Preview: The Zone Horror Frightfest, Odeon West End, London

Give yourself a fright this bank holiday
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The Independent Culture

The horror director Adam Mason has directed four gory feature films, including his latest survival horror tale, Broken, codirected with Simon Boyes. It stars his South African wife, Nadja Brand, who is abducted and taken to a remote wood by a nameless man who makes her his slave. It will be screened at this year's Zone Horror Frightfest at the Odeon West End, along with about 25 new horror films from across the world.

Born in Cambridgeshire, Mason trained at the London Film School. His first, light-hearted horror film, The Thirteenth Sign (2000), about a young girl who battles with satanic forces in her childhood village, was swiftly followed by the black comedy horror film Dust (2001), about a group of Londoners who end up in a bloodbath with pig-farmers.

"Too many horror films are not horrific enough," says Mason. "I decided to stop pandering to what would be commercial and make brutal and realistic horror films." Mason then directed two short films: Ruby (2003), in which a woman takes revenge on her paedophile husband, and Prey (2004), where a serial killer in Alaska hunts women like animals.

"I finally found the reaction I was looking for. Films that had the biggest impact on me were always horror films - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Exorcist, Jacob's Ladder and Angel Dust. This kind of brutal psychological horror is the direction I am trying to go in with my own work."

Mason is in post-production with his next film, The Devil's Chair, due out in 2007 - "a supernatural horror in the vein of The Shining" - about a couple whose romance is over once they stumble across a chair in an abandoned lunatic asylum.

Other festival highlights include Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth; Martin Weisz's atmospheric shocker Grimm Love, about a cannibal killer; The Host, a Korean monster movie directed by Bong Joon-Ho; and Adam Green's Hatchet, about a creepy tour through the Louisiana swamplands.

25 to 28 August ( www.frightfest.co.uk)

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