For six days and nights, FilmFear sees HOME supplement their regularly scheduled programming with a series of horror, cult and extreme cinema screenings and events curated by Film4 Channel Editor, David Cox. This mini-season has been running for a couple of years now, and provides film fans with a choice selection of previews, classic revivals and special guests scheduled to culminate on Halloween evening. As in previous editions, there is an emphasis on supporting new voices and the season at HOME runs simultaneously with small screen version on Film4, allowing for work to be supported from its initial theatrical run and beyond.
Now in only its third iteration, FilmFear has been building a reputation for helping launch new British horror and previous years have featured preview screenings of the likes of Gareth Tunley’s mind bending The Ghoul and Alice Lowe’s darkly comic Prevenge. British talent is placed front and centre once again in 2018 as HOME welcome filmmaker Matthew Holness for a Q&A and book signing following a screening of his debut feature, Possum. Holness is perhaps better known by his television alter-ego, Garth Marenghi, and his new film — which stars Sean Harris as a troubled puppeteer — has been praised for its atmosphere and performances. English actor-writer-comedian, Toby Hadoke also makes an appearance with his BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Nigel Kneale’s ghostly The Road as HOME present an exclusive “listening event” followed by a Q&A.
Once again, there are new films plucked from around the world, including big-screen opportunities to catch works that made a splash at festivals but haven’t found wide distribution, such as French directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s (The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears) evocatively titled, hyper-stylised shoot-out Let the Corpses Tan – which debuted at Cannes last year. Fresh from positive notices at FrightFest, Kristian A. Söderström’s Swedish mystery-thriller, Videoman is billed as a must-see for who has ever collected VHSs, DVDs or any form of physical media. Also from Sweden, season opener Border is a conspiracy thriller with a folkloric twist, and pedigree in the form of a story co-written by Let the Right One In author John Ajvide Lindqvist.
There have been promising whispers since Cannes about Nicolas Cage’s turn in bloody revenge drama Mandy, and those whispers turned into an torrent of ecstatic reviews with a September US release. One of the highlights of this year’s FilmFear, the film marks another chance for Cage to stretch his unique, expressionistic style, and word is that Mandy director Panos Cosmatos matches him beat for beat with an furious, phantasmagoric tale of a man seeking vengeance on a murderous cult in the Pacific Northwest. Film music aficionados take note: the score is the final one completed by late composer and experimental musician Johann Johannsson (Sicario, Arrival).
Studded amongst the exciting new work, FilmFear indulges audiences with a few tried and tested favourites. HOME will host screenings of two of horror heavyweight, John Carpenter’s (Halloween, The Thing) best films with satirical alien invasion flick They Live and ghostly thriller The Fog. Both screening from brand new 4K restorations, these craftily assembled genre works should work as well, if not better, than ever on the big screen. For Halloween itself, the programmers have reached back to 1981 to resurrect Sam Raimi’s iconic The Evil Dead. A low-budget, gonzo gorefest starring Bruce Campbell, The Evil Dead spawned a variety of sequels and remakes. Whilst today’s audiences might have cottoned on to some of the humour built into the film, it remains a deeply disturbing sit — and a perfect season closer.