“BORLEY RECTORY – Grimmfest is proud to be presenting the world premiere of this remarkable and utterly unique film. Over six years in the making, it’s a real labour of love for its creator, Ashley Thorpe; combining traditional filmmaking technique with an elaborate mix of rotoscoping, digital animation and compositing, using a mixture of live action, stills, paintings, and model work, to offer an immersive, atmospheric, and elegantly retro-styled exploration of the Most Haunted House in Britain… it’s an extraordinary cinematic experience. We’ve never seen anything quite like it. ” – GRIMM UP NORTH Festival.
“Ashley’s extraordinary work stopped me in my tracks. He has a style unlike anyone else; haunting, visceral and totally compelling. You can’t take your eyes off his gorgeous animation.” – REECE SHEARSMITH, (League of Gentlemen, Psychoville, Inside No.9)
“Ashley designed and animated the title sequence for our horror anthology Tales of Halloween. He has such a great eye for the macabre, not to mention an amazing visual dynamic that gave real life to the sequence and helped elevate the entire movie way beyond it’s low-budget roots. He’s a talent to watch!” – NEIL MARSHALL, Director (The Descent, Game of Thrones, Hannibal, Westworld)
“Ashley Thorpe is not only a wonderful storyteller he is also an amazing painter and animator. His words, brushstrokes and motion graphics are drenched in the hidden mysteries and mythologies of England, his work is always fascinating and a treasure to behold. Ashley is a generous and vital artist, we’re lucky to have him.” – GLENN McQUAID, Director (I Sell the Dead, VHS, Tales From Beyond the Pale)
“This guy is going places and – although Hammer Horror is back in an “official” incarnation – Thorpe’s gothic miasmas are the honest offspring of those “pure” supernatural melodramas that changed the face of dark fantasy cinema.” –
CHRIS ALEXANDER, Editor in Chief of Fangoria Magazine.
“British folklore told through dazzling gothic animation.” FEARnet
“Ashley Thorpe – a unique talent in British genre production” – TONY EARNSHAW, National Media Museum.
“I believe Ashley has a unique vision and a distinctive talent. His works deserve to be considered alongside those of The Brothers Quay and David Lynch (especially the early works). They also contain flashes of the arcane poetry of early Kenneth Anger — at least in my eyes — but when all is said and done, they are pure Thorpe… it’s clear the blood of Hammer and Amicus run through his veins, and as a fellow Englishman I know all the influences and passions only too well. Remarkable. Superb — and very creepy.” – PHILIP NUTMAN, Author of ‘Wet Work’, ‘Cities of Night’ and Producer of ‘The Girl Next Door’.
“(The Hairy Hands) The latest from animator Ashley Thorpe (RM #98) plunders an obscure British folk tale about a pair of spectral, disembodied hands that terrorise motorists on the winding, windy hills of Dartmoor. Starring the unmistakable, metallic rasp of Doug (Pinhead) Bradley’s voice work and playfully riffing on the likes of David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock and EC Comics, The Hairy Hands sees a solitary con-man named Cole (Ed Berry) speeding through the dreaded moors on a black, deserted night. He’s just suckered some poor lady out of a sizeable chunk of change and almost gets away with it until the fabled, severed hands show up to put an oink in his ointment. With his characteristic approach of combining still photographs with painted backgrounds, Thorpe beautifully captures the haunting isolation of the ghostly moors in the evocative, gothic style so abundant in his previous work.“ – STUART FEEDBACK ANDREWS, Rue Morgue Magazine
“Visually just absolutely brilliant and the sooner these fuckers get a Blu-Ray release the better!” – JUDE FELTON, Lair of Filth
“Thorpe’s visionary and reverent animated gothic melodramas SCAYRECROW and THE SCREAMING SKULL are throwbacks to a gentler age of terror, especially that of Hammer Studios, the Victorian terror machine that I live and die by and that from 1957 – 1975, pumped out the sort of swoony stiff collared horror films that, well, just aint made no more…But Englishman Ashley Thorpe aims to change all that. And he’s altering the face of fearsome animation to boot.”
– CHRIS ALEXANDER, Editor in Chief of Fangoria Magazine.
‘(Scayrecrow) A gorgeously animated hypnotic love letter to both Hammer horror and the folklore of the British highwayman” – STUART FEEDBACK ANDREWS Rue Morgue Magazine
“Known for his visually voluptuous animated short films, it’s great to see Thorpe explore his familiar universe of forgotten British folk lore without the aid of his distinctive images. But thanks to a juicy little script, some fine voice work and an absolutely brilliant soundscape by the Tales From Beyond The Pale crew, The Demon Hunstman takes us on a galloping, midnight jaunt through the rain-soaked, lightning-riddled Devonshire moors. It beautifully captures Thorpe’s aesthetic and joins the ranks of his earlier works as yet another charming love letter to the sumptuous Hammer Horror Film.” – RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE on ‘The Demon Huntsman’
‘Original and fresh… definitely check out ‘Scayrecrow’ for something original.’– DEAN BOOR Gorezone Magazine
‘Absolutely love it, and in awe at the amount of painstaking work involved. Hugely captivating.’ – DERREN BROWN ‘Trick of the Mind’ and ‘The Event’ Channel 4.
‘Frankly they are beautiful…quite literally moving art.’ – MARLA NEWBORN Fangoria magazine
‘More scalpel than sledgehammer…refreshingly classic.’ – LEE MORGAN D & C Film
‘Expressionist nightmares…evocative of Hammer and Amicus… thick with period detail.’
– THOM HUTCHINSON Filmstar magazine
“Excellent films, I really loved them. Absolutely superb.” – STEPHEN VOLK (Ghostwatch, The Awakening)
“Devon filmmaker Ashley Thorpe has forged a solid reputation with his sinister succession of short films based on notorious local legends. His latest offering is The Hairy Hands, a vivid, hyper-stylized horror flick that packs an improbable number of chills into its admirably brisk 11 minute run-time. With a ghoulish line in atmospherics and a welcome attention to detail, The Hairy Hands has a uniquely disquieting vibe, and the sense of foreboding is cranked up one notch at a time. Thorpe coaxes a nuanced performance out of leading man Edward Berry, and he gives this supernatural tale an all-too-plausible edge. Make no mistake, Ashley Thorpe’s menacing short film will grab you by the throat with its hairy hands, and not let go until the chilling final frame. Freaky folklore just got re-booted for a new generation. Accomplished stuff.“ – TOM LEINS D & C Film
“The Hairy Hands – an utterly unnerving and incredibly powerful ghost story that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout!“ PAUL PRITCHARD Pulp Movies
“I love your work, the melancholy and eerieness of Screaming Skull and Hairy Hands and the romantic drama of Scayrecrow…just wonderful “ – JULIAN SANDS
“Despite the allusions Thorpe’s film are stylistically unique, combining the use slow moving camera, and action, bold lighting colouring techniques and stop motion with a fast paced narrative the results of which are impressive as well as damn right spooky!” CARL FORD Unrated Magazine
‘For the authentic, spine chilling romance of darkest Dartmoor and good old fashioned western English weirdness go thou to Ashley Thorpe and shudder!’ – RICHARD STANLEY (Hardware, Dust Devil, Theatre Bizarre)
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
‘Borley Rectory’ – Winner Best Animated Feature and ‘Special Achievement in Cinema” – Buffalo Dreams 2017
‘Borley Rectory’ – Nominated for Best International Feature and Best Director – Buffalo Dreams 2017
‘Borley Rectory’ – Nominated for Best Feature, Best Director and Best Soundtrack – Dead of Night Festival 2017
‘Scayrecrow’, ‘The Screaming Skull’ & ‘The Hairy Hands’ – ‘Buried Alive! Film Festival’ – Winner ‘Visionary Award‘, Atlanta USA 2010.
‘The Hairy Hands’ – Official selection for 18th Raindance Film Festival 2010
‘The Screaming Skull‘ – Winner Best Animated Short Film 2010, ‘A Night of Horrors’, Sydney Australia.
‘The Screaming Skull’ – Nominated for Best UK Short Film 2009, 17th Raindance Film Festival.
‘The Screaming Skull‘ – Nominated Best Animation 2009, Screen Out Loud Awards, Animated Exeter.
‘Scayrecrow‘ – Winner of Media Innovation Award for Best Independent Film 2009
‘Scayrecrow’ – Official Selection for Cannes Short Film Corner 2009
‘Scayrecrow’ – Winner of Judges selection, Horror UK 2009.
‘The Screaming Skull’ – Official selection for 17th Raindance Film Festival 2009
‘Scayrecrow’ & ‘The Screaming Skull’ – Both nominated for Best Animation, Horror UK 2009