Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: The top 5 horror movies
Featuring Honeymoon, Let Us Prey, Fish and Cat and Eli Roth's The Green Inferno
Inspired by rumours of a restaurant which served human flesh to its customers, this Iranian film uses a kite-flying competition to bring urban visitors into contact with creepy locals, testing slasher conventions to their limits. What makes the film particularly eye-catching, however, is its use of one long take for its entire 134 minute length, perhaps what won it the award for innovative content at the Venice Film Festival. Not content with a linear narrative, the filmmakers have even created time bubbles and flashbacks within this restrictive frame.
Filmhouse, Sun 22 & Wed 25 Jun.
Those who class Eli Roth as the king of ‘horror porn’ may take issue with his claim that his new film is ‘like a Werner Herzog movie on steroids.’ Roth’s claim springs from the fact that he went deep into the jungle and used a real Peruvian tribe as flesh-munching baddies in the first film he has directed in seven years. A pastiche of 70s and 80s Italian cannibal films, it is supposedly his ‘most violent and over-the-top film yet’.
Filmhouse, Fri 20 Jun; Cineworld, Sat 22 Jun.
Marriage is scary – so what better topic for a horror film? Starring Rose Leslie (who plays Game of Thrones’ Ygritte), this film focuses on a newlyweds Paul and Bea who retreat to her family’s cabin in the woods (of course) for their honeymoon. Horror fans have been struck by the quiet feel of the film and the anomaly of the female director. Rosemary’s Baby has been flagged up as a likely comparison, showing that a film about how well you know your spouse can be more terrifying than any cattle-prod shocks.
Filmhouse, Fri 27 Jun; Cineworld, Sat 28 Jun.
Much of director Brian O’Malley’s previous work has been in commercials. Looking at his upbeat adverts for Littlewoods and Euromillions could never prepare you for the Let Us Prey teaser trailer (watch below). Clocking in at just over half a minute, it contains enough blood to restock an entire branch of the NHS. The claret-soaked feature has already picked up a Méliès d'Argent award at the Brussels Fantastic Film Festival. Made in Scotland and Ireland, the film stars Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham (they get everywhere) as a mysterious stranger who gradually takes over the minds of those in the local police station where he has been imprisoned.
Filmhouse, Thu 19 & Sat 21 Jun.
This is a possession film with a difference – it isn’t about the head whirling and insult hurling, but instead about a deeply damaged relationship between a father and a son. That does not make it any less scary though; Variety called it ‘bone-chilling yet strangely moving’. A young chef collapses at work and is sent home to his father to recuperate with sinister consequences. As the Taiwanese entry to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, we’re talking about a more cerebral slasher here.
Filmhouse, Thu 19 Jun & Cineworld, Sat 28 Jun.