As can be expected from these sorts of events, things go wrong, things get delayed and have to be rearranged, but the team behind the event worked tirelessly to keep everything on track and did an excellent job, even going above and beyond right at the end of the festival by offering to stay late to let people watch a film which they had struggled to get working earlier in the day (I had to decline this offer sadly, due to being in work the next day for 6:30am).
So, as I did last year, I am going to write a review of each day from my own point of view, covering each of the films I saw.
I will start out with the Preview Night which included A Nightmare on Elm street, Let God Sort Them Out [Short] and last but not least, The Babadook.
I have never had the opportunity to see this film on the 'Big Screen' so as soon as I found out it was showing I jumped at the opportunity to buy a ticket. What can you say about this film, aside from its arguably the film which re-launched the horror genre in the 18's (yes, unbelievably this was the 30th anniversary screening). For me personally, its one of the films that got me into horror, with one of the most memorable and bloody on-screen deaths ever seen.
If you ask people to name a horror character from the past 30 or so years, 8 out of 10 people are guaranteed to say Freddy Krueger, he is just one of those characters you cant forget.
This was a short film directed Cédric Le Men which focuses on a lesser seen side of the whole 'Zombie Apocalypse' idea.
The short starts out with a radio broadcast alerting all those who hear it of the rise of the dead, We are then introduced to the main family, covered in the short, A doting mother and father who are trying to look after their youngest daughter who appears to be bed-ridden with some sort of fever. The father is seen looking out of the window and is soon hit by a rock which is thrown by an unknown person outside, after this attack the father rounds up his family and ushers them into a basement room to protect them from further attacks.
I won't go into the story any more than that, but I was personally quite surprised at how the film ended as I was not really expecting it.
Overall the short was very well shot and had a very strong 'Little House on the prairie' about it and is very well worth a watch if you get the opportunity.
Prior to the festival I had not had a chance to read reviews about any of the films I was going to see, so I had no pre-conceptions about what to expect from this film. In all honesty, I can't find enough good things to say about this film, 30+ films later I still feel this is one of the best, if not the best film I saw throughout the whole weekend.
The synopsis of the film sounds much like a lot of films that have come before it, a young boy with a very active imagination is terrified of monsters who live under the bed and come out whilst he is asleep, so to try to calm him down at bedtime, his mother reads him a bedtime story of his choosing, one night Samuel chooses for his mother, Amelia, to read him The Babadook, Amelia does not recognize the book, but goes ahead and starts to read the story, this seems to 'welcome' the Babadook into their home and from there on things start to take a sinister turn as roles are reversed, Amelia becomes the paranoid person and Samuel becomes the protector for the family.
If your looking for a traditional 'big fright / jump out of your seat' horror, this is not what you will get, it's a lot clever than that as the story slowly progresses (not in a boring 'when is it going to end' way though) its almost impossible to predict exactly what will happen next.
So much thought has gone into the actual Babadook book featured in the film, so much so, I actually had to use google to see if it was based on an actual book.
The acting in the film is also superb, the characters are easy to associate with, especially Samuel (played by Noah Wiseman, in his feature film debut).
Since watching the film, I have read a few reviews from people who said they almost did not bother going to watch this film because they found the trailer so boring, if your one of these people, don't pass up this opportunity to see what could well become one of the best horror/psychological films you ever get to see.