FrightFest 2016 - Horror goes West

Credit: Graham Humphreys (Artist)

Credit: Graham Humphreys (Artist)

This time two weeks ago we were half-way through the 17th annual Christmas for horror fans - FrightFest. 

As a regular, who has been going since 2007, I was more than a little anxious about the move West, but I have to admit that having spent five full days inside the Vue Shepherd's Bush, I was pleasantly surprised. This year I was there both as a film-goer and to work on a premiere (of my partner's film The Chamber), so it was interesting to see how the venue worked for both purposes.

Collecting passes on the first night was a doddle - having a mezzanine level for the box office (with plenty of space) worked out really well. I even had time for a quick drink with friends before the first film.

We then skipped Cell to go to the opening night party at The Bull - one thing that struck me on the first night was how many decent bars and restaurants were just a stone's throw away from the Vue (which is just what you need when you're about to spend the best part of a week in that one location).

I was working all day on Friday for The Chamber premiere - seeing first-hand how manic it is to organise just one film screening (as well as all of the interviews in between), I now have a much greater appreciation and understanding of what all of the people who work behind the scenes at FrightFest (and other film festivals) do. I can't imagine what it is like to have to organise what I experienced on Friday times 66, and still have the energy to socialise with festival-goers afterwards.

The rest of the weekend I enjoyed as a FrightFest regular - it was great to see old faces and lots of new ones too. The female-to-male ratio of festival goers/ filmmakers is increasing every year and I hope it continues to do so. The panels were a great addition to the lineup this year - I managed to attend two of them (Dan Martin's SFX demonstration and the Women In Horror panel); both really interesting and provided a lot of discussion for people after the panels ended.

The film line-up was great this year - a real diverse mix of body horrors, sci-fis, thrillers, slashers, comedy horrors and more. As FrightFest continues to grow, it's important for the festival and it's films to keep evolving - this may mean more international films or more genre-diverse films (horror doesn't have to mean 'gore' anymore - horror is anything that is horrifying). Some of my favourites of the weekend were Train to BusanThe Master CleanseMonolith and Beyond The Gates.

This year, more than in recent years (at the Vue Leicester Square), it really felt like the family atmosphere I remember from my first FrightFest at the Odeon West End back in 2007 - the large foyer and corridor leading to all screens were big enough for people to meet and chat between screenings, and I never found it too difficult to find people (despite the larger than ever numbers attending FrightFest this year).

Despite my initial ribbing of Wetherspoons, it was actually a pretty decent place to go to in between screenings to grab a quick pint and catch up with people - so, sorry Wetherspoons, I take it all back.

It was also great to meet some of the filmmakers attending the festival - one thing I really love about FrightFest is that everyone mingles with everyone. There is no class system with filmmakers or actors vs festival-goers - something that sets the horror genre/ horror festivals apart from all others. 

And after all that - when I caught up with Alan, Greg, Paul and Ian (throughout various parts of the weekend), they were all chatty, upbeat and had smiles on their faces! 

So guys, I'm not sure if you've decided what's happening next year in terms of location for the festival, but I am a huge fan of FrightFest moving permanently to Shepherd's Bush (despite the schlep from North East London), and I've heard a lot of other people saying positive things about the new venue too. 

Let's see what FrightFest 2017 has in store for us - 348 days to go....

Hopefully see you all at the Halloween all-dayer!




Are Twitter Group DMs a Game-Changer for Brands?

This is perhaps the only (certainly one of seldom) time(s) you'll catch me blogging about football, but as it's relating to social media, it's definitely worth a mention. It's only been two weeks since Twitter rolled out it's new group DM function and Social heavyweight brand Adidas are already all over it. 

Group DMs are currently only available for selected Twitter users (primarily advertisers and influencers) but will be rolled out platform-wide shortly. The new update allows messages to be sent to upto 20 users at a time, making it perfect for testing new content or offering chosen followers exclusive content - which is exactly what Adidas did.

The new feature is being used by Adidas to reward fans for their support of the brand's #ThereWillBeHaters campaign, by setting up private Q&A sessions between the fans and football stars, including Real Madrid star Karim Benzema. 

The result so far has been incredibly positive, and I'm sure it won't be long before other brands follow suit to provide more personal benefits to their loyal fan base.

Everything you missed from Super Bowl 2015!

Didn't fancy staying up on a school night to catch this year's Super Bowl game between the @Seahawks and @Patriots? Well fear not, here are some of the highlights from the event including the top Super Bowl Movie Trailers, the best TV Ads from the night and the all important Twitter stats.

Every year the Movie Trailers shown during the Super Bowl are bigger, better and more epic than the ones before, and this year's did not disappoint. Strap yourselves in and get ready to 'Jump the Shark', 'Nuke the Fridge' and 'Drag the Safe' with these trailers for this year's Blockbuster movies:


Next up are the top TV Ads (handily compiled in a single Youtube video) - my faves have to be Budweiser's #bestbuds, which I have to admit, brought a tear to my eye, and Weightwatchers featuring the super-sexy voice of Aaron Paul. Enjoy!


Finally, let's see how the event played out in terms of online conversation. As predicted, #SB49 was the most Tweeted Super Bowl yet, resulting in over 28.4 million tweets related to the game and half-time show.

This interactive map shows how the game played out in terms of mentions, across the world.

The top three moments that generated the biggest peaks in conversation were:

  1. Malcolm Butler (@Mac_BZ) intercepts a pass by Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) 1 yard from the goal line with 20 seconds left in the game
  2. @Patriots defeat @Seahawks to become #SB49 champions
  3. The end of @KatyPerry's half-time performance

The most mentioned @Patriots players were:

The most mentioned @Seahawks players were:




The Ultimate Christmas Film List

Wondering what to watch this Christmas holiday? Here's my list of Christmas favourites, and the good news is they're all available to stream on either Amazon Instant Video, UK Netflix, or Now TV! Enjoy!  

Home Alone (on Amazon Instant Video)

home alone


Die Hard (on NOW TV)

die hard


National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (on UK Netflix and Amazon Instant Video)



Love Actually (on UK Netflix)



The Nightmare Before Christmas (on UK Netflix)



Jingle All The Way (on UK Netflix)



Scrooged (on UK Netflix)



Elf (on NOW TV)



It's A Wonderful Life (Amazon Instant Video)


The Best Tumblrs of 2014

The internet has been on top form this year, and it's only fair to do a round up and give credit to the geniuses behind these timely, hilarious beauties. So put the cat away, make a cup of tea and have some LOLs with my top Tumblr picks of the year! Museum of Selfies


A slightly more creative version of the over-saturated trend of the 'selfie' (that's not completely self-indulgent) - why did nobody think of this earlier?

If Paintings Could Text


The title explains it all - giving paintings a (witty) voice, using the medium of texting.

House of Carbs


As a lover of puns (and food), I'm kicking myself that I didn't come up with this one. Genius.

Will It Beard

will it beard

Inspired by the infamous Will It Blend, Will It Beard asks all the important beard-related questions in life such as: Straws - will it beard? (answer: yes, it will!)

Beyonce vs. Zombies


A clever mix of great illustrations of our Bey in different Zombie apocalypse situations with lyrics from her songs as captions. Great fun.

Source Code in TV and Film


Ever wondered what the code used in your favourite TV shows and films mean? And whether they're completely made up or actually real? Someone has gone to the trouble to find out...

Love Grandpa and Grandmaster Flash

grandmaster flash

When you mix Grandparents and Facebook, hilarity ensues!

Drunk Furniture

drunk furniture

We've all been there - apparently so has the furniture.

My Top 10 Films of 2014

It's that time of year again - we're on the final pages of the last chapter of the book of 2014, so it's time to take a look back at the cinematic offerings since January and compile our top 10 lists! Please comment below with your thoughts/ your own lists below. In no particular order:

gone girl


Continuing his string of stunning novel adaptations, David Fincher has created yet another masterpiece. My advice? Read the book before you see the film - while the film is almost faultless (in my opinion) it would have been impossible to cram in every last plot arc and detail from the book, so inevitably some things were condensed/ missed out.

the lego movie


Everything IS awesome - from what seems to be a frivolous cashcow throwback to a popular toy back in the '70s and '80s, turns out to be a lovely story with moral values at its core. With some hilarious jokes that work on many different levels, it will have both kids and adults doubled up with laughter.



An epic win from James Gunn (of whom I've been a long time fan) with a fantastic story, unforgettable characters and a kick ass soundtrack. Plus, Chris Pratt with his top off? Exactly!



I had the pleasure of working on the UK social media campaign for this, and I must admit, I didn't foresee it becoming a sleeper hit, despite starring the brilliant Jake Gyllenhaal (who is going through somewhat of a McConaissance at the moment). The story will have you gripped and guessing all the way until the end credits.

TGBH poster


Wes Anderson scores a hit with this crazy tale of hotel life in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka sometime between the two world wars. A winning, Russian Folk soundtrack from Alexandre Desplat (who I'll be seeing at the Barbican on Thursday) and beautiful set designs and direction make it certainly one of the most unique films of the year.


This is an odd one - I remember coming out of the preview screening, not quite sure if I liked what I had just seen. It was so very strange, almost completely lacking dialogue (usually something I avoid in films if possible) but very beautifully directed. The more I mulled it over, I realised it had done it's job and got me thinking - definitely worth a watch, but don't expect to make too much sense of it.
What can I say about this? I bloody loved it! I'm not a massive Tom Cruise fan, but he was totally watchable in this, as was Emily Blunt, who was incredible as the no-nonsense, butt-kicking Special Forces Warrior. Other time-bending movies, take a leaf out of this book on how to keep things fresh and interesting.
I'm still trying to get my head around some of it (unsurprisingly), but what an incredible feat of scale, storytelling and science-fiction - bravo Christopher Nolan, I expected nothing less from such a talented director.
Eighties NEON delight with a killer soundtrack. Hunt this one down if you haven't already, you won't regret it.
Michael Keaton is back in charge and showing us all how its done. An excellent play on screen with some impressive shots, and an unusually surreal few moments, this is one to watch!

The MTV EMAs 2014



I was lucky enough to be invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to Glasgow at the weekend, for the annual MTV Europe Music Awards. Scotland has been host to the EMA's (now in it's 20th year) only once before, and this year promised to be the best yet.

With performances from Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, U2 and Slash, MTV were set to make it an International affair, featuring not only the latest pop acts to top the charts, but also some of the most successful Rock icons of the 20th Century.

An event like this was worth getting up at an unsociable time on a Sunday morning - I was up and out of the door just after 5am. After a swift security check and a smooth flight (got to love domestic flights), we arrived in Glasgow around 10am and headed straight to our hotel to check in. It was then time to collect our wristbands and tickets (for the main event and the pre-party) and get ready.




The mail out to attendees stated that we would be standing on a raised platform close to the awards stage, so we should prepare to be on camera and dress to impress! My friend and I sensibly chose dresses that we're both glamorous yet comfortable, and most importantly, weren't completely weather inappropriate (it was around 4 degrees in Glasgow at the time).




At 5pm we were transported to the Glasgow Science Centre, where the official pre-party was taking place. Drinks and food were provided, and there were several photo booths (with props) to make the most of - which, of course, we did.






A short walk across the bridge and we were at the venue for the main event, the SSE Hydro - the Hydro is ranked in the top five busiest indoor entertainment arenas in the world alongside such iconic venues as Madison Square Garden in New York and The O2 in London.

Once inside - this was our view. We were in the VIP area right next to the awards stage, giving us prime location to spot and snap the host, Her Minajesty, and the other award presenters (including Jena Malone, David Hasselhoff and Jourdan Dunne).





We were given wristbands to wear and were told that they would be lighting up at some point during the event. As Enrique Iglesias appeared on stage, it all became clear that the audience were going to be part of his stage performance, and the venue lit up in thousands of colourful dancing lights - all changing colour in sync with each other, and in time with the music!




For those of you that missed the awards, here are the winners:

  • Best Video - Katy Perry 'Dark Horse'
  • Best Female - Arianna Grande
  • Best Male - Justin Bieber
  • Best Pop - One Direction
  • Biggest Fans Award - One Direction
  • Best Look - Katy Perry
  • Global Icon Award - Ozzy Osbourne
  • Best Song - 'Problem' Arianna Grande
  • Best Rock - Linkin Park
  • Best Hip-Hop - Nicki Minaj
  • Best Worldwide Act - Zhou Bichang
  • Best Alternative - Thirty Seconds To Mars
  • Best New Act - 5 Seconds of Summer
  • Best Electronic - Calvin Harris
  • Best World Stage Performance - Enrique Iglesias
  • Best Song with a Message - 'Pretty Hurts' Beyonce


We were so excited to be given the chance to attend the EMAs and thoroughly enjoyed the event. Fingers crossed I get to go next year - after all it will be hosted in Italy. Milan, here I come!



Something for the Weekend

This week has been a busy one - I've mostly been preparing for my trip to Glasgow for the MTV EMA Awards this weekend (which is very exciting), so didn't have chance to post the Weekly Viral Vaccine. In it's place I've put together a little 'Something for the weekend' - a couple of juicy links to keep you entertained when you're on the bus or waiting for a friend at the pub. Enjoy!

  • Honda The Other Side - this incredible video allows you to switch between two stories with the click of the 'R' key. Beautifully (and meticulously) shot, it will have you watching again and again to see the different sides of the story.
  • The Motherlode of Deliciously Disturbing and Disgusting VHS Horror Art - naturally!
  • The John Lewis Christmas TV Ad Recut - the internet has been inundated with comments and tweets about Super-Agency Adam&Eve DDB's newest heart-melting festive ad, but I always have more of a soft spot for the parodies - this one is winning by a country mile. Introducing The Babadook recut:


  • All the Best Fake Commercials from the Movies, in One Amazing Supercut - some of these are awesome!



Autumn Fashion: Bonfire Night

Heading off to a fireworks display next weekend? Then be cosy and fashionable with these lovely, affordable Autumn pieces from some of my favourite online stores.  


Plus 20% off if you use code WARMERS20 at the checkout










15% off everything (ends midnight tonight) - use code ENJOY at the checkout










25% off selected Winter items








Halloween Food Pinspiration

If you didn't know (where have you been?) it's Halloween tomorrow, and as it falls on a Friday you have a whole weekend to celebrate one of the most fun holidays of the year. I've been scouring Pinterest for some fun Halloween-inspired recipes so you don't have to. So why not take a crack at making some of these fabulous recipes at home to fuel your horror movie marathons - everyone does that right? It's not just me, surely... Click on the titles to go to the recipes. Enjoy!

Alien Chest-Buster Macaron



Shattered Glass Cupcakes 


Cream Cheese Brain Dip


Monster Donuts

Monster donuts

Witches Fingers

Witches Fingers

Spooky Spaghetti

spooky spaghetti

Cheese Broom Sticks

heese Broom Sticks

And Finally.....


Weekly Viral Vaccine 29-10

Everything this week is Halloween-themed, obviously! So let me show you some of the best spooky things on the web this week!  

1) The Ultimate Halloween prank!



2) Oreo is winning at Halloween!


3) For those who like Michael Jackson - Thriller sung in 20 different styles



4) For those who REALLY like Michael Jackson - The making of Thriller



5) The Infected Rick - for The Walking Dead fans (that's like, everyone, right?)


6) Zombie-proof bike - you can now be a bike snob and take out some undead hordes at the same time



7) Head in a jar - the perfect Halloween prank to scare the bejeezus out of your housemates



8) Cutest/ scariest Halloween costumes for your little ones


The Rules of Zombieland - Just in Time for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and I know you'll all thank me for giving you a recap of these rules (and a heads up that this might be the year that the undead come to shake things up and generally wreak havoc), so that you can live to survive another day. So without further ado (time is tissue), here are the rules of Zombieland - learn them, live them, respect them.






Now we're not saying skinny = fit, not by any stretch of the imagination, so whatever your size, genetic makeup or natural athletic ability, now's the time to start getting fit and build up your stamina because you're going to need it to run rings around these stupid things.


double tap

Ok, so we don't have guns here, but this rule still applies. Don't be the dumbass that hits a zombie once in the face, then walks right by their outstretched arm, only to be grabbed by not-quite-dead-undead zombie and eaten alive. Mistakes cost lives. Double tab that walker with whatever weapon you have. Make sure they're dead. Destroy the brain.



You should beware them in general, but especially when there are zombie hordes lurking. Remember, bathrooms typically have very small windows that are almost impossible to get out of (have you seen Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead?), so cubicle = cornered. Don't do it - go in public, use the facili-trees if you have to.



Safety first - it's what every almost-survivor forgets. They get so caught up in the adrenaline-fuelled action that they forget the simplest things. You're not going to be able to defend yourself from the undead when you're splayed out on the road now, are you?


It's statistically proven that people without close family members or friends last longer in a zombie apocalypse, this is mainly because they don't have to think about anyone other than themselves. Self-preservation is key. The minute you start trying to save other people, that's when you make stupid decisions and end up risking your own life. Sad but true.



Chances are, when the hordes attack, you're not going to have time to pack all of your treasured possessions to take with you, so learn to travel light - ideally taking nothing at all. Get practicing now, detach yourself from material possessions, then it will come as less of a shock when you're on the road with just a flashlight and a baseball bat to keep you company. Depressing but entirely possible.


don't be a hero

At least, not unless you're willing to die for it. This one's all about picking your battles. If a zombie is about to eat the only friend you have left in the world and you can't imagine life without them, then THAT'S when you go for it - be the hero you've always dreamed of, and risk going out with a 'bang'!



This kind of goes hand in hand with rule #1 - you wouldn't run a race without limbering up first, so how do you expect to out-run a horde of hungry zombies for several miles? Whenever you get a few quiet moments (which are few and far between in the zombie apocalypse), stretch your limbs and mentally prepare yourself for what may lie ahead...


zombieland rule22

Trust me when I say 'smart people survive longer' - you know why that is? Because they plan ahead - they keep their cool and look for signs and opportunities when others are in a state of panic. By quickly checking your suroundings and planning a way out, you hopefully won't be caught short if an unexpected guest arrives *gulp*



If there's one thing to learn from horror movies it's 'check the backseat' - this can be extended to checking the following areas too: under the bed, behind the door, behind the shower curtain - basically open plan with plenty of windows and open space is the way to go. Don't let the fear of finding something put you in danger. Chances are, you're going to be in a lot of cars (to get to where you want to go), so don't let the sly suckers catch you out.



Finally, one of the most important rules - 'enjoy the little things'. What's the point in fighting bloody battles with the undead if you're not going to enjoy what you have at the end of it? So swing from the Chandelier of the mansion you just broke into, go Skinnydipping in the river like you've always wanted to, or just eat as many Twinkies as you like (without someone nagging at you for being 'unhealthy') - now's the time to enjoy life while you still can!

Weekly Viral Vaccine 22-10

Some more weird, wonderful and downright odd things from the internet this week! 1) Hilarious One Star Yelp Reviews of Gorgeous National Parks - there's just no pleasing some people!

cave man

2) Introducing The Vending Machine Supermarket!


3) All of the Superhero movies coming out between now and 2020 - you're welcome!


4) This cool music video brings some classic album covers to life


5) Hilarious translated TV show titles from around the world - my fave has to be 'Crazy in the Area'!


6) Paralyzed artist learns to paint with her mouth - truly inspirational!


7) A ranking of 40 Halloween Candies from nastiest to raddest

Haloween kitkats

8) This woman has some incredible make up skills!

Disney Villain inspired fashion at George at ASDA

Perhaps it is because Halloween is almost upon us (the only time when it is socially acceptable for you to dress like a ghoul and act like a child), or it might be because according to the retail world, we are now technically in ‘pre-holiday season’, either way George at ASDA have decided to celebrate by collaborating with Graduate Fashion Week to bring customers a collection of Disney Villain inspired dresses.  

Starting with the first one, which is clearly inspired by the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The floral design on the tulip-cut skirt balances out the masculine collar of the top, adding a touch of femininity to the dress.

Graduate Fashion Week Floral Bottom Disney Villains Dress - £28

Disney villain floral bottom

evil queen



Next we have a Dalmation dress inspired by Cruella De Vil. A mix of smart casual styling and structure makes this a versatile dress that can be worn with boots and a scarf to a coffee date with friends, or dressed up with statement accessories and heels for a glam night on the town.

Graduate Fashion Week Belted Disney Villains Dress - £30




The final dress in the collection is inspired by the enigmatic Maleficent. This gothic, structured dress is perfect for a grown up Halloween party, and the high-neck and sheer sleeves are practical touch for those chilly Autumn nights.

Graduate Fashion Week Belted Disney Villains Dress - £28

black dress



So whether you're looking for that perfect Halloween costume or are simply looking for a stylish nod to your favourite childhood characters, give these a whirl. At these reasonably prices, they're sure to sell out quickly.

If dresses aren't your thing, you could always go for a Bambi onesie!

Disney Bambi Onesie - £14



Weekly Viral Vaccine 15-10

After a week relaxing, snorkeling and tanning on the lovely islands of Malta, I'm back to bring you closer to some of the funny, entertaining and odd things on the web.  

1) The Walking Dead pancakes (this is incredible!)



2) The 15 best closing songs in films - can't forget this one...



3) Epic GoPro bridge ride (rather him than me!)



4) A Plant-Blood Veggie burger? Yep, you read me correctly!

plant blood veggie burger


5) Paintings from Plane windows - I simply love this, and am amazed that noone had thought about it before...

plane window

6) Baffling foreign versions of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune - the Polish one has to be the best!



7) Obama of the future found on the New York Subway



8) Space cats is well worth a follow on Twitter - just a couple of gleaming examples below as to why

space cats3

space cats2

space cats1


Weekly Viral Vaccine 08-10

Some more random musings from the tinterweb...  

1) Jon Negroni's 'Pixar Theory' has been made into a video



2) Inspirational, illustrated video of one designer's thoughts on failure



3) How to spam a spammer - possibly the best text response you'll ever see!


4) 40 ways to stay creative



5) Everyone can go home - this person just won the internet!

camel selfie


6) Looking for a new adventure? Here are some fictional places you can actually visit!



7) Incredible series of double exposed photographs, mixing portraits with architecture


Trailer Drop

This is a good week for new trailers - get your eyes and ears round this lot!  


The new trailer (3rd overall) for Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated Interstellar gives me goosebumps - it's that good! With Hans Zimmer doing the soundtrack, and uberstars McConaughey, Hathaway, Caine and Affleck in leading roles, I can't wait to see what this epic Space Adventure movie has to offer.




Nick, Dale and Kurt are back - after facing and conquering their horrible bosses in the first film (of the same title), they decide to be their own bosses and set up a business.




This is the nostalgic trailer for Disney's latest animated outing, which introduces us to the emotions of a young girl, allowing us to see the world through her eyes.




Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the first English language film from Headhunters Director Morten Tyldum. Based on the life of Alan Turing (the British Computer Scientist who helped crack the Enigma code, this looks like it could be a good contender for awards season.




I can't remember the last time a trailer made me cry. The true, touching story of Stephen Hawking's incredible life.


Weekly Viral Vaccine 01-10

Here's a look at the best of the net this week. Enjoy! 1) First up, some painfully awkward band photos

awkward band photos

2) Introducing, the meta-beard


3) Benedict Cumberbatch can't say the word Penguins


4) The definition of teamwork

5) 8 foreign films to watch before they're remade

The Raid

6) Spelling, random capitalization - so much wrong with this...

are village

7) How to exit in style!


8) The most dramatic entrance of a dog dressed as a dinosaur, that you'll ever see


9) Non-essential essential Waitrose items

essential waitrose

10) Introducing the Pepperoni pizza cake


11) Mini's rather odd new ad for their automatic gearbox - appealing to the Zombie fans

mini ad

11) The top 10 best movie makeup transformations of all time