It’s Day 4 and Frightfesters took time out to attend Andy Nyman’s annual Quiz from Hell before taking in previews of Xavier Gens’ new post-apocalyptic chiller The Divide; the much-touted brutal British crime thriller Kill List; and Lady GaGa music video director Joseph Kahn’s post-modern teen slasher Detention. But here are my highlights of the day.
Festival favourite Ti West came back to Roost in The House of the Devil (aka London’s Empire Square) for his latest frightener, The Innkeepers, a slow-burning, character-driven chiller set in a real-life haunted hotel in Connecticut. With the century-old Yankee Pedlar due to close and few guests to serve, hotel desk attendants Caire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) have little to do than update their paranormal website about the inn’s most famous ghost, Madeline O’Malley, a newlywed who hung herself on her honeymoon, and recording EVP readings in the hotel’s deserted rooms at the dead of night. When a former TV star-turned medium Leanne Rease-Jones (Kelly McGillis) comes to stay, she convinces Claire that there are actually three ghosts that haunt the hotel, and that they want her to leave. Investigating further, Claire soon finds herself facing her own darkest fears. I counted only four big shocks in this slow-moving creep-fest, but its all done on purpose as Ti West’s film focuses totally on Claire, an awkward asthma-suffering teen who feels slightly disconnected from the world, but doesn’t really know what she wants from life. West’s film is also a subtle study in how to build suspense, leaving it up to the viewer to decide whether what Claire sees is real, or is in fact just an expression of her fears. Now that’s spooky.
Now sit back and shiver with today’s collection of fright-tastic trailers…