The last day of Abertoir featured the film I was most looking forward to – Robin Hardy’s ‘The Wicker Tree’. One film from each day will form a full review and ‘The Wicker Tree’ is the one I’ve chosen for day six. For this reason I won’t mention a great deal about it here. What I will talk about though is the selection of short films in the second collection. I sadly missed the first due to having had too good a night the night before, so really wanted to catch these. Overall I was very impressed with the quality and variety of the films and how they were all enjoyable in their own ways. I think my personal favorite was ‘Nursery Crimes’ which I’d love to see again, but on the other hand ‘Brutal Relax’ was the most batshit insane and fun 15 minutes of my film-viewing life. The fact that it won the Abertoir Short Film Audience Award says a lot, both for the quality of the short and the insanity of the Abertoir audience. The selection also featured ‘Survivalismo’ which I will review very soon.
‘The Wicker Tree’ was next, but as already stated, that will be in a bigger review so I won’t go into that here. What I will talk about though is ‘The Perfect Host’, featuring David Hyde Pierce. The film was a massive hit with the audience and won the Abertoir Audience Award, knocking previous top-scoring film ‘Some Guy Who Kills People’ off the top spot on the last day. While I still think ‘Some Guy Who Kills People’ was the better film for me personally, there were moments where I was almost crying with laughter at ‘The Perfect Host’. The standard of films was so high that I’ve found myself struggling to put together a coherent top 5, which is no bad thing.
Next up was ‘House of Usher’ with a live piano accompaniment. This was a really interesting way to view a silent film and definitely an experience I’d like to try again. The screening was really full which suggests that its an idea that a lot more people are interested in than you might expect. The last part of the festival was a talk given by Victoria Price about her father Vincent and was one of the most engaging and touching things I’ve ever witnessed. From the talk it was made clear what an exceptional man Vincent Price was in terms of his dedication to visual arts and living his life without limits on his interests. A very inspiring talk that was a lovely way to end the festival.
All that remains is to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Abertoir and highly recommend attending to everyone with an interest in horror. Roll on next year!