Top 5 UK Horror Film Festivals

With the Halloween season coming soon, nothing is more fun than a horror film festival. We’ve put together a list of some of the best horror film festivals in the world. Warning: This is the scariest list we’ve ever shared.

  1. Abertoir – Aberystwyth, UK – A great name (sounds like “abattoir” – a slaughterhouse) and a great film festival are always a welcomed event. A mixture of classic horror movies and new films, this an event that is truly for the horror movie fans among us. Last years lineup included The Abominable Dr. Phibes with Vincent Price and new films like Fatal Frame. This combination of the old and the new makes this a powerful festival for film buffs. The possibilities to compare masterpieces alongside new works is not only fun, but elevates both groups.

  2. Horror-on-Sea – Located in Essex, England, this event takes place over two weekends and features some of the best new horror movies in the world. This is a great place to see the latest trends, including lots of zombies and vampires. There are also several “diamonds in the rough,” those films with such a new take on old stories that they stand out. The venues for the festival are wondrous as well. The ballroom at the Park in Palace on the first weekend, then the White Bus Cinema give two entirely different surrounding to watch films in. One large, the other intimate, this gives this festival two completely different feelings over the two weekends.

  3. Sci-fi London – Sci-Fi London takes place in the English capital and features more than just horror. Fantastic films of all sorts are screened. The interplay of horror with other genres, like science fiction, fantasy, and animated features, make this an ideal festival for film lovers who simply can’t get enough escapes from the world. Films like Embers and Cord premiered last year, each of them new takes on traditional genres. If you are a fan of the fantastic, then South London beckons.

  4. Film 4 FrightFest – This festival has been called “The Woodstock of Gore” by Guillermo del Toro and with good reason. Many of the world’s biggest and most innovative horror films, writers, and directors have either debuted at the festival or consider it a must-see event each year. Also hosted in London by the Horror Channel, this is the premier horror event in the UK and perhaps the world. Few horror film festivals get as much recognition or media as this FrightFest.

  5. Bram Stoker International Film Festival – Located in Whitby, England, this is a horror fan’s dream (or nightmare). Named for the legendary author of Dracula , the festival might be having a bit of its own nightmares. A sponsorship deal appears to be falling through. With any luck, the festival will be terrorizing people by Halloween again this year.

Are there more? What did we miss?

Let us know your thoughts and if you’ve attended any of these festivals, we would love to hear your reviews.

Article written by Bob Peryea for The Monthly Film Festival


  • Neb

    I also highly recommend Dead by Dawn in Edinburgh, Celluloid Screams in Sheffield, Mayhem in Nottingham, as well as Leeds Fanomenon and GrimmFest in Manchester…we’re really lucky to have so many great festivals in the UK!

    Reply September 2, 2016
    • admin

      Thanks for the suggestions, Neb!

      Reply September 3, 2016
  • Gareth @ Dead Northern

    Keep an eye out for Dead Northern in Harrogate!

    Reply July 17, 2020

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