Film Festival of Horrors

By Indi Stilling

Are you ready to scream and jump out of your seats? Well, Southend’s Horror-on-Sea Festival is back for its 10th anniversary! Featuring world premieres of new films to the classics that we know and love, the festival has it all. There will be werewolves, demons, monsters in wardrobes, and even cannibalistic vegan goths. There will really be something for everyone. Who says that horror is only reserved for the spooky season in October? It is a genre with a huge fan base celebrated all year round. But why is it such a popular genre? And why do people fear the fear, that these films give?

The horror genre is kind of repulsing. The films are typically full of gore, monsters and blood yet we cannot keep our eyes away. We sit on the edge of our seats wanting to hide behind a pillow yet at the same time we find ourselves glued to the screen. The suspense is killing.

We find ourselves recoiling at horror but at the same time, we lust after it.

These classic spooky tales are films we find ourselves coming back to, giving us a sense of nostalgia.

These films play on our fears and bring them to life. Despite seeing these things on the screen, it is still sometimes hard to distinguish between the fantasy you are watching and the reality around you. In these moments your brain gets confused as to whether or not you are really in danger, therefore we find our hearts pumping and our fight-or-flight response gearing up.

Imagine you are getting to a scary bit in a classic horror film. The silence on the screen is deafening. Something jumps out at the screen. You jump backward even though you knew what was going to happen. Adrenaline is pumping through your veins. It is this rush that you get in those moments, that leaves people coming back for more.

Even though these are terrifying moments, knowing that you are in the comfort of your surroundings makes you feel safe from the monsters.

But what if there were to actually be a zombie apocalypse?

There is a light-hearted side to the terror within these films. Stereotypically characters never choose the easy route. This gives you, the watcher, a chance to have a laugh and put yourselves in the character’s shoes. Like with a lot of fictional worlds, we love to imagine ourselves as the characters so it gives us a chance to imagine what we would do in those terrifying situations.

The fictional world is a great place to escape in times of need. The world is full of real horrors to sometimes it feels nice to immerse yourself in a world of horror that does not exist and instead a bit of fun.

Southend’s Horror-on-Sea is the perfect place for you to escape into horror and meet others with the same passion for the genre.

Taking place on the 13th-22nd of January 2023, it will feature more than 35 feature films and 70 short films. It is a major showcase for independent movie makers, actors, and writers in this part of the movie industry.

Some of the world premieres include The Last Twitch, Horror-Scopes, Tales From The Great War and Casting Kill. Other movies on the bill include: The Hunting, The Summoned, The Haunting of Lady-Jane, Night Caller, Murphy’s Lore and The Entity, plus many many more.

The 10-year anniversary of the festival will be sure to make you scream

You can find out more and book tickets here.

If you liked this then be sure to check out Uncovering Surrealism

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