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FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2023

Updated: Feb 4

Spooky season is back in Leicester Square



Hot on the horror heels of its spectacular August five-day event, the UK’s biggest genre film festival is back at the Cineworld, Leicester Square with a terrifying two-day Halloween event on Friday 27th October and Saturday 28th October, featuring nine premiere titles not yet seen in the UK.

THE WATERHOUSE

Opening the event is the World premiere of Sam Clemens’ urban psychological chiller THE WATERHOUSE. Making his directorial debut, Sam, the son of famed genre writer/director Brian Clemens, will be attending, alongside the cast. The second film on the Friday is the International premiere of taut Halloween slasher HE NEVER LEFT, the directorial feature debut of US-based director James Morris. Also attending on the Friday night is Argentinian director Gabriel Grieco, with the UK premiere of his shocking feminist revenge horror MARIA, which completes the first day’s line-up on an outrageously fun note.

HE NEVER LEFT

Saturday kicks off with the International premiere of the wonderfully weird and gleeful flesh-eating horror musical ELDRITCH U.S.A., with director Ryan Smith in attendance. This is followed by the UK premiere of LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP, where Teresa Sutherland, the writer of The Wind and Midnight Mass, marks her feature debut with an uncanny shocker containing strains of folk horror, psychodrama and cosmic fever dream.

LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP

Also making her feature film debut is director Karoline Lyngbye with her haunting, twist-heavy Danish thriller SUPERPOSITION. This spooky metaphysical meditation is receiving its UK premiere. Next up is the UK premiere of HOOD WITCH, the debut film of rising French director Saïd Belktibia. This upcoming horror-thriller about a mobile app gone wrong has a dark, social and feminist edge. This is followed by the UK premiere of THE LAST VIDEO STORE, where The Monster Squad meets Clerks, as lifelong genre movie geeks must band together to survive the supernatural apocalypse happening outside their door.

ELDRICH, USA

Stay out of the blue light! Completing the line-up is the World premiere of terrifying ghostly thriller BLUE LIGHT, from director Andy Fickman (Race from Witch Mountain, Heathers: The Musical). A prequel and sequel are already in the works and Andy will be hosting the screening.

THE LAST VIDEO STORE

Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director, said today: “We’re thrilled to announce our Halloween 2-day extravaganza. We’ve assembled nine new genre titles to make this year’s Halloween event a happy haunting ground with all treats – no tricks – to satisfy your jaundiced appetites”,

Passes and tickets go on sale at noon on Saturday 30th September.

Prices: Two-day pass - £70 | Friday 27th day pass - £35 | Saturday 28th Day pass - £55

Single tickets - £15


All tickets are subject to ticket costs.

(Online booking only)

FULL LINE UP:

FRIDAY 27 OCTOBER

18:15 THE WATERHOUSE (World Premiere)

Director: Sam Clemens. With: Alan Calton, Michelangelo Fortuzzi, Laral Lemon, Lily Catalifo. UK 2023. 84 mins.


Synopsis: After stealing a priceless painting, Eric, Matt and Paul arrive at a secluded safe house by the sea to discover their fourth accomplice missing. With tensions running high and trust running low, three girls are washed ashore after a boating accident. Sheltering them, a deadly game of deception begins to conceal who, why and what they are doing there. As the house is plunged into darkness, Matt also goes missing along with one of the girls, amid loud shrieks for help. Was one of them responsible or is there a more sinister presence lurking at the water's edge?

20:35 HE NEVER LEFT (International premiere)

Director: James Morris. With: Colin Cunningham, Jessica Staples, Charla Bocchiochio, David McMahon.US 2023, 97 mins.

Synopsis: After hearing strange noises coming from an adjoining motel room, a federal fugitive and his girlfriend inadvertently become targets of the notorious "Pale Face" killer, whose legend has consumed and haunted the local community for decades.


22:50 MARIA (UK premiere)


Directors: Gabriel Grieco, Nicanor Loreti. With: Dana Panchenko, Sofía Gala Castiglione, Malena Sánchez, Magui Bravi. Argentina 2023. 70 mins.


Synopsis: Maria Black is the biggest porn star in 2024. When she’s falls into a coma after a car crash, her medical outlook is dim. Then her body disappears from the hospital, media speculation is rife but soon the news cycle moves on. Until 2027 when it seems Maria has been reborn and is anxious to resume her XXX film career. Director Dario George wants her to appear in his new production but when she tragically dies mid-shoot, hatches a shocking plan to cover up the accident. However, Maria is now part of The Metropolis Project and is out for revenge.


SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER

11:30 ELDRITCH U.S.A. (International Premiere)

Directors: Ryan Smith, Tyler Foreman. With: Graham Weldin, Andy Phinney, Cameron Perry, Aline O’Neill. USA 2023. 99 mins.

Synopsis: Summon up a deity with a little ditty in a Lovecraftian horror musical featuring original songs by Fox Royale. Brothers Geoff and Rich have competed all their life for parental affection, career ambitions and romantic pursuits. Egotistical Rich always seems to win leaving sweet-natured younger sibling Geoff in his shadow. When tragedy strikes their family in a freak accident, panicked Geoff seeks out a backwoods cult rumoured to have supernatural powers. But the amateur cult unleashes sinister forces beyond all control and musical mayhem ensues.

14:00 LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP (UK Premiere

Director: Teresa Sutherland. With: Georgina Campbell, Nick Blood, Wai Ching Ho, Soren Hellerup. USA 2023. 87 mins.

Synopsis: Lennon (BARBARIAN star Georgina Campbell) finally gets her long-awaited position as a park ranger in an isolated outpost. Immediately she is shrouded in strange mystery and conspiracy theories pertaining to bizarre disappearances and visions quickly start to manifest, blending the past, present, and even more sinister future. In this dangerous, twisting and writhing landscape, will she uncover the origins of a tragedy that has haunted her since she was a child.

16:00 SUPERPOSITION (UK Premiere)

Director: Karoline Lyngbye. With: Marie Bach Hansen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Mihlo Olsen. Denmark 2023, 105 mins.

Synopsis: Stine and Teit, your average urban middle-class artists and intellectuals, leave Copenhagen for the wilds of neighbouring Sweden’s forest. Soon, they find out that something is strange there – most disturbingly – when their son Nemo suddenly thinks his mother isn’t really his mother anymore. It becomes clear once Stine and Teit discover that they have neighbours who look exactly like them – mirror images made flesh and blood.


18:40 HOOD WITCH (UK Premiere)


Director: Saïd Belktibia. With: Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant, Mathieu Espagnet, Jérémy Ferrari. Iran/France 2023.

Synopsis: Iranian French actress Golshifteh Farahani (from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S REVENGE) plays a woman who makes a living smuggling exotic animals and other illicit products. She branches out with the creation of a mobile App that connects clients with mystical marabout healers, but when a user’s consultation takes a tragic turn, she finds her facing a violent backlash that could cost her and her son their lives.

20:50 THE LAST VIDEO STORE (UK Premiere)

Directors: Cody Kennedy, Tim Rutherford. With: Kevin Martin, Josh Lenner, Vanessa ‘Yaayaa’ Adams, Lelan Tilden. Canada 2023. 90 mins.

Synopsis: A young woman takes a collection of old videotapes to one of the last video rental stores in the world. Unbeknownst to her, she is in possession of a legendary ‘cursed tape’ that holds the power to connect the real world with another dimension in which B-movie fantasies become a reality. When she and the video storeowner unwittingly reawaken its curse, a raft of cinematic villains is unleashed.

22:55 BLUE LIGHT (World Premiere)

Director: Andy Fickman. With: Bella DeLong, Amber Janea, Daryl Tofa, Ana Zambrana. USA 2023.109 mins

Synopsis: Seven childhood friends excitedly embark on a road trip in an old RV to the coolest underground music festival out there – Blue Light. When they break down on an isolated road, they soon realise something eerie and unworldly is hiding in the woods. Their nightmare journey to hell has begun from which there is no U-turn. Will they find the courage to fight and survive?

For full programme details: http://www.frightfest.co.uk/

FrightFest Halloween 2023 images:

Press and publicity enquires:

Clout Communications | cloutpr@gmail.com | @cloutcomcouk

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