Downhill (2016) – UK Premiere at Horror Channel Frightfest 2016
A call from a needy mate brings American pro cyclist Joe Lamb (Bryce Draper) out of retirement to take part in an exhibition race in Chile. Joe and his girlfriend Stephanie (Natalie Burn) get picked up at the airport and driven to the wilderness to meet up with Pablo (Ariel Levy) and his girlfriend Magdelana (Ignacia Allamand) at the race start. On the way they have a run in with some locals at a petrol filling station. This does not bode well for later.
On arrival Joe and Stephanie set out to explore and find a man slumped at the wheel of a crashed car. He’s been shot and has a really gunky infection on his face. Pablo and Magdalena arrive with a paramedic just as the petrol station guys arrive and start shooting. so its off into the woods where they discover bags of meat hanging from trees and more corpses.
Right what we have here is a movie that morphs from a Deliverance style backwoods psycho nutters picture to something not a million miles from Alien by way of The Blair Witch Project and a touch of The Devil’s Reign. To add to the Blair Witch comparison some of the movie is shot with GoPro cycle helmet mounted cameras, camcorder footage and Skype. Personally I don’t think it adds anything to the film, but then I don’t really like found footage as a medium.
So is it any good? Well it’s not terrible, but I do think there is so much crammed into the one hour twenty running time that we don’t get a proper explanation of what is actually going on. On the plus side the photography of the Chilean woodlands is lovely, but the novelty of the wobbly Go-Pro footage soon wears off. Luke Massy as Joshua the head of the psychos is however superbly menacing, amazing how a refined English accent really puts the seal on a touch of evil badassery and there are some gruesome moments that will make you wince in your seat.
If you have had it with cyclists riding on pavements and running red lights this is definitely the film for you, I give Downhill a 555/666
Downhill will receive its UK premiere at Horror Channel Frightfest 2016 Screen 9 10:45am Sunday August 28, then at Screen 5 at 1:15pm and Screen 12 at 4pm. Downhill will be released on DVD and digital in October in the UK
From grindhouse to art-house, feel-good to squeal-good, blockbuster to ghostbuster Horror Channel FrightFest 2016 returns in all its gory glory, now housed at the 12-screen Vue Cinema at Shepherd’s Bush, West London, from Aug 25 – Aug 29.
In its 17th year, the world-renowned genre film festival will present 62 new feature films, embracing sixteen countries and bringing together established filmmakers, British first-timers and emerging international visionaries from six continents.