Be afraid. FrightFest’s coming and so is Moose Jaws...
Horror sequels that stink up the first part come out all the time. But is it possible it could work the other way? I saw Lights Out this month, and despite a slightly dodgy backstory, it’s pretty damn scary. And director David F Sandberg – a Swedish first-timer who made awesome shorts and clearly knows what he’s doing behind the camera – is now filming
Annabelle 2 . Annabelle is awful – badly plotted, horribly written, cynical horror-bynumbers that doesn’t respect its audience. But it made money. Could it be though, that
Annabelle 2 is good? Like, actually good. Sandberg is just starting his studio career, he’s going to want to toe the line and won’t get free rein from Warners. But maybe he could sneak in some Scandi-subtext and make scary mannequin magic from a lame doll.
The FrightFest line-up has been announced and as ever it’s massive, varied and promises to be a gore-soaked August Bank Holiday. FrightFest opens with My Father, Die – a revenge movie directed by Sean son-of-Pierce Brosnan, and closes with Korean zombie movie
Train To Busan (played Cannes, meant to be good). In between that there are 60 features across the main and discovery screens. It’s the usual mix of violence, chills, giggles and wickedness hand-picked from around the world. Hard to know what’ll be the breakout hits but the high-profile flicks to look out for are Adam Wingard’s The Woods , Director’s
Cut (written by and starring Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller fame), Rob Zombie’s 31 and Darren Lynn Bousman’s Abbatoir . Early best bets from me though: Simon Rumley’s Johnny
Frank Garrett’s Last Word , which sees a man sentenced to death in an unfair trial curse all those involved, and The Master Cleanse starring The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki, a character-driven self-help nightmare creature-feature, which is channelling Gremlins via Eat, Pray, Love.
Horror lost two heroes this month at very different points in their careers. Robin Hardy , director of The Wicker Man, died aged 86. The Wicker Man was his debut movie and one of the best and most important Brit horrors of all time. He made The Wicker Tree in 2011 and had talked about making a third movie last year. Then there was the frankly Final Destinationesque death of 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin who was crushed by his car rolling down his driveway in a freak accident. He’s best known for Star Trek of course but I urge you to check out Odd Thomas, a badly overlooked supernatural thriller whose release went under the radar. Based on the Dean Koontz books, it’s about a guy who becomes a detective for the dead and it’s excellent. Give it a watch and have a bit of a cry for a talented actor full of potential.
JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE...
What the hell is a Yoga Hoser ? I’ve seen Kevin Smith’s newest and frankly I’m still not sure. However, the sort-of-sequel to man in a walrus suit horror Tusk is surprisingly better than you might think. It stars Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn and Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose as teenage convenience store workers who have to defeat an army of tiny Nazis made of bratwurst. Called Bratzis. Dumb fun which might even get dumber with the final part of the trilogy. Yep, Smith has announced it’ll be called Moose Jaws. Which is exactly what it’ll be – ie Jaws with a moose. Johnny Depp is set to return as monster hunter Guy Lapointe and Smith is hoping shooting will get underway by the end of the year.
Feeling blue in the bizarre Yoga Hoser. Lights Out (except those ones right there). British Rail gets a run for its money in Train To Busan.