Vice
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:01 pm

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by Vice » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:28 am

ArghZombies wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:31 pm
A lot of this is probably more down to London Film Festival than Frightfest really. If a film gets booked at LFF then it can't be shown at another festival.

But hey, that's one less person getting infront of me in the online queue I need to worry about, I suppose.
For a festival like this to really place itself amongst the top genre festivals, it simply has to be able to attract the big films, and have two or three tentpole films - opening night, Saturday night and closing night.

FrightFest did that for years, and it was fantastic, but recently, again, it's really dipped and this year is the final straw for me until (hopefully) things improve. I know I might sound ungrateful, but for £195 I expect to be seeing the cutting edge/top draw of 2018 horror and not the off cuts, second choice stuff and the stuff reserved for LFF. It doesn't seem to be a problem for the other genre festivals earlier in the year, so why can't FF compete or move to an earlier date?

Vice
Twitching Corpse
Twitching Corpse
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:01 pm

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by Vice » Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:12 am

ChrisReynolds wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:20 pm
We get threads like this every year. It's often the case that the lineup doesn't look that exciting because these are films that haven't had a chance to build buzz. The festivals look better in retrospect when we know what the good films were. The OP holds up 2014's lineup, but I don't think things like The Guest, Creep and Coherence had a higher level of buzz than some of the films this year. They pretty much did look like indie horror movies to me at the time, and the buzz around Green Inferno was negative and it turned out to be rubbish. The Babadook was a hit and is still talked about, but Climax easily equals it in buzz. It was one of the highlights of Cannes, and I think more were people talking about it than the films that actually won the competition. If the LFF had got it they'd have made it one of their overpriced Gala screenings for sure.

As for the mainstream releases, Frightfest tends not to get big studio-backed films because the studios prefer to do their own premieres immediately before release date to get maximum publicity and to control the critical reception. In recent years Frightfest has tended to get these films only as free, one-off, preview screenings.

I do expect to see Mandy , The House that Jack Built and Suspiria turn up at the LFF.

Edit: This thread should probably be merged into a general "Discuss the lineup" thread.
I'm not just a guy who popped along one or two recent years, I've been coming since 2010, feel like I have a good grip on what made FF special, and for me it's been in decline since 2015.

You mention films like The GUEST, CREEP and COHERENCE not having much buzz that year, but I completely disagree and remember it well. THE GUEST especially was the big standout film from Sundance 2014 - think HEREDITERY levels of hype.

GREEN INFERNO also had plenty of hype due to the controversy of it. My point really was that FF used to get the big films, the hyped up films, good or bad.

Put it this way - how many films from FF 2015/2016/2017 are going to be talked about, re-watched and regarded as modern classics in years to come? Probably one or two. But up until 2014, there were 4 or 5 films each year that came under that bracket. There were films released those years but they ended up at LFF or, for whatever reason, decided not to show at FF.

You mention MANDY probably being at LFF. Well NIFFF and BIFFF are both showing it in July in a couple of weeks. FrightFest not having it in between just again backs the point it seemingly less regarded in recent years than competing genre festivals.

valido
Running Zombie
Running Zombie
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by valido » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:16 am

Put it this way - how many films from FF 2015/2016/2017 are going to be talked about, re-watched and regarded as modern classics in years to come?
Not a fair way to put it.
Leatherface and 31 had buzz but they were crap, unfortunately, so they will not be remembered.
The Human Centipede didn’t have any buzz – FF was doing the world premiere – then two months later it was all over the place and even mentioned on South Park.
So are we talking about buzz (things you anticipate) or actual good movies (things you only know after you saw them)?
I’m anticipating a few things this year, like any year.
I hope they’re good.

Brooker!
Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:04 am

Re: Goodbye. Doesn't feel like FrightFest anymore.

Post by Brooker! » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:40 am

That's a shame.
Granted, I'm only a couple of years in, but I've always enjoyed my time at the festival.

In my third year, it's been about the same ratio every year.
1/3 films I have hard of
2/3 films i haven't.

One I look them all up it ends around 3/4 films i'm interested in and 1/4 films I'll watch if I can't be arsed to get out my seat and get a burger!
I don't much want big releases if I'm honest.
I want films that I can say to people "have you heard of this? you should definitely check this out"
Everyone will see The Nun when Blumhouse throws it everywhere (Upgrade is on their far more independant BH Tilt label so will be limited release I reckon)
I got shit loads of cred in my office when I sent everyone to see Better Watch Out. A film I hadn't heard of before last July!

I love the line up.
Maybe I'm just not long enough in the tooth enough to be cynical yet.

Post Reply