FrightFest was great fun, as expected. Best bits were: an Irish short called The Ten Steps, which was the best film, full stop, of the entire weekend; Land of the Dead; P (a Thai horror directed by Paul Spurrier, a Brit); Antibodies (German serial killer thriller); Dead Meat (Irish zombie comedy); Wild Country (Scottish drama featuring troubled teens and werewolves); Dominion (Paul Schraeder's original take on the prequel to The Exorcist, before they fired him for not making a shitty CGI teenfest, and hired Renny Harlin); Born to Fight (or "Let's Maim Every Thai Stuntman Over 90 Minutes" - no CGI or wirework, just lots of fucking incredible fights and stunts); and Wolf Creek (very cool and nasty Aussie horror, let down slightly by some silly horror movie logic). Dead Meat, Wolf Creek and Wild Country were extremely low budget, but highly entertaining. Some other low budget movies were absolute rubbish, though. I won't name names, but here's a quick shout out to any low budget writers or directors about to make their first feature: "everyone gets killed" is not a proper ending in itself. Please, please, please work out your story first, have an ending that makes some sort of sense (even if you don't reveal it on screen), and if your movie is primarily dialogue, it better be some seriously fucking good dialogue. Oh, and writers? Don't direct your first film. And directors? Don't write your first film. There are exceptions to all these rules, obviously, but you are probably not one of them. If you're going to spend all your savings, get everyone you know together for a week, and alienate your family by covering their house in fake blood - make sure the script is as good as it can be. The script is the one part you don't have to spend anything on but time. So get it right.
The night we got home, we watched the Renny Harlin version of The Exorcist prequel. As expected, it was muck. Absolute muck. But fascinating to see both movies, to compare which bits were used in both, what parts were different, and so on. Last night we saw Unleashed, which was surprisingly good - brutal, grim, but also sweet and touching. Kickass fight scenes, too.