FrightFest (2020): films ranked

It was always going to be strange seeing FrightFest go digital. Not that I socialise much normally, but without the big screen, the between-film chatter and rushed pints with festival friends it surely couldn’t be the same. However, I think it’s a testimony to both the organisers and the community, that it didn’t feel all that different. Of course, a lot of the rituals took place on Twitter and Facebook, with folks sharing in-jokes and strong opinions. At times it got heated, as tends to happen when the internet’s involved, but overall, I loved it. The selection of films was maybe more mixed than any other incarnation I’ve gone to – which was to be expected, assuming creatives and their companies/ studios would instead do the big premieres in person. Still, it’s only looking at the list now that I appreciate how high the high points were (granted, the lows were darn low too). Maybe it was the hashtags often descending into ridicule – something I’d love to say I took no part in. Or maybe it was the home experience lacking the full atmosphere. But it’s only on the last day that I appreciate just how much fun I’ve had. Anyway, I know you’re not here to read about me getting sentimental. You’re here for the bottom line, the prime cuts, the cream of the crop etc. So here goes:

1. Clapboard Jungle
2. Dark Place
3. The Swerve
4. AV The Hunt
5. Triggered
6. Blind
7. Skull: The Mask
8. The Honeymoon Phase
9. The Horror Crowd
10. Blinders
11. Hall
12. Two Heads Creek
13. Enhanced
14. Playhouse
15. They’re Outside
16. I Am Lisa
17. Sky Sharks
18. Aquaslash

As per usual, festival goggles apply. But at the time of writing, the first 13 or so are very much recommendations. Comparing the final list to my expectations, some were everything I thought they’d be (for better or worse). Yet if memory serves me correctly, this year also marks the first that I’ve truly enjoyed a documentary at FrightFest – I hope you get to see Justin McConnell’s masterpiece soon. After all that he’s been through making it, the guy deserves for it to be seen. Though, being fair, so does everyone who got their movie on this year and any other. The industry is a famously tough one to break into, and an unforgiving one if you have. I love that an outlet like FrightFest exists so the makers find their audience, as the rest of us find our future favourites along with our people. Thanks once again to the fab four, and congratulations for making it run so well! Also, cheer to the rest of the team at HorrorCultFilms and, of course, you for reading. Were it not for the people who visit our site every day we’d just be scary movie geeks lonesomely typing into the ether.

You can read my FrightFest 2020 diary here, here, here and here. I also spoke to The Horror Crowd director Rubin Pla and Hall director Franceso Giannini.

About david.s.smith 418 Articles
Scottish horror fan who is simultaneously elitist and hates genre snobbery. Follow me on @horrorinatweet

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