Now in its 13th year, Film4 FrightFest heads into the Empire cinema in London’s Leicester Square today for five days of the best in horror with 48 films from around the globe presented on three screens. MovieTalk’s Pete has taken up the challenge to catch as many films as his retinas can take and will be posting previews and full reviews of the films that caught his eye. Up tonight is the festival opener The Seasoning House, and the comedy spoofs Cockneys Vs. Zombies and Grabbers.

THE SEASONING HOUSE (World Premiere)
‘Paul Hyett’s grim, harrowing tale of revenge is a beautiful, brutal thing’
The Seasoning House takes place during the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s in a Balkan brothel where a mute girl Angel (Rosie Day), who cares for the inmates, plans to make her escape after the arrival of the local militia, who were responsible for murder of her mother. After 20 years as a special effects designer, Paul Hyett takes up the director’s chair to fashion a killer feature debut, fusing a brutal wartime-set revenge drama with grim, unrelenting survival horror elements and a Pan’s Labyrinth-influenced dreamlike quality. It might make for uncomfortable viewing, but its a bloody good start for Hyett’s new career.
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COCKNEYS VS ZOMBIES (World Premiere) In UK cinemas 31 August
‘Bloody Trafalgar! It’s Carry On meets RocknRolla bonkers brilliant!’
While geezer brothers Andy and Terry (Harry Treadaway and Rasmus Hardiker) rob a bank with their cousin (Michelle Ryan), an ancient plague is unleashed on London’s East End turning the locals into zombies. Next stop – the Bow Bells Care Home, where their granddad Ray (Alan Ford) and his fellow residents are trying to fend off the undead horde. Can the trio save the oldies and escape before it’s too late? This zom-com combines the witty banter and comic hi-jinks of Carry On films of old with the flashy fast cut edits of a Guy Ritchie-styled mockney crime heist to produce one of the best British comedies in ages. Veteran stars Honor Blackman, Richard Briers and Dudley Sutton get the biggest laughs – especially Briers trying to outwalk the zombies on his zimmer frame. And the Ska-fuelled end credits song Head to Head with the Undead is just so darn catchy.
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GRABBERS (London preview) In cinemas 10 August (Ireland only)
‘This Irish Tremors is freakin great craic – now, where’s the bar?’
When slimy tentacled beasties from outer space invade a fishing village in Ireland, the residents (including Ruth Bradley, Richard Coyle and Russell Tovey) end up getting very pissed because the only way to defeat the aliens is to have a high blood alcohol level. An Irish monster comedy – that must be a first. The super creature effects, hilarious cast and lovely picture postcard setting makes Grabbers a neat little comedy to watch with your mates. And that twist about staying drunk was inspired – but it did leave me dying of thirst. Maybe there’s a drinking game in there somewhere?
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