Celluloid Screams 2011 Coverage: Day 1
Celluloid Screams Day 1: 21st October 2011
My Goal with this piece of coverage on Sheffield’s Celluloid Screams Horror Festival is to share my opinion on the films shown and discuss my personal highlights. I hope to also provide video footage (which unfortunately is not the best quality as I am limited with my canon digital camera.) in order to visualise the festival for those who couldn’t attend and as a retrospect for those who did.
Opening the Festival was the Australian short “Spider”. The short proved very effective; using a simple concept and was perfectly placed at the beginning in order to get the audience into the spirit of the sights to come! “Spider” represented moments of tension building up that is found in the majority of horror resulting in plenty of entertaining and unexpected startles.
“Inbred” + Q&A with Actors Seamus O’Neill, Jo Hartley, Chris Waller, Dominic Brunt and Terry Haywood and Line Producer Rob Speranza
The first feature length shown at Celluloid Screams was the Yorkshire-set “Inbred” (2011) directed by Alex Chandon. The cast and crew involved with the production I can safely say have created a film Britain can be proud of and has definitely put British Horror back at the top in league with classics such as “Peeping Tom” (1960) as well as the iconic “Psycho” (1960).
The plot focuses on four young offenders along with their care workers while on a group outing in the quiet farming area of Mortlake partaking in some good honest community service; however soon events turn deadly as the group of deviants stumble upon the bizarre and twisted traditions of the locals and soon find themselves in a heart stopping fight for survival.
“Inbred” really worked as a suspenseful, scary, disturbing, yet a comedic and dramatic horror movie. References to several British masterpieces before it were in place such as “A Clockwork Orange” (1971), ,“The Wicker Man” (1973), “An American Werewolf in London” (1981), and notably a more recent addition to the genre “Mum & Dad” (2008) alongside well known American horror films including “Deliverance” (1972), Wes Craven’s “The Hills Have Eyes” (1977) and “Children of the Corn” (1984) all acting as a clever homage showing that the film was made just for us bloodthirsty horror fans!
Several issues within society were incorporated into the narrative; ideas of family and the partrichal figure seen in both the Inbreds and in the group; the close-knit community, the fear of the outsider, deviant and anti-social behaviour, racism and the decline of the British Entertainment Industry. There was also a nice little comment thrown in there on the overuse of 3D when it comes to a lot of modern horror films.
What “Inbred” has that many films of the genre seem to lack is a strong sense of empathy for the protagonists. This was due to the exceptional performances from the entire cast. It was refreshing to see such strong, well-written characters in a genre that has endured negative criticism for years.
It really pushes the boundaries in terms of gore. Sexual abuse is implied resulting in a disturbing effect; the film does enter “torture porn” territory in instances. “Inbred” was not only well edited, and shot stunningly capturing the essence of the Yorkshire Countryside; it also in terms of special effects was beyond impressive. It’s hard to believe no CGI was used and the whole film was reliant on good old fashioned prosthetics. The professional standard conveyed on a low budget is remarkable that all involved in the production should be proud of.
What Can I Say? Except for: Insane, Japanese, Splatter!
“Vampyres” plus special guests “The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw”;
The evening concluded with music and bloodlust featuring some special guests and a screening of the 1970’s erotic feature “Vampyres” (1975).
Days 2 and 3 coming soon….
Hayley Alice Roberts.