Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Interview with Andrew P. Jones - Director of "Darkness Reigns"

Did you write the film as a vehicle for Casper Van Dien or did you simply realize, looking back, that he was the best man for the job?

We looked for a celebrity actor who would play himself and have fun doing it.  That takes a special kind of actor who can push his own ego aside and just go along for the ride.  Casper was perfect for that because he’s such a talented, fun, and incredibly nice human being which is important on a low budget set where the creature comforts are very limited compared to those you might find on larger productions.

Do you recall how and where you pitched Casper the movie?

I like to meet and socialize with my “name” actors before I cast them to see I how it will be working with them, especially since with "Darkness" we would be in a closed, haunted, old hotel with no air-conditioning, in Missouri, in the middle of August.  So, our casting director set up a meeting at a restaurant with Casper and his fiancé Jennifer Wenger, my wife and producing partner Linara Washington, and myself.  And we all really hit it off,  like we’d known each other for years.  I knew right then that Jennifer, who is well known in the horror genre, was perfect for the role of Rebecca Long, the movie star.  And I knew Casper would have a great attitude and sense of humor about playing himself.  And in fact, that friendship has continued now nearly two years later and I can't wait to work with them both again.

Did Casper struggle with anything on it? Did he make any suggestions to improve scenes? 

Casper is not only an actor, but an accomplished director, so he knew what I was dealing with and did everything he could to make my job easier and keep things light and fun.  He is the consummate cheerleader on set and makes the entire crew feel good.

Is he the type of actor that tends to stay in character between takes? Which, in this case, means he simply stayed… himself? 

Casper was playing a slightly surrealistic version of himself, or as we joke - an “asshole” version, which he had a lot of fun with.  He’s been acting a very long time and has the ability to slip in and out of character with no problem, whatsoever.  He is a lot of fun on set.

Do you click on and off easily after shooting a film? How did you personally wind down after shooting?

There is very little “wind down” time for me on my movies because I go right into post.  I give myself maybe a week to unwind but then, honestly I can’t wait to start editing because that's when the real work starts.

Tell us how many hats you wear in this movie. A lot, right?

I have worked in film and TV for over thirty years now, and I started my career doing special effects – puppets, makeup effect, miniatures etc.  So, with my films I do wear a lot of hats; writer, producer, director, editor, sound designer, sometimes I score - but not on this one, and I help out with a lot of the makeup effects.

What’s the best thing about being a producer on your own movie? I imagine it means you get more say at the table?

As my own producer I have no push-back.  I have no one telling me "no."  I do surround myself with other producers who I bounce things off of, and who once we’re in production, allow me to just be creative and thankfully they take on the headaches.

And finally, just how haunted was the place you shot the movie in? Even if it isn’t, I imagine nobody will be willing to step one-foot into it now!

One of the really uncanny things about making this film was that there were many things that happened in the script that also ended up happening in real life. Even Casper at one point said, “be careful what you write, you’re really powerful.”  The script originally was written to be in a hospital, but we couldn’t find one that worked, and then we found an old hotel that was closed, so it was an easy re-write to set it there. 

It turned out the hotel was, in fact, thought to be haunted and many people who used to work there had all kinds of experiences, many of which were similar to things that had already been written into the script.  As these things kept revealing themselves, the crew was getting increasingly nervous since there we were making a horror movie about a film crew making a horror movie in a haunted location – and everyone dies.  I had written a running gag about Casper’s flight getting messed up and guess what?  His flight was horribly messed up the night before he was to begin working and it was a miracle he made it to location.  There was a long list of “coincidences” that were unnerving to say the least.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018




After the success of last year's inaugural 'New Blood' search for new writers in the horror genre, the hunt is on for another batch of scribes to cook up a potent cauldron of original ideas and devilish tales. And the search starts today!


New Blood 2 finds FrightFest once again teamed with Giles Edwards of Queensbury Pictures, which aims to find new writers and nurture their project from script to screen.


One of last year's entries, thriller BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION, is now in pre-production, and is one of Queensbury Pictures' first titles out of the traps. Written by Phil Drinkwater and Tim Woodall, it will be directed by Jacob Gentry (The Signal, Syncronicity).


Giles Edwards of Queensbury Pictures said: "2017's edition of New Blood threw up a slew of vibrant, bold and riotously diverse pitches. But the hunt for great material doesn't pause for breath. Projects that strive to enthral critically, perform commercially and that will entice a global audience hungry for thrilling new voices in the realm of fiercely entertaining genre cinema: that's the hallmark of Queensbury Pictures and of New Blood."

Ian Rattray, co-director of FrightFest commented: "The fact that Queensbury Pictures have taken last year's winning entry to the stage where it is about to go into production vindicates our decision to partner up with them again. It's not only an exciting venture but also an important one to help discover and nurture new talent"


Greg Day, co-director of FrightFest added: "What's so exciting about this initiative is that it allows talented UK-based writers to interface with a US-based production company and get invaluable feedback and encouragement, knowing that it comes with a state-side commercial sensibility which is complimentary to the further development of their scripts."


The successful shortlisted applicants will workshop their ideas in a group setting under the guidance of top industry professionals and genre experts which this year includes BAFTA-nominated UK producer Jack Tarling (God's Own Country; Await Further Instructions) who is joined again by horror icon Barbara Crampton, director (The Ranger) and producer (Psychopaths) Jenn Wexlerand Queensbury Pictures' Giles Edwards. 


The New Blood networking and workshop event will be held at on Thursday 23rd August, the opening day of this year's festival, in a Central London venue


Applications are open from Wed 4 July with potential participants asked to submit a 200 word proposal through Film Freeway. The deadline is Thurs 2 August.  All successful applicants will be notified by Mon 9 August.  All participants are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation.


For full application requirements and to apply:

Interview with Andrea Mugnaini

Ouija Séance : Origin of Evil filmmaker Andrea Mugnaini explains that she’s always been fascinated with the world of the paranormal.

How long have you been on the film for now, Andrea? 

I was 19 when I was attending the first year of “science of communication” at the University of Florence. In the café of the University there was an advertising poster of a local film school that often caught my attention. I decided to go and take a look, a few months later I shot my first short film and now that I’m 36 I’m still shooting.

Was it an idea you came up with?

Yes, I’ve always been very fascinated by the world of paranormal since I was a child.
Once, at a dinner party, I had the opportunity to chat with a girl who had personally experienced a Ouija session that had gone wrong. She was really shocked by the incident and her story struck me deeply. I few days later I started writing the script.

Where did you get inspiration from?

After the first chat with the girl at the dinner party I interview many other people. I wanted to speak with different people to observe as many points of view as possible regarding this phenomenon. So, during the first year of researches, I spoke with people of different nationalities, ages, religion, culture, and social status. The amazing thing is that their stories were all very similar despite the big differences of the interviewees.

Did you have to do any research into the world of Ouija boards and communicating with the afterlife?

To get a more scientific opinion on this phenomenon I also wanted to talk with a couple of psychologists. I was very happy to find out that one of them had a direct experience with a Ouija board. It was not easy to convince him to talk about his personal experience but in the end the information I gathered was very important for the development of the script.

What were your initial plans for it? To sell it to a studio or did you always intend of doing it independently? 

I always intended to do it independently, from the beginning of the project, in order to maintain control over the film artistically and productively.

Any hiccups along the way?

When you shoot an indie movie it’s very normal to get some hiccups along the way I guess. In any phase of production we encountered some problems, sometimes bigger sometimes smaller but I must say I got an incredible crew for this project and all together we have solved all the issues. In particular I’m very grateful to Monica Sperandio, the executive producer, without her this project would have hardly seen the light… she always found the right syrup for each type of hiccups.

How did you go about getting distribution?

After the long phase of postproduction I went to “Le Marché du film” during the Cannes Film Festival. Was my first time there cause “Ouija Séance” was my first movie produced for an international distribution and everything was a new discovery for me. So I filled my backpack with an hard disk containing the movie, a PDF of the project and a lot of hope. This is when I met Galen Christy, the founder of High Octane Pictures. We were in tune from the beginning  and I loved his enthusiasm and his ideas about the distribution of OUIJA SÉANCE . I’m very happy to have chosen High Octane Pictures and very proud to have been chosen by them.

Some beautiful locations there. Which city was it shot in?

The movie is set in Italy, my wonderful Country,  and more precisely in Florence and Vallombrosa, an amazing ancient forest not too far from the town. Vallombrosa translated means literally shady valley and it’s a place with an unique atmosphere. It’s an area rich of legends and folklore so it was the perfect location to set my movie. Despite the difficulties to shoot in a place with practically no streets, no electric energy, no hotels or restaurants within many miles, I really wanted to capture that atmosphere with my camera.
Also, the Villa where it takes place a big part of the movie it’s been the witness of a brutal murder back in the 80’s and I could breath some kind of energy there.. hard to explain, but definitely that was the perfect location for my movie.

If you were going to watch Ouija Séance : The Final Game in a double feature with another film, what would you consider be a perfect second film?

The perfect second film would be “Profondo Rosso” by Dario Argento, probably the best Italian horror film director. “Profondo rosso” means “deep red” and despite the fact that it’s been released more than 40 years ago it’s still very modern in its language. I think that this movie deeply influenced me and increased my passion for horror genre. The use he does of music it’s incredible and I think that it’s a must see for all the horror fans.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Arrow Video FrightFest 2018 announces record-breaking 19th year line-up.

Remaining in the heart of London’s West End for its 19th edition, the world renowned horror and fantasy film festival turbo-charges into the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema from Aug 23 - Aug 27 2018. Hosting a record-breaking seventy films, embracing eighteen countries and spanning six continents, this year’s line-up is a true celebration of the genre’s global popularity. The five-day fear-a-thon includes 20 World, 17 European and 22 UK Premieres.

The opening night attraction is the UK premiere of THE RANGER. Jenn Wexler’s impressive directorial debut feature is an explosive, post-modern slasher, with a kick-ass punk soundtrack and a knock-out lead performance from Chloe Levin (The Transfiguration). Wexler, the first female director to open FrightFest, will be attending.

She said today: “We are honored and thrilled to be selected as this year’s opening night film. I made THE RANGER because I love punk rock and ‘80s horror. We can’t wait to share it with fans in the city where punk has its roots, at one of the world’s best genre festivals."

Bringing the festival to a fitting conclusion is the UK premiere of Gaspar Noé’s CLIMAX, courtesy of our headline sponsors Arrow Video, which finds the incorrigible Irreversible wild child at the peak of his confrontational and hypnotically mesmerising powers. Based on true events, this throbbing whirling dervish is Noé’s Disco Inferno via Dante’s.

Over the years FrightFest has discovered and nurtured a host of talented directors and many are returning this year including Martyrs maestro Pascal Laugier with the UK premiere of his latest in the French Extreme annals INCIDENT IN A GHOST LAND, Paul Hyett with the World premiere of his medieval harrower HERETIKS, Colin Minihan with the UK premiere of romantic shocker WHAT KEEPS YOU ALIVE. Padraig Reynolds with the World premiere of his neo-slasher OPEN 24 HOURS and the fully-charged Turbo Kid trio François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell bring us the European premiere of serial killer thriller SUMMER OF 84. Then there are World premieres for the Paz brothers scorching new take on the fable THE GOLEM, Tom Paton’s cosmic horror BLACK SITE, and Jon Knautz’s THE CLEANING LADY, starring his Goddess of Love muse Alexis Kendra.

Plus, the line-up sees Saw maven Darren Lynn Bousman return with the European premiere of nunsploitation ST AGATHA, Insidious creator Leigh Whannell gifts us with a special preview of his super sci-fi thriller UPGRADE, Johnny Kervorkian appears with the European premiere of his Cronenbergian chiller AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS, Rock video genius Joseph Kahn in back in the spotlight with the UK premiere of his extraordinary battle rap BODIED, director-turned-producer Lucky McKee with director Robert D. Krzykowski’s presents the European premiere of the superb THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT, with Hollywood veteran Sam Elliott giving an award-winning performance.

This year there are a record number of films, embracing zombie horror comedies, redemption thrillers, supernatural twisters, musicals, creature features, biographical dramas, reinvented slashers, gross animation and paranormal freakery. FrightFest has aimed to reflect that rich diversity with films such as Jerome Pikwane’s supernatural horror TOLKOLOSHE, the first festival entry from South Africa, which receives its World Premiere, John McPhail’s exuberant zombie musical ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE, the UK premiere of Mike Mort’s gory animated shocker CHUCK STEEL: NIGHT OF THE TRAMPIRES. Caye Casas and Albert Pintó’s end of the world eye-opener KILLING GOD, Paul Raschid’s post-Brexit thriller WHITE CHAMBER, starring Shauna Macdonald and. Takeshi Sone’s LGBTQ stunner GHOST MASK: SCAR.

Then there is Matthew Holness’ much anticipated POSSUM, Jérémie Guez’s blazing A BLUEBIRD IN MY HEART, Andy Mitton’s unusual THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW, Linus de Paoli’s gut-wrenching A YOUNG MAN WITH HIGH POTENTIAL, Chris Sun’s Oz creature feature BOAR, Justin P. Lange’s intensely moving THE DARK, Evan Cecil’s splatterific LASSO, Owen Egerton’s bloody cheeky BLOOD FEST, Anthony Scott Burn’s sinister OUR HOUSE, Dominique Rocher’s galvanizing THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD, Adam Marcus’ slay ride SECRET SANTA, Dean Devlin’s grueling BAD SAMARITAN, starring David Tennant, Trevor Stevens’ slyly futuristic ROCK STEADY ROW, Justin McConnell’s remarkable shape-shifting LIFECHANGER, Owen Long’s dark fantasy SEEDS, Nicolas Pesce’s Italian soundtack-tastic PIERCING and Franck Ribière’s stylish Grand Guignol recreation THE MOST ASSASSINATED WOMAN IN THE WORLD.

The cabinet of fear holds more…be prepared for Orson Oblowitz’s splatter revenge saga HELL IS WHERE THE HOME IS, starring Faruza Balk, Quinn, Lasher’s nightmarish HE’S OUT THERE, starring The Handmaid’s Tale’s Yvonne Strahovski, Tim van Dammen’s dimensionally hilarious MEGA TIME SQUAD, David Barker’s De Palma-esque PIMPED, Shin'ichirô Ueda’s one-take wonder ONE CUT OF THE DEAD, Giordano Giulivi’s black-and-white marvel THE LAPLACE’S DEMON, Abiel Bruhn and John Rocco’s three mothers saga THE NIGHT SITTER, Matt Mercer and Mike Testin’s unstable DEMENTIA PART II, Stewart Sparke’s action-packed BOOK OF MONSTERS, Sam Ashurst’s experimental 200-anniversary celebration FRANKENSTEIN’S CREATURE, Kristian A. Söderström’s tribute to VHS collectors everywhere VIDEOMAN, Marcus Hearn’s beautifully informative documentary HAMMER HORROR: THE WARNER BROS YEARS, Andre Gower’s look at The Monster Squad cult phenomenon, WOLFMAN’S GOT NARDS. Ante Novakovic’s Halloween-set crowd-pleaser actually titled FRIGHT FEST and there’s murder on the dance floor in Bernhard Pucher’s nightclubbed RAVERS, starring Georgia Hirst from Vikings.

The popular raw talent strand ‘First Blood’ returns with four stellar titles: Kevin Chicken’s outstanding body modification shocker PERFECT SKIN, Aislinn Clark’s THE DEVIL’S DOORWAY, a terrifying depiction of devil possession, Harry Lindley’s computer virus techno thriller CTRL and Ben Kent’s F.U.B.A.R, which sees a stag party descend on a Zombie Apocalypse paintball weekend. What could go wrong? Here’s where you’ll find tomorrow’s names today, so good talent-spotting.

Another of FrightFest’s popular discovery strands is our spotlight on South American fantasy and this year highlights the scream of the crop. The one title that is currently scaring up a storm is Demian Rugna’s TERRIFIED, (you will be!). Then there’s the European premiere of Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano’s homage to Dario Argento, CRYSTAL EYES, the UK premiere of Gonzalo Calzada’s Argentine hit LUCIFERINA and the UK premiere of Gustavo Leonel Mendoza’s CULT OF TERROR, an engaging documentary look at all the Latin American and Spanish-speaking fantasy festivals.

In 2008 FrightFest world-premiered Kerry Anne Mullaney’s The Dead Outside and since then have consistently championed female directors. This year is no exception. Apart from Jenn Wexler’s THE RANGER and Anouk Whissell’s involvement with SUMMER OF 84, we also showcase the European premiere of Mitzi Peirone’s visually dazzling BRAID, the European premiere of Aislinn Clark’s THE DEVIL’S DOORWAY (one of our ‘First Blood’ entries) and, by popular demand, a second screening of Issa López’s stunning Mexican fairytale TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID. Nor must we forget Veronika Franz, Katrin Gebbe and Agnieszka Smoczynska’s wonderful contributions to the Euro-fable anthology THE FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL, which receives its UK premiere.

No FrightFest would be complete without a couple of shockers starring our First Lady of Fright, the incomparable Barbara Crampton. This year, everyone’s favourite genre icon is represented by the European premiere of Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund’s fabulous reboot PUPPET MASTER: THE LITTLEST REICH and the UK premiere of Brad Baruh’s weird, wild and blood-soaked DEAD NIGHT.

Casting a truth-searing spotlight on FrightFest itself is Chris Collier’s documentary FRIGHTFEST: BENEATH THE DARK HEART OF CINEMA, which will receive its World premiere. Assembling a vast range of footage from every single past event and putting together dozens of interviews, the result is a warts-and-all look at the people behind FrightFest and what makes the UK’s best genre festival tick.

For many seasoned movie-lovers the much-missed Scala Cinema in London’s King’s Cross area was the repertory Mecca for the weirdest double-bills and electric audience atmospheres.  It was also where Shock Around The Clock began, the origins of FrightFest Now fans can relive those golden days with a double-bill of classic exploitation chosen by the veteran programmer of the establishment herself, Jane Giles. Her book on the venue will be published in September by FAB Press and to celebrate FrightFest and Jane Giles will present Jeff Lieberman’s pulp science fiction BLUE SUNSHINE and Julien Temple’s Sex Pistols documdrama THE GREAT ROCK’N’ROLL SWINDLE, both to be shown in 35mm.

For your ears only! In a first for FrightFest, director Roxanne Benjamin (XX, Southbound) presents an exclusive screening of FINAL STOP, a must-hear horror short produced by Sennheiser and starring Phoebe Tonkin (The Originals). Shot entirely on smartphone, and recorded in full binaural audio using the AMBEO Smart Headset, the film is designed to be watched with headphones (which will be supplied), so audiences can immerse themselves in the story and its terrifying 3D soundscape.

There will also be a special screening of GHOST STORIES where co-writers/co-directors Jeremy Dyson and star Andy Nyman will host a live commentary and The Duke Mitchell Film Club is back with a hosted presentation of Sam Jones’ documentary LIFE AFTER FLASH. This is followed by the now notoriously popular DUKE MITCHELL PARTY, where the audience and invited special guests can expect all manner of madness guaranteed to kick off your Saturday late night in style.

Alan Jones, co-director of FrightFest, said today: “We have celebrated the astonishing vibrancy of this truly independent genre for nineteen years now, and our audience knows that over five joyous days with us they will experience being jolted, shocked, saddened, terrified, provoked, transported, challenged and even transformed. So come and join us on another fabulous voyage of discovery into places many except the bravest FrightFester won’t go”.

He added: “A lot has happened over the past twelve months in the world of horror fantasy. Fueled by a number of head-line grabbing, Oscar-winning, box-office hits, the mainstream thinks it has ‘discovered’ horror in a big way. But the ever-expanding FrightFest community have always known that Horror fantasy has forever been slap-bang centre-stage, and is finally getting the recognition the consistently money-making genre deserves”.

This year’s guest list, special events and the Short Film Showcase entries will all be announced in the coming weeks.

Festival passes will go on sale Sat 30 June at noon and will only be available to buy online:

Single tickets will go on sale on Sat 21 July from 9am.

Interview with Linara Washington

Linara Washington plays Vanessa, the special effects and makeup artist working on the film within the film in Darkness Reigns, on VOD July 10. In this exclusive interview Washington explains how she got into acting, how her character becomes the moral compass of her new movie and how it was working with Andrew P.Jones.

1. First off, how'd you get into acting?

I’ve always loved the arts. My parents putt my sisters and me in dance classes and had us playing instruments—I started the violin when I was five—at every turn. My first play was TO BE YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK when I was four years old.  I was fascinated with tv and films from a very young age and took to putting on whole shows in my bedroom with my stuffed animals. I always knew I wanted to act.

I was, however, also very good at math and science, and despite my parents openness to having me take all sorts of artsy classes they had no desire to have me pursue acting. It took the summer after my third year of college to finally have the courage to do something about this passion I had. So I took the money my father gave me for my MCATs and I bought headshots. Come graduation day, I had to tell him that I had not applied to any medical schools, and that I’d taken his money and purchased headshots. Needless to say, he wasn’t very happy.

It took a minute, but he finally came around and is my biggest supporter. I haven’t looked back since.

2. Tell us about your character in DARKNESS REIGNS? 

Vanessa is the makeup and special effects artist for the film. She is a quiet, mind her own business kind of girl. She enjoys a challenge and prefers to work on her own whenever possible. It allows her to be around a lot of people without having to interact with a whole lot of people all the time. Being in the limelight or the center of attention is really uncomfortable for her. But as the film progresses she rises to the occasion and finds an inner strength that I don’t think she knew she had. In many ways she becomes the moral compass of the movie as it reaches it’s end.

3. The movie is full of great effects How is it acting/working with something that has to be inserted later in post-production? 

I find it really exciting when I have to do something that presents an unusual challenge for me as an actor. Some of the best work comes in those moments when I have to actually imagine what the terrifying thing is instead of outright seeing it. It’s a little tricky because it takes a level of trust between the director and the actors that neither one is going to let the other one down. I can react as big or as small as is needed, but it’s the directors job is to make sure my reactions match with what will finally be put in once the effects are done. I think these moments also allowed me to stretch my imagination, which is obviously not as necessary when you get to see what the terrifying thing is in the moment.

4. It also has a lot of action in it. How demanding is a role like this because things can get pretty physical at times?

I’m an actor who loves action and being put in awkward and crazy positions. I would LOVE to do a movie that requires me to learn to do my own stunts.  DARKNESS had a fair amount of running up and down stairs and hallways, and because of the way we were filming there were few—if any opportunities to mess up without having to start all over again. We definitely got our workout in, and the sweltering heat certainly added to challenge.

If I had to speak to what was most demanding about this role for me, it would be playing producer at the same time. There’d be times when I was in the makeup chair learning lines, while also sending a PA out on an errand, and trying to make sure that each of the departments had enough petty cash to get through the day. This set kept me on my toes! Oh, did I mention that my child, who was still nursing, was also on set from time to time? Yeah! Crazy, busy times for Linara.

5. Tell us about working with Andrew, on a professional level?

Andrew and I work very well together. As producing partners we have a really nice balance.  I like doing the math, crunching numbers and money stuff while he, in addition to the writing, gets to work on putting together all the creative teams and scouting needs. Once we’re on set he directs and I act. He’s a good director in that he knows what he wants and can convey to his actors what he needs pretty succinctly.  He works quickly because as an editor he already knows what the final shot is going to look like, which can be a real plus when you’re on a tight schedule and budget.

I am an actor who takes direction really well. I enjoy bringing another person’s vision to life. I also enjoy playing, and taking risks. Andrew, as a director allows for both. It’s a pretty nice setup, really.

6. You've gotten a lot of positive attention with the film. Has that helped your career too?

I’ve been really lucky to be involved in a number of well-received projects. Every little bit helps and it certainly doesn’t hurt that a lot of the attention has been positive.

7. What's up next for you? Next movie to be released?  

My goal is to book my first series regular role on a TV show. I’ve been getting close, so it’s just a matter of more hard work, time, and opportunity. Aside from that, Andrew and I are working on a couple of films, and I have a pilot that’s been swimming around in my head for forever that I would like to write.

8. Do you have time for any hobbies?

I have a number of hobbies, but if anything takes away from getting to indulge in them it’s being a full-time mommy. I love my kid and want to give her the world.

So, when I do have time I love to dance and hike. I enjoy going to the library and bookstores. I’ve been really out of practice when it comes to writing, but that is a hobby I’d like to recultivate. I have so many ideas and it would be a shame to just let them live in my head.

9. Do you do conventions/comic-cons? 

I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to do conventions and comic-con one day. Who do I talk with to make that happen?!

10. Where can we find you online?
Twitter: @linara
Instagram: @linarawashington
Facebook: @linara828

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Horror Channel gets beastly in July with ANIMAL ATTACK SEASON

Nature gets nasty on Horror Channel in July with ANIMAL ATTACK SEASON, a beastly collection of movies including the UK premiere of teeth-clenching croc thriller BLACK WATER and the network premiere of CUJI, Stephen King’s macabre tale of a rabid St. Bernard dog, starring Scream Queen Dee Wallace. The prime-time Saturday night savagery continues throughout the month with Carlos Brooks’ wonderful ‘Tiger in a House’ nerve-jangler BURNING BRIGHT and David Hackl’s killer bear actioner INTO THE GRIZZLY MAZE, starring James Marsden, Thomas Jane, and Billy Bob Thornton.

Full film details in transmission order:

Sat 7 July @ 21:00 – CUJO (1983) *Network Premiere

When sweet St. Bernard dog Cujo is bitten by a bat, he morphs into a dangerous beast and goes on a rampage in a small town. Stay-at-home mom Donna (Dee Wallace) gets caught in Cujo's crosshairs on a fateful errand with her son, Tad (Danny Pintauro). Stuck in their car, Donna and Tad have a frightening showdown with the crazed animal.

Sat 14 July @ 21:00 – BURNING BRIGHT (2010)

Johnny Gavenau’s latest get-quick-rich scheme is to turn his Florida ranch into a Safari Park. As the main attraction he buys a dangerous Bengal tiger from an unscrupulous circus trader. But the ravenous beast gets loose, its’ only refuge the ranch house interior where stepdaughter Kelly and her autistic little brother Tom reside...

Sat 21 July @ 21:00 – BLACK WATER (2007) *UK TV

A terrifying tale of survival in the mangrove swamps of Northern Australia. Grace, her boyfriend Adam and younger sister Lee are on holiday and decide to take a river tour. When their boat capsizes, in the ensuing panic, their amateur guide disappears into the murky depths. Based on a true story, the sudden reptilian attacks, and desperate attempts to get back to their submerged boat raise potent apprehension and imaginatively stretch the suspense to nail-biting levels

Sat 28 July @ 21:00 – INTO THE GRIZZLY MAZE (2007)

James Marsden, Thomas Jane, and Billy Bob Thornton star in this action-packed adventure set in the Alaskan wilderness. After a relentless grizzly starts to wreak havoc on a small town, the sheriff heads into the forest to find his ecologist wife but instead crosses paths with his estranged, ex-con brother. They soon find themselves on the run from the massive killer bear. The hunted become the hunter in this edge-of-your seat thriller about the power of nature

There are also UK TV Premieres for Dylan K Narang’s gruelling survival chiller WAKE IN FEAR and the supernatural shocker BOOGEYMAN 2, starring ‘Saw’ man Tobin Bell.

Fri 13 July @ 22:45 – BOOGEYMAN 2 (2007) *UK TV Premiere

Having witnessed the bloody death of her parents as a child, Laura Porter (Station 19’s Danielle Savre) attempts to cure her phobia of the boogeyman by checking herself into a mental health facility. However, she slowly begins to realise, as her therapy group are killed off one by one, that she is now helplessly trapped with her own greatest fear.  Also stars Tobin Bell.

Fri 27 July @ 21:00 – WAKE IN FEAR (2016) * UK TV Premiere

This feature debut from writer-director Dylan K. Narang sees an imprisoned young woman (Fear, Inc.’s Caitlin Stasey) unexpectedly cross paths with a desperate man (Markus Taylor of Deadheads) in the den of a mysterious killer.

TV: Sky 317 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 70 / Freesat 138


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Graham Humphreys’ beautiful artwork for Arrow Video FrightFest 2018 pays homage to 200th Anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Arrow Video FrightFest 2018 has revealed Graham Humphreys’ stunning artwork for this year’s annual Bank Holiday event, the UK’s largest celebration of genre cinema, taking place at Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema between Thurs Aug 23 & Mon Aug 27, 2018.

For Graham, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' seemed too important to ignore:

“In the same way that Frankenstein gave life to his monster, horror films stimulate our imagination and give form to ideas that otherwise dare not leave the shadows”, he commented. “The painting shows our familiar host enjoying a fresh do we - the audience - each year at FrightFest. In the background, a new entity emerges through the doorway... a new sponsor... Arrow Video!”

It’s time to crank up the Wimshurst generator, unleash the primal forces, see what's on the slab and do the Monster Mash… | FB: /FrightFestreal | Twitter: @frightfest | IG: @frightfestUK | FB: /ArrowVideo | Twitter: @ArrowFilmsVideo | IG: @ArrowVideo

Monday, 11 June 2018

Competition: Win Xtro: Limited Edition on Blu-Ray

Xtro: Limited Edition is out on Blu-ray on 2nd July 2018. And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on Blu-ray to give away.

Part E.T., part Alien, British horror classic Xtro is one of the strangest, most shocking exploitation flicks to land on earth during the video nasty heyday. A film that narrowly avoided inclusion and prosecution on the original nasties list, threw in buckets of blood and gore and some of the most outlandish plot twists of the VHS era to create a truly memorable horror classic. Now it makes its arrival for the first time on Blu-ray courtesy of Second Sight Films as Xtro: Limited Edition Box Set.

Loved by horror fans, reviled by highbrow critics on its original release and one of the most notorious homegrown films of its time, Xtro lands on 18 June 2018 in a newly restored version complete with a raft of new extras, including an hour-long documentary charting the film’s history and its impact, alongside its original alternate ending too, full info attached.

Father Sam Phillips is playing with his family in the back garden of his idyllic English home when a bright light appears and seemingly abducts him. Three years later, the light returns and dumps a half human half alien creature. After slaughtering a couple who inadvertently stumble on it in a country road, the creature impregnates a woman who gives birth – in one of cinemas most outrageous scenes – to a fully formed Sam. He heads to London, seeking out his family and developing a strange bond with his son. And then things start to get really weird…

Can you stomach Xtro?

Click here to buy from Amazon (Opens in a new window)

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who directs Xtro?

Send you name, address and of course the answer to

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 09-07-18
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

FrightFest and Horror Channel renew their Sponsor partnership

London, 7 June 2018. Horror Channel and FrightFest have agreed a one-year partnership deal, which sees the UK's No.1 TV destination for genre fans become the Broadcast Sponsor for the country's biggest and most popular horror & fantasy film festival.


The agreement means that the CBS Studios International and AMC Networks International – UK owned channel continues its long-standing relationship with the festival, which dates back to 2005, and includes a two-year tenure as headline sponsor from 2016-2017.  


As part of the deal, the channel will devote thirteen nights in August to a FrightFest Season, broadcasting twenty-six films from past festivals, which will include five UK TV premieres. Details of the line-up will be announced soon.


Stewart Bridle, Channel Manager, Horror Channel said today: "We are thrilled to continue to be part of FrightFest – the event that brings together the genre community over the Summer bank holiday, year after year. Horror Channel will have its presence felt during the event, and it will celebrate the festival with a g(l)orious FrightFest season on the channel in August."


FrightFest co-director Greg Day added: "FrightFest wouldn't be the same without Horror Channel's participation and diehard support. Aside from the immense passion and know-how they bring to the event, the Horror Channel team add colour (mostly red), tremendous energy and help make sure all the fans have a bloody good time!"


This year, the annual 5-day August Bank Holiday event, which Guillermo Del Toro calls "The Woodstock of Gore", will host over sixty films to an international audience at the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema from Aug 23 - Aug 27. Programme details to follow.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Film news (UK): Horror Channel to celebrate the films of John Carpenter

From horrific hauntings and supernatural sorcery to alien invasions and blood-sucking battles, Saturday nights on Horror Channel at 9pm in June will be devoted to John Carpenter, one of the true Masters of Horror.

The celebratory season is highlighted by the network premieres of Carpenter’s classic car-rage chiller CHRISTINE, with the superb Harry Dean Stanton, and JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES, a horror Western starring James Woods, as a vengeful, stake-wielding bloodsucker hunter. It also includes iconic favourite THE FOG, the high-kicking fantasy thriller BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA and his timely sci-fi political thriller THEY LIVE.

Full film details of season in transmission order:

Sat 2 June @ 21:00 – THE FOG (1980)

A Northern California fishing town, built 100 years ago over an old leper colony, is the target for revenge by a killer fog containing zombie-like ghosts seeking revenge for their deaths. John Carpenter’s first horror thriller following Halloween, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh and the great man himself.

Sat 9 June @ 21:00 – CHRISTINE (1983) *Network Premiere

High school geek Arnie Cunningham falls in love with "Christine", a bright red 1958 Plymouth Fury which has seen much better days. Setting himself the task of restoring the car to its original condition, Arnie has become consumed with passion for the sleek, rounded, chrome-laden car. His friends are horrified but it’s too late - anyone seeking to come between them becomes the victim of Christine's horrifying wrath.

Sat 16 June @ 21:00 – BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (2007)

Hard-boiled truck driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) gets caught in a bizarre conflict in San Francisco's Chinatown when an ancient Chinese prince and Chinatown crime lord kidnaps a beautiful green-eyed woman Miao Yin (Suzee Pai). Miao is the fiancée of Jack's best friend and Jack must help rescue the girl before the evil Lo Pan uses her to break the ancient curse that keeps him a fleshless and immortal spirit.

Sat 23 June @ 21:00 – THEY LIVE (2001)

John Carpenter wrote and directed this science fiction thriller about a group of aliens who try to take over the world by disguising themselves as Young Republicans. Wrestler Roddy Piper stars as John Nada, a drifter who makes his way into an immense encampment for the homeless. There he stumbles upon a conspiracy concerning aliens who have hypnotised the populace through subliminal messages transmitted through the media…

Sat 30 June @ 21:00 – JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES (1998) *Network Premiere

James Woods is Jack Crow, leader of a team of vampire hunters hired by the Vatican. After wiping out a vampire nest in rural New Mexico, "Team Crow" is savagely ambushed by the unholy Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith), a vicious 600-year-old vampire. Valek is nearing the end of a long search for the elusive Berziers Cross, the ritual implement that can give him and all vampires omnipotent power to walk in the daylight. Crow pursues Valek through the high deserts, culminating in a fateful and final confrontation.

There are five other prime-time network premieres this month, headed by Timo Vuorensola’s barnstorming surreal sci-fier IRON SKY (Fri 8 June, 9pm) and James Wan’s supernatural stunner INSIDIOUS (Fri 15 June, 9pm), the first in the popular franchise. Plus, there’s killer crocs aplenty in LAKE PLACID 3 (Fri I June, 9pm), Emily Blunt fighting off a horde of menacing apparitions in WIND CHILL (Fri 22 June, 9pm) and THIR13TEEN GHOSTS (Fri 29 June, 9pm), the ultimate house of horror.