And so, after some time to recover, a trip to Croydon, a trip to Brighton, a migraine, a visit to the Tate Modern and a spot of house work, it is finally time for my FrightFest Top Five!!! (Behold an excitement only expressible through three exclamation marks.)
In no particular order...
1) The Last Days A brilliant Spanish sci-fi film in which the population of the world are suddenly struck down with a fatal case of agoraphobia and our hero must make his way across Barcelona to find his girlfriend, without stepping foot outside. I'm a sucker for films where people have to travel across dangerous environments to find the person they love, so this ticked a lot of boxes for me. It's a little cheesy, but I really got into the characters and could barely breathe with tension at some points.
2) Banshee Chapter The creepiest film of the festival, with plenty of moments where something unnameable is coming up the stairs, or lurking just around the corner, and I jumped like a baby kangaroo. A must watch for Forteans and those interested in conspiracy theories, it takes the MK Ultra experiments and adds on a little HP Lovecraft. The more I think about it, the more I like it.
3) No One Lives The first 20 minutes of this are like a million other slasher films, and I really felt like I knew exactly where the whole film was going. Then something completely mental happens and it turns into the sort of splatter-fest I just adore. Completely over the top, completely ridiculous, completely irresistible.
4) Big Bad Wolves It's so hard to describe this film in way that would make anyone want to watch it. It's dark and violent; it's about revenge and torture; yet it's also genuinely funny. I still can't believe how much I laughed. This film is just so well made, the writing, the directing, the cinematography, the acting, everything is superb. The directors are planning an Isreali cowboy film next, and I reckon that'll be amazing.
5) You're Next I thought this was going to be one of those horrifying home invasion films that keep me awake at night. Without wanting to give anything away, this was less scary than I thought it would be, but also a much cleverer and better film. The story can basically be summed up as the worst family holiday ever. There are some nice little cameos and Sharni Vinson is brilliant as the new girlfriend meeting the family for the first time. I hope it does well in the cinema, because it's awesome.
Now, I probably could've done a top ten, but I hate blogs that are too long, so here are some films that deserve a mention and a watch; Curse of Chucky, Haunter, Hatchet III, bits of V/H/S 2, 100 Bloody Acres (especially if you liked Tucker and Dale...), The Hypnotist, Hammer of the Gods, RIPD, Dark Tourist, The Conspiracy, Odd Thomas, We Are What We Are. Gosh, that's loads. What can I say? It was a great weekend.