Identity crises, a deadly disease and social media madness – Day 2 of FrightFest (Main Screen)

Choice cuts from the Main Screen

James Whittington
August 25, 2023

The first full day of FrightFest 2023 is absolutely packed with good stuff we seriously don’t know where to begin.

So, we’re splitting up the highlights into Main Screen and Discovery Screens.

We start the day nice and early with the first movie from Bishal Dutta, It Lives Inside. Indian American Samidha is at that point where her culture and hanging out like a normal teenager collide. She has supportive parents; a teacher ally and she's interested in a boy named Russ. But none of this matters when her estranged friend Tamira breaks a jar she claims houses an ancient demon. When the evil force kidnaps Tamira and starts targeting her friends and family, Samidha must acknowledge that some legends are true as she tries to end the reign of terror. Tense, smart with a touch of allegory this isa chilling movie with a superb central performance from Megan Suri.

If you want your horror to have an added dimension of tension,then New Life is the movie for you today. Elsa is a brilliant 'fixer' assigned to capture a mysterious woman on the run. As the snare of the pursuit tightens,Elsa must fight her own secret battle with the deadly disease ALS to stay on top of the explosive case, before it reaches an apocalyptic endgame. As their two stories interlink, the stakes ratchet up, and their journeys uncover the deep truths of what it means to be alive. Brilliantly directed by John Rosman, this is an edge of your seat cat and mouse chase across the Pacific Northwest with an ending that is stunning as well as chilling.

Raymond Wood’s Faceless After Dark is a smart and brutal take on the darker side of social media. Following her breakout success as the star of a killer clown horror flick, Bowie finds herself struggling to capitalize on its success. But when she's suddenly held hostage by an unhinged fan posing as that same killer clown, horror becomes her reality as she fights to survive the night and escape before he completes his sinister plan to recreate the film's fatal plot. Masquerading as a home invasion thriller before switching gears to a grisly, vitriolic feminist revenge-fantasy, a clever exposé on how the anonymity of the Internet empowers ill-intentioned, abusive people with the ability to show their true colours. Focused and violent, Faceless After Dark delivers its message and contains a stunning from Jenna Kanell who manages to keep Bowie very real un an unreal situation.