Total films seen so far this year: 297
Films seen in the last week: Total Recall, The Myth of the American Sleepover, [REC 3]: Genesis, Keith Lemon: The Film, Eurocrime, Paura 3D, Under the Bed, Tulpa, Maniac, The Thompsons, Sleep Tight, American Mary, After, Chained, The Possession, Dredd, The Sapphires, Hysteria
FILM OF THE WEEK: BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO
Trailerwatch: Seven Psychopaths (Red Band trailer)
Seven Psychopaths is writer-director Martin McDonagh's long-awaited follow-up to In Bruges. It stars Colin Farrell as screenwriter Marty, who gets drawn into the Los Angeles underworld after his dopey small-time crook friends (Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken) kidnap a Shih Tzu dog belonging to a vicious gangster (Woody Harrelson).
Clearly there's a lot more to the film than is on display in the trailer, because, for one thing, I only count four psychopaths (Tom Waits' Zacariah Rigby is one of them), assuming that Colin Farrell's character is exempt from psychopath status. Still the trailer makes it look like a lot of fun and it's good to see a film finally putting Sam Rockwell's comedy skills centre stage again – he's been stuck with thankless support roles for too long now. The trailer isn't full of quite as much quality swearing as its NSFW red band designation would have you believe, but it's worth watching for Walken's twitchy outburst of “No fucking cops!” at the end and Farrell's “Well, that's just FUCKING GREAT!” freak-out at the 1m18s mark.
The imdb cast list promises that both Abbie Cornish and Olga Kurylenko are in the film (perhaps they are psychopaths five and six?), but you'd never know that from the trailer – I can't quite tell if the woman at 0m18s is Cornish or not, but I'm guessing it isn't. Also conspicuously absent from the trailer is everyone's favourite psychopath Zeljko Ivanek and if I was a betting man, he'd be my guess for psychopath number seven. (Highlight of the latest Bourne movie: the surprise reinforcement of the adage “Never trust Zeljko Ivanek”).
No confirmed UK release date for Seven Psychopaths yet, but hopefully it won't be too far away. Is its inclusion at the London Film Festival too much to hope for? We'll find out on Wednesday, when the programme is announced.
So, another FrightFest has come and gone (FrightFest the 13th, no less) and it's time for the annual post-mortem and general round-up. While the general feeling was that the overall line-up wasn't quite as strong as in previous years, they did at least manage to get in a good balance of material (FrightFest 2010, for example, didn't have a single comedy), with several comedies and documentaries scattered amongst the more traditional nasty stuff.
I actually only saw eleven films at the festival this year (twelve if you count the press screening of [Rec 3]: Genesis, which was on the Friday), which is rather poor compared to the seventeen I saw last year. However, my overall FrightFest total is 20, if you count the four films I saw in Edinburgh (Berberian Sound Studio, V/H/S, Grabbers and Guinea Pigs), as well as the five films I saw at press screenings beforehand (Cockneys vs Zombies, Stitches, Sinister, Tower Block, REC3).
I count myself rather lucky this year in that, not having a pass or tickets for everything as I've had in previous years, I ended up missing out on some of the worst films there – nothing I heard about films like The Seasoning House, The Inside or Hidden in the Woods has persuaded me to check them out in the future, for example, with several people citing them as some of the worst films they've ever seen (and not in a good way).
There was also a general feeling that perhaps there was a little too much misogyny and general nastiness up on screen this year and, for FrightFest, that's really saying something. Still, the festival did throw up its usual diet of treats in the form of trailers (I can't wait to see Bait 3D), specially filmed promos and on-stage interviews.
Highlights included Paul Davis' very funny short Him Indoors (starring Reece Shearsmith) and a great on-stage interview with effects guru Greg Nicotero, who was given a FrightFest Lifetime Award.
The guest line-up was pretty impressive this year too, with several film-makers sticking around to watch other people's films (this almost never happens at festivals). However, the undisputed highlight of FrightFest 2012 – for me and pretty much everyone who met them – was the attendance of Jen and Sylvia Soska (aka The Soska Twins), whose film American Mary was one of the undisputed hits of the festival. I also got to meet American Mary star Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps), so that was nice. As for the film's themselves, my FrightFest Top Five is as follows:
1. Sleep Tight (terrific Spanish stalker chiller starring Luis Tosar)
2. Berberian Sound Studio
3. American Mary (the Soska Twins)
5. A tie between documentary Eurocrime and Jennifer Lynch's Chained
Special mentions to: Cockneys vs Zombies, [REC 3]: Genesis, V/H/S, Maniac and The Possession. I've also heard brilliant things about We Are The Night, which I intend to watch very soon indeed.