Five FrightFest films to get your teeth into

The Columnist, A Ghost Waits, Clapboard Jungle, Av: The Hunt and Two Heads Creek

by Jennie Kermode

It’s Frightfest time again, and this year’s line-up ranges from romcoms to revenge to cannibal feasts. These are five of the films that will really give you something to chew on.

The Columnist
The Columnist Photo: Fantasia International Film Festival

The Columnist

Do you believe in freedom of speech, no matter what? Femke (Katja Herbers) does. Do you think people on the internet should be able to say whatever they like about you and your loved ones? Femke most certainly does not. After a light-hearted column about the joy of a soft boiled egg prompts a particularly nasty wave of misogynist comments, she decides she’s going to do something about it. Ivo van Aart’s deft black comedy chronicles her bloody revenge spree whilst making smart observations about power, class and hypocrisy.

A Ghost Waits
A Ghost Waits

A Ghost Waits

The audience favourite when Frightfest visited the Glasgow Film Festival in March, Adam Stovall’s spectral story follows a thirtysomething man (MacLeod Andrews) who makes his living by deep cleaning houses prior to resale. This particular one never seems to retain its inhabitants for long, and soon he discovers why – it’s haunted. This ghost has a great record for scaring people away. What she wasn’t prepared for was meeting someone who wants to stay – because he’s falling in love with her. There are hints of Beetlejuice in a film that combines some very funny moments with a sweetly melancholy romance.

Clapboard Jungle
Clapboard Jungle Photo: Courtesy of Fantasia

Clapboard Jungle

Would you like to make a genre film of your own? One of the things that makes horror and science fictions circles so exciting from an artistic perspective is the blurred boundary between creators and fans, with lots of people trying their hand sooner or later. Justin McConnell’s film – soon to be followed by a series – tells you what you need to know to find your feet in the industry. Loosely built around his journey making Lifechanger, it features a vast treasury of interviews with the great and the good of the genre world.

Two Heads Creek
Two Heads Creek

Two Heads Creek

The idea that there are cannibals lurking in the Australian outback is not a new one (nor, sadly, a wholly fictional one) but it gets a new lease on life in Jesse O’Brien’s chipper horror comedy, which follows a brother and sister (Jordan Waller and Kathryn Wilder) who travel there from England in search of their birth mother. Blending comedy, gore and pithy social commentary, it’s an energetic romp that features murder, conspiracies, necrophilia and a very special mincing machine, but also has something going on upstairs.

Av: The Hunt
Av: The Hunt

Av: The Hunt

Despite official efforts to stamp it out, ‘honour’ killing remains a problem in many parts of the world. In Turkey it claims the lives of over 200 women a year. Emre Akay’s latest thriller follows one woman’s desperate efforts to escape it. From this very simple premise – initially we know next to nothing about her – he spins out a chase through the city, across the plains and through the forest, with several men on her tail. Billur Melis Koç makes a magnetic lead and the action will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.

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