Horror guru and FrightFest co-founder Alan Jones is no stranger to fantastic cinema. An authority on fear films from around the globe, he's also the leading expert on Italian horror and fantasy cinema and the official biographer of legendary director Dario Argento.
Alan kindly took time out of his busy schedule to answer 10 burning questions we have about this year's FrightFest.
1. What’s your personal favourite from this year’s festival?
AJ: Difficult question as everyone will be really spoilt for choice this year. Because I absolutely adore director Jim Mickle and think he has made the biggest leap in style, quality and technique, I'm going to say his brilliant re-imagining of We Are What We Are. It is going to look magnificent on the huge Empire screen.
2. What’s different this year from previous FrightFests?
AJ: The FrightFest Extra screen where we can put on another showing of any films that are proving popular and sell out. Already we've added another screening of the stunning The Dead 2: India and the fab comedy horror 'Evil Dead-in-a-toilet cubicle' Stalled. I think we're about to put on another screening of Bobcat Goldthwait's Willow Creek too. Very exciting and this way no one will miss anything.
3. This year’s most crowd-pleasing movie?
AJ: Well, You're Next is already proving an audience favourite in that department, but I'm expecting Don Mancini's Curse of Chucky to play through the roof because it's smart, scary, very clever and with a drop-dead cameo finale that will have the whole house cheering.
4. This year’s “Martyrs” award for most grueling film?
Hmm, a toss up between I Spit On Your Grave 2, and the piercing documentary On Tender Hooks, about human suspension like the one in A Man Called Horse, but for real. Eeek.
5. One secret you can reveal about this year festival?
AJ: That Big Bad Wolves is going to make the most sensational closer for so many fantastic reasons.
6. What’s your proudest FrightFest memory?
AJ: Introducing Guillermo del Toro and (producer) Alfonso Cuaron on stage for Pan's Labyrinth. We were the first festival after Cannes to show it, Guillermo made it happen, the atmosphere was electric, and I reduced people to tears with my heart-felt intro. Plus the film is a masterpiece.
7. What’s the most impressive length to which a fan has gone to attend FrightFest?
AJ: One guy left his wife in the hospital having a baby.... a couple have had their honeymoon in the Empire... one Slovenian fan hitched to London from Ljubljana... hey, I understand it, when you're a horror fan you remain one for life.
8. Which guest stars are you most excited about this year?
AJ: For me personally Michael Cudlitz who is stunning in Dark Tourist. I've been an admirer of his for years because of the 'Southland' TV cop series and I can't wait to present him on stage to everybody
9. How has FrightFest changed in its 14 years?
Apart from getting bigger, better and more fabulous by the minute, I'd say in the way people view us. When we started we were this throwaway thing that a few like-minds attended. Now we are a world class event people - talent and fans - from all over the globe desperately want to attend because they might miss out on something special. And now the film industry sees us as a force to be reckoned with too, one they plan their releases around.
10. What is the one classic horror film you’d love to show at FrightFest and why?
Halloween with John Carpenter in attendance, because he is the one horror icon every single person wants us to bring over, and every year we keep trying. One day it might actually happen.
Read our Frightfest 2013 feature here.
FrightFest runs from Thursday 22nd to Monday 26th August. More details can be found on the official FrightFest site here.