UK Genre Event FrightFest Unveils Line-Up For 2023 Edition

FrightFest, the UK genre festival, has unveiled the lineup for its latest edition (August 24-28).

The event opens with the European premiere of Suitable Flesh, the latest pic from FrightFest regular Joe Lynch. The pic follows a psychiatrist who becomes obsessed with one of her young clients with multiple personalities. The film is co-produced and co-stars Barbara Crampton.

The Sacrifice Game, from director Jenn Wexler, receiving its European premiere, is the closing night film. The festival has described the film as a wild, thrilling ride and a tribute to the beauty and boldness of classic 1970s horror.

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This year the festival will host seven world premieres, including Nick Psinakis’s Cheat, Matt Sampere’s Halloween slasher Creeping Death, Raymond Wood’s feminist revenge-fantasy Faceless After Dark, Steven Pierce’s zombie survivalist thriller Herd, and Michael J. Hurst’s wild science fiction shocker Transmission.

Announcing the lineup today, fest co-director Alan Jones said: “FrightFesters will experience an amazing variety of films, in an eclectic line-up which serves as a powerful tool of democracy, activism, diversity, inclusivity, and social awareness. As always, FrightFest is keen to show, through an openminded philosophy, that the most unexpected and delightful discoveries happen when wide-ranging topics, different people, and varied cultures come together in horror harmony.”

FrightFest line-up:

SUITABLE FLESH (European Premiere)

Director: Joe Lynch. With: Heather Graham, Barbara Crampton, Bruce Davison, Johnathan Schaech. USA 2023. 100 mins.

Just days ago, Elizabeth Derby was a successful psychiatrist with a loving husband and the world at her fingertips. Now, she finds herself locked up inside a psych ward after the murder of a young male patient to whom she had an inexplicable, almost otherworldly attraction. Hoping to clear her name, Elizabeth confides in her doctor and recounts what happened, giving way to a bizarre and disturbing tale of sexual madness, supernatural horror, and homicidal rage. From Joe Lynch comes a gory, horny, and outlandish love letter to the late, great RE-ANIMATOR director Stuart Gordon; a new body horror take on H.P Lovecraft-minded cosmic mayhem that’s a must-watch for fans of raunchy 80s horror.

THE DIVE (UK Premiere)

Director: Maximilian Erlenwein. With: Sophie Lowe, Louisa Krause. Germany 2023. 100 mins. Experienced scuba divers May and Drew are two sisters with a close but complex bond who go on a deep sea diving trip to a beautiful but remote beauty spot. During their dive, May is struck by a rock from a landslide above the water, leaving her trapped on the seabed 28 meters below the surface. With dangerously low levels of oxygen and cold temperatures taking their toll, it‘s up to Drew to fight for her life, which in turn puts her own in jeopardy. It’s the suspense action adventure of the year based on the 2020 Swedish thriller BREAKING SURFACE.

CHEAT (World Premiere)

Directors: Nick Psinakis, Kevin Ignatius. With: Corin Clay, Mick Thayer, Danielle Grotsky, April Clark. USA 2023. 85 mins.

On the surface it’s believed to be another urban legend – a supernatural being from the afterlife, Clara Miller, is violently killing anyone who cheats on their significant other in the small college town of Silvercreek, Pennsylvania. But the town’s unusually high suicide rate is finally convincing both locals and college students that everything is not as it seems. When student Maeve sleeps with Charlie, the married man of the host family she is staying with, both senses the deadly curse is closing in on them. For in Silvercreek your sins are not forgotten.

IT LIVES INSIDE (European Premiere)

Director: Bishal Dutta. With: Megan Suri, Neeru Bajwa, Mohana Krishnan, Betty Gabriel. USA 2023. 99 mins.

An impressive directorial debut from Bishal Dutta reveals chilling allegories for identity crises told through a unique diversity lens. Indian-American Samidha is at that point where her culture and hanging out like a normal teenager collide. She has supportive parents, a teacher ally and she’s interested in a boy named Russ. But none of this matters when her estranged friend Tamira breaks a jar she claims houses an ancient demon. When the evil force kidnaps Tamira and starts targeting her friends and family, Samidha must acknowledge that some legends are true as she tries to end the reign of terror.

CREEPING DEATH (World Premiere)

Director: Matt Sampere. With: Monique Parent, Scott Lea, Matt Sampere, Delian Lincourt. USA 2023. 93 mins.

While trying to enjoy a peaceful Halloween with his mother Linda Garner (cult icon Monique Parent, also star of THAT’S A WRAP), Tim is paid a visit by his rambunctious, up-for-anything friends. After reluctantly letting them inside the house he becomes intertwined with the circumstances of their Halloween pranking. One it turns out that that has broken a sacred tradition kept between humans and otherworldly deities known as the Aos Si. A call back to terrors birthed in the mythology, lore and atmospheric dread behind the Halloween traditions based in an ancient Celtic past.

WHERE THE DEVIL ROAMS (European Premiere)

Directors: John Adams, Zelda Adams, Toby Poser. With: John Adams, Zelda Adams, Toby Poser. USA 2023. 90 mins.

FrightFest welcomes back The Adams Family who brought their acclaimed chiller THE DEEPER YOU DIG to us in 2019. Composed of John Adams, Toby Poser, and their daughter, Zelda, the family of filmmakers also hit big in 2021 with HELLBENDER and now unveil their latest creation set in the harsh Depression era America exploring a dark, eerie journey filled with suspense, thrills, and chills. Venture into a nightmare alley with the Adams pack as they trace a family of murderous sideshow performers travelling around the world on the dying carnival circuit on a bloody search for eternal life.

NEW LIFE (European Premiere)

Director: John Rosman. With: Sonya Walger, Hayley Erin, Tony Amendola, Ayanna Berkshire. USA 2023. 85 mins.

From writer/director John Rosman, a deadly cat and mouse game based in the Pacific Northwest. Elsa is a brilliant ‘fixer’ assigned to capture a mysterious woman on the run. As the snare of the pursuit tightens, Elsa must fight her own secret battle with the deadly disease ALS to stay on top of the explosive case, before it reaches an apocalyptic endgame. As their two stories interlink, the stakes ratchet up, and their journeys uncover the deep truths of what it means to be alive. And that can only come through the power of acceptance and hope.


Director: Raymond Wood. With: Jenna Kanell, Danny Kang, Danielle Lynn, Michael Aaron Milligan. USA 2023. 86 mins.

Following her breakout success as the star of a killer clown horror flick, Bowie finds herself struggling to capitalize on its success. But when she’s suddenly held hostage by an unhinged fan posing as that same killer clown, horror becomes her reality as she fights to survive the night and escape before he completes his sinister plan to recreate the film’s fatal plot. Masquerading as a home invasion thriller before switching gears to a grisly, vitriolic feminist revenge-fantasy, a clever exposé on how the anonymity of the Internet empowers ill-intentioned, abusive people with the ability to show their true colours.

THAT’S A WRAP (International Premiere)

Director: Marcel Walz. With: Cerina Vincent, Monique Parent, Sarah French, Gigi Gustin. USA 2023. 94 mins.

Marcel Walz, the cult director of BLIND, PRETTY BOY and the BLOOD FEAST remake, is back and up to more splatter mischief. Mason Maestro has just directed what he considers to be his masterpiece, ‘That’s a Wrap.’ All the cast arrives at the studio excited to celebrate what they just created. But they aren’t the only ones there. Someone has dressed up as Mistress, the central slasher, and has decided to make the art real by staging personal and highly stylized kill scenes. One by one, the cast disappears until the true nature of the evening is revealed.

MONOLITH (UK Premiere)

A FrightFest Presentation by the Trieste Science+Fiction Festival

Director: Mark Vesely. With: Lily Sullivan, Ling Cooper Tang, Ansuya Nathan, Erik Thomson. Australia 2022. 94 mins.

A disgraced journalist (EVIL DEAD RISE star Lily Sullivan) attempts to salvage her career with the ‘Beyond Believable’ podcast geared to solve mysteries and uncover hidden truths. She hits on a story about a strange object suddenly ruining people’s lives and the more she deep-dives into the origins of the black brick artifact she becomes convinced it’s evidence of an alien conspiracy and government cover-up. Then a package arrives on her remote doorstep and her research becomes terrifyingly personal. One superb actor, one amazing location, one brilliant director, one darkly claustrophobic chiller, one world class science fiction masterpiece.

COBWEB (International Premiere)

Director: Samuel Bodin. With: Lizzy Caplan, Anthony Starr, Cleopatra Coleman, Woody Norman. USA 2023. 88 mins.

From Samuel Bodin, director of the acclaimed Netflix horror series ‘Marianne’, comes the US box-office hit inspired by the short story ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ by Edgar Allen Poe. Eight-year-old Peter is plagued by a mysterious, constant tap, tap from inside his bedroom wall – a tapping his parents insist is all in his imagination. His concerned schoolteacher starts making enquiries after Peter shows clear evidence of trouble at home. But as Peter’s fear intensifies, he believes that his parents could be hiding a terrible, dangerous secret and questions their trust. And for a child, what could be more frightening than that?


Director: Quarxx. With: Hugo Dillon, Ophelia Kolb, Arben Bajraktaraj, Manon Maindivide. France 2023. 95 mins.

From the creative mind of artist Quarxx comes an aesthetically stunning and relentlessly macabre tale. Nathan and Daniel wake at the scene of a car crash, confused and seemingly unscathed. The two men begin to understand that they did not make it after all. They are dead. Nathan’s previous acts will now determine his fate, however reprehensible they might have been. He will have to leave this earthly world and enter the depths of Hell that await him for all eternity and be confronted with other tormented souls whose pain he will be forced to experience by the demon Norgül.

HERD (World Premiere)

Director: Steven Pierce. With: Ellen Adair, Mitzi Akaha, Jeremy Holm, Corbin Bernsen. USA 2023. 96 mins.

Jamie and her wife, Alex, try to save their failing marriage by taking an isolated canoe trip in rural Missouri. After Alex breaks her leg, the women find themselves trapped in Jamie’s small hometown overrun by virus-infected ‘Heps’. Worse, Alex gets scratched by one of the afflicted. After witnessing personal and gruesome horrors, she attempts to sneak away with Alex, only to be betrayed by one of her only connections. Now caught between the group that saved her, a competing militia, and the growing ‘Hep’ threat, is there any chance she will be able to save Alex and finally escape?

20:45 FARANG (UK Premiere)

Director: Xavier Gens. With: Nassim Lyes, Olivier Gourmet, Loryn Nounay, Vithaya Pansringarm. France 2023. 96 mins.

The latest French blockbuster from Xavier Gens, director of FRONTIERE(S), HITMAN, THE DIVIDE, COLD SKIN and ‘Gangs of London’. Sam is an exemplary prison inmate. But during a day of official leave, his past catches up with him and a fatal accident means only one choice: escape. Five years later, he has rebuilt his life in Thailand with the family he’s always dreamed of. But local godfather Narong forces him to plunge into crime again. When Sam wants to halt everything, Narong attacks his family… And Sam will stop at nothing to hunt his executioner down.

TRANSMISSION (World Premiere)

Director: Michael J. Hurst. With: Vernon Wells, Felissa Rose, Dave Sheridan, Sadie Katz. USA 2023. 73 mins.

TRANSMISSION is the world’s first channel-surfing horror film. The story unfolds on a television screen as we are switching between different channels and slowly realizing that each of these channels is actually telling different aspects of the same horrific narrative. From Michael J. Hurst, director of HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2, PUMPKINHEAD 4: BLOOD FEUD, PARADOX and the ‘Femme Fatales’ TV series, a stranger things movie way out of his comfort zone with familiar fun cameo appearances, wild science fiction, shocker pastiches and outstanding special effects. The cult movie of 2023 is here.

PIPER (UK Premiere)

Director: Anthony Waller. With: Elizabeth Hurley, Mia Jenkins, Jack Stuart, Robert Daws. USA 2023. 105 mins.

FrightFest welcomes back MUTE WITNESS director Anthony Waller to the genre. Liz Haines and her daughter Amy move to Germany where she takes up the position of history teacher at the Hamelin International School. The annual Pied Piper pageant is celebrated the day after their arrival, which Liz revels in, but Amy finds macabre. Soon Liz is plagued by nightmare visions and gradually a dark secret in her past is uncovered by the restless spirit of the Piper, the cruel and vengeful minister of harsh justice who seeks out the guilty and punishes them by taking away their children.

THE SEEDING (European Premiere)

Director: Barnaby Clay. With: Scott Haze, Kate Lyn Sheil, Alex Montaldo, Charlie Avink. USA 2023. 94 mins. Take a nightmare journey into the darkest sides of nature and the primordial fears buried within us all. A hiker finds himself marooned with a mysterious woman in a remote desert

canyon where a pack of feral boys have built a primitive society structured around a brutal coda of entrapment and procreation. A slow-burning survival thriller from prolific music video director Barnaby Clay, this stone-cold shocker confronts the dread of isolation and unchecked toxic masculinity head on. Boys will be boys, and in the terrifying vastness of the California arid region, their worst desires come out to play.

COLD MEAT (World Premiere)

Director: Sébastien Drouin. With: Allen Leech, Nina Bergman, Yan Tual, Sydney Hendricks. UK/Canada 2023. 90 mins.

David Petersen (“Downtown Abbey’ star Allen Leech) is passing through the Colorado Rockies. After saving a young diner waitress from her violent ex-husband during a break from driving, he hits the road again through a dangerous snow blizzard. But one false move behind the wheel has him waking up inside a ravine, and in the freezing eye of the storm. But the cold is the least of his worries. For a shadowy beast starts prowling around outside his car. How will he survive? The feature debut of French director Sébastien Drouin, VFX supervisor on 2046, BABYLON A.D. and ALEXANDER.

RAGING GRACE (English Premiere)

Director: Paris Zarcilla. With: Jaeden Paige Boadilla, Max Eigenmann, David Heyman, Leanne Best. UK 2023. 99 mins.

A bold coming-of-rage story. Joy is an undocumented Filipina immigrant struggling to do the best she can for her daughter Grace when she secures the perfect job; taking care of an extremely wealthy but terminally ill old man. The position pays well and guarantees a roof over their heads but soon, Joy realizes everything is not as it seems. Something is festering beneath the surface, threatening all they have worked for. Deeply personal, striking a skilful balance between socio-political commentary and spooky scares, Paris Zarcilla’s breakout SXSW sensation is a nightmarish fever dream from an exciting new voice.

MY MOTHER’S EYES (International Premiere)

Director: Takeshi Kushida. With: Akane Ono, Mone Shitara, Takuma Izumi, Shusaku Uchida. Japan 2023. 94 mins.

When FrightFest selected director Takeshi Kushida’s extraordinary debut feature WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS as part of their Discovery line-up in 2020, we knew it would go the critically acclaimed distance. Forty festival awards and a release in seven countries later, the Japanese visionary now unleashes his latest amazing masterwork concerning the boundaries between truth and illusion in today’s world of new and ever-changing technology. Thrill to the psycho fantasy of a mother and daughter who achieve love and honesty through imaginary bodies when a futuristic contact lens device, with a built-in-camera and VR goggles, changes their lives forever.

FOUNDERS DAY (International Premiere)

Director: Erik Bloomquist. With: Devin Druid, Emilia McCarthy, Amy Hargreaves, Catherine Curtin. USA 2023. 95 mins.

From fraternal writing/director duo Erik and Carson Bloomquist who scored a big hit at FrightFest 2022 with the summer camp shocker SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS. Now they turn their focus on the holiday slasher with FOUNDERS DAY, a contemporary murder mystery set in the midst of a heated mayoral election on the eve of a quaint New England town’s

tricentennial. A mischief-laden, blood-soaked splatter-fest in the tradition of the SCREAM and SAW franchises, this is a slasher for the world we are living in right now. Let the speculation on who’s behind the mask begin…


Director: Thomas Sieben. With: Nilam Farooq, David Kross, Justus von Dohnányi, Olga Von Luckwald. Germany 2023. 84 mins.

Heavily pregnant Maria starts readying her fiancé Viktor’s rural family estate for bed and breakfast guests. Strange noises start occurring, the electricity keeps failing and she thinks she sees a prowler on the premises. Investigating the cellar she finds a secret room that hints at dark secrets in the Welling family past, linked to the brutal German colonial history of the Herero genocide in 1904. Soon she realises the haunted house has trapped her irrevocably in the claws of an evil family curse. A real-time, one-shot shocker unlike any other, featuring a tour-de-force performance from actor Nilam Farooq.


Director: Jenn Wexler. With: Mena Massoud, Olivia Scott Welch, Chloe Levine, Gus Kenworthy. USA 2023. 90 mins.

It’s bad enough that elite boarding school students Samantha and Clara can’t go home for Christmas. But things take a deadly turn for the worse when a murderous gang of cult killers arrive intent on summoning a demon. What must the girls do to survive the night? The second shocker from director Jenn Wexler (2018 FrightFest smash THE RANGER) is another wild and thrilling ride offering fresh takes on timeless horror themes. A tribute to the beauty and boldness of classic 1970’s horror, anchored in an unlikely friendship between outsiders, its time to play THE SACRIFICE GAME.

EIGHT EYES (International Premiere)
Director: Austin Jennings. With: Emily Sweet, Bradford Thomas, Bruno Veljanovski. USA 2023. 86 mins.
A mysterious local crashes a couple’s vacation through the former Yugoslavia, pulling them deeper into his web of psychic rituals in this unique shocker drawing equally from Eastern European genre cinema and American regional horrors of the 1970s. Best known for creating and producing the acclaimed Shudder original series ‘The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs’, director Austin Jennings brings his love of the history of exploitation cinema and a passion for character-driven storytelling paired with tense and visceral psychological horror to this nightmarish tableau of nostalgia twisted into berserk, new shapes.

THE WEIRD KIDZ (European Premiere)
Director: Zach Passero. With: Sean Bridgers, Ellar Coltrane, Angela Bettis, Brian Ceely. USA 2023. 80 mins.
Dug, Mel, and Fatt are 12-year-old boys navigating life in their desert suburb. Dug’s older brother Wyatt takes the trio on a camping trip to a canyon with his new, awesome girlfriend Mary. She doesn’t go unnoticed by Mel and Fatt, who have just descended into puberty. Late bloomer Dug just dreams of smores and ghost stories. On a pit stop, the gas station attendant shares tales of ‘The Night Child’, an ancient creature that feeds on tourists. Equal parts adventure movie, coming of age story, urban legend and horror film all wrapped up in a comedic animated package.

Directors: Joonas Pajunen, Max Seeck. With: Inka Kallén, Saana Koivisto, Olga Temonen, Mikko Leppilampi. Finland 2022. 87 mins.
Mikko, Maria and Matilda are siblings who haven’t been close or seen each other for years. However they must now decide what to do with their childhood home where their parents were allegedly murdered. The plan is to get the house and surrounding forest estate ready to be sold. But old traumas quickly resurface and there may be something evil lurking in the woods desperately trying to prevent the sale. Inspired by old Finnish myths about woodland spirits, the debut feature from directors Jonaas Pajunen and Max Seeck takes family drama and damaged relationships into new threatening realms of horror.

Director: Yong-ki Jeong. With: Bo-ra Kim, Jae Hyun Kim, Shin So-yul. South Korea 2022. 80 mins.
Horang’s notorious webtoon, which inspired the ‘Oksu Station ghost syndrome’, is now a major horror chiller. Directed by Yong-ki Jeong (THE DOLL MASTER, 2004) and co-written by Takahashi Hiroshi (THE RING, 1998), a public service worker at Oksu Station witnesses a shocking incident and recruits his friend to help uncover the truth behind the station’s mysterious happenings first reported on by a journalist trying to make sense of a murder case. Could the location of the station be the key to the numerous strange events occurring in a fright night hybrid of Korean and Japanese eerie atmospherics.

Director: Graham Hughes. With: Graham Hughes, Stephen Beavis, Annabel Logan, Andy Stewart. UK 2023. 80 mins.
Scottish filmmaker Graham Hughes follows his well-received FrightFest 2019 audience favourite DEATH OF A VLOGGER with a fun and twisted multi-verse thriller. Two documentary filmmakers traverse alternate dimensions, confronting nightmares to uncover the truth behind a graffiti artist’s disappearance who seems to have vanished into thin air. These dimensions mix the ordinary with the bizarre – a hilly idyll is thrown off kilter by whales floating across the skies. Hughes describes his sophomore feature as a “Tribute to highly imaginative low-budget films combining found footage with epic sci-fi to create something unique and thrilling”.

MINORE (European Premiere)
Director: Konstantinos Koutsoliotas. With: Davide Tucci, Efi Papatheodorou, Daphne Alexander, Appolon Bollas. Greece 2023. 80 mins.
On a steamy summer night at the Greek seaside, full of music, dancing and delicious taverna food, a sudden mist descends and strange creatures start to plague the city, attacking people and drawing others into the sea with horrific dreams. A group of musicians join forces with a lost sailor in search of his wayward Greek father, along with a waitress, a bodybuilder, their grandmother, some local criminals and an undead priest to fight back against the otherworldly invaders. Can they save their city from intergalactic attack? The Greeks have words for it in this quirky action comedy fantasy.

20:10 1982: THE GREATEST GEEK YEAR EVER! (UK Premiere)
Director: Roger Lay Jr. With: Mick Garris, Barry Bostwick, Adrienne Barbeau, David L. Snyder. USA 2022. 140 mins.
Not just a documentary, more a fabulous time machine back to one of the greatest years in movie history for the biggest blockbusters, cult unforgettables and when genre fandom was in its infancy. Filled with exclusive interviews, rare behind-the-scenes photos and never before seen clips, this celebration of seminal and influential genre classics is a fun, lively, no-holds-barred look at BLADE RUNNER, E.T. – THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, John Carpenter’s THE THING, CONAN THE BARBARIAN, THE ROAD WARRIOR, TRON, POLTERGEIST, THE DARK CRYSTAL, FIREFOX, FIRST BLOOD, CREEPSHOW, MEGAFORCE and many, many more


Director: Larry Wade Carrell. With: Julian Sands, Brian Yuzna, Screaming Mad George, Richard Stanley. USA 2022. 80 mins.

It’s one of the most controversial, influential and groundbreaking horror satires of the 1980s. Brian Yuzna’s SOCIETY told with a terrifying surreality what the rich were doing to the poor in shocking, sexual detail. But did you know it was based on truth and took inspiration from the satanic ritual abuse carried out by the Beverly Hills elite Keith family? Or that son Woody Keith changed his name to Zeph E. Daniel and co-scripted SOCIETY to exorcise the demons from his violent youth? This is the full appalling story of how Daniel’s autobiography became a classic chiller for the ages.

BLACK MOLD (International Premiere)

Director: John Pata. With: Agnes Albright, Andrew Bailes, Jeremy Holm, Caito Aase. USA 2023. 92 mins.

In his feature debut, writer/director John Pata introduces the pitfalls of urban exploration with hallucinogenic psychological horror. Photographer Brooke and her pal Tanner sneak into abandoned, off-limits buildings for the sake of their art and also the adrenaline rush. But when the daredevil pair break into their holy grail – Franklin Hill, a large facility with a history – they encounter a volatile threat that holds them captive. The longer their attacker keeps them there, the more it becomes clear there’s something else profoundly wrong with the place as dangers surface at the intersection of artistic pursuits and internal sabotage.

WHAT YOU WISH FOR (European Premiere)

Director: Nicholas Tomnay. With: Nick Stahl, Tamsin Topolski, Randy Vasquez, Penelope Mitchell. USA 2023. 102 mins.

A chef with gambling problems flees to a Latin American villa where he assumes another man’s identity in an edgy horror noir thriller from Nicholas Tomnay, director of the Sundance hit THE PERFECT HOST. A morality tale about omnipresent greed in the post President Donald Trump years, Tomnay looks at how the rich and powerful in America have become completely uninterested in the world as a community, in particular the inaction concerning climate change. Taking current issues and folding them into a genre movie with bite, WHAT YOU WISH FOR is exactly what you’ll wish for.

20:50 POUNDCAKE (International Premiere)

Director: Onur Tukel. With: Ron Brice, Eva Dorrepaal, Pia Paez, Onur Tukel. USA 2023. 90 mins

A savage serial killer is murdering straight white men in New York City. No one cares. Late at night the hulking brute, wielding heavy chains, cruises the mean streets of Manhattan looking for victims to punish in the most unspeakable ways. As podcasters, social influencers and the concerned population at large discuss the killings in socio-political, #MeToo, Black Lives Matter and other current issue terms, the executioner relentlessly continues his slaughter spree. Inspired by 1980s slashers, maniac icons Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, and Spike Lee’s SUMMER OF SAM, POUNDCAKE is a horror satire mixing stalk-and-slash with on-trend political discourse.

WEREWOLF SANTA (World Premiere)

Director: Airell Anthony Hayles. With: Emily Booth, Joe Bob Briggs, Mark Arnold, Katherine Rodden. UK 2023. 70 mins.

Lucy has a social media channel where she hunts evidence of actual monsters, but it’s not doing so great with just a few viewers following her disappointing posts. Everything changes on Christmas Eve, when her camera witnesses Santa getting bitten by a werewolf before he turns lycanthrope himself! As Werewolf Santa starts wreaking bloody havoc in their seaside town, Lucy and her bickering family set off on a madcap adventure armed with a rusty skate and a vague understanding of how to kill werewolves gained from her collection of horror comics. The Beast must die to save Christmas.

RIVER (UK Premiere)

Director: Junta Yamaguchi. With: Saori, Riko Fujitani, Kazunari Tosa, Shiori Kubo. Japan 2023. 86 mins.

It’s déjà vu all over again in the new quirky fantasy from Junta Yamaguchi, director of BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES. At the Japanese Fujiya Inn, staff and guests are suddenly thrown into a time loop where everything reverts to the way it was two minutes before. But while time rewinds, and everyone returns to where they were, their memories continue. Some want to leave the loop and get on with their lives. Others like the calming status quo and want to stay forever. Yet all have unresolved issues as they join forces to investigate the cause of the phenomenon.

SPOOKT (World Premiere)

Director: Tony Reames. With: Christen Sharice, Hayley Leary, Erin Brown, Eric Roberts. USA 2023. 80 mins.

Director Tony Reames was a huge hit at FrightFest Glasgow 2019 with his acclaimed short film PLAYTIME’S OVER. Now he’s back with a terrific feature where the long buried secrets of small town Greenville, Pennsylvania, are shockingly revealed. When paranormal investigator Claire and skeptic Rachel join forces to discover the truth behind a missing girl and the infamous Dr. Byler, beliefs are tested when unexplained occurrences begin to happen, centering around the notorious Gibson house. Sins of the past come back to terrorise the living when Claire and Rachel’s reality gets horrifyingly turned upside down.

TO FIRE YOU COME AT LAST (European Premiere)

Director: Sean Hogan. With: Mark Carlisle, James Swanton, Harry Roebuck, Richard Rowden. UK 2023. 43 mins.

An eerie folk horror mini-feature and an atmospheric homage to the great tradition of British supernatural television from the 1970s. In rural 17th century England, a group of men gather to carry a coffin on the long walk to the local graveyard for burial. A great deal of ancient folklore and superstition surrounds the pathway to the church, and several of the party are afraid to walk it after dark. Squire Marlow, the grieving father of the dead man, promises to double their wages if they agree to make the mysterious journey full of unexpected revelations.

THORNS (World Premiere)

Director: Douglas Schulze. With: Doug Bradley, Cassandra Schomer, Jon Bennett, Bob Shumaker. USA 2023. 91 mins.

An audacious meld of religion and science inspired by the classic horrors HELLRAISER, THE THING, ALIEN and THE EXORCIST. An ex-priest working for NASA is sent to investigate a remote observatory that went silent after receiving a mysterious radio signal from deep space. Upon arrival, he discovers the signal has opened a portal unleashing a thorned monster. The former priest must now summon his lost faith to stop the signal from spreading hell on earth and jumpstarting the end of the world. With gruesome gut ripping, tormented nuns, a biblical apocalypse and Pinhead icon Doug Bradley playing a mysterious archbishop.


Director: Richard Somes. With: Arjo Atayde, Julia Montes, Sid Lucero, Kokoy De Santos. The Philippines 2023. 112 mins.

A Special Forces operative suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder is discharged from the army due to his extreme medical condition. Finding employment as a security guard his world is turned upside down when he finds himself embroiled in a different kind of urban war after a young woman seeks his protection from a corrupt police death squad working for one of the most brutal drug cartels. As the pair continues to fight for their lives, the man must confront his inner demons and earn the redemption he so desperately craves in a turbo-charged high-octane action thriller.

I AM MONSTERS! (World Premiere)

Director: Nick Vince. With: Nick Vince. UK 2023. 71 mins.

A FrightFest favourite guest and one of the UK’s shining beacons in the queer horror scene is actor/director Nicholas Vince. Most well known for his debut role as the Chatterer in Clive Barker’s HELLRAISER, and Kinski (Moon Face) in the cult shocker NIGHTBREED, Vince took to the stage in 2019 with his autobiographical one-man-show ‘I Am Monsters!’ Both a resoundingly nostalgic and relatable tale of growing up in love with horror, and an essential discourse on the turmoil of ‘growing up gay’ under draconian Thatcherian rule where the closet was always safest, this is the superb movie adaptation.

THE BLACK MASS (International Premiere)

Director: Devanny Pinn. With: Jeremy London, Kathleen Kinmont, Lisa Wilcox, Jennifer Wenger. USA 2023. 85 mins.

The highly anticipated directorial debut of genre staple Devanny Pinn who has appeared in over eighty horror movies sharing the screen with such icons as Linda Blair, Danny Trejo and Sid Haig. A true-crime thriller based on actual events that took place in Florida during the winter of 1978, it unfolds over a 24-hour period and centres on a serial killer in the lead-up to his ultimate, deranged killing spree. Presenting a harrowing and unsettling portrayal of the twisted mind of a notorious murderer, Pinn also explores the devastating consequences of his violent actions on the victims and survivors alike.

ALLIGATOR (Retrospective)

Director: Lewis Teague. With: Robert Forster, Robin Riker, Henry Silva, Dean Jagger. USA 1980. 91 mins.

The cult monster movie is back!. Brilliantly scripted by B movie maestro John Sayles (BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, PIRANHA, THE HOWLING), the urban legend about baby alligators being flushed in New York sewers and flourishing becomes a highly polished horror gem. Brilliant Robert Forster is the cop haunted by his ‘history’ of losing partners, a tragedy repeated when his latest sidekick ends up in giant jaws, and Henry Silva is wonderful as the great hunter summoned to stalk the monstrous gator. A beloved classic of shock, terror and queasy humour leading to a finale of riotous suspense.

T BLOCKERS (European Premiere)

Director: Alice Maio Mackay. With: Lauren Last, Lewi Dawson, Etcetera Etcetera, Lisa Fanto. Australia 2023. 74 mins.

An authentic Australian trans horror film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Alice Maio Mackay (SO VAM, BAD GIRL BOOGEY), an18 year-old trans and neuro-divergent woman. Shot with a predominantly queer, non-binary, and trans cast and crew. When ancient parasites that thrive on hatred rise from beneath a small town, taking the most fearful and susceptible as hosts, a young trans filmmaker struggling to transition in these increasingly hostile times for LGBTQ+ people, finds herself the only one who can sense the possessed, and rally the resistance before the horror escapes and spreads.

KIM’S VIDEO (International Premiere)

Directors: David Redmon, Ashley Sabin. With: Yongman Kim, Isabel Gillies, Robert Greene, Eric Hynes. USA 2022. 88 mins.

For two decades, Manhattan cinephiles could access a treasure trove of movies through Kim’s Video store. Run by Yongman Kim, he amassed 55,000 rental titles. In 2008, facing a changing industry, Kim offered to give away his collection provided it stay intact and be available to members. To revitalize tourism, the Italian village of Salemi, Sicily, became home to the archive. But after the initial publicity faded, so too did any sign of the collection… A playful documentary embracing various filmic forms on the quest to track down what happened to the legendary collection and to free it from purgatory.

GOOD BOY (UK Premiere)

Director: Viljar Bøe. With: Gard Løkke, Katrine Lovise Øpstad Fredriksen, Nicolai Narvesen Lied, Viljar Bøe. Norway 2022. 76 mins.

Millionaire heir Christian meets student Sigrid on a dating app. Meeting up at his mansion, she’s shocked after their liaison to encounter his dog, Frank. Problem is Frank is a man dressed and acting like a dog – therapy Christian says for his friend with a traumatic past to cope with stress. Concerned at first, Sigrid gradually comes round to the pet ‘puppy’ antics and starts dating Christian properly. Then he asks her to spend a weekend at his country cabin where events take a completely unexpected turn and their whimsical romance lurches into shocking horror.


Director: Clare Cooney. With: Ignacio Diaz-Silverio, Yani Gellman, Ireon Roach, Maisie Merlock. USA 2023. 85 mins.

After an act of bullying sends kind but awkward high school senior Javier to the hospital, he begins having psychic visions that reveal the horrifying truth behind a rash of supposed suicides at his school. It is now up to him and his sarcastic best friend Bianca to unmask a serial killer who’s targeting his classmates before it’s too late. As fiercely anarchic as it is

genuinely heartfelt, director Clare Cooney’s TRAGEDY GIRLS meets DETENTION wonder is SCREAM for the next generation, deftly melding true terror with coming-of-age pathos inside the horrors of high school.

5 PUNCH (World Premiere)

Director: Andy Edwards. With: Alina Allison, Kierston Wareing, Jamie Lomas, Faye Campbell. UK 2023. 80 mins.

From multi-tasker Andy Edwards, writer, director and/or producer of IBIZA UNDEAD, MIDNIGHT PEEPSHOW, THE GHOSTS OF MONDAY and GRINDSPLOITATION. Before returning to university, Frankie wants one last night out in her coastal hometown. But it’s not just friends, family and ex-boyfriends that don’t want to see her leave… Local bogeyman Mr. Punch is stalking the town, and he knows just The Way To Do It. As the carnage escalates, Frankie and friends must fight to stay alive in this seaside-gothic, end-of-the-pier slasher, the first instalment in what Edwards hopes will become the first UK horror franchise in the Jason/Michael/Freddie/Jigsaw tradition.

LORE (World Premiere)

Directors: James Bushe, Patrick Ryder, Greig Johnson. With: Ben Crompton, Bill Fellowes, Richard Brake, Andrew Lee Potts. UK 2023. 87 mins.

On a weekend trip to Scotland, four ‘scare’ loving friends book a ghostly horror-themed camping excursion. That night around the campfire, Darwin, their strange and creepy guide encourages them to tell the most twisted stories that they fear and to burn a totem that will help feed the evil that lives there. Tales of sinister spirits, demons lurking in the shadows and the truest forms of malevolence emerge. Little do they know the stories they relate will have major consequences for them all. For some of the most unbelievable stories might be based on fact and should never be told.

A MILLION DAYS (World premiere)

Director: Mitch Jenkins. With: Simon Merells, Kemi-Bo Jacobs, Hermione Corfield, Darrell D’Silva. UK 2023. 83 mins.

2041: Earth is in ecological collapse. The continued existence of humanity rests on becoming an interplanetary civilisation. The Seed programme has been created to settle new worlds in the Cosmos from our moon to the Jupiter moon, Europa. Its mission has been made possible by a single entity, an Artificial Intelligence system known as Jay, which has been calculating the odds of success, survival and resilience. Now over the course of one night an astronaut must decide between pursuing his life’s work or sabotaging it for the greatest cause in the entire universe.

TRIM SEASON (International Premiere)

Director: Ariel Vida. With: Alex Esoe, Bethlehem Million, Ally Ioannides, Marc Senter. USA 2023. 100 mins.

A group of young people from Los Angeles go to a remote marijuana farm hoping to make some quick cash. Completely cut off from the outside world, the small crew of trimmers discover the stalks there have disturbingly deep roots in ancient blood-soaked traditions. Now they must fight to escape the final harvest and the mountain on which they are trapped in this stylized and twisted tale of the Emerald Triangle. Directed by Ariel Vida, veteran production designer on films such as SYNCHRONIC and SHE DIES TOMORROW, and inspired by the true story of missing women from Humboldt County, California.


Director: Stewart Sparke. With: Lyndsey Crain, Arron Dennis, Fenfen Huang, Daniel Thrace. UK 2023. 95 mins.

Jamie Lancaster is the sole survivor of a bloody massacre at a remote cabin in the woods. Claiming her friends were torn apart and eaten by a horrific monster, she’s arrested and locked up for a crime she didn’t commit. But Jamie’s assertion of innocence was real because, suddenly, the entire police station is ripped from reality and thrown into a nightmarish dimension of Lovecraftian monsters hungry for human flesh. To survive the night, Jamie must team up with rookie cops and lawbreakers to slash their way through a monster army and find a way to get back home.

DOCTOR JEKYLL (World Premiere)

Director: Joe Stephenson. With: Eddie Izzard, Scott Chambers, Lindsay Duncan, Simon Callow. UK 2023. 90 mins.

An isolated mansion, a mysterious locked room, creepy corridors, a dusty cellar and a mad doctor… Hammer horror is back with a modern reimagining of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. When ex-convict Rob takes up the position of carer to the infamous Nina Jekyll, little does he know he’s part of an evil master plan devised by her alter ego Rachel Hyde. But to what lengths will Rob go to satisfy his client’s weird wishes and his own ambitions for the daughter he has never even seen.

HERE FOR BLOOD (English Premiere)

Director: Daniel Turres. With: Shawn Roberts, Maya Misaljevic, Joelle Farrow, Dee Snider. Canada 2022. 100 mins.

It’s the tongue-in-cheek, extreme splatter, campy comedy horror shocker that was a huge hit at FrightFest Glasgow! When his girlfriend is swamped with college exams, struggling pro-wrestler Tom O’Bannon agrees to fill in as a last-minute replacement for her well-paying babysitting job. Tom arrives at an isolated family home where he meets the precocious 10-year-old Grace. But what starts off as a quiet night of pizza and video games quickly spirals into bloody, violent, demonic chaos as Tom and Grace find themselves fighting for their lives when an otherworldly cult of masked intruders descend on the home.


Director: Chris Cronin. With: Sophia La Porta, David Edward Robertson, Bernard Hill, Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips. UK 2023. 122 mins.

Claire was just a child when her best friend was abducted and murdered. Twenty-five years later, Bill, the dead boy’s father, has a plan to learn the truth about what really happened. With the help of psychic Eleanor, they venture deep into a haunted moor to find his son’s supposed resting place. But they find more than just the ghosts of dead children, for something dark and evil stirs at their presence and beneath their feet. What happens when so much grief and guilt are left unresolved in the aftermath of a terrible crime that affects lives and relationships?


Director: Tariq Sayed. With: Johnny Vivash, Catriona MacColl, Bosco Hogan, Kathryn Louise. UK 2023. 87 mins.

After losing their first child to a genetic disease, grief-stricken parents Nicholas and Sarah become one of ten couples to enrol into unique clinical trials launched by the GEO Group; an established cellular meat company using its technology to create GM babies. The plan is to overcome the cruelty of nature. But are the experiments the single greatest scientific event in the history of mankind, or the beginning of an unimaginable epic nightmare? Featuring Catriona MacColl, star of the Lucio Fulci horror classics THE BEYOND, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD and THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY.


Director: Tony Devlin. With: Warren McCook, Emily Lamey, Ryan Early, Sophie Hill. UK 2023. 78 mins.

In spring 2020, five art students and two lecturers went missing in a remote forest in Ireland. What happened to them has remained unknown – until now. Their last movements are pieced together from found footage recovered from a police operation almost two years later, where it becomes clear that what started out as an innocent prank went badly wrong and became a horrific fight for survival in the cold darkness of Glenarma Forest. Let the deadly race to escape begin… THE GLENARMA TAPES is the latest film to be produced through Northern Ireland Screen’s New Talent Focus initiative.


Director: Dominic O’Neill. With: Aimee Richardson, Mark Claney, Antoinette Morelli. UK 2023. 78 mins.

Inspired by the iconic BBC series ‘Ghostwatch’, think Ulster TV meets THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT in Dominic O’Neill’s fusion of traditional Irish storytelling and folk horror suffused in an atmosphere of 1960s British and American horror. On Halloween night 1998, TV veteran Gerry Burns, teams up with popular children’s presenter Michelle Kelly to investigate

poltergeist activity in a haunted house on the Castlereagh Road in Belfast. A séance causes the broadcast to descend into chaos when the youngest child is mysteriously abducted by an unseen force and the two presenters must face their greatest fears on live TV.


Director: David Gregory. With: Bruce Li, Bruce Le, Bruce Lo, Bruce Liang. US 2023. 93 mins.

Get ready to play a game of death … and another … and another! When martial arts superstar Bruce Lee died in 1973, the world went into shock. Despite Lee’s short filmography he broke down international barriers and became an icon. So, what happens when an actor at the height of their career can no longer fill the vast demand for his talents? Enter the crazy Bruceploitation world as every Asian film industry got Kung Fu Fighting with their own pretenders to the Lee throne starring in cash-in titles using variations of the words Enter, Dragon, Fist, Fury and Boss.

THE J-HORROR VIRUS (World Premiere)

Directors: Sarah Appleton, Jasper Sharp. With: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Takashi Shimizu, Rie Inoo, Shinya Tsukamoto. UK 2023. 95 mins.

How did a single ‘Big in Japan’ videotape change the course of global horror history? Find out in this insightful documentary charting the origins, evolution and diffusion across the world of a distinctive brand of Japanese supernatural chillers featuring vengeful ghosts manifesting themselves through contemporary technology against a backdrop of urban alienation and social decay. From PSYCHIC VISION: JAGANREI (1988) and straight-to-video SCARY TRUE STORIES to such key titles as RING (1998), PULSE (2001) and THE GRUDGE (2002) critics and filmmakers reflect on how the bleak Dystopian visions and unsettling atmospheres infiltrated their way into the world’s shocker consciousness.


Director: Diego López. With: Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza, Javier Botet, Manuela Velasco. Spain 2022. 85 mins.

Fifteen years after the release of the seminal Spanish horror classic [REC], the main protagonists, directors, stars, producers, fans and critics analyze the keys to the film’s global success. Back at the famous Barcelona apartment building where the virus shocker began life, co-directors Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza discuss all aspects of its origin and gestation and the impact of the shocker phenomenon that became an unprecedented franchise leading to three sequels and the American remake QUARANTINE. Includes backstage secrets, never-before-seen footage and contributions from Nacho Vigalondo, Sitges Festival spokesperson Angel Sala and Filmax head Julio Fernández.

THE BLUE ROSE (World Premiere)

Director: George Baron. With: George Baron, Olivia Scott Welch, Ray Wise, Logan Miller. USA 2023. 105 mins

The feature debut from 18 year-old writer/director George Baron, is a genre-bending, surrealist pastel noir inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood and the sinister mysteries that lie in the underbelly of Tinseltown. Set in the 1950s, Baron plays Detective Dalton and Olivia Scott Welch (‘Fear Street’) Detective Lilly, two rookie cops determined to solve a seemingly clear-cut homicide, only to find themselves in an alternate reality of their worst nightmares. Inspired by David Lynch (BLUE VELVET, ‘Twin Peaks’), Ann Biller (THE LOVE WITCH), Leslie Gore, Bobby Vinton and Bernard Herrmann.


Director: Jake West. With: Barry Twemlow, Oliver Tobias, Ginette Gray, John Saint Ryan. UK 2023. 124 mins.

Go back to the 1980’s and discover the extraordinary true story of Cliff Twemlow! You’ve never heard of him… but polymath Twemlow was a nightclub bouncer, novelist, composer, singer, screenwriter, producer and actor, who for a decade was the most prolific indie filmmaker in the UK! Witness how this 20th century Renaissance man created his own innovative micro-film industry in Manchester. Shooting his feature films on clunky early pioneering video technology, G.B.H. (1983) was even branded a Video Nasty! A warmly hilarious portrait that will take you back to an era where literally anything could happen. And did!

FAILURE! (World Premiere)

Director: Alex Kahuam. With: Ted Raimi, Merrick McCartha , Noel Douglas Orput, Melissa Diaz. Mexico 2023. 87 mins.

Remember director Alex Kahaum at the FrightFest 2021 launch of his FORGIVENESS? He said he’d be back with his new film and here it is! FAILURE! features a tour-de-force performance from cult superstar Ted Raimi as 56 year-old James caught between a rock and a hard place. Due to a massive debt with his bank, James is given one hour to choose between financial ruin or murder to protect his family. Shot in one single take with no cuts, no tricks and no excuses, FAILURE! is a smart genre-bending thriller from an exciting new voice on the Mexican scene.


Directors: Otto Baxter, Bruce Fletcher. With: Paul Kaye, Adeel Akhtar, Myanna Buring, Dexter Fletcher. UK 2023. 31 mins + 83 mins

An unpredictable allegorical biopic from a filmmaker with Down Syndrome charts the life of a horned baby through years in captivity and ultimate revenge. Fusing horror, dark comedy, an evocative soundtrack and a foul-mouthed monster, a macabre story of a misunderstood child on a path to controlling their own life. Plus a documentary on how 35 year-old director Otto Baxter uses his short film to explore his birth, adoption and epic battles. During the filmmaking process Otto’s birth mother died and he found himself confronting life in the real world, including his future role in society.

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