The BFI London Film Festival kicks off this week. I'll be attending, bringing my film festivals attended total to two, so to celebrate that honourable fact I've picked out five films from my list of 40 (that I want to see, not that I'm going to actually see) that you should join me for. (Seriously, if you want to join me, tweet me (@baconchin) and we can arrange to have a pint prior.)


Holy sweet mother of all things sci-fi. Arrival will be landing [editor's note: sigh] at LFF and honestly, I'm struggling to hold my self together from the anticipation. It's as if Contact and Interstellar shook hands at a Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking gig whilst they both held Christopher Nolan's hands in chanting, "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that". Mindless science fiction films are fun—trust me; I watched Event Horizon before puberty—but there is nothing like an intelligent science fiction film to really get the grey cells reignited and pose the question, "Are we really alone in this universe?"

Arrival is an adaptation of the short story Story of your Life written by Ted Chiang in 1998. Director Denis Villeneuve's last film was the incredible Sicario, so audiences will surely be waiting to see what he does with the sci-fi genre (very important as he's directing the Blade Runner sequel that's currently in production).

Free Fire

Have you heard of Ben Wheatley? He's this just this little up-and-coming film director from Brighton, no big deal. Oh you have? That's good. Now we can continue talking to each other through this one dimensional article.

I've been following Ben Wheatley as a filmmaker since he burst onto my radar with Sightseers, the incredible black comedy co-written by and starring the director of my next pick, Alice Lowe. What makes Wheatley brilliant is how he tells his stories; he has impeccable precision on how a film should be paced (a question that came up in his interview with The Film Stage) and doesn't adhere to conventions. He juxtaposes expectations and disarms audiences.

For those reasons alone (and many many more), I'm excited for Free Fire. A shoot-em-up starring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and an arms length of incredible actors combined with Ben Wheatley's directorial flair is enough to get the heart racing.


There is currently no trailer for this Alice Lowe "pregna-thriller" so viewers (fans/critics/beavers) are going into Prevenge with only a handful of reviews from TIFF and Venice Film Festival to go on (Read this review from The Guardian if you want to know more). It's the way film should be approached: no teaser trailers for teaser trailers for trailers; no five minute trailers that ruins key plot points. Personally, I'm looking forward to that Lowe macabre attitude that made Sightseers such a brilliant watch.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Troll Hunter was the last Blu-Ray I bought. That either makes me one, poor-as-fuck or two, an embracer of the new age put to us by our streaming gods. It was actually the latter, but I bought Troll Hunter as the Norwegian film surprised me on so many levels. It re-ignited my passion for foreign films whilst also reminding me that monster flicks can be good (take note, Nick Tatopoulos), a similar feat achieved by Gareth Edwards in 2010's Monsters. The Autopsy of Jane Doe replaces the icy landscape of Norway with the confines of an autopsy room but I'm going to stick my head out and say that André Øvredal will still pack in the same amount of shocks, twists, and scares as his 2010 hit.

The Void

Horror movies are the bane of my existence however there is a niggle that keeps me wanting to—yet not always going to—see them. It's this mindset that has brought me to listing The Void as the final film I'm looking forward to seeing at LFF. The tagline alone has me on edge: "There is a hell. This is worse." guarantees that I will be the jumpiest individual both before, during and after the films screening.

Those are my top five LFF films. What are yours?