A film, food, travel & lifestyle blog by Sophie Elizabeth

31 August 2014

Film Event: Film4 Fright Fest Part II

Back again for my second instalment covering my time at the Film4 Fright Fest 2014 event. Since I couldn't quite fit it all in during my last post, this one will be a few more highlights, photos and some more reviews from the day. So here is a run down of some of the smaller budget films...

Preservation (Christopher Denham, 2014) ***

Known best for his roles in Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010) and Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012), Christopher Denham takes to the director's chair for the second time for this horror-thriller. Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black, The Wire), Aaron Staton (Mad Men), and Wrenn Schmidt (Boardwalk Empire) star as brothers Sean and Mike Neary, along with Mike's wife - Wit. The three set out in to the wilderness to relive their youth as they go hunting at an abandoned nature reserve to escape work and troubles back home. Ignoring the "closed" sign outside the reserve, the threesome enter further in to woods but their troubles are only just beginning when they wake up to find all their gear and equipment stolen, leaving them stranded and left to turn on one another.

Having been recently discharged from the army, the couple are convinced that Sean is playing a sick game amongst his PTSD madness but in a bizarre twist, the narratives takes a turn in to a story of fight or flight within a teen, tech-obsessed society and in the wilderness where it is kill or be killed.  

Beautifully shot and a well executed take on an otherwise typical narrative structure, Christopher Denham proves himself to be a true cinematographer in his story of survival and redemption. Preservation gets a Sophie star rating of 3 stars and a thumbs up to Denham, I look forward to seeing more of his films in the future. 

Late Phases (Adrian Garcia Bogliano, 2014) **

Spainish director, Adrian Garcia Bogliano, makes his English-speaking-film debut with Late Phases, a werewolf horror flick with a difference. Ambrose (Nick Damici), a widower and blind war veteran is moved in to a seemingly idyllic retirement community by his son, Will (Ethan Embry) only to find all is not well within the secluded neighbourhood.  With  beloved his seeing-eye dog, Shadow,  at his side, Ambrose is quick to realise that Crescent Bay is under threat from werewolves after his neighbour is brutally murdered by a beast. With just one month to go before the next full moon, he prepares himself for the beast to strike again.

Horror buffs will certainly be divided on this one. On one hand you have a likably old-fashioned, stylised monster movie but on another you have a slow-building unveiling of a cringe-worthy creature design that can only be taken with a pinch of salt. Overall it appeared that the director had little eye for detail as the HD exposed the poor makeup, revealing a much younger actor playing a OAP, worsened by a shirtless shot that uncovers his blatantly younger torso. Furthermore, there was little development of the retirement community or of the other characters which leaves a lot to be desired.  At first glance, I was unsure whether to take the film seriously but following the Q&A with the director, it seemed that he was utterly serious. That being the case, Late Phases gets a Sophie star rating of 2 stars. 

And so this concludes my time at the 2014 Fim4 Fright Fest, I'll leave you with some more snaps from the day and hope to go again next year! 

Q&A session with director Adrian Garcia Bogliano 
Sneaky pic of horror legend, Robert Englund, before the screening of his new movie, The Last Showing
Preservation Screening in the Horror Channel Screen

Introduction with actress Maika Monroe (The Guest, The Bling Ring)
A fun photo op
Cheeky toilet selfie between screenings!

Quickly just wanted to say thank you for all the recent support with my blog. I've had lots of emails inviting me to events and been sent some amazing clothes to put on here and I'm super grateful so thanks very much. I love it, please keep them coming!



  1. Looks like you had an awesome time, some great films too! Thanks for the coverage

    Follow my twitter if you like my film reviews!

    1. Thanks again. The whole thing was great, I'd definitely recommend it if you ever get a chance to go!


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