Screen headed down to Leicester Square to join in the festivities surrounding its reopening… only to find itself taking part in the world’s hardest horror movie quiz.

The festivities celebrating Leicester Square’s re-opening culminated on Sunday afternoon with a decidedly scary sheen – and that was just my stage fright.

Film4 FrightFest is enjoying its 13th year in the city this August, and so proceedings kicked off with a horror movie quiz hosted by Alex Zane. I hadn’t planned on taking part, but one of the event organisers managed to convince me.

“Are the questions really difficult?” I asked.

“Well, I thought they were really easy – and I don’t even like horror films!” she said.

No problem there, I thought. I should walk it!

Alex took to the stage. “Hello, Leicester Square – and welcome to the world’s hardest horror movie quiz!”


I chose the ‘Monster Mash’ category and was asked three questions (including ‘Which franchise features the most movies – Halloween, Friday the 13th or A Nightmare of Elm Street?’) and I did not have a clue about any of them.

Luckily for me, audience participation was allowed and one exceptionally clever film buff down the front of the crowd helped me stumble through the quiz.

Before leaving the stage, I asked Alex for a high-five (the contestant before me had shunned his offer). What I got instead was a bear hug, which certainly made up for my embarrassing lack of horror movie smarts.

After the quiz wrapped up, FrightFest director Alan Jones took to the stage for a Q&A. “One of the best things about FrightFest is that we all mix, we all get on,” he said. “There’s none of this velvet rope situation. You can meet the filmmakers and interact with them – let them know what you thought of their movies,” said Jones who named Sightseers director Ben Wheatley as his most talented horror film-maker working today.

We were also treated to a short preview of upcoming horror-comedy Cockneys vs. Zombies. Two of its stars, Alan Ford (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman), appeared on-stage to chat with Jones about their involvement.

“The character I play is a real firecracker,” said Ryan. “She’s quite aggressive and no-nonsense, and to get to do action scenes again – which I love to do – really appealed to me.”

When asked to give an overview of the film, Ford said: “I think the clue is in the title. Cockneys vs. Zombies – this is not Chekhov!”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to brush up on my horror movie knowledge.