Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013: the best horrors

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013: the best horrors

The Conjuring, Frankenstein's Army and Outpost 3 among our best bets for horror at EIFF 2013

The Conjuring

Having reconfigured the modern horror template with Saw back in 2004, James Wan turned his attention to ghost stories, first with the less-than-perfect Dead Silence, then with the more successful (but still a bit iffy) Insidious. The Conjuring looks to deliver on the promise of Wan's increasing returns, as Insidious star Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga's paranormal investigators poke around their most fearsome case to date - the haunting of the Perron family. Intriguingly, this one's inspired by a case take on by real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, whose work was also the inspiration for 2009's The Haunting in Connecticut.
Filmhouse, Thu 27 & Sat 29 Jun.

The Complex

Another horror from a modern master in the genre, The Complex comes to us from the hands of Hideo Nakata - the J-horror pioneer behind Ring and Dark Water. The Complex doubles down on the latter's decrepit apartment block with a whole series of sinister dwellings, inhabited by at least one creepy child and god knows what else. Our Japanese is a little rusty, so the trailer we've so far have been less than fully informative, but based on the visual element, we'll be sleeping with the lights on for a while yet.
Cineworld, Sat 22 & Tue 25 Jun.

Frankenstein's Army

'Only the Nazis would think of something like this - sewing dead people together... and giving them knives for hands!' After the serious, psychological scares offered in The Conjuring and The Complex, we're glad to see something as riotously silly as Frankenstein's Army on the programme (although admittedly, it looks like it'll have its far share of shocks built in). In 1945, a Soviet regiment seek refuge from the battlefield, but end up encountering something much worse...
Filmhouse, Fri 28 Jun and Cineworld, Sat 29 Jun.

Outpost 3

Another in the growing 'undead Nazis' subgenre, this third instalment is the first to be directed by series producer Kieran Parker, who also has production credits on the short Zombie Musical and, bizarrely, Sunshine on Leith. Like the aforementioned Frankenstein's Army, this too sees Russian WWII troops in battle with reanimated Nazi corpses - but if anybody's cut out for that fight, it's the deadly Soviet Spetsnaz.
Filmhouse, Thu 27 Jun and Cineworld, Sat 29 Jun.

Edinburgh International Film Festival

The oldest continually running film festival in the world, the EIFF draws on its prestige to consistently present abundant programmes of new features, documentaries, retrospectives, shorts, panel discussions and educational workshops, with a few high profile premieres thrown in for good measure.

Frankenstein's Army

  • 2013
  • Netherlands / US
  • 1h 24min
  • Directed by: Richard Raaphorst
  • Written by: Chris W Mitchell, Richard Raaphorst
  • Cast: Karel Roden, Joshua Sasse, Robert Gwilym

Not one, not two, not three but an entire army made up of Frankenstein's monsters. In Eastern Germany in the midst of WWII, no less.

Outpost 3: Rise of the Spetsnaz

  • 3 stars
  • 2013
  • UK
  • 18
  • Directed by: Kieran Parker
  • Written by: Rae Brunton
  • Cast: Bryan Larkin, Velibor Topic, Iván Kamarás, Ben Lambert

The third instalment in the popular Nazi zombie saga restores the series to its WW2 origins and introduces a new hero in Dolokhov (Brian Larkin), a member of Russia’s elite special forces. His strength and survival skills are sorely put to the test when he is captured by the Germans and taken to an underground bunker…

The Complex (Kuroyuri danchi)

  • 2 stars
  • 2013
  • Japan
  • 1h 46min
  • Directed by: Hideo Nakata
  • Cast: Atsuko Maeda, Hiroki Narimiya, Masanobu Katsumura

Hideo Nakata (Ring, Dark Water) returns with this horror about a young student who moves to a new housing complex and gets caught up in the mysterious lives and deaths of her neighbours.

The Conjuring

  • 3 stars
  • 2013
  • US
  • 1h 52min
  • 15
  • Directed by: James Wan
  • Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor
  • UK release: 2 August 2013

Horror from the director of Saw and Insidious about a family terrified by a malevolent force in their new home. Real life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Wilson (from the original Amityville case) are played by Wilson and Farmiga.