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Film4’s FrightFest 2011 kicked off with Jake West’s Escape from London, a kick-ass pastiche of John Carpenter’s cult classic, with the divine Lucy Clements playing Snake Plissken’s sister. It’s one of a series of tasty shorts being shown only during the festival (although I do hope Film4 or the Horror Channel screen them sometime soon).

The films proper this evening started off with Don’t Be Afraid Of the Dark, the Guillermo del Toro-penned chiller that should have been titled Don’t Look Under the Duvet or The Girl Who Cried Bedbugs as there’s some nasty little creatures causing no end of havoc for a poor lonely girl who’s been shipped off by her OCD mum to live with her dad (Guy Pearce) and his not-so maternal girlfriend (Katie Holmes).

Next up, the summer blockbuster shocker Final Destination 5 in 3D. Love it or hate it, you have to admire the inventiveness of the big death set pieces in these films. And this latest instalment has got some real howlers. I certainly won’t be getting laser eye surgery or a Thai massage anytime soon after seeing this.

Finally, the late showing of the horror anthology The Theatre Bizarre. Boasting Euro horror legend Udo Keir as the master of ceremonies of a Grand Guignol theatre, this is a mixed bag of chilling tales about doomed or dead loves, revenge and all manner of sordidness, including one tale involving a human flesh-eating frog lady. Horror icon Tom Savini even gets into the director’s chair for one of the stories, Wet Dream, in which a misogynist creep gets his just desserts. Talking of which, the best story is saved for last, Sweets, a visually arresting number about a woman with a hearty appetite – with a big emphasis on the heart.

Popcorn at the ready, here’s today’s trailers of terror…

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK

FINAL DESTINATION 5 (3D)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLKR3GdIK80&fs=1

THE THEATRE BIZARRE