Preview: Frightfest, Odeon West End, London
Tuesday 12 August 2008
This year's Film4 FrightFest opens with the world premiere of the British "hoodie horror" Eden Lake, starring Kelly Reilly. It's one of 27 new horror films being shown over five days, including the French film Martyrs, about a young woman who goes on a killing spree, and the Japanese flick Tokyo Gore Police, an outlandish bloodbath directed by the special-effects guru Yoshihiro Nishimura.
Another home-grown debut comes from the director Johnny Kevorkian. His film The Disappeared is a psychological horror set in London, made with a £1m budget and a strong cast including Harry Treadaway, Greg Wise, Alex Jennings and Georgia Groome.
The story begins when Matthew (Treadaway) gets drunk and allows his younger brother to wander off and go missing. A year later, after a breakdown brought on by guilt, Matthew is trying to mend his relationship with his father (Wise), but then he hears his brother crying out for help on a videotape. And that isn't the last of the visitations by his brother's ghost...
"The film begins as a thriller: you don't know whether it is in his head or a real haunting," says Kevorkian. "The father doubts his son's sanity. But ultimately it is a classic ghost story: it turns into pure horror and ends in a very disturbing way. It's a cross between a Mike Leigh film and The Sixth Sense. I love character-driven horror rather than in-your-face blood and gore."
Kevorkian says that he was influenced by Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby and Repulsion, as well as Stanley Kubrick's The Shining and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. His previous short, a thriller called Fractured, was screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival last year; he describes it as similar to Christopher Nolan's Memento. So why horror? "It's tough to get a film off the ground. You don't need a massive budget for horror films."
21 to 25 August (0871 224 4007; www.frightfest.co.uk)
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