After starting in 2000, FrightFest's past world premieres of Brit horror have included Neil Marshall's The Descent and Chris Smith's Black Death, and this year will feature 74 films from 27-31 August. Now in its second year at Leicester Square's VUE, there should be something for all horrorhounds, featuring the Short Film Showcase for those who like their scares to be (sometimes literally) bite sized, and over 30 shorts from around the world. Viewers can also lap up some retro classics including "Hellraiser" and "Hawk the Slayer" as well as the latest in the genre, including 11 world premieres.
Kicking off on Thursday night with Irish rural horror "Cherry Tree", the festival will screen creature features with gigantic killer wasps (“7 foot tall predators with an attitude” in German "Stung") while there are more huge non-sentient killers in "The Sand" which riffs on "Tremors" when a beach party is ripped apart by evil sub-ground dwellers.
Brit director Dominic Brunt’s follows up his low-budget 2013 zed "Before Dawn" with “Bait”, and there’s also an update of "Frankenstein" which sees our 1818 hero relocated in modern-day LA and co-starring with horror legend Tony Todd.
“Bloodsucking Bastards” may be just the flick if you've had a hard day at the work, as it features vampires invading an office. With the neat tagline: “Work. It sucks the life out of you”, it stars Fran Kranz from “Cabin in the Woods".
Meanwhile, for anyone who just can’t wait another two months for festive trick or treating, there’s “Tales of Halloween” an anthology of 10 tales of autumn spookiness. “Bad Seed” is Neil Marshall’s contribution, a tale of a pumpkin deciding it’s had enough of its kind ruthlessly being used for celebrations by being hollowed out, stuffed with candles as decoration or baked in a pie every year. So the said pumpkin plans revenge. “You may never look the same way at a Jack O’Lantern” again, Marshall promises.
Looking even further ahead for festive frights is “A Christmas Horror Story” which sees Old Nick bring some snowy pain to boys and girls who haven't been good, featuring William Shatner in a "Yule-be-sorry" tale.
The zed word, as Shaun might say, is frequently mentioned when they shuffle into holy land in "Jeruzalem", while "Zombie Fight Club" which promises more undead kick offs from Hong Kong. This year's rom-zom-com is "Night of the Living Deb" where a young couple, the titular Deb plus her new boyfriend, walk home straight into the latest undead invasion.
Adorable Kiwi kookiness is on the menu on "Deathgasm", a New Zealand undead drama about metal-thrashers who play possessed sheet music and get a little more than a few bum notes, while "Slumlord" sees the landlord from hell invade a young couple's privacy in the suburban shocker.
Found footage fans can look forward to "The Entity" a Peruvian tale of media students whose subjects die unexpectedly in an experiment watching disturbing online footage. Another shot-for-pseudo-real flick is "The Hangover" where a family (including "Wrong Turn"'s Jeremy Sisto) return from a holiday to find their home has been installed with hidden cameras by an intruder who is now watching them
"Final Girl" sees Abigail Breslin follow up her appearance from last FrightFest's timeloop horror "Haunter" by taking on the local rednecks who mistakenly assume they have found her as an easy female target; a another female heroine takes the reins in "Last Girl Standing" when a woman has to put her life back together five years after a knife-wielding killer diced her friends.
Welcome to horror season, gore fans.