Horror! At its most profound; it’s most clenching and suffocating foundation, horror is fundamentally a state of mind. Experienced at full volume, horror grips the brain and ignites some of the simplest animal-level emotions and responses that have been hardwired into our circuitry since before we could see, hear or think, shutting down most other functions in the process. Different from ‘frightening’, horror forces itself into our minds like a poisonous gas that seeps in, no matter how carefully we try to stop the gaps.
The best horror reminds us that a monster lurks within us and lurks within the person sitting next to us. A fright is one thing, but coming face to face with that escapee is the horror. And so this is the dark-matter that fuelled the selection process for this very special programme. If words struggle to adequately describe ‘the horror’ then pictures must step up. And what better pictures than those crafted by some of the most creative imaginations on the planet.
In our 20-year history we have screened hundreds of films that fall into the ‘horror’ category. We have hand-picked 10 of the big audience favourites with a couple of our favourites thrown in for good measure. We could have gone for cheap thrills and the sudden shock. But we want something more valuable than your nervous laughter. We want you to leave a small part of your soul behind in this cinema. We want you to leave having felt The Horror.
Invocation – Robert Morgan, UK
A grotesquely surreal deconstruction of the guts of stop-motion animation.
2013 3’00 min
Happy End – Jan Saska, Czech Republic
A black comedy about death with a happy ending. A splendid chain of unlikely encounters. Hunters, a tractor driver, a disco boy, and a corpse.
2015 5’40 min
Underlife – Jaroslaw Konopka, Poland
Can man be free from the impact that time and place of birth have on his life? A metaphorical tale of a baby stroller, inspired by Krzysztof Komeda’s “Lullaby.”
2010 8’30 min
Stand Up – Joseph Pierce, UK
Car-crash comedy at its most compulsive. Told through a single stand-up comedy routine, John J Jones performs to an unforgiving audience. As he loses their interest, his body rebels against him, and the truth behind the one-liners leaks through the cracks.
2007 6’55 min
Teeth – Daniel Gray & Tom Brown, UK/Hungary/USA
A look inside a mouth punished through the years by caramel apples, fist fights, and painful dental visits. Narrated by Richard E. Grant.
2015 5’55 min
Face – Hendrick Dusollier, France
A twisted, spectacular depiction of a face trapped in a dangerous prison of the mind.
2007 5’45 min
Angry Man – Anita Killi, Norway
A film about family secrets that shouldn’t be secret.
2009 20’00 min
The Labyrinth – Mathieu Labaye, Belgium
The mind is a labyrinth of pathways and corridors, each one reacting differently to being locked up and trapped.
2013 9’20 min
Johnno’s Dead – Chris Shepherd, UK/France
Serving twelve years behind bars for a crime you didn’t commit focuses the mind. A terrifying and twisted tale of obsession, destruction and revenge.
2016 8’25 min
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