Abertoir 2013 Day Three

My first film on day three was Chanthaly, a film that is not only the first film to be made by a woman in Laos, but also the first in the horror genre to come out of the country.  It is always interesting with Abertoir in the way that they schedule films from a variety of countries, which makes for some fascinating comparisons and contrasts in terms of sensibilities, cultural practices, histories and also restrictions.  The production of Chanthaly was carefully monitored in order to avoid causing offense in director Mattie Do’s native Laos which means there is no gore, very little violence but a quiet and reflective ghost story, with a focus on the family.  Considering the inexperience of the director it is an impressive and ambitious debut, with my only complaint being that it ran a little long.  However, it is deliciously creepy in parts, with scenes comparable to Ringu and the 2010 version of Whistle and I’ll Come to You and, perhaps most importantly has an awesome dog starring in it.  That’ll always win points with me.

ImageNext up was Kiss of the Damned – advertised as a homage to Euro-sleaze and on that it delivers.  Perhaps more interestingly is the fact that director Xan Cassavettes is the daughter of John Cassavettes – known in the horror genre for his role as Guy Woodhouse in Rosemary’s Baby, but also for his directorial work on films like The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, lending that extra expectation to it.  Kiss of the Damned is like the ultimate guilty pleasure, containing vampires who live to have sex with one another, a simplistic plot with some awkward lines delivered ridiculously but it works!  It is so well-constructed and charming (not to mention it has an awesome soundtrack) that you’re willing to instantly surrender to it and be taken along for the duration.

Following this was another talk from Peter Hutchings, again covering the life and times of Peter Cushing.  The talk was an emotional one, filled with not only clips of the great man in action, but also personal anecdotes that left the majority of the audience at least a little misty-eyed.  Also another great excuse to see the Morecambe and Wise clip, alongside other media inspired by Cushing.

ImageOur last film before the Pub Quiz was Ghost Graduation – a film initially described as sounding a bit shit, having a terrible poster and was a last resort for organisers during a festival stay.  However, this lovely Spanish comedy film turned out to be the best last resort ever taken – storming to a confident win as the Best Feature of the festival.  There’s very little horror in it, even though it is a ghost story but functions more as The Breakfast Club (including at least one moment directly acknowledging this)…with spirits.  What it is, though, is touching with great comedic timing and with tons and tons of feel-good moments.

It proved great scheduling as the fun-filled film put everyone in the right mood for the Pub Quiz.  Now I’ve bemoaned the difficulty of the music round in this before, but this year (largely thanks to a bone thrown to us by Nia) we were able to secure a few more correct answers than previous years.  Despite not winning (but importantly, also not losing), the Pub Quiz is always great fun, particularly when complimented by the specially designed cocktails.

ImageThose cocktails would certainly help with the next film…Hentai Kamen Forbidden Superhero, which served as Abertoir’s annual slice of Japanese mayhem and weirdness.  Before this though, we were treated to the final episode of series one of Danger 5, but happily were given a preview of series two, that will hopefully make its way to Abertoir for next year.  Anyway, HK, is…odd.  There’s not much I can say about the plot other than it is about a teen who unlocks his superhero potential, via perverted means.  While the joke ran fairly thin fairly soon for me, there are some real laugh-out-loud moments in this one and a hellishly confident performance by the lead.  Look up screenshots and you’ll see what I mean.  Might be an idea to chuck a safe-search on first if you’re in a library or something though.  Actually if you’re in public DO NOT LOOK IT UP!

With Thursday over, we can now look into the long weekend of Abertoir 2013…coming soon.

Abertoir 2012 Day Two

Now moving on to day two of Abertoir, with something resembling an early night on night one I woke up surprisingly refreshed and ready to get down to some serious horror viewing, helped greatly by the 1pm start time.  Today’s first film was Madhouse, featuring the focus of this year’s festival Peter Cushing and Abertoir’s very own patron saint, Vincent Price (no, seriously it’s in the programme now.  Victoria Price has confirmed it…she’s that cool).  This was a first viewing for me but anything featuring those horror greats must have something to it, and indeed it does.  Gaz during an introduction to the film explained how this was one of the last horror’s of its kind before the juggernaut-like The Exorcist hit screens and left people wanting evermore violent and disturbing horror.  What Madhouse provides is a warm and nostalgic look at a time before this, with the knowledge that you’re in safe hands for entertainment with Cushing and Price.

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Keeping on the subject of horror icons, next up was the Court of Cult: British Horror’s Greatest Stars.  The court was presided over by Judge Gaz (do excuse the terrible quality on my camera, ’tis all my fault) and featured presenters arguing for their favourite cult British horror star.  Lively presentations were given in favour of Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Sheila Keith and Michael Ripper to be awarded Abertoir’s favourite.  All the presentations were wonderful, but with a little help from Morecambe and Wise, Peter Hutchings secured a victory for Peter Cushing, rather fittingly.  However, had Russ Hunter been able to play the fantastic clip of Christopher Lee reading from The Exorcist….that might have swung it.  Nevertheless, we were not to be disappointed for long as it was screened just before Danger 5 later that night.  Worth the wait.  So worth the wait.

Up next was the second short film of the festival Grandpa, screening ahead of Across the River.  I’ve spoken before about how I feel that some short films can function as a pitch for a feature length version and I would strongly suggest this is the case with Grandpa.  There were quite a few half-ideas throughout it, with nothing completely fleshed out, which honestly, left me a little cold.  A couple of creepy moments worked well, but ultimately felt a little hollow.  This feeling would continue into Across the River – an Italian film with a focus on the history of tension between Italy and Slovenia using a ghost story as a way of exploring the themes.  Somewhere within this film is a creepy and effective ghost story that hints at human cruelty, but unfortunately, it is over long and spends far too much time in the set up, meaning that the necessary ‘scary bits’ are few and far between.  However, when there is a scare – it tends to be a good one.

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Next up was Painless, and as I’ve already reviewed this, you already know that I loved it.  Sharing a similarity to, Across the River, Painless is far less about the supernatural and more about troubled human histories and the cruelties within it.  I did not see Painless for a second time here, but will definitely pick it up on DVD.  I also missed The Station, largely due to its description as being like The Thing and having an emphasis on sci-fi.  Those who know me, know that sci-fi is often not my thing, so as already mentioned, whenever you can find a break at a festival – it’s usually a good thing to take it.

My long break (and a little bit of rum) left me nice and refreshed for the midnight screenings of Danger 5 and Return to Nuke ‘Em High Vol. 1Danger 5, as always, was a real treat and was again introduced by the hilarious creators.  Now, I’ve never properly experienced a Troma film before, so Return to Nuke ‘Em was quite the introduction.  I’ve already said in the videos how in the beginning, I laughed despite myself, thanks to a few well-placed cameos.  However, the controversial one-liners soon came thick and fast and while some may have been well-received, the sheer amount of them turned the film into something rather more cruel than first imagined and for me, it lost a lot of steam.  Still, I’m glad to have finally seen a Troma.    

Abertoir 2013 Round Up

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So, Abertoir is over for another year and while my liver is suffering and my craving for an actual vegetable is almost unbearable, I could happily have stayed for much longer.  What would be left of me is a whole different matter, but I can always recommend the festival to anyone.  This year was my third year attending the festival and it has been a great experience every year – even if I do make myself a promise to attend everything before red wine happens and it all falls apart a bit.  Of course, there were some films I had previously seen at Celluloid Screams in Sheffield – Painless (my review for allhorror.net is here), Discopath, The Body, The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears, Chiméres and The Battery – meaning I could have a few breaks without missing out, although Discopath, The Body and Chiméres demanded a second viewing.

As most of those who follow me on Twitter know, myself and Hayley of Hayley’s Horror Reviews have been producing some short on-the-ground festival footage, thanks largely to Hayley’s quickly-increasing editing abilities that have meant that we’ve been able to record a great deal of our instant reactions to films and get them uploaded fairly quickly.  The link to the playlist for these videos (and others from Sheffield and last year’s Abertoir) is here and we’d be grateful for comments, shares and even helpful tips or what you might like to see next year.

With that bit of housekeeping taken care of it’s probably best that I structure my thoughts following the festival on a day-by-day, film-by-film (or event) basis.  Of course, I’m not going to give away too much of my thoughts on films that I might get around to doing full reviews on at some point.  Will probably return to my method for my first Abertoir and review one film from each day…wish me luck.  Without further ado…my Abertoir 2013 Round Up, with thanks to Gaz, Nia and Rhys for putting on such a wonderful festival and working so hard.

Day One

The first film at Abertoir 2013 was originally intended to be a classic screening of The Haunting with Richard Johnson in attendance to take part in a Q&A session following the screening.  However, due to a scheduling conflict, Richard Johnson was unable to attend until the Saturday, but this resulted in some very special moments which otherwise would not have happened.  Instead, we were treated to a screening of The Mummy, featuring some wonderful eye-acting from Christopher Lee and one of the greatest backhanded compliments from the mouth of Peter Cushing.

Following this was my second opportunity to see Discopath – again screening with short film The Body.  The best description I can bestow upon Discopath is that it is a grubby and disarmingly, darkly funny film.  I feel like some of the negative response to the film is as  result of people expecting it all to be played for laughs – admittedly the premise does have a comedic value – but instead are confronted with a frequently unpleasant and gory film.  The Body before it is an example of a short film done very right – playing perfectly into its run time with wit and stylish design.

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The third film of the first night came from Lucky McKee, which of course, I was very excited about.  The Woman is one of my favourite films of the last few years and getting to directly fangirl at Lauren Ashley Carter at Celluloid Screams was a major highlight and I was expecting a similarly hard-hitting, social commentary.  Instead, we got All Cheerleaders Die.  I knew very little about it, and again those watching the videos/following on Twitter will already know that I loved this, partially for being so different to what I was expecting.  However, there are moments that are distinctly Lucky McKee, although it is missed with a humour and madness not always present.  The ending was probably one of the best I’ve seen too.

The final film of the night was Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead, continuing Abertoir’s love affair with 1970s Italian horror.  As I’d seen this fairly recently I decided some sleep was a better option, but not before sticking around for episode 4 of Danger 5.  Last year, Abertoir showed the first three episodes before midnight screenings of the 1960s, Nazi-hunting, spy team parody full of strange non-sequiturs and perhaps more importantly, some great cocktail recipes.  These recipes in fact, formed an important part of this year’s festival as bar patrons were treated to The Perfect Fruiten Kahmoon (the best one) and The Perfect Swiss Kiss (surprisingly tasty), designed for us movie and booze hounds based on actual recipes from the show.  The creators of Danger 5 had also prepared a special introduction for each episode – often upping the strangeness considerably.  I can’t really accurately explain entirely what Danger 5 is, but it’s a slice of absolute brilliance.

ImageThis was my first day at Abertoir 2013 and as my rambling about it has dragged along a little, I think I’ll be posting the round up by days to avoid the dreaded wall of text.  Day Two through Six to come.  Six days!  How did we all survive that?!

Sheffield’s Short Shockers

Check out that alliteration right there…I think I may have spent all of my remaining creativity on that alone.  As most readers will know I spent Friday through Sunday at Celluloid Screams in Sheffield – a task that involved a three and a half hour drive each side of the festivities and during I was of course indulging in a few drinks.  I’d say it’s practically impossible not to during a festival.  As a result of all this I’ve spent much of my time since Monday morning tired, emotional and even a tiny bit unbalanced so this has taken a little longer than first anticipated.  I wanted to write about some short films I saw at the festival, as I hardly see short films and so don’t really review them that much.  There were some really strong shorts at Celluloid and sadly I didn’t see them all, so this is limited to being a personal overview rather than any exhaustive look at all of them.  I’m disappointed I missed Fist of Jesus from the team behind bat-shit insane Brutal Relax as it was shown during the all-nighter but hopefully will catch up with that one.  So without further non-short-related rambling I’ll make a start.

Lot 254 – Toby Meakins – UK – 2012 – 3mins

One of the shortest shorts on offer, coming in at only 3 minutes, this film featured a haunted camera that allowed the user to see things through the viewfinder that they could not see in reality.  Sadly, this one did very little for me, despite a solid attempt at creating something spooky, but I think the lack of time to allow things unfold let it down as there is a shortage of real tension.  Had this one had more time, I’m sure I would have ended up on the edge of my seat.  For some wider perspective though, this received an honorary mention in the judging of best shorts, so likely it worked for others.

 

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The Last Video Store – Tim Rutherford & Cody Kennedy – Canada – 2013 – 10mins

This short was far more up my street, featuring some great effects by Manborg’s Steven Kostanski and injecting some comedy into proceedings.  A delivery man is tasked with ensuring a package gets to a video store, where he finds an eccentric owner eager to discuss the virtues of VHS over digital means.  He also warns that there are nefarious methods being used, causing video stores to be decimated by a golden video tape that causes VHS machinery to turn against its owner and reap destruction upon other non-digital formats.  The owner and the delivery man find themselves pitted against a monster made from tape, packing laughs, gore and plenty of references into its 10-minute time slot.

Invocation – Robert Morgan – UK – 2013: 3mins

Stop-motion animation has featured in a great deal of horror shorts – none so more than in the hilarious film parodies and original works by Lee Hardcastle, who was presenting his show reel in Sheffield.  However, it is rare (for me at least) to see stop-motion animation used alongside live action actors.  This is exactly what Morgan’s Invocation does in its portrayal of a stop-motion directing session gone very wrong.  Coming in at just 3 minutes the short does much to cut straight to the gory chase after warming up with some zoom shots of the teddy bear subject’s expression being manipulated.  What follows is a gory, satisfactory and cyclical piece of work that maintains a fast pace and some great imagery.

 

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Butterflies – Isabel Peppard – Australia – 2013 – 12mins

This is possibly the most beautiful short I have ever seen.  The animation and puppetry is some of the most expressive and thoughtful work, giving the characters a grounded, yet magical appearance.  The subject matter is incredibly interesting too, considering how art and commerciality do not always go hand in hand and the trauma that some artists can go through when their work does not make money, yet their talents are forced into monotonous, yet technically-sound productions.  The best thing I can say about it is that I was genuinely sad when it came to an end as I really could have watched a feature-length version.

Shellshocked – Dominic Brunt – UK – 2013 – 12mins

Introduced by Brunt himself as the total opposite to his feature Before Dawn where the zombie apocalypse is told simply through the impact on an ordinary couple, Shellshocked introduces zombies into a World War II setting as both a British and German soldier find themselves underground, guns focused on one another, both waiting for the other to attack.  As they spend more time together, they appear to soften, offering one another chocolate and cigarettes despite the language barrier.  It seems that the story takes a great deal from the real story of the ceasefire on Christmas Day during World War II where soldiers took a break from shooting at one another to play a game of football, only to return to combat the following day.  That touching and tragic event weighs heavily on the short as it examines the capability of humans to adapt, overcome but also the consequences for breaking someone’s trust.

The Root of the Problem – Ryan Spindell – USA – 2013 – 13mins

Personal confession time: I’ve never had a fear of the dentist.  This means that a lot of dental-related horror is sort of lost on me (now laser eye surgery or something…yeah I’d squirm like you wouldn’t believe) so maybe this one didn’t have as much of an impact on me as it did for others.  While the construction of the dated dental office (fitting it’s 1950s setting) is good and sets the scene for the horror to come it is really the performances that make this short, with all three turning in wonderful performances that can be so hard to find in short films.  One actress is even limited to mostly mumbling, but manages to convey her move from general unease to total terror solidly and convincingly.  The tooth fairy mythology is something that despite fitting well within the genre has been relatively rarely explored so is nice to see a short tackle it.

 

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Cat Sick Blues – Dave Jackson – Australia – 2013 – 10mins

When I first read the description for this one it was probably one of the only ones to instantly creep me out.  People wearing masks are always fuel for nightmares and the idea of being followed home is an incredibly real and horrible one – even if that person isn’t wearing a cat mask.  It is an incredibly effective short, featuring a couple who stop to offer help and a kind word to a man passed out on the beach.  However, their kindness is unrewarded as the man enters their house.  There are a few comic moments arising from the surreal situation, but this is soon abandoned for a far darker tone that fits and leaves the short in your mind for much longer.

The Guest – Jovanka Vuckovic – Canada – 2013 – 4mins

Another shorter film which throws the viewer into a situation in progress – offering very little background or context aside from a man who appears conversing with an unseen voice in a mirror about the deal he has made.  It soon transpires that the man has killed his wife and daughter – a fact illustrated by a bleached out, haunting cutaway to images of his wife and child holding out severed hearts.  It is impressively shot with that fantastic imagery really lingering in the mind.

Angst, Piss and Drid – Fredrik Hana – Norway – 2012 – 19mins

Angst, Piss and Drid won the prize for best short at Sheffield and while certainly competently directed and suitably dark subject matter handled I was surprised that it did.  This may just be my Butterflies bias creeping in of course but that was really the only short that totally blew me away.  Angst, Piss and Drid is exceptionally dark – the sort of film you think you need a wash after watching, as would be expected for a film that chronicles the relationship between two serial killers.  However, we only see the male of the couple continuing to kill, while the female stays at home, cradling body parts in plastic bags and obviously finding a disconnect with her partner, regularly lashing out at him.  Their previous exploits together are shown via old film footage, featuring the two torturing and dismembering a victim, but the film grading makes it appear as a fond family home video – a return to happier times.  The film is relentlessly gritty, never allowing an out for the audience or encouraging enjoyment.

Eden – Todd Cobery – USA – 2012 – 14mins

Some shorts are films by themselves, with beginnings, middles and ends not dissimilar to their feature-length counterparts.  However, others are obviously used as pitches toward a feature-length version and I believe this is the case with Eden.  There is no exposition or real background provided for the strange goings-on, the panic, rioting or the terrorism as all of these things would be difficult to explore fully in such a short time.  As a result of this lack of background however, I found myself confused and unable to enjoy it as much as some of the others.  Of course, this could also be that I do struggle to hold an interest in sci-fi, which this appeared to be for the most part, with the horror as an addition to the dystopia.  In saying that though, the short is glossy and thrilling, making me wonder what could be done with the idea in a feature-length medium so if it was indeed a pitch, then mission accomplished.

 

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Hell No – Joe Nicolosi – USA – 2013 – 3mins

One of the only shorts that was exclusively a comedy, acting as a trailer for a horror film in which good characters make smart decisions, playing on a variety of horror tropes that have had genre audiences screaming at the screen for decades.  A particular highlight for me is a cheerleader who approaches another student to ask if he wants to break into an abandoned building and play with a Ouija board, only for him to respond with a deadpan “No, no I don’t.”  The different scenes are intercut with reviewer quotes like ‘Kind of…anticlimactic’ and feature a voiceover typical to horror trailers.  Despite playing with these tropes to a hardened horror audience who is aware of them all Hell No got a great deal of laughs all the way through which is a great indication of its quality and how it hits all of the right notes for the jokes.

Delicacy – Jason Mann – USA/UK – 2013 – 11mins

An interesting little short that constantly manages to balance the comic, the ridiculous and the downright sinister throughout.  The film features a grumpy food critic who bemoans the fact that he hasn’t tasted anything exciting since 1991 and the chef who feeds him a mystery meat in order to prove him wrong.  However, when the chef can’t resist snatching the meat for himself it becomes clear that the meat is addictive and highly regarded.  Never has a short film changed so quickly with one word as in this film as the meat is revealed to be from a mythical creature.  I won’t spoil it as the delivery of the reveal is so wonderfully funny and strange it really needs to be seen.  The remainder of the film follows the pair as they go on a hunt for more meat with a virgin female leader and utilises the woods well in its balance between mundane nature and something far more fantastical.

Awake – Francisco Sonic Kim – USA – 2013 – 10mins

Another entry into the ‘children are creepy as all hell’ section of the horror genre that probably keeps the birth rate amongst horror fans relatively low.  The film drops us into the lives of parents of a young boy who is unable to sleep and have adapted their lives so one member of the couple is awake with him at all times.  The boy has a scar on the side of his head that bleeds from underneath its dressing and appears to be from some sort of surgery, likely to determine the cause for his lack of sleep.  However, the child is prone to violent outbursts and after striking his mother, heads off into the woods.  This is another film I would be interested in seeing a feature length version of, with more exploration of the boy’s condition and also the parent’s attempts to cope as the short does not quite have the creep factor that it could for me, although there is a solid and frightening idea behind it.

 

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The Body – Paul Davis – UK – 2013 – 19mins

Last year Davis’ short Him Indoors was a real favourite of mine, packing in horror, comedy and a healthy dose of irony and Davis has used the same package here to great effect once again.  The Body follows a serial killer (played wonderfully by Alfie Allen who maintains a quiet, yet confident and sinister manner throughout) who uses Halloween to transport the body of his latest victim.  However, he is stopped by some people who are attending a costume party and want him to bring along his fantastic costume with them.  The short fits wonderfully within its time frame, with no wasted time and closing off the story at an appropriate point, showing that Davis has a real grasp of pacing.  I’m very interested to see if he will make the transition from shorts to features at some point and can safely say I’d buy my ticket in advance.

 

So there’s my view on a selection of shorts from Celluloid Screams 2013.  Pretty soon I’ll be getting some full reviews of a few features that should go up over at AllHorror.net but will keep people posted on that. Hayley is also sorting out more of our videos from the festival.  Twitter, as always is @caitlynmdowns

Preparations

OK, so we are 10 days away from Celluloid Screams in Sheffield.  I’ve only attended the Showroom once before for a fantastic screening and Q&A of Jen and Sylvia Soska’s American Mary so am looking forward to going back for a longer visit.  Upon returning home from Sheffield, I have a week before setting off for Aberystwyth for the Abertoir horror festival which has become my official yearly holiday. Who cares about warm weather? Give me Aberystwyth and its lovely (yet freezing) seaside any time.  Somewhere in between those two, lies Halloween.  Was so hoping to attend the screening of Night of the Demon at Tredegar House but sadly sometimes real life intervenes and is preventing me from getting to that one.  Very tempted to see what Abertoir are serving up as their Choice Cuts on Halloween in the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff too though alongside a screening of The Darkest Day with Q&A from director Chris Crow.  So much going on which is awesome!

So, with that said I’ve started making preparations and particularly seeing all the Halloween decorations and sweets out I am super excited, even though we’ve had exactly 0 trick or treaters in the last 5 years, despite having a ready supply of pretty great sweets, which I’m obviously forced to eat afterwards to avoid waste.  Come on lazy kids, you’re making me fat.  I don’t even mind if they have shitty costumes.  No creepy Psychoville trick or treaters though.

ImageNo…just no.  Do not want.

I think it’s about time I ran down my most anticipated films of both festivals, in no particular order… Click the titular links to be taken to the site for the festival and see the full line up.

 

Celluloid Screams – 25th to 27th October

1) Big Bad Wolves – heard so much about this.  Can’t wait to finally see it.  Currently Tarantino’s favourite film of this year as I recall.

2) Jug Face – star from the woman? Check.  Story of human sacrifice? Check.  Bit of cult activity? Check.  Bring me this film already!

3) Discopath – should have it’s own theme tune.  I won’t stop untl I find out if it does.  Also a prime contender for possible best soundtrack.

4) Der Fan – obsessed fandom.  Well I wouldn’t know anything about that. *cough cough*

5) Delivery – found-footage Rosemary’s Baby?  I could potentially really hate this one, but I’m intrigued.

 

Abertoir – 5th to 10th November

1) All Cheerleaders Die – Lucky McKee.  That is all.

2) Bad Milo! – Stress demon in arse.  I can relate.  To the stress, not the arse demon.  The trailer for this looked brilliant when I was doing my October horror line-up for AllHorror.net (oops a cheap plug fell out) so excited to see it.

3) The Haunting – I will shit myself.  Lots.  Even though I’ve seen it before.  “Whose hand was I holding?”.  Terrifying.

4) The Borderlands – As already mentioned, I’m kind of surprised to be excited about a found footage film after spending most of my time groaning at each release, but have heard some good things about this one.

5) Soulmate – Set in Brecon, which is so close to home I might not be able to return if it’s too scary.  Although I’m expecting a thoughtful ghost story, largely due to the grace and beauty of Axelle Carolyn’s short The Last Post.

 

That’s what I’m looking forward to and you’ll be able to see my daily (and increasingly more weathered) reactions to each film thanks to the video coverage from myself and Hayley of Hayley’s Horror Reviews.  We’ll also be tweeting from the festivals provided the wi-fi is good and I’m not a total technological failure so if you can’t watch the video coverage, you can still keep up with what’s going on before we get back, recover and write longer and more coherent reviews.  I’ll also be posting some novelty pictures and stuff soon if WordPress will kindly allow it. *grumble grumble*

 

Twitter, as always is @caitlynmdowns and you can also find my reviews on allhorror.net along with many others who are submitting solid reviews of films and of course, the featured attraction, All Horror Radio.

 

Catch Up

Has been a little while since I’ve done some blogging but as we head into October a lot of stuff needs blogging about so seems like the right time.  If you follow me on Twitter (@caitlynmdowns) you’ll probably know a lot of this stuff already, but never hurts to recap.

Anyway…first bit of news is that I have the featured article on AllHorror.net for this month, which is a line up of new releases on film and television for the month of October (USA dates, sorry UK folks).  You can read the article now by clicking here and please feel free to comment either on the site or to me directly on Twitter if you’ve seen any or are looking forward to seeing anything on the list.  So thrilled to have an article on such a great site and ridiculously excited about their superb new co-host.  No I won’t reveal it here, go listen to the latest show!

Second bit of news is that I’m adding a second horror festival to my year: Celluloid Screams in Sheffield.  You can click the name to be taken to the site and check out everything on offer for the weekend.  I’m most looking forward to Jug Face and Discopath (if any film deserves a theme song it has to be this. I’ve practically written it myself in my head) for this one, although there’s no films there that I wouldn’t like to see, which is always good. As with last year’s Abertoir film festival I will be working alongside Hayley of Hayley’s Horror Reviews to create on-site video updates of everything we’re seeing and thinking but this year you get 2 lots of videos as we’ll be doing this in Sheffield too.

Speaking of Abertoir, the first wave of scheduled films has just been made today and there are still tickets available.  For 6 days full of horror goodness, including a theatre performance, talks and a pub quiz for £58 you really can’t go wrong.  Or you can go very wrong…after those 6 days, as I did last year, but it was a fun kind of hysteria….a warming, giggly kind that produces terrible jokes about egg sushi.  Early highlights for me include a classic screening of The Haunting (scares the ever-loving shit out of me), Axelle Carolyn’s Soulmate and found-footage film The Borderlands.  Yes, this is me, being excited for a found-footage… strange isn’t it?  All this seasonal October-ness must be getting to me.

So, even though I’ve been slightly quiet for a while it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to shut me up for the next few months.  The videos from festivals will likely be supplemented by longer reviews after the festivals by myself and Hayley so is best to keep an eye out on both sites for those if you’d rather a more in-depth review than at-the-festival video coverage can provide.  I’m happy to take requests for any reviews via Twitter or this site during the festivals and have them posted upon return.

Oh also, I need to mention Wales Goes Dark, which is a collection of events in association with the BFI as part of their BFI Gothic season.  Highlights include Dracula at Cardiff Castle and Night of the Demon at Tredegar House as well as a variety of events at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff.  Sadly I don’t think I’m able to make it to these events but if you can, you definitely should.  Is so nice to see more and more horror stuff popping up in Wales.