Fancy a film festival stuffed full of horror and fantasy? Well, you’re reading SciFiNow so of course you do! That’s what Arrow Video’s FrightFest is all about and it’s returning to London at Cineworld Leicester Square from Thurs August 26 – Monday 30 August, 2021.
We announced the first wave of films last week, and the next slew of horrific and enthralling tales have just been revealed. Here’s what to look out for…
Queer indie pop star Grey (Lauren Beatty, pictured above) is a newly successful artist who suffers from frequent nightmarish hallucinations of becoming a wolf. She visits an isolated mansion in the Canadian forest with her loyal girlfriend, Charlie, to produce her second album at the invitation of producer Vaughn whose musical genius is overshadowed only by an infamous past murder trial. Soon she embarks on a transformative journey that positions the self-obsessed intimacy of her song writing with her lycanthropic fantasies…
Kate and her nine-year-old daughter Beth have moved into an old isolated farmhouse outside a small town. Kate hopes this new beginning will shield her withdrawn daughter from their horrible past – her husband Brad was convicted of murdering a young girl, based largely on Kate’s testimony. Then a mysterious couple invade their home demanding to know the truth about the killing. In exchange, the vengeful duo guarantees Beth’s safety…
As In Heaven, So On Earth
In 1275 a young girl is imprisoned in the dungeons of an abbey where an alchemist uses her for his strange experiments and a young literary assistant tries to free her. In 2011 two teenagers go missing in the woods while a young woman appears from nowhere. Investigations lead the police to an odd manuscript in a tomb. Today, the Chief of the Cold Case department is compelled to leave his video-testimony, because in the light of recent findings, he fears for his own life.
In the chilly winter of 1918, Tomás is a post-mortem photographer, snapping corpses of the war dead for Hungarian records. Lured to a small village by talk of hauntings and strange nocturnal sounds, local hostility, mysterious deaths and the shadowy figures that appear in his photographs all urge him to leave as soon as possible. But he’s determined to investigate in a sumptuous take on the classic ghost story…
Based on the bestseller by Johan Theorin. Knocking follows Molly who, after a nervous breakdown, leaves a mental institution ready to start over. Her new life takes her to an apartment complex, but as a heat wave sets in, this place of potential new beginnings turns sinister and ominous. There’s a strange, inexplicable knocking sound coming from the apartment above – or so Molly thinks. No one else in the building can hear it, and when Molly asks her upstairs neighbors if they’re making the noises they greet her questions with confusion. But something is going on in this building…isn’t it?
Dave walks the halls of the dilapidated Hotel Poseidon, which he inherited from his deceased father. His existence is clearly a hopeless one. Long days turn seamlessly into endless nights through which Dave drags himself lethargically. Then a young woman knocks at the hotel’s doors looking for a room and his best friend wants to throw an outrageous party in the backroom. Cue a recurring nightmare, which percolates, escalates and from which there is no escape.
A found-footage horror set in the cut-throat world of social media influencers. Four very different students move into a house suffering the usual social, financial and sexual anxieties that come with this exciting experience. They soon realise they are sharing their flat with a vengeful ghost from the 1990s called Dawn and she wins them millions of followers on social media. The big-money sponsorship deals quickly follow and greed becomes more powerful than fear. But the media attention awakens an old evil far more deadly than any ghost and the students must face the deadly consequences of their actions.
A number of guests find refuge in a small motel in the middle of nowhere, its only distinguishing characteristic being the ruins of an old Mystery Spot – a long-dead roadside attraction with strange metaphysical powers. Nathan and Rachel are just two of the guests attempting to eradicate dark pasts that seem to be using the Mystery Spot’s unique properties to escape painful shadows. But only some will survive its reality-shattering implications. Starring Lisa Wilcox and Graham Skipper
In Killer Concept, a scriptwriter, a photographer and a true crime author are collaborating on a thinking man’s slasher movie based on an assassin with a predilection for victims named after flowers still holding a reign of terror over their local community. But what two of them don’t know is that the third is the actual real-life maniac and will do anything to disguise their modus operandi either factual or fictional.
After his appearance in 2020’s Blind, where he infiltrated the life of sight-impaired actress Faye, Pretty Boy is back in this campy horror gore-fest. This time, Pretty Boy takes Faye from her Hollywood Hills home to gain access to an A-List Valentine’s Day party. But soon the party becomes massacre central as our handsome maniac runs amok amongst the disco lights and Beautiful People with his trusty butcher’s knife.
Something has taken possession of the hearts and minds of the city’s population. At first, Mac, Kim and Jane try to convince themselves they’re wrong. They’re not. An alien intelligence has merged with their neighbour, Bill (Tony Todd), setting into motion a desperate struggle for the survival of humanity. Soon, the entire city is overwhelmed by the inhuman horror of the changed, but it won’t stop there! And the trio cross every line imaginable to save themselves from the horde of body snatchers gathering outside their suburban home.
Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes
Cafe owner Kato is relaxing after a long day when an image of himself suddenly appears on his television speaking from the future of two minutes. Soon Kato, his staff and regular customers are trapped in a time prison eager to learn about the distant future. But a Time Echo accelerates the paradox fiasco and a mysterious duo pays a visit as the future strikes back.
Nocturna: Side A – The Great Old Man’s Night
Ulysses is 100 years old and lives alone on the verge of death. On this, the last night of his life, he experiences something forcing him to rethink his past, his present and his reality. Tortured by guilty remorse and confused by his senile dementia, he must make a last ditch effort to embrace his demise in freedom or become a soul in sorrow for eternity.
Shadow Of The Cat
Gato (Danny Trejo) lives with his teenage daughter Emma on an isolated farm. Emma, tempted by curiosity about the mother who abandoned them, runs away and Gato sets out on a desperate search accompanied by his friend Sombra. Because 17 years ago, they were about to be captured by a sect and must now rescue Emma from the same cult who need her to carry out a bloody ritual.
Psychiatrist Maximiliano has just published a book. As an orphan raised in a provincial foster home by a hard line patriarch his childhood memories have left scars he has been desperate to forget. But when he receives a call from a ‘brother’ who reveals their ‘father’ has died, he makes a life-changing decision to return home to deal with an unusual inheritance. But Maxi hasn’t seen any of his relatives for nearly two decades and when they tell him what he must now do for the family, the shocking past floods back with a sinister force.
Three women mysteriously wake up in a strange hospital and discover that one of them is deaf, one is mute and the other one is blind. Each one of them will have to figure out why they are there and how to get out of the complex network where abuse, discrimination and torture are just a few of the tools of a sinister organisation.
A horror anthology shot entirely in lockdown. Nine directors made nine standalone but interconnected stories using only the resources and social distancing available during the early Covid-19 outbreak. From all corners of the world, people confront their biggest fears in attempts to survive an increasingly contagious and deadly pandemic.
With its annual Psychotronic FM Halloween show, re-enactment radio DJs Chilly Billy (Corey Taylor, lead vocalist of Slipknot) and Paul (Zach Galligan) weave the gory and twisted tales of the supernatural from years gone by in this horror anthology. In this small town it’s a grimy ending for most, but will a few good souls survive the craziest of Halloween Happenings?
Sharyn Berkley (Ashlynn Yennie, Human Centipede) needs an emergency appendectomy. But when she wakes up from the hospital procedure she finds herself held captive in an underground medical facility. Head surgeon Dr. Aaron Hellenbach refuses to tell her where she is or why she is being incarcerated. All she knows is that other prisoners are being perpetually mutilated and then miraculously healed with a secret formula. Sharyn must go deep into her sordid, criminal past to fully understand what’s going on. And when she finally grasps the full horror of her situation it just might be too late.
The Parker Sessions
A woman suffering from night terrors and plagued by a troubled past schedules a series of appointments with a psychologist. But will she find the answers she’s looking for because the demons that haunt her could be evil or something that doesn’t exist? Not a monster or a ghost, but an all-black shadow watching from a distance…
Dealing with the trials and tribulations of a disaffected former musician with a prosthetic hand who gets drawn into the mysterious and sinister world of his downstairs neighbour, Laguna Ave is said to capture a paranoid Los Angeles where no one can be trusted, everything is decaying or coming apart at the seams and being held together with celluloid duct tape.
She Watches From The Woods
Troubled artist June has spent many years in a psychiatric institution. As a child, she saw her sister Willow being drowned, and ever since, she’s heard mysterious voices. Her doctors have chalked it all up to a coping mechanism but when she travels to visit her dying, ungrateful mother, June takes the opportunity to finally dig for the truth. What she discovers turns everything she thought she knew about her hometown on its head as she realizes it wasn’t just post-traumatic stress.
Lily runs away from her abusive father. Just when she thinks she has found help, she ends up locked in a basement by the mysterious Evan. While clearly delusional, Evan has an innate sadness making every move he makes an unpredictable nightmare for fearful Lily to safely navigate. So she pretends to be his daughter in order to plot her escape.
Ride-share app driver Russell picks up his Hollywood fare Charlotte, who hires him for the rest of the evening. Their first stop at her ex’s place sees Charlotte running out the door clutching a tiny suitcase being chased. They make their escape, but accidentally run over a pedestrian, setting in motion a chain of gruesome events that will go to places Russell could never have imagined in his wildest dreams. For what’s in the suitcase is something so surprising, so unexpected, it’s out of this world.
Are We Monsters
Maya is a werewolf conflicted with an identity crisis. She must seek to understand the two sides of herself before the consequences become deadly.
The Last Rite
Medical student Lucy, suffering from sleep paralysis and finds herself plagued by a demonic entity after moving in with her boyfriend. Torn between sanity and the unknown, Lucy seeks help from a local priest forced to make a deathly choice. With the clock ticking, will Lucy escape the dark force consuming her from inside?
When The Screaming Starts
When Norman Graysmith (Jared Rogers, The Kindred) is invited into the home of an aspiring serial killer, Aidan Mendle (writer/producer Ed Hartland), he believes he has the subject for the documentary that will make his career. What could possible go wrong? Especially as Aidan is a particularly inept homicidal maniac and fledgling filmmaker Graysmith is willing to do anything stupid to achieve his ambition.
Bring Out The Fear
Rosie and Dan are a couple in a doomed relationship. Deciding to call it a day in the least acrimonious way possible, they decide to take one last walk in a favourite destination, the local forest. But suddenly the endlessly winding paths lead nowhere, the trees never seem to end, the sun never sets and a sinister presence starts stalking and tormenting them, trying to drive them insane… There is no escape but what exactly are they hiding?
There’s plenty more besides to scare and enthrall you at this year’s FrightFest, including documentaries and short films. Find out more about the first wave of films here.
ArrowVideo FrightFest 2021 will be taking place at Cineworld Leicester Square from Thurs August 26 – Monday 30 August, 2021. Find out more here.