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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Front Row Heads to Fright Fest

This year Front Row makes its festival debut at the 14th annual Fright Fest, a bank holiday screen-a-thon of a veritable assortment of vintage as well as new horror and fantasy films from all over the world. The festival will take place on Thursday 22nd August at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square and will run right through the bank holiday weekend with screenings taking place from early morning (well early for some) till late at night. Films to be featured in the line up include the UK premier screening of R.I.P.D. starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, as well as the sequel to v/h/s, and the latest in the never ending Chucky franchise. 



Fright Fest was founded by Paul McEvoy, Ian Rattray and Alan Jones, three individuals who between them share extensive working knowledge and passion of all things film making especially the horror genre. The goal was to give the UK a horror and fantasy screening festival to equal or even rival the European market leaders. The first event was held at the renowned Prince Charles Cinema in 2000 and since then has evolved into an internationally recognised event with guests and attendees from all over the world flocking to this gore fest.

The success of Fright Fest 2000 which led to rapidly increasing audience numbers as well as interest from big names in horror, resulted in a move to a much larger cinema, namely the Odeon West End which regularly plays host to many a cinematic premier event. This move in 2005 was to facilitate the premier of horrormeister George A Romero's return to the big screen with Land of The Dead followed by Pan's Labyrinth by the equally acclaimed Guillermo Del Torro in 2006. Fright Fest continued to grow in size and reputation with Del Torro describing it as "the Woodstock of gore." 

In 2007 Fright Fest began a long standing partnership with Film 4, one of the UK's biggest producers and promoters of independent films that have graced the world cinema. At the same time, FrightFest long standing PR guru joined the fold as a joint director. This partnership helped further fuel the growth of Fright Fest until 2009 when it found a permanent home at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square, with even more screenings and the addition of a discovery strand. It has also become a staple feature of the Horror Channel on cable and satellite television with interviews featuring some of the most successful and up and coming names in the genre. The event has showcased a variety of films from  Hollywood productions such as the remake of Fright Night starring Colin Farrell, to the breakout indie shocker American Mary which propelled its directors Jen and Sylvia Soska into the spotlight.

Fright Fest 2013

As always, any such event promises to be the biggest and the best, and this year for Fright Fest, this boast proves to be no exception. Three theatres at Empire Cinema in London's Leicester Square  (Main, Discovery 1 and Discovery 2) will be screening from morning to night a wide variety of titles, some already released (and vintage) and other receiving their UK Premier. Front Row will be there every day of the event from dawn till dusk offering insights and reviews through a barrage of tweets and posts. 




Films enjoying a UK premier include the latest offering in a long running franchise, the return of the evil Chucky Doll voiced as always by Brad Douriff in the Curse of Chucky. Another sequel will also feature, v/h/s 2 hot off the heels of its highly successful predecessor, and the much anticipated Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds apocalyptic supernatural action comedy R.I.P.D. scheduled for a September release in the UK. Classics such as Nosferatu and Fall of the Usher (both highly regarded as influential in the genre) will feature as well as titles from France, Spain and South America.

Tickets for Fright Fest London sell very quickly and should anyone miss this spectacular weekend of scares and gore there are other Fright Fest events to look forward to. Choose from the Halloween All Nighter in October, the Fright Fest tour which will showcase a breakout title enjoying a special screening (and a Q&A) around the country (this year featured American Mary), and of course Fright Fest Glasgow.