The films may be short, but there is no shortage of scares as Arrow Video FrightFest 2020 showcases the best new short films from the UK and around the world, with six countries representing three continents. From under-the-bed monsters to monsters in front of your eyes, from the sinister and the creepy to the wickedly human and the not-so-human, this year’s selection shines a spotlight on upcoming filmmakers.
The UK is represented with a record eleven entries. There are world premiere screenings for WEREWOLF, where game night just got dangerous, A BIT OF FUN, where a girls’ night in brings out the dead and THE BEHOLDER, in which you’d be wise to beware the eyes of strangers…
Homeland talent is further highlighted with FLESH Control, which will surely bug you and in THE AFTERLIFE BUREAU who says there is no paperwork when you’re dead? Staying indoors has its drawbacks in THE GIFT and domestic issues take on a whole new, monstrous meaning in KEITH. Keeping your eyes shut won’t keep him out in GUEST and your senses can possibly drive you mad in FUEL. You might want to be careful when you get your camera phone out in OUZO AND THE BLACKCURRANT and revenge takes on a twisted form in THE MOTORIST.
Internationally, there is plenty of madness and mayhem on offer, whether it be the savagery of Canadian entry BARK, the ferocious hunger of Australian offering BREAKFAST or the passionate zombie love tiff in LOVE BITE from the States. Spain brings us an unwanted sexual hologram in the surreal POLOVOTRON 500, whilst Sweden brings us unnerving family tension in WASH. There are four further deathly premieres from the US – JEFF DRIVES YOU, where death is in the driving seat, SUBJECT 3, where death always seems to be just around the corner, DEATH WALKS ON NITRATE, in which a photographer experiences a giallo-esque nightmare and finally, the world premiere of TARRARE, which is based on the terrifyingly true story of a man afflicted with unceasing hunger.
Programmer Shelagh Rowan-Legg said today: “With a 30% increase in submissions for the 2020 season, it’s been a joy to find the gems to screen for our audience. As some press articles have noted, fans of horror and science fiction films seem to have a better time coping with our current global crisis, both through our community connections, and our familiarity with all the things that can go to a state or horror or strangeness. There’s no limits to the creativity of our filmmakers, or the dark corners they are willing to explore.”
The full line-up:
SHORT FILM SHOWCASE ONE
Bark (European Premiere)
Director: Ryan Irving. Cast: Ryan Irving, Alexia Lavigne, Anna Barker. Canada 2019. 6 min.
It’s a beautiful day in the park, one that our hero usually enjoys. And he could, except for the terrible event he will have to witness, helpless to intervene.
A Bit of Fun (World Premiere)
Director: Florence Kosky. Cast: Elizabeth McCafferty, Roxana Chakrabarti, Tess Annan, Tallulah Bond. UK 2020. 9 min.
It’s just another fun girls’ night in, to talk about school, sex, and raising the dead. You know, the usual.
Directors: Paul Beattie, Melanie Rios. Cast: Rebecca Smee, Brendan Donoghue, Jaxson Dimitrov. Australia 2019. 11 min.
After being bedridden for months, Katherine is finally awake. And she’s hungry. And not just for bacon and eggs.
FLESH Control (European Premiere)
Director: Christopher McSherry. Cast: Clark Chambers, Joseph O’Hagan. UK 2019. 9 min.
It’s a typical day of fumigation for these two exterminators. But who is being exterminated and what is doing the job?
Subject 3 (International Premiere)
Director: Teresa Decher. Cast: Teresa Decher, Steven Cox, Paul Greene. USA 2019. 12 min.
A young woman needs to say her last goodbye to an old friend, as she traverses a world in the midst of a pandemic.
Jeff Drives You (UK Premiere)
Director: Aidan Brezonick. Cast: Addison Heimann, Tanner Rittenhouse. USA 2019. 17 min.
David thinks he just got lucky when he gets to take a fancy driverless car to a wedding. But the AI has more to offer than just a smooth ride.
Ouzo and Blackcurrant (UK Premiere)
Director: Nat Luurtsema. Cast: Cherelle Skeete, Sara Huxley. UK 2020. 7 min.
Esta and Jeanie just want to reminisce about the good old days; but they weren’t all good, as something wants them to remember.
Tarrare (World Premiere)
Director: Brian Gillespie. Cast: Ian Lassiter. USA 2020. 6 min.
Based on the terrifyingly true story of a man afflicted with unceasing hunger…
Guest (European Premiere)
Director: Finn Callan. Cast: Melania Crisan, Jessica Munna, Anna Fraser. UK 2020. 12 min.
Something just won’t leave Mary alone, no matter how long she keeps her eyes closed. Drastic measures must be taken.
The Beholder (World Premiere)
Director: Shaun Clark. Cast: Melvyn Ternan. UK 2020. 1 min.
The eye is the window to the soul. That is why it terrifies us.
SHORT FILMS SHOWCASE TWO
Werewolf (World Premiere)
Director: Markus Meedt. Cast: Will Seaward, Katie Redford. UK 2020. 10 min.
It’s game night for a group of friends, and while the rivalry is light, the dangers are increasing.
The Motorist (London Premiere)
Director: Ciaran Lyons. Cast: Douglas Russell, John Cooke. UK 2019. 10 min.
After a man accidently hits someone on a lonely country road, a group forms to exact an odd form of justice.
Love Bite (UK Premiere)
Director: Charles de Lauzirika. Cast: Carlee Baker, Cuyle Carvin, Bella. USA 2019. 16 min.
A weary couple bickers over how to survive the zombie apocalypse. Not everyone is surviving the night.
The Gift (UK Premiere)
Director: Laura-Beth Cowley. Cast: Rowan Carmichael. UK 2019. 3 min.
Monthly cycles may be a literal and metaphorical pain, but through that comes power.
Wash (UK Premiere)
Director: Kristofer Kiggs Carlsson. Cast: Amelia Clay, Ida Lungqvist. Sweden 2019. 7 min.
It’s laundry day for this single mother. But this might be a far more dangerous activity than she fully realizes.
Fuel (International Premiere)
Director: Hermione Sylvester. Cast: Olivia Vinall, Angus Wright. UK 2019. 9 min.
The lines between art and reality are blurred as a woman copes with an uninvited man from her past, and dangerous strangers in the present.
Polvotron 500 (London Premiere)
Director: Silvia Conesa. Cast: Nuria Deulofeu, Gerard Matarí. Spain 2019. 11 min.
Charly just wants a quiet night’s sleep. Maybe he shouldn’t have chosen a holographic booth that provides intimate services.
Keith (International Premiere)
Director: Alex Baro-Cayetano. Cast: Bear Winter-Perreau, Mia Hemerling. UK 2019. 3 min.
A little girl is about to discover more than she dreamed about the monster under her bed.
Death Walks on Nitrate (European Premiere)
Director: Kevin Fermini. Cast: Katie Carpenter, Sasha Friedman, Anna Bishop. USA 2020. 8 min.
A photographer is about to enter a giallo-esque world where nothing is as it seems.
The Afterlife Bureau (London Premiere)
Director: Dimiter Dimiroff. Cast: Sue Appleby, Gordon Peaston, Richard Cunningham. UK 20219. 13 min.
No one appreciates how hard it is to be a civil servant. Especially on the other side.
To access tickets: https://frightfest2020.eventive.org/welcome