Day 2 kicked off with The Man Who Saw Frankenstein Cry, a documentary about Paul Naschy, Spain’s answer to Lon Chaney; the hostage drama Rogue River, featuring fright favourite Bill Moseley; and the UK suspense thriller The Holding. While, Total Film’s interview with horror director/actor Larry Fessenden took place in the afternoon.
Then came two of my highlights of the day: The Israeli black satire Rabies, and the British psychological thriller The Glass Man.
In Rabies (more a play on the idea of the disease than the disease itself), short tempers and misunderstandings result in one screwed-up day for four friends heading off for a game of tennis, as the woods they get lost in soon become a battle zone (a sutbtle hint at ‘the situation’ that the country is known for). An incestuous brother is trying to find his sister, who has been kidnapped by a serial killer. When the four friends try to help, they end up fighting each other and a sex-crazed cop, which results in their grisly demise. With its snappy dialogue (in Hebrew, of course), colourful characters and inventive shocks (bear traps, mines, and the great outdoors are all put to blackly comic good use), this is one of those festival finds that deserves a wider audience.
Next up, the world premiere of The Glass Man. Cristian Solimeno (best known for his turn in Footballers Wives) is the writer/director of this slow-burning thiller about a London businessman having a mental meltdown. The real horror here is the horror of losing everything you have in life: your job, your wife, your sanity. And this is what happens to Martin (Andy Nyman) over the course of one day. Desperate to sort out his affairs, Martin takes up an offer to work for a menancing debt collector (James Cosmo) for the rest of the night in exchange for clearing a debt he owes. What follows is a night drive into madness. Without giving too much away, all is not what it seems and when the film suddenly reveals its big shock, it becomes all the more tragic. Nyman is just superb as the ordinary man too afraid to stand up for himself, and Cosmo perfectly balances his character’s menacing, comic and gentle traits. Deftly scripted, this is a taunt thriller very much set in the here and now. If you loved the twists and turns of film’s like Swimming With Sharks or Fight Club, then The Glass Man is one to look out for.
Today’s other FrightFest films in bite size pieces…
A Horrible Way To Die