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Bottom 5: Worst Of Frightfest 2015

As difficult as it was to choose five top flicks from this year’s remarkably strong Frightfest lineup, it’s been even harder to find movies not to recommend. 2015 boasted an incredibly high bar that the five films below just didn’t quite meet.

They’re not all terrible or offensive (though a couple certainly are), they just aren’t worth your time, especially considering the wealth of talent available elsewhere. In no particular order, the worst of Frightfest 2015 are as follows:

Cherry Tree
The first Irish film to ever have the honour of opening Frightfest turned out to be one of the festival’s most memorably dreadful offerings. Poorly-paced, badly-plotted, performed with laughable dead seriousness and with a ludicrously misjudged jump scare/comedic moment to round the whole thing off, Cherry Tree proves that just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Confusingly, the action was set in the UK, even though the flick was filmed in Ireland, had a mostly Irish cast and was funded at home, too. Strange. See Hellions, which also screened at the festival, for an idea of how to do the ideas presented therein right, and with flair.

Check out our full review here.
Cherry Tree

Aaaaaaaah!
Steve Oram’s directorial début, following his star turn in Sightseers, which he also scripted, is proving to be one of the most divisive movies of the year. The film posits that, if our language hadn’t evolved over the years and we still spoke like apes, funny things would happen like crapping in cling-film and cuddling with cake. Aaaaaaah! is all over the place, often quite literally, and Oram’s starring role seems like an act of self-aggrandising that makes this incredibly pretentious load of twaddle even more difficult to swallow. If you think Noel Fielding getting his dick bitten off is the height of humour, have at it. Otherwise, avoid like the plague.

Check out our full review here.
Toyah Wilcox in Aaaaaaaah!

Scherzo Diabolico
Late Phases was one of the must-watch horror movies of last year, and of Frightfest 2014 too, which only makes Scherzo Diabolico, the follow up from Spanish director Adrián García Bogliano, even more disappointing. Charting the exploits of an unlikeable office worker who kidnaps his boss’s daughter in order to gain a promotion and ends up paying the price for it, the film boasts a bloody Grand Guignol finale that would be impressive were it not so utterly contrived, a wholly hideous protagonist and so much repetitive classical music, you’ll need a packet of Excedrin just to sit through it.

Check out our full review here.
Francisco Barreiro and Daniela Soto Vell in Scherzo Diabolico

Bait
Emmerdale alum turned horror director Dominic Brunt returns to the genre with Bait, a disgustingly chauvinistic and downright dumb attempt at exploitation that serves only to highlight the weaknesses in Brunt’s skills as a filmmaker. His wife and fellow Emmerdale survivor Joanne Mitchell takes a very literal battering alongside Irish actress Victoria Smurfit, who exists as a walking joke about swearing Irish ladies who constantly have too much cleavage on show. A dire, offensive, unnecessary little film, Bait‘s best moments come in a gruesome post-credits claymation sequence created by a far more gifted director.

Check out our full review here.
Victoria Smurfit and Joanne Mitchell in Bait

The Diabolical
It’s nice to see Ali Larter back on-screen in a horror movie. It feels like ages since she was cruelly offed in Final Destination 2 (ten year old spoiler alert) but her role here, as a struggling single mom facing foreclosure on her home who also must deal with a haunting, does this fine actress no favours. The film starts out strong enough, with the haunting in full swing and the paranormal detectives running screaming from the place (a break from the norm, for sure) but soon ties itself up in knots thanks to an ill-advised second act reveal and an even more ludicrous denouement.

Check out our full review here.
The Diabolical

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Written by Joey Keogh
Slasher fanatic Joey Keogh has been writing since she could hold a pen, and watching horror movies even longer. Aside from making a little home for herself at Wicked Horror, Joey also writes for Birth.Movies.Death, The List, and Vague Visages among others. Her actual home boasts Halloween decorations all year round. Hello to Jason Isaacs.
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