On 28 August Brit chiller AfterDeath gets its UK premiere at FrightFest (1pm on the Phoenix Discovery Screen). It’s the story of five young clubbers who wake up in what they believe to be hell, and must figure out a way to escape. Oh, and did we mention the demonic shadow creature pursuing them? The film was directed by Gez Medinger and Robin Schmidt, and written by Red Dwarf script editor Andrew Ellard. Wondering why you should find time in your busy FrightFest schedule for AfterDeath? Let Ellard explain:
“I have a horrible feeling that we would be eligible for some Least Gore In A Horror Movie At FrightFest prize!” Ellard says. “The thing that will make it stand out, and I absolutely don't mean this as a put-down of any of the great movies that are at FrightFest, but what's special is it's angry about a few things. It wants to talk about some stuff and it's got storytelling that should surprise and delight.”
Ellard has also scripted a two-page prequel comic that was born partly from a desire to build anticipation before the premiere, and partly to capitalise on some cut material. “When the guys were cutting the movie there was some stuff lost about the backstory of this world. And actually the backstory stuff was really interesting to us and we realised we could talk about a certain aspect of it without blowing the surprises of the movie. The characters are going towards doom, but they’re also digging backwards to see if they can find salvation, and in digging into that past you find out what this world is and what it's all about.”
Intrigued? Confused? That’s exactly how Ellard wants you to feel. “It's supposed to be disorientating. The premise of the comic is that you the reader are a new arrival in an afterlife you don't understand. And as such you're having it explained to you by someone who doesn't know how people work. There's this form in the afterlife who says, ‘Hi, welcome. I can't tell you anything useful because I don't know how you function.’ So I wanted it to be on the right side of disorientating. It's not a skim read. You do have to take it panel by panel. I had no shame in the fact it's that Alan Moore's nine-panel structure either. It's a comic that's designed to be read rather than sliding your eyes across it for the art.”
If that's piqued your interest you can watch the trailer below, or buy tickets for the UK premiere at the Phoenix Discovery Screen, 28 August, 1pm. The film will get a wide digital release in October.