Film Review: 7 FrightFest Movies To Watch Online

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FrightFest movies on Netflix
With FrightFest 2016 right around the corner, it seemed only fitting to kick-start the celebrations early. FrightFest is the UK's largest genre specific film festival and, since some of it's films rarely see UK distribution, I get super excited when some of my favourites pop-up online for all to see. That in mind - here's 7 stream-worthy movies that have premiered at FrightFest over the years...

Set in a small New Zealand town, Brodie (Milo Cawthorne), is an outcast at school until he meets a fellow metalhead, Zakk (James Blake) with whom he starts his own band. Desperate to escape their mundane lives and hyped up on the heavy metal way of life, their world is soon transformed by a mysterious piece of sheet music said to grant 'Ultimate Power' to whoever plays it. However, the music also summons an ancient evil entity which threatens to tear apart existence itself. As the population of their town becomes inhabited by demonic forces, Brodie and Zakk must work together to defeat the black magic they have unleashed on their otherwise quiet town. 

Drenched in bodily fluids and chainsaws, DEATHGASM is certainly not for the faint-hearted but it is utterly hilarious. In true kiwi style, the film is wonderfully directed and manages to maintain a dry yet entirely silly humour throughout in what can only be described as a heavy metal, apocalyptic gore fest. If you're a fan of New Zealand film, heavy metal and horror - this film is totally for you. DEATHGASM gets 3.5 out of 5 stars and is now available to stream on Amazon Prime. 


Created by child star, Michael Stephenson, The American Scream is a documentary which follows three families in a small seaside town in Massachusetts as they prepare for their annual home made haunted houses. Spending countless dollars to create extravagant Halloween decorations and displays, the film follows their dedicated months of planning, building and finally - opening day. However, it's not long after the clean up that they will soon start the whole process all over again for next year's festivities.

This documentary absolutely fascinated me and introduced me to a world of people truly obsessed with Halloween and all things horror in the best kind of way. Not only is a documentary film rarely seen at FrightFest, but it completely embodied everything that FrightFest fans are - completely crazy. If you're obsessed with all things Halloween and things that go bump in the night, this is the ideal film for you. The American Scream gets 3.5 out of 5 stars and, having debuted at FrightFest back in 2013, is available to stream on Netflix

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In a blend of the supernatural and psychological thrill, The Babadook is an refreshing and chilling Australian horror. Seven years after the tragic death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is struggling to cope with life as a single mother to a child with severe behavioural problems. Son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), is aggressive and suspended in his thoughts of story-time, magic tricks and monsters. When a mysterious and disturbing children's book appears on the shelf, Amelia battles with her son's fear of a monster, "The Babadook", but soon discovers a sinister presence hovering over her.

Having made it's way in to the official Top 25 horrors of the 21st century, The Babadook is certainly one to check out although it's very much a marmite movie - you'll either love it or you'll hate it. An outstanding piece of modern (and possibly feminist) horror, The Babadook gets a Sophie star rating of 4 out of 5 stars and is available for streaming on Netflix.

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If you're looking for a slightly more light-hearted scare, check out this kiwi horror with a twist. Kylie Bucknell (Morgana O'Reilly) is forced to return to her childhood home when the court places her under eight months home detention. Her punishment is made all the more unbearable by the fact she has to live with her mother - Miriam (Rima Te Wiata), a well-intentioned blabbermouth who's convinced that the house is haunted. Having dismissed Miriam's superstitions, Kylie fills her time watching trash television and eating junk food but It's not before long that she becomes privy to disturbances in the house and begins to wonder if the house is possessed by a hostile spirit who is not so pleased with her new living arrangement.

A second kiwi entry to this list is Housebound - A truly hilarious, yet also truly scary horror that I cannot boast about enough having seen it a few years ago at FrightFest in 2014. Much like DEATHGASM, Housebound is made up of dry yet witty humour but also manages to build tension and suspense throughout. Featuring many plot twists, it makes for fantastic viewing and was easily my favourite from the festival that year. Housebound gets a Sophie star rating of 4 stars and is now available on Netflix. You can also read my full review of Housebound here.

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Bex and Dawn own a tea and cake market stall in a run-down, West Yorkshire town. In the hopes of one day opening in their own shop, they meet with countless banks only to be denied a loan. However, the future looks bright when a seemingly nice guy offers to invest in their business venture but, instead, they get in way over their heads at the hands of a vicious, sleazy loan shark who makes their lives a living hell.

Directed and written by Emmerdale's own Dominic Brunt and starring his own wife, Joanne Mitchell, as Bex, comes this refreshing take on a British salvation horror. Though there is a tremendous amount of gallows humour, the true reality of it's story-line makes it all the more chilling with it's grittiness and violence adding to it only further. Bait reveals itself to be a smart and successful narrative with a deep routed message that fear and violence can change the moral perspectives of even the nicest of people. Jonathan Slinger gives an excellent performance as a human depiction of the monster and despite a few cheesy lines and hilarious special effects, this tongue-in-cheek horror, it is well worth the watch. Bait gets a Sophie star rating of 3 stars and is now available to watch on Netflix.

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In an alternate 1997, where the world is a post-apocalyptic wasteland, an orphaned teen known only as 'The Kid' (Munro Chambers) must battle a ruthless warlord (Michael Ironside) to save Apple (Laurence Leboeuf), the pink-haired girl of his dreams.

Turbo Kid pays much homage to the likes of Scott Pilgrim, the 80's B-Movie and ultimately, the Mad Max franchise as it explores a world run by a sadistic, tyrannical warlord named Zeus (Ironside); who uses a device to grind captives into water which is then used as currency. Whilst there are some scenes of utter silliness and some very horrific scenes of B Movie gore, this film is clearly made by horror nerds, for horror nerds - in the best possible way. Whilst it received very mixed reviews at the 2015 FrightFest, Turbo Kid has surely proven itself to be a cult classic and beloved by FrightFest fans alike. Turbo Kid is now available to watch on Netflix and you can see the trailer here

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Whilst Erin (Sharni Vinson) is meeting her boyfriend's parents over a long weekend, the Davison family comes under siege by a gang of mysterious masked killers. However, when their attack is proving more difficult then planned, the killers soon learn that one of the victims harbours a concealed talent for fighting back. What follows is a gore-fest and bloody battle to survive as a gang in animal masks savagely attempt to take down the family and their first time guest.

You're Next doesn't so much as play on conventions like The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2012), yet it is aware of it's genre and the dysfunctional family under siege is outrageously entertaining if you can stomach the gore. In a conventional tale of last girl standing, Erin sets out for revenge with a shocking twist which results in a hugely underrated crowd pleaser. Directed by FrightFest veteran, Adam Wingard (known for The Guest and VHS), it's no surprise that this film is wonderfully stylised and enjoyable. You're Next gets 3.5 stars and is available to stream on Netflix.
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That's it for another mass film review session. Don't forget that this year's FrightFest takes place on August 25th-29th in Shephards Bush and you can buy tickets and passes from their website, here. Of course, with Netflix and Amazon, some of you can join in the fun without even leaving the house. Have you seen any of these before? What are your favourite FrightFest films? As always, I love reading your comments so please do leave me lots of lovely ones below. 

Until next time horror fans,




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16 comments:

  1. im not much of a fan of this genre but have fun at the festival if you! :)
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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    1. Haha no I know you're not much of a horror fan. Not all FrightFest movies are scary/bloody though. One of my favourites from last year was actually a French thriller about bank robbers. Had a huge twist at the end which was great. No blood though :) Thanks hun x

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  2. I have watched a few of these, I was massively underwhelmed by You're Next (but as always found it utterly hilarious) and surprisingly impressed by Babadook, that little kid is goals. So cute! Can't wait to watch the rest of these, I am thinking a horror movie night is happening this weekend. Great post! Horror movies are everything xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

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    1. Aw really? I think it's what I call "easy viewing" horror - it's pretty funny and laid back but has a good story/easy to watch as there's no major shock or anything. Haha totally agree - thanks hun, hope you like them! xx

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  3. Thank you for bringing these to my attention Sophie :) I absolutely love You're Next.

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    1. Aww you are most welcome! If you wana see more FrightFest movies, another one on Amazon Prime from FF a few years ago is Cherry Tree :)

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  4. I am really into horror/thriller films like HUSH! It is so good, I also recommend Dream House (2011), but don't watch Dream House's Trailer.

    Laila from Townhouse Palette

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    1. Yeah HUSH is pretty much the exact sort of film I'd expect to see at FrightFest! Haha why not watch the trailer?? I'm intrigued now! x

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  5. Having only seen the Babadook & You're Next, this is a handy little list! I always forget about Fright Fest and organise something for that weekend, I need to go one year! Great post xx
    Emily
    www.thebelljarblog.com

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    1. Aw that would be amazing if you came with me one year!! I never had you down as much of horror fan but I have sooo many I can recommend you if you want :) xx

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  6. I've only seen The Babadook, but it was on my favourites from 2014, absolutely brilliant !

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  7. I really liked the Babadook. Essie Davis is very watchable; I enjoyed her role in Game of Thrones as well. It was good to see horror with a psychological emphasis. I haven't seen You're Next so I'll watch that sometime soon. From your previous recent recommendations, I thought Neon Demon was very well-crafted.

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    1. Oh I was soo happy when she popped up in Game of Thrones. She was also in a BBC special of Sweeney Todd with Ray Winstone which was amazing. I hope you like them - would love to know your thoughts! Yeah I think Neon Demon has had very mixed reviews so far but most seem to love it or hate it :)

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