Back in 2000, a handful of monster-movie fans observed that despite having a truly world-class heritage in horror and fantasy filmmaking, the UK was without a major international festival that celebrated these genres.
Accordingly, Paul McEvoy, Ian Rattray and Alan Jones created FrightFest, and it's grown in stature ever since. Now under Film4 sponsorship, the festival's 14th edition is just around the corner – so if you're a horror aficionado and you're staying at hotel accommodation in London next week, you'd do well to book yourself a ticket.
Taking place in Leicester Square's prestigious Empire Cinema, this year's FrightFest kicks off next Thursday (August 22nd) and runs for the entirety of the bank holiday weekend – concluding on Monday after a full five days of ghoulish and gruesome entertainment.
With literally dozens of screenings on offer, there should be plenty to please all tastes. Whether you're a fan of big-budget psychological horror, a seasoned gore enthusiast or an art house film buff, you're sure to make a new discovery or two. In the relatively short time it's been running, FrightFest has premiered some truly extraordinary movies including Land of the Dead and Pan's Labyrinth.
Some of this year's attractions include a pre-release screening of Bring Me The Head Of Machine Gun Woman, a Chilean film that should delight the festival's contingent of grindhouse fans. There's also the European premiere of The Dyatlov Pass Incident to look forward to.
Those with an interest in homegrown talent, furthermore, would be amiss not to attend Friday's Variety Spotlight. This takes the form of a live interview with British director Ben Wheatley, the up-and-coming talent rapidly making a name for himself with films like Kill List, Sightseers and A Field in England.
A full list of films, along with other events like workshops and panel discussions, can be found on the FrightFest website. Tickets are available from as little as £12 for a single screening.