Posted October 26, 2012 by Beth Webb - Events Editor in Features
 
 

Freak Week Festival


By Steve Lillie – How could anyone resist an invitation from the lovely people at Blinkbox – the film and TV streaming service – to see The Cabin In The Woods, in a cabin in the woods? Especially when you throw in an intoxicating mélange of zombies, clowns and chainsaws. Steve Lillie headed down to Hop Farm to sample what they had to offer as part their Freak Week Festival.

By
Steve Lillie

How could anyone resist an
invitation from the lovely people at Blinkbox – the
film and TV streaming service – to see The Cabin In The Woods (Main Picture), in
a cabin in the woods? Especially when you throw in an intoxicating mélange of
zombies, clowns and chainsaws. Steve Lillie headed down to Hop Farm to sample
what they had to offer as part their Freak Week Festival.

Normally
it would be a bit of a faux pas to describe the journey to an event but
there was more than a slight frisson of fear amongst the press
packers as we headed off to Paddock Wood, taking a train out of London, and
then a creepy hearse ride to a seemingly deserted farm/fairground, further and
further away from comforting things, like coco and slippers. The fact that the
PR people repeatedly told us they had no idea what horrors lay ahead, while
making us sign comprehensive disclaimers, didn’t help either.

On
arrival, a shroud of mist gave a perfect backdrop to the gothic arena of Hop Farm.
We were greeted by a couple of jolly gravediggers and plied with some much
needed Dutch Courage. After we were given time to settle in, and get a couple
under the belt, it was time for the fun proper to start.

Herded
to the first trial by fear, the hesitant punters lined up to be dropped down
THE HATCH. The first freaky funway was to be tackled on all fours, crawling
through a maze of molesting malignities. This is not one for those of a nervous
disposition! And it’s an ordeal you must face alone, in the near dark, smoke
and scream-filled tunnel of terror. The frights are close up and personal, and
from all sides, even from behind … Try to go in first, so you don’t have to
listen to the screams of others ahead.

Those
who survived The Hatch, stumbled back to grab a much-needed drink, some lovely
nibbles and a bit of a breather.

Bolstered
by the heady intoxicant of being alive, and not having our souls eaten by dead
girls, confidence was high. Or we were getting drunk? Surely the worst was over and we would see the film now? Oh
no, round two, THE FUN HOUSE.

Roll
up, roll up, for all the fun of the fair. Our genial hosts (or spooksmen)
guided us to the next encounter with the ‘other’. The Fun House had obviously
changed somewhat since it’s glory days. No longer visited by candyfloss-covered
infants, the resident showfolk have turned to the bitter toffee apple of
darkness and brain eating. Yes, they have become zombie clowns. Before entering
the maze (ALONE) we were armed with 3D glasses, not the standard issue shotgun
many were hoping for. This was surprising, as the 3D without glasses had been
excellent so far.

A
disorientating delirium of disorder followed. A terrifying mix of environments
filled with hooting horrors and creepy clowns. Ultra violet and 3D effects
mixed with shock and awesomeness. This tangle of tribulations took a high toll
on our numbers. So confusing was the labyrinth that many took an age to get
through. Some who entered were never seen again …

Trying
to ignore our depleted numbers, it was time for another drink. How many drinks
was that now? Bloody Marys? Excellent. A moment to regain our composure? No
such luck. The ravenous and rapacious clowns burst forth to sate their
appetites for little grey cells (and horn hooting). Was no one was to escape?

With
luck, guile, and the help of friendly gravediggers, some of us made it through
the ordeal. Phew! Breathing hard, covered in cold sweat, jumping at every twig
crack, nightmares lurking in every shadow, now we were ready to see the film?

Not
until we had passed through THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE, or Porkies’ Pie Factory, as
it’s colloquially known. By now, only the strong were left, or maybe the most
drunk. Their minds numbed to the sanity shredding blasphemies we had endured.

Trepidation
was pushed to its limit as we waited our turn. Screams, squeals, and the happy
buzz of chainsaws tickled the ears of the quaking queue of lambs. We were
starting to have a pretty good idea what Porky was putting in his pies.

What
happened in Porkies’ Pie Slaughterhouse is best left to your imagination,
gentle reader. The reality would cost you a fortune in therapist’s bills and a
lifetime on Valium. Suffice to say that it was worse than Clive Barker’s
cellar.

The
few survivors looked at each other, exhausted, drenched in blood, bruised,
butchered, and befuddled. Finally we had earned the right to view The Cabin In
The Wood. Picking up what was left of our dignity, and in some cases, limbs, we
shuffled off into the dark, dark, eerie silent, woods … After a drink,
obviously.

Deep
in the forest of fear, lurked the cabin, squatting like a malignant turd. After
the horrors we had endured, everyone was looking forward to a nice relaxing
horror film. But first, there were more drinks (hic). Just as well, as we were
all a bit thirsty by now. Some of us were so thirsty we were singing or passed
out in the corner.

No
one is able to tell what happened in the cabin. No one came out alive. If you
have any sense, if you value life, family, and sobriety, you will stay away
from Hop Farm and the restless terrors that reside within.

Can
you hear that? It’s them coming again …. Noooooo. Not that please, no, AAAAAGH!

This transcript was kindly
dictated by Madam Zorbia, medium and spiritualist.

Many thanks the purveyors of panic
– those wonderful people at Hop Farm. Freak Week runs from 25th-31st
October.


Beth Webb - Events Editor

 
I aim to bring you a round up of the best film events in the UK, no matter where you are or what your preference. For live coverage of events across London, follow @FilmJuice