Prepare for the chilling return of the Romford Horror Festival, an extended four-day plunge into the heart of cinematic horror, starting on Thursday, 29th February 2024. Now in its fourth year, this festival, a twisted offshoot of the Romford Film Festival, is gearing up to unleash an unparalleled experience, unveiling its most diabolical lineup to date.
Plunge headfirst into a blood-curdling cinematic odyssey, featuring 168 feature films and shorts, including eight timeless classic horror masterpieces. The festival, spreading its dark influence across two screens and introducing a third exclusively for spine-tingling talks, continues its legacy of premiering global cinematic nightmares, boasting an astounding 33 world premieres that are sure to send shivers down your spine. The resurrection of fan-favorite segments like “Short, Sharp Shocks” and “Cheap Thrills” is now joined by two electrifying additions: “Student Bodies,” showcasing student films, including seven from New City College, and the unpredictable “Horror Roulette,” a pulsating party where filmmakers unveil short films under 15 minutes to an unsuspecting audience.
While the festival officially commences its reign of terror on Thursday, the true crescendo awaits on Friday, 1st March 2024, featuring a live singer, the suspenseful horror roulette, stylized photo shoots for attendees, and invaluable networking opportunities, complete with dedicated breakout spaces for sinister meetings.
Renowned director Kenichi Ugana takes center stage this year, presenting two gripping films, “Visitors – The Complete Edition” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Southend-based TIS Films brings forth “Mosaic,” with scenes shot at Romford’s Mercury Shopping Centre and along the eerie Southend coast. The festival casts a malevolent spotlight on a local filmmaker lineup of over 35 films, including titles like “Yellow,” “Sunday Driver,” “Newsgrid,” “Punch,” and “Sour Milk,” promising to ensnare the audience in their dark narratives. Devout horror aficionados can rejoice as big-screen showings of acclaimed titles like “Possession,” “The Medusa Touch,” “The Entity,” and “Cannibal Apocalypse” are set to summon nightmarish visions.
The festival is poised to summon an array of malevolent guests, including the esteemed Cinizia Monreale, flying in from Rome, renowned for her haunting role in the once-banned 1980 film “The Beyond.” Caroline Munro and Pauline Peart, with illustrious careers steeped in Hammer films, Carry On movies, and James Bond, will join for a screening of “The Pocket Film Of Superstitions.” Graham Cole OBE, infamous as Tony Stamp from The Bill, and indie film enchantress Dani Thompson, alongside various other horror luminaries, will grace the event. Stalls offering Blu- rays, DVDs, cursed jewelry, forbidden art, unholy magazines, sinister books, and ghastly special effects add an extra layer of malevolence to the festival atmosphere.
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Festival co-director Spencer Hawken expressed unbridled enthusiasm, stating, “We are truly unleashing the darkness this year, doubling the number of films and screens, curating a jam-packed agenda to cater to every horror taste. We want attendees to revel in an outstanding experience that remains accessible; a full festival pass is available for just £36, equating to an unbeatable £9 per day.”
For those opting for a selective festival experience, day passes are available for £15, and individual sessions can be enjoyed at a nominal cost of £3.50 per session, with sales commencing on 1st February 2024. Attendees can also engage in post-screening Q&A sessions with esteemed actors and directors, exploring the depths of their demonic creations.
Following last year’s phenomenal success, with 1000 attendees filling local hotels, organizers anticipate surpassing that number this year. Festival co-director Natalie Bays asserted, “Ticket sales have been exceptionally strong this year, signalling our expectation to exceed last year’s attendance.”
This year’s film lineup promises a star-studded affair, featuring Tony Todd, Prunella Scales, Sean Young, Jamie Lomas, Kane Hodder, Kierston Wareing, Lynn Lowry, Caroline Munro, Graham Cole, Diane Franklin, Caroline Pickles, Pauline Peart, Guy Henry, Dani Thompson, Ayvianna Snow, and a myriad of other captivating talents, all ready to plunge audiences into a world of terror.
Just last week, the festival was recognized by Screen Daily as one of the 50 most important festivals in the UK, putting it head to head with giants in the UK festival circuit. Out of the 1043 film festivals operating in the UK, Romford Horror Festival stands as a beacon of terror.
Tickets and detailed information about the film lineup are available at www.romfordhorrorfestival.com, where you can secure your passage into the abyss.