ff 2016 day one



Written by Daniel Benson

Something I need to learn is to always allow more time than I think I need when visiting London. While my schedule was already tight, it didn't allow for any delays such as the person or persons on the track that managed to close the Central Line on the Underground, essentially stopping me from getting to my destination. Thankfully, Uber came to the rescue but it still made it a hot and sticky rush to get checked in, pick up my pass and get to my seat for the first film. Fortunately, I made it, even if I did spend the first half hour cooling down in the pleasant air-con of the cinema.

my father die poster

No celebrity introduction this year, at least not one that I was there for. A more personal kick-off to proceedings from the guys that run the festival; Alan Jones, Paul McEvoy, Ian Rattray and Greg Day and we were into the opening film, the European premiere of Sean Brosnan's My Father Die. It's a raw and relentlessly brutal tale of brotherly love and revenge set in the Deep South; it tells the story of Asher, rendered deaf after a vicious beating from his father, and grieving for life after his father beat to death his beloved brother Chester. Brilliantly told in Asher's childhood voice through his own thoughts, things go awry when his vicious dad Ivan is released from prison four years early and Asher decides that he has had enough of living in fear of the man. Solid performances all round, especially from Joe Anderson as the deaf mute lead, but it gets a bit silly in its final showdown.

cell poster

Next up came the much-maligned adaptation of the Stephen King book, Cell, starring John Cusack and Samuel L Jackson. I was half expecting to hate it from what I've read on it previously (not least both Joel Harley's review here and Ren Zelen's here), but maybe because I'm coming from a position of not having read the original book, I thought it was a passable way to spend 90 minutes. It's a bit of a riff on 28 Days Later with mobiles instead of monkeys infecting the antagonists with rage. Like most films of this ilk, it necessitates a road trip upon which the central characters meet various others on their travels. It's not going to go an anyone's classics list, but worth seeing for Stephen King movie completists.

let her out poster

Finally we had the world premiere of Let Her Out, Cody Calahan's body horror movie about a young girl with an unexpected bonus to her physical being. Twenty-three years after her prostitute mother tried to kill her unborn baby after being raped, Helen begins to have visions and troubling blackouts. After an examination at the hospital she's told she has 'vanishing twin syndrome', a rare condition where an unborn twin that died in the womb has been absorbed into her body. But this unborn sister of hers is not going to lie dormant and her evil twin begins to manifest herself both in physical defects to Helen's body and psychological episodes that will push her to the brink. A heady mix of jump scares and icky body horror, it's another solid entry from Calahan, who previously gave us Antisocial and its sequel.



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About The Author
Daniel Benson
UK Editor / Webmaster
Fuelled mostly by coffee and a pathological desire to rid the world of bad grammar, Daniel has found his calling by picking holes in other people's work. In the rare instances he's not editing, he's usually breaking things in the site's back end.
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