While it was tempting to just review pretty much everything I saw at Celluloid Screams it doesn’t quite sum up the festival experience, which I think can really influence how you feel about a film. For example, if you’re getting up early to watch a really earnest horror, aiming for scares and high emotion, you probably won’t feel it as much as you would a little later on once you’ve shaken off the cobwebs. Equally, if you have a run of films that are too light or comedic you start to doubt you’re at a horror festival at all, which is where the real skill in programming a festival lies. Before going any further then, it is necessary to point out how much work Rob Nevitt and his fellow festival coordinators put in to ensuring the whole event runs smoothly.
Celluloid kicked off on a high with The Editor from Astron-6 with the three stars and creators of the film (Conor Sweeney, Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy) in attendance to provide an introduction and later, a Q+A for the film. Ahead of this a short film named Timothy screened, which if you’ve seen mine and Hayley’s videos you’ll know featured a few things that really freak me out. Nevertheless, it is an entertaining and well-crafted short.
The Editor itself is hugely entertaining and while many have termed it a parody of giallo films, its actually far more of an affectionate homage that doesn’t hold back on representing how very silly some of those films could be. Huge mentions here to Paz de la Huerta who is an absolute scene stealer where she appears and also to Matthew Kennedy’s delivery of pretty much every line he’s given. The Editor has had me laughing while going about daily business ever since I’ve seen it, which is about the biggest compliment I can give any film. It’s the sort of film I can’t wait to see again with another audience, which thankfully I will be able to at the Abertoir Horror Festival.
Next up (following some refreshments…mainly gin and tonic), it was time for another short film – Muck. Originally an entry for the ABCs of Death 2, Muck features a really great synthy soundtrack and a misbehaving water supply and actually, probably works better as a standalone short than it would within the anthology.
This idea of horror within the home carried over into the screening of Housebound – a New Zealand horror-comedy that we were told delivered on both emotions. This is always a tall order, but Housebound covers them both with confidence, throwing in a variety of twists and turns that, handled with less skill, would soon tire an audience. Housebound benefits from a great cast and brilliant interplay between the characters and hinges its movement from fear to funny and back on their shoulders. Also, just look at that poster – wonderful!
Following Housebound, the hours of travelling had caught up and sadly caused me to miss the final film of the night Creep – a decision made partly on the fact that it is a found footage and secondly, it is part of a trilogy so another chance to watch will almost certainly be on the cards. Instead a sleepy glass of red wine with fellow reviewer Hayley was the order of the night in order to be ready for all that Saturday had to offer.