Following The Pack and the ‘Quiz from Hell’ by Andy Nyman, Frightfest audiences were treated to a selection of Short Films from around the world. You can see the full list of shorts over at the Frightfest website. My favourites were:
The Rise of the Appliances (Rob Sprackling) – A comedy horror in which household appliances rise up and take over the world. The short was really funny in places. Not all the jokes landed successfully but when they did they were great.
Dead Hungry (William Bridges) – Why doesn’t anyone care about how hard it must be living as a zombie and trying to find food. Dead Hungry cares. Focusing on just one of the zombies in the middle of a generic zombie film Bridges takes a nice idea and follows through nicely.
Nelly and Lio (Etienne Langlois) – Nelly and Lio is a seriously off kilter comedy horror from Quebec. Perhaps letting irreverence get in the way sometimes Nelly and Lio was uneven but incredibly charming and benefited from solid central performances.
Papa Wrestling (Fernando Alle) – Portuguese film Papa Wrestling takes an intriguing approach to bullying in schools ending in a gore filled extravaganza. Papa Wrestling went down an absolute storm at Frightfest as the audience cheered throughout. You can watch the whole short film embedded below but beware this is definitely NSFW as it is very gorey.
We Are What We Are was the next feature to grace the main screen and it was unfortunately a little weak. A Mexican film in which the patriarch in a close family unit dies leaving the mother and her three children to fend for themselves. In this family though the father regularly brought home humans for the family to feast on and they must find a new structure to their lives and a new way of hunting down victims. An interesting concept that director Jorge Michel Grau unfortunately never really does much with. Not a terrible film but certainly a very middle of the road one.
Next up was the replacement for Kaboom, Australian horror Damned by Dawn. Compared in the Frightfest guide to Evil Dead, Damned by Damn was definitely not Evil Dead 4. Dull from the outset Damned By Dawn was very slow with almost no narrative drive and at only 81 minutes it still felt like a slog to get to the end.
Before the next film Frightfest’s Alan Jones took to the stage to speak a little about the difficult situation they faced with A Serbian Film and how this led to it being pulled. An unfortunate situation and one that should not be ignored. The treatment of A Serbian Film (and I Spit on Your Grave) by the BBFC was unnecessary and the decisions made will be fought against by the distributors. Buried was the replacement though and a great replacement it was. Taut and thrilling Buried delivered in almost every way it needed to. Gripping from the outset the film is a great achievement by Rodrigo Cortez and Ryan Reynolds’ performance is fantastic.
The final film of the day was The Loved Ones. I really enjoyed the film which is both fun and suspenseful. You can find my full review here.
Embedded below is the short film Papa Wrestling and the trailer for The Loved Ones.
THE LOVED ONES