Hypnosis, kidnapping and thespians! – James Whittington on Day 4 of FrightFest 2022

Sunday is usually one of the quieter days of FrightFest, to give the audience time to recover from the first three days, but this year the team ramped it up and delivered some truly memorable movies.

The day started with the dark and sinister movie Mastemah. After an accidental death during a hypnosis session, young psychiatrist Louise opens a new consultancy in a small village, where she meets Theo and is plunged into a demonic downward spiral. Twisted with just the right amount of diabolical terror this is a smart take on the possession/schizophrenia mix of genres with a cast who really do throw themselves into their roles.

A cool, dark comedy followed from the director of Rubber and Mandibles, Quentin Dupieux, Incredible But True. A couple movie into their dream house but they discover something in the basement which could change their lives forever. Part allegory of aging, part satire and part time travel (!) this is an unpredictable and inventive movie which has a lot to say about many things and leaves you wondering about life itself.

The audience had to buckle up for the insane experience known as H4Z4RD (sometimes known as just HAZARD) a truly adrenaline laced experience which left us all gasping for breath. Noah Hazard loves his car, in fact more than life itself but when his daughter is kidnapped after a dodgy deal with his cousin goes terribly wrong will he lose his life, his daughter or his gold-coloured car? Played totally straight but with huge amounts of tension, drama and some inspired drug-addled set-pieces, this is a movie which needs to be seen on the big scree with as many people watching so you can appreciate as a group just how inventive cinema can be. 

Dominic Brunt was back at FrightFest with his latest piece, a wild creature feature with sweet moments of comedy and plenty of blood, Wolf Manor. A tight production on a vampire flick in an old house in the country is interrupted when the full moon rises as well as the body count. With a smart script and a gentle and moving performance from James Fleet, this is solid entry into the werewolf line of movie proving that if you have the right cast and crew, you can still bring this genre to life. The FrightFest crowd agreed too!

The day ended with the world premiere of Ryuhei Kitamura’s, The Price We Pay. This movie of two halves first concentrates on a botched robbery and then focuses on the criminals hiding in an old barn where they have to fight to survive. Though not sounding very original this is a solid and gripping movie from the guy who gave us the equally brutal Midnight Meat Train a few years back. So expect plenty of violence, a lot of blood and plenty of tension.