This Halloween HOME and Film4 are teaming up again for the fourth annual FilmFear season – bringing six days of horror, extreme cinema, cult favourites and special guests to Manchester.
A special preview of The Lighthouse, director Robert Eggers’ much-anticipated follow-up to his folk-horror debut The Witch (2015), kicks off the season on Tuesday 29 October, ahead of its general release in January. Starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as lighthouse keepers battling the elements, isolation, inner demons and more on a remote and mysterious Maine island in the 1890s.
Over the six night festival other previews include: the creepy imaginary-friend horror, Daniel Isn’t Real, a SXSW hit from the producers of last year’s FilmFear hit Mandy, starring Patrick Schwarzenegger (Midnight Sun) in the title role alongside Miles Robbins (Halloween) and Mary Stuart Masterson (Some Kind of Wonderful); the twisted noirish thriller Come to Daddy, the directorial debut from The Greasy Strangler producer Ant Timpson, starring Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings); and, a Halloween night preview of Doctor Sleep, based on the Stephen King novel and starring Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting) as Danny Torrance, 40 years after his terrifying stay at the Overlook Hotel in The Shining, alongside Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible series) and Jacob Tremblay (Room).
“Our line-up feels even more varied, provocative and unpredictable than ever, which is testament to the many strange forms that horror can take,” says Film 4 Channel Editor, David Cox who has curated the festival in partnership with Home. “These are films for fans who like to explore the further reaches of the genre, with plenty of first-time and sophomore filmmakers to introduce you to some bold new visions”.
This year’s FilmFear festival has a strong focus on new talent, showcasing four directorial debuts from the hottest new voices in horror. In addition to Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy, the line-up also includes: Tilman Singer’s Luz, a tale of demonic possession that morphs into a brilliant, bewildering puzzlebox; All the Gods in the Sky from French director Quarxx, marking the return of the ‘French Extreme’ and winner of Best Feature at the Dead by Dawn Horror Festival 2019; and, Jagoda Szelc’s hushed yet dread-filled Tower A Bright Day, an intense family drama from Poland that blurs the boundary between horror and high-art.
And there’s plenty more to haunt and disturb in Denis Côté’s wintry Ghost Town Anthology, about a sparsely populated Quebecois village experiencing unnerving visitations following a young man’s suicide, and Billy Senese’s propulsive The Dead Center, starring Primer director Shane Carruth as a troubled doctor who becomes obsessed with the resurrected corpse of a suicide victim (Jeremy Childs, Preacher).
Screening alongside these new titles is a trio of classic horrors for film fans to revisit or discover on the big screen. Masters of horror, Vincent Price and Christopher Lee will feature in The Tingler (1959) and The Wicker Man (1973) respectively, with Werner Herzog’s 1979 take on the Transylvanian count, Nosferatu the Vampyre, bringing the season to a chilling finale on 3 November.
Special events accompanying the screening programme include a “Bring the Family” screening of Nicolas Roeg’s The Witches on Sunday 27 October, selected by HOME’s Young Programmers, and a one-man show from filmmaker Daniel Cockburn, How Not to Watch a Movie (or, All the Mistakes I’ve Made, part 2). Starting off as a look at 1990s horror films, Cockburn will take the audience down a cinephilic rabbit hole, resulting in a weird, funny, mind-bending autobiographical journey through two decades of over-interpretation and paranoia.
The FilmFear season also returns to Film4 from Monday 28 October, with a week of screenings including: Darren Aronofsky’s Mother!; The Midnight Man, starring Robert Englund; shark shocker 47 Meters Down; Sabrina star Kiernan Shipka in February; and previous FilmFear favourite Brawl in Cell Block 99, from writer-director S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk).
FilmFear 2019 is at Home, Manchester from 29 October to 6 November 2019.