Pigeon Shrine FrightFest 2024: Lineup revealed!





You can’t say this festival is getting lazy with sequels: Pigeon Shrine FrightFest is back and bigger than ever! This year the UK’s No.1 horror & fantasy film festival, will, for the first time, present its five-day extravaganza at The ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, London, taking over all seven screens, including the two ODEON Luxe West End screens. Running from Thursday August 22 – Monday 26 August, Pigeon Shrine FrightFest will showcase sixty-nine features from across the world, including twenty-five main screen premieres and forty-five Discovery Screen titles, embracing the famed ‘First Blood’ strand, the latest genre documentaries, and some exciting restorations and retrospectives. Plus, there’s the regular short-film showcase (to be announced later), panels, and some surprise 25th edition extras. This year there are twenty-eight world premieres, with eleven countries represented, spanning four continents. Passes are on sale from Sat 13 July, noon and single tickets on sale from Sat 20 July, noon.

Broken Bird

Co-director Alan Jones comments: “FrightFest, the Dark Heart of Cinema, has been beating loud and proud now for an amazing 25 years. An incredible quarter of a century that has seen major challenges and transformations to the global film industry that FrightFest has embodied, embraced and emblazoned. Our past 25 glorious years have shown FrightFest in a state of continuous evolution, something we are determined will never, ever stop. So let the 25th Anniversary FrightFest begin”. The festival opens with the World premiere of BROKEN BIRD, the directorial debut feature from actress/filmmaker Joanne Mitchell. Based on an original story by Tracey Sheals and Mitchell’s subsequent award-winning short Sybil, this is an absorbing and disturbing tale about a mortician (played brilliantly by Rebecca Calder), whose dark desires are becoming more insatiable and progressively out of control. The closing night film is the English premiere of THE SUBSTANCE, the second thrilling shocker (after Revenge) from French writer/director Coralie Fargeat. The Cannes 2024 award-winning sensation is a Visionary Feminist Body Horror starring a fearless Demi Moore as fading celebrity Elizabeth Sparkle, who uses a cell-replicating substance to temporarily create a younger, better version of herself.

The Substance

Also putting in a fearless performance is actress and singer Bella Thorne, who shines as the serial-killing teenager in the UK premiere of SAINT CLARE. FrightFest will also be showing the UK premiere of Bella’s short film UNSETTLED, her directorial debut. This year FrightFest celebrates a host of our past alumni and showcases their latest offerings. In the main screen we have BOOKWORM, which gloriously reunites the Come To Daddy team of star Elijah Wood and director Ant Timpson, AZRAEL: ANGEL OF DEATH, the wordless flesh-eating creature feature from E.L. Katz, the director of Cheap Thrills; the lean, mean jolt of true crime horror INVADER from director Mickey Keating (Psychopaths), haunted house thriller GHOST GAME, the latest from Jill Gervargizian, director of The Stylist and André Øvredal (Troll Hunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe) brings us his stunning Dracula adaptation, THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER, never shown in the UK before. Other main screen attractions include the International premieres of AN TAIBHSE (THE GHOST), the first Irish Language horror film ever made, and THE DEAD THING, a stunning neo-realist take on ‘The Invisible Man’ for the online dating era. Then there are European premieres for JT Mollner’s twisty serial-killer chiller STRANGE DARLING, A DESERT, the powerful feature debut from Joshua Erkman and COLD WALLET, a witty, cyber suspense thriller presented by Steven Soderbergh. Plus, there is a World premiere for sci-fi high of the year TEST SCREENING, and UK premieres for the twisty, engrossing DEAD MAIL, gripping Luxembourgish drama THE LAST ASHES and post-apocalyptic thriller SURVIVE.

Traumatika

Tales of supernatural terror are given contemporary twists this year with the dread-filled TRAUMATIKA, the hilarious male stripper caper MEMBER’S CLUB, with Steve Oram and Peter Andre, queer ghost story anthology HAUNTOLOGY, the visually haunting paranormal thriller SHELBY OAKS and LADYBUG, where a gay artist (Anthony Del Negro) is haunted by a homophobic serial-killer. Then there is DW Medoff’s I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU ALONE which explores personal mental health themes, and DARK MATCH, where wrestling champion Chris Jericho, comes up against some pretty hefty demons in the latest from Wolfcop director Lowell Dean. The main screen also plays host to THE INVISIBLE RAPTOR, the monster hit of this year’s FrightFest Glasgow event and genre icon Christopher Lee is intimately brought back to life in the World premiere of innovative documentary THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF CHRISTOPHER LEE. This year’s Discovery strand once again reflects the festival’s legacy in championing emerging and established voices from across the world and sees the return of many talented filmmakers discovered over the years. Graham Skipper is back with his heart-felt post-apocalyptic tale THE LONELY MAN WITH THE GHOST MACHINE, which he directs and stars in. CARNAGE FOR CHRISTMAS is another signature fun, gory shocker from 19-year-old, transgender filmmaker Alice Maio Mackay, who brought us T Blockers and Brian Hanson, director of The Black String, returns with THE BUNKER, an alien invasion shocker, which stars horror icons Tobin Bell and Tony Todd

Cara

The UK is richly represented this year with seventeen Discovery screen gems, including the World premieres of Jonathan Zaurin’s unflinching crime thriller DERELICT, CINDERELLA’S CURSE, Louisa Warren’s blood-spiling twist on a familiar fairytale, pitch-black female avenging psycho-dramas CARA and CHARLOTTE, vampire road movie BOGIEVILLE, Damon Rickard’s cat-and-mouse horror NEVER HAVE I EVER, Elliott Léon’s eerie adult fairytale THE FLIGHTS OF FANCY and Warren Dudley’s unsettling terror tale FRIGHT. Also showing, twenty-five years after its release, is a 4K restoration of Jake West’s playfully subversive vampire gore-fest RAZORBLADE SMILE. Then there is FrightFest’s First Blood strand, which continues to shine the spotlight on emerging British talent and this year there are six World firsts – Sophie Osbourn’s THE MONSTER BENEATH US, Aled Owen’s SCOPOPHOBIA, Joy Wilkinson’s 7 KEYS, Tony Burke’s PROTEIN, Benjamin Goodger’s YEAR 10 and Josephine Rose’s TOUCHDOWN. The range of documentaries on show further proves how important to film historians the genre strand has become with subjects such as exploration of tech-centric genre cinema (SO UNREAL), the rise of boutique specialty collector labels (BOUTIQUE: TO PRESERVE AND COLLECT), and the huge wealth of eaerly Millennial genre films (GENERATION TERROR). Then there is CHILDREN OF THE WICKER MAN, where Robin Hardy’s sons Justin and Dominic journey through the complex nature of independent filmmaking and fatherhood.

A Samurai in Time

There are three Discovery screens this year and the range of films on offer truly displays the rich vein of emerging global talent within the genre. From the USA we have, evil rising THE DAEMON, traumatic time-bending THE A-FRAME and THINGS WLL BE DIFFERENT, the grisly HAPPY HALLOWEEN, Dean Alioto’s THE LAST PODCAST, the unique and experimental AGATHA, Jeff Daniel Phillips trippy CURSED IN BAJA, scary Retrotech romance VIDEO VISION, hellish road movie DRIVE BACK, and the slasher maniac is back in MUTILATOR 2. Then, from Canada, there is wild creature feature SCARED SHITLESS, from Iceland the mythical haunter FROM DARKNESS, from Sweden the unholy IN THE NAME OF GOD and the tormenting DELIRIUM, and from France there is avenging thriller SCHLITTER: EVIL IN THE WOODS and Aurélia Mengin’s shocking visual extravaganza SCARLET BLUE. From Japan we have the kiss-ass, time-altering A SAMURAI IN TIME and, to celebrate its 40th Anniversary, there is a screening of MERMAID LEGEND, a rare exploitation cult movie that has never played any film festival outside of its native Japan.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Finally, FrightFest has once again teamed up with Warner Bros to celebrate the 40th anniversary of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Wes Craven’s classic shocker that re- energised the teens-in-terror stalk-and-slash cycle and proved getting a good night’s sleep can severely damage your health. The festival guest line-up and full details for the Short Film Showcases and other events will be revealed soon. As usual I’ll be covering it for this site and can’t wait to be back. I hope you join me for the ride.

Passes are on sale from Sat 13 July, noon, single tickets on sale from Sat 20 July, noon

For more information about these films visit the FrightFest website or follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Who are Pigeon Shrine?
Pigeon Shrine is a boutique technology studio and the founders of AiMation Studios. The company is the brainchild of Tom Paton, Nicole Bartlett & Max Sweiry, working alongside industry finance veterans Steve Mosley, Jamie McLeod-Ross & Charley McDougall, to bring a unique vision for the future of entertainment production to life.

What is FrightFest?
Dubbed “the Woodstock of Gore” by director Guillermo Del Toro, FrightFest, set up in 2000, has grown in size and stature since its cult roots at the Prince Charles Cinema and today is internationally renowned for discovering exciting and original horror fantasy genre films and for supporting the talent behind them, helping to launch the careers of such directors as Simon Rumley, Christopher Smith, Eli Roth, Ti West, Neil Marshall and Simon Hunter. Over the years the festival directors, Greg Day, Alan Jones, Paul McEvoy and Ian Rattray, have developed FrightFest into a brand leader for horror film, expanding its footprint in the UK by hosting special events throughout the year and joining forces with the Glasgow Film Festival, where they run an established three-day event. They have teamed up with FAB Press to publish a series of ‘The FrightFest Guide To…’ books and have an exclusiv partnership with Signature Entertainment to release films under the festival’s thriving label ‘FrightFest Presents’. You can catch the documentary FRIGHTFEST: BENEATH THE DARK HEART OF CINEMA on Amazon.

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About david.s.smith 459 Articles
Scottish horror fan who is simultaneously elitist and hates genre snobbery. Follow me on @horrorinatweet

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