FrightFest London Report & Photos


Beware the Moon & The Descent: Part 2

This year, FrightFest entered its tenth year and was held at the fantastic new venue of The Empire Cinema Leicester Square in London.

Being that I’m busy in pre-production on a low budget horror picture, I made a point of supporting my friend Paul Davis with the world premiere of his documentary Beware the Moon: Celebrating 25 years of An American Werewolf in London and then also taking in The Descent: Part 2.

Finally getting a new cinema with a huge screen, and lobby, FrightFest seemed to be stronger and bigger than ever with a host of world premieres of horror treats filling up the whole weekend. John Landis was around for the bank holiday weekend and a “American Werewolf” theme very much ran through the event with Adam Green and Joe Lynch’s funny little shorts which I only managed to catch the end of and consisted of what seemed like all the panels of the L.A. Fangoria convention and ending with stills of FrighFester’s. It was cute.

I salute Paul Davis for indulging the fans with Landis and hosting a great party for the cast and crew members of AWIL that attended. Having known Paul, since he ran a horror site called Celluloid Shockers from his bedroom at home and following him through his great documentary mission, I felt pretty proud to see that Universal globe spinning around at the start of his piece.

I really don’t think that he ever dreamed that it was going to receive the recognition it so rightfully deserves. It is a little rough around the edges with sound and quality but the content is very thorough and highly entertaining. He went all out with finding and interviewing everybody he possibly could involved in the making the masterpiece that is AWIL. He lets the filmmakers do the talking and spends a good amount of time on the change-o sequence. From a filmmaker’s point of view, it’s a great insight into how larger budget movies are made and how the teams all pull together to make it work. This was made on a shoestring with an enormous amount of passion and there’s a humble nature to it that makes it so interesting. I’m likely bias, as I’m a friend, but I think Paul has done a really good job with his appreciation of AWIL and I thank him for sharing it with us.

Next up The Descent : Part 2. My first ever set report was for this movie last June. It was very exciting and a great education to me in movie making, seeing how the bigger boys do things. I had purposely held back from letting myself know too much about what was going to happen and I knew the basic story. Before the show, I had met Paul Mcavoy (FrightFest organizer) out front who had said “it’s solid.” That, and the fact that this year’s FrightFest had been one of the best ever.

This was certainly crunch time for director Jon Harris and the D2 team as the first film was such a success under the direction of Neil Marshall. In the audience sat the UK’s most die-hard horror fans.

My first impression of the film was that the story fits well. It looks bloody fantastic and, once again, Simon Bowles has done an amazing job of the caves, which are all set pieces. Paul Hyett has made the Crawlers a lot meaner and we see more of them, the kills are brilliant and there were many cheers and applause from the audience for kicking ass along. They really connected with the claustrophobia and emotions. Juno is officially back and received a big cheer on her entry into the movie. The girls, once again, are a strong point in this film and I’m always backing chicks who don’t take shit. I, personally, again could be bias but I was not disappointed and thought they did a good comeback for part two – the ending was a bit too familiar when it smacks you in the face and leaves you in darkness. I think they will definitely silence some of the early negative opinions on the internet already tearing apart this sequel.

Source: Misartress Melanie