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March 18, 2015

Fright Nights Horrorant Film Festival 2015 – Part 2 The Features

Do you remember last year when I did a big-ass reportage (in four parts no less) on the 1st Fright Nights Horrorant Film Festival? Yes, Greece’s sole annual and international Horror Film Festival. Well, what do you know, since then I became a columnist for their website. And what do you know; I am now a member of the Jury that will give the Short Films Awards!

Now that the 2nd edition of the festival has wrapped, I present you the reviews of the features that I watched. I tried to watch as much celluloid as I could, but not everything because first there were two screens (running different films simultaneously) and then I am (still) a human being. I think. Enjoy!

Thursday 12th of March 2015

This day kicked off with last year’s award-grabbing The Battery (2012), and Les Diaboliques (1955) which was part of the French Horror Special. On Screen 1 The Babadook (2014) was the official opening film, while on Screen 2 people watched Phantasmagoria (2014). The night ended with Domo (2014) on Screen 2, but I was having a blast on Screen 1 the film reviewed bellow.

Another (2014)

This is the first feature film by writer/director Jason Bognacki (he made shorts previously) and it is about Jordyn [TV actress Paulie Redding] who is the devil’s daughter, which works as having an alter ego which is sexier and has more abilities.

The first half is very much a film that if it was directed by Dario Argento it would now be praised as a masterpiece. The second hand is more about the supernatural but in such a dreamy fashion that Jess Franco would be proud. The finale is very Roger Corman, and that can only be a good thing.

Friday 13th of March 2015

This day kicked off with Dracula (1931) which was part of the Universal Monster Movies Special, and Starry Eyes (2014). Screenings of Awaiting (2014), Caedes (2015), and The Houses October Built (2014) followed, but I only cached the screening of the film reviewed bellow.

Frontier(s) (2007)

During an uprising in Paris, a bunch of people arrange a robbery. On their way to Amsterdam they find refugee in a motel where they will find trouble from a family of Nazis. Inspired direction [by writer Xavier Gens] and editing [by Carlo Rizzo], in what has to be the festival’s most engaging film.

Saturday 14th of March 2015

Screen 1 played Chung Cu (2014), Alone (2015), and Horsehead (2014). Screen 2 played Frankenstein (1931), The Perfect Husband (2014), but I only cached the screening of the film reviewed bellow.

Anger of the Dead (2015)

In general I don’t like ‘Slice of Life’ films, but I loved this one, because it has zombies in it! I mean, sure, it is difficult to engage with the characters because time is divided among them which doesn’t leave much space for one of them to become a protagonist, but the action is such that everything else is forgettable. But one of the producers behind this was Uwe Boll, and because I love his films my view could be colored. Director Francesco Picone had made this originally as a short (which I have not seen) and this full-length version’s ending is quite open, so shall we expect a sequel?

Sunday 15th of March 2015

Multiple horrors were available on that day, with screenings of American Burger (2014), Caedes (2015), Asmodexia (2014), Rare Exports (2010), Late Phases (2014), and Black Fables (2014).

Monday 16th of March 2015

This day was pure joy for the horror fans, with screenings of Faust 2.0 (2014), Lurk (2015), Mexico Barbaro (2014), The Return of Elias Urquijo (2014), Domo (2014), and Les Yeux Sans Visage (1960).

Tuesday 17th of March 2015

This day was very generous for the loyal horror fan, with screenings of Martyrs (2008), American Burger (2014), Chung Cu (2014), Phantasmagoria (2014), Anger of the Dead (2015), and The Perfect Husband (2014).

Wednesday 18th of March 2015

This final day was full of solid fun for the horror fan, with screenings of Knights of Badassdom (2014), Dead Shadows (2012), The Mummy (1932), and the film reviewed bellow which was the Official Closing Film, accompanied by the Awards Ceremony.

REC 4: Apocalypse (2014)

I believe that the first film in these series is the scariest thing to ever come out of Spanish celluloid. I’m a big fan of the second film too. The third film was so and so. So, to be honest my expectations weren’t great when I sat down in the theater to watch this one. And I was amazed.

This fourth installment in the series takes place in a ship where Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco once again) is restrained, but unfortunately the zombie virus will spread again. This choice of location works in favour of the film, as it is both claustrophobic (people are constrained within the limits of the ship) and exciting (because the ship is actually huge). Oh, and the zombie virus breaks out again; big time.

If the Blind Dead (which’s third film was coincidentally also set on a ship) was Spanish horror cinema’s most awesome thing for the ‘70s, then the RECs have to be the absolutely best from the ‘00s and ‘10s. And Manuela Velasco is Europe’s Sigourney Weaver and then some.

Essentially a rollercoaster ride, tt has been said by many reliable people that this is meant to be the final film in the franchise, but the ending leaves things pretty open (and begging for more big scale flicks) and if you ask me, I’d vote for more! We want more dammit!

I am so looking forward to Horrorant 3 next year!

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