Festival of Fright: Horror-On-Sea returning to Southend

Still from The Mountain King
Still from Canadian film, The Mountain King

Including 30 feature films and around 40 shorts

This year’s Southend horror festival commences this month with an international line-up of films including award-winning The Snarling, first showcased at Horror-On-Sea and now with a worldwide distribution deal.

Horror-On-Sea Festival not only celebrates the genre, but serves as a platform for giving up-and-coming writers, directors, producers and actors an opportunity to showcase their work to a knowledgeable and enthusiastic audience.

Southend’s own Darren Kent, who is currently starring in the Syfy grindhouse TV series, Blood Drive, said: “I know how hard it is to make a movie and get it recognised. Perhaps because the horror genre is so huge now many movies never get seen, which is a real shame.

Unique

“Horror-On-Sea is unique, in that it shines a spotlight on up-and-coming film-makers and actors like me, bringing our work to the wider attention of the industry. I strongly support what it stands for and am extremely pleased it’s back – and on my doorstep.”

The Snarling, from producer/editor Ben Manning and writer/director Pablo Raybould, has been chosen to take the prime 8.00pm slot on Saturday, January 20 for a pre-release screening.

The Snarling stars some recognisable faces including Chris Simmons (The Bill), Joel Beckett (The Office and Eastenders), Julia Deakin (Hot Fuzz, Spaced, Shaun of The Dead) and Ste Johnston (No Offence).

Tickets are on sale now for the festival, which will be held at the Park Inn by Radisson Palace Hotel on Southend’s iconic seafront, with the venue hosting a series of world premieres, appearances and talks from leading lights in the horror movie industry.

Horror-On-Sea was spawned by local film aficionado and movie industry insider, Paul Cotgrove, in 2013 with a desire to give aspiring filmmakers and writers in the horror genre an opportunity to have their work put in front of large audiences and people working in the film industry.

Now, Horror-On-Sea receives submissions from across the world, with America, Europe, India and Brazil represented amongst the 30 feature films and around 40 shorts.

Paul said: “I’ve put together a broad programme that covers many of the classic sub genres, such as killer, monster and paranormal.

“In Crispy’s Curse we have a Christian heavy metal band, Messiah Fist, taking on a killer clown called Crispy. Fans of zombie, slasher and 70s style grindhouse/ exploitation film, will also love some of the movies we’re screening.”

Paul adds: “The key to making a great horror movie is to have a blend of humour, atmosphere and suspense. As the film progresses, it should give you goosebumps on top of your goosebumps but also allow you to relieve the heart-pumping tension with a real belly laugh. In those respects, I think many of the films have absolutely nailed it.”

Other films include Canada’s The Mountain King and Brit flick Witches Brew.

Advance tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com – search for Horror-on-Sea – or can be reserved by calling 07516 944 546.

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