The Frightfest line-up was particularly strong this year, with far more good films on offer than bad, or even passable. On average, those with weekend passes would’ve caught about 25 movies total over the weekend and, of those, it’s difficult to pick just five that really stood out.
These are my personal picks for the best of Frightfest 2015, the films that made a serious impact over the festival weekend but that also, I think, will make an impact in 2015 in general, and beyond. In no particular order:
We Are Still Here
Ted Geoghegan’s feature début is a slick, scary, old school chiller with the legendary Barbara Crampton in the lead role that creeps under your skin and sets up camp for ninety minutes. Consistently frightening, with some of the best jump scares and most well-executed gore in modern horror, it’s a must-watch and one of the contenders for best horror movie of 2015, without a doubt. Miss this one at your peril.
Landmine Goes Click
This nasty, yet powerful, offering from Georgian director Levan Bakhia was one of the biggest surprises of Frightfest 2015. Even the director himself undersold it, describing the premise thusly: “A guy steps on a landmine, that’s it” A gruelling, difficult watch, Landmine Goes Click is one of the most divisive horror movies of the year, either crass and opportunistic or troubling and effective, depending on who you’re talking to. It’s not an easy watch, and it drags a bit towards the end, but it certainly leaves a mark and, with any luck, will get the recognition it deserves in time. Word of warning: Do not watch the trailer, it gives the whole bloody thing away.
Check out our full review here.
Corin Hardy’s creature feature was one of the hottest tickets of the festival, its one and only screening selling out in a matter of hours. It hits theatres worldwide in November, and with any luck will be the breakout hit of the year. Smart, scary and with some of the coolest, gooiest practical effects I’ve seen in a very long time, The Hallow is a one of a kind film that signals great things for the first-time director and SFX enthusiast.
There’s little chance you’ve missed the buzz surrounding Turbo Kid, the Canadian-New Zealand co-production that’s pretty much guaranteed to be on everyone’s Best Of lists come the end of the year. Set in the desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape of 1997, the flick follows The Kid and his hyper new buddy Apple as they set out to do battle against Michael Ironside’s fearsome Zeus. Believe the hype, because this is just as mental, funny, sweet and brilliantly gory as you’ve heard–probably even more so. A must-watch and one of the best movies of the year by far, in any category.
Check out our full review here.
Tales Of Halloween
The other big talking point of the year, horror-wise, is this completely brilliant anthology feature from eleven of your favourite directors, including Mike Mendez, Lucky Mc Kee and Neil Marshall. The brainchild of Axelle Carolyn and her buddies in The October Society, Tales Of Halloween is the strongest anthology film in yonks, with not a single dud segment in the bunch. Endlessly entertaining, it’s sure to become a festive favourite over time and will inspire many a drinking game with its plethora of cameos and nods. Please do not torrent this one (or, for that matter, any movie). As noted by Mendez himself, on his Twitter page, if we steal it, there won’t be any more. And there needs to be more Tales. Many more. Every year until the end of time. It’s just that good.