Halloween may be over, but the horror will continue as the website for Horror-on-Sea 2023 is now live and the terrifying full line up has now been revealed.
Horror-on-Sea is recognised by many as the true home of independent horror and remains one of the UK’s biggest independent film festivals.
Originally formed to promote independent horror films and will continue to uphold that tradition, giving the horror fans an opportunity to see independent titles which would not normally be played on the big screen.
Hosted once again at The Park Inn Palace Hotel (Southend-on-Sea) the festival will be running over two weekends from Friday 14th January to Sunday 16th January and Friday 21st January to Sunday 23rd January.
Festival organiser Paul Cotgrove had the following to say about the festival returning: 10 bloody years of the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival, who’d of thought it! When we came up with the concept of only supporting independent Horror Films back in 2013, we never dreamt that we would tap into such a vast appreciative fan base that we have today. We have put together a very strong line up of films for January 2023 which will certainly keep the horror fan’s happy and mark our 10th anniversary in style. You can find the full festival listing for both weekends below.
Tickets and exclusive Horror-on-Sea merchandise is now available on the website and can be collected at the festival: https://www.horror-on-sea.com/
Festival line up
FRIDAY 13TH JANUARY
10am THE HUNTING
(MARK ANDREW HAMER/2021/USA/1h 32m)
A detective and a wildlife specialist investigate when a mutilated body is found in a forest.
Plus short film: WHAT’S THE BOOGEYMAN
(ANTHONY CATANESE, TIM RITTER, TODD SHEETS & BRAD SYKES/2022/USA/1h 56m)
Natalie, an ambitious young illustrator, is forced to create four of the most terrifying tales imaginable.
3pm THE SUMMONED
(MARK MEIR/2022/USA/1h 27m)
Two couples are invited to an exclusive self-help retreat – but there’s a catch…
Plus short films: LA NUEVA and MURDER SCENE
5.30pm DEMONS AT DAWN
(Randy Kent//2022/UK/USA/1h 20m)
Retired hitman uncovers a satanic cult in darkest deepest Devon!
Plus short films: THE PEY and ESCALATION
8pm HORROR-SCOPES WORLD PREMIERE!
12 of indie horror’s brightest talents, including many HoS regulars, bring 12 tales of terror to life
Plus short films: THE CURSE OF ROOM 102 and CONKERS FOR THE BRAVE
10.30pm HER NAME WAS CHRISTA
(JAMES L. EDWARDS/2020/USA/1h 59m)
When lonely Stephen meets streetwise call girl Christa it seems like a dream come true – but is it?
SATURDAY 14TH JANUARY
10am THE HAUNTING OF LADY-JANE
(KEMAL YILDRIM/2022/UK/1h 38m)
Cruising the English canals, troubled Lily and Zara hear about a water spirit which collects sinful souls.
Plus short film: GONE and BEHIND YOU
(SAM MASON BELL/2022/UK/1h 12m)
After an argument with his wife, Jason seeks solace in a forest, but finds it has secrets of its own.
Plus short films: SERURTA and ANIMATION
3pm: PAT HIGGINS MASTERCLASS: INDIE HORROR HACKS
It’s always a pleasure to welcome renowned local filmmaker Pat Higgins back for another fully interactive Masterclass. (See full page spread.)
3pm END OF TERM
(MAT MENONY/2021/UK/1h 37m)
Students tormented by a lingering ‘presence’ find that true art can only be achieved through suffering and pain.
Plus short film: MALEVOLENT
5.30pm EATING MISS CAMPBELL
(LIAM REGAN/2022/UK/1h 24m)
A vegan-goth high school student suddenly develops a taste for human flesh.
Plus short films: ROOM 4 and KAREN’S ROOM
8pm THE LAST TWITCH WORLD PREMIERE!
From the creators of HoS hit The Snarling: Gruesome murders in a sleepy village have the police baffled.
10.30pm NIGHT CALLER
(CHAD FERRIN/2022/USA/1h 24m)
A telephone psychic is pulled into a web of mystery when she receives a call from a self-confessed serial killer.
Plus short film: LONNIE KNUTSENGRIPPER PRESENTS: THE KNOCKING SHOP OF HORROR
SUNDAY 15TH JANUARY
10am MURPHY’S LORE
(MIKE REED/2022/UK/1h 10m)
Special HoS director’s cut of the fascinating documentary about legendary indie filmmaker Michael J. Murphy.
Plus short film: STAG’S HEAD
(RICHARD ANTHONY DUNFORD/2022/UK/1h 30m)
Colin Baker and Dani Thompson star as a customer service agent is terrorised by a dissatisfied caller.
Plus short film: THE WEIRD WORLD OF MOLLY BROWN
3pm IT CRAWLS BENEATH
(DALE FABRIGAR/2022/USA/1h 28m)
An earthquake leaves Danny trapped and alone – then something emerges from the fissures…
Plus short films: NEONATE and SUCKER
5.30pm POWERTOOL CHEERLEADERS VS. THE BOY BAND OF THE SCREECHING
(PAT HIGGINS/2022/UK/1h 36m)
The title pretty much says it all – but there’s a cursed amulet and an apocalyptic TV talent show in there as well.
Plus short films: TOFFEE APPLES and BEEP BEEP
8pm CASTING KILL WORLD PREMIERE!
(JAMES SMITH/2023/UK/1h 10m)
A fraudster posing as a casting director preys on actors desperate to get their big break.
Plus short films: UPSTAIRS and BLINK
10.30pm AQUASLASH DIRECTOR’S CUT!
(RENAUD GAUTHIER/2020/Canada/1h 24m)
Tiny bikinis and gory dismemberment are promised in this late night blood-drenched horror comedy.
FRIDAY 20TH JANUARY
10am MONSTERS IN THE CLOSET
(THE SNYGG BROTHERS/2022/USA/1h 28m)
When read out loud, a horror author’s stories come to gruesome life.
Plus short film: MY CONDITION
12.30pm THE ENTITY
(ERIK MATTI/2020/Philippines/1h 55m)
A family is haunted by the ghost of their young daughter, but did she really commit suicide?
(CRAIG SINGER/2021/USA/1h 36m)
A couple’s romantic weekend away turns into a nightmare when their first day keeps repeating itself.
Plus short film: SATANIC OPUS DEATH
5.30pm THE UNHEALER
(MARTIN GUIGUI/2020/USA/1h 33m)
Lance Henriksen features as spiritual healing gone wrong turns a bullied teenager into a killing machine.
Plus short films: BURNING LOVE and DON’T LOSE YOUR FACE
8pm TALES FROM THE GREAT WAR WORLD PREMIERE!
(ANDREW ELIAS/2023/UK/1h 3m)
The Western Front 1916. During a night-time raid on a German trench, the fates of four British soldiers collide.
Plus short films: AU PAIR and ALL YOU CAN EAT
10.30pm PIG KILLER
(CHAD FERRIN/2023/USA/2h 3m)
The terrifying story of real-life serial killer Robert ‘Willy’ Pickton, who terrorised Vancouver’s seedy downtown.
SATURDAY 21ST JANUARY
10am THE FEARWAY
(ROBERT GAJIC/2022/USA/1h 22m)
A young couple are hunted by someone intent on stopping them leaving the freeway.
Plus short films: #NOFILTER and STRINGS
12.30pm THE CREEPING
(JAMIE HOOPER/2022/UK/1h 34m)
Moving in with her ailing grandmother, a young woman has to confront a malevolent presence.
Plus short films: ROOM 301 and THE MIRAGE
3pm CHILDREN OF SIN
(CHRISTOPHER WESLEY MOORE/2022/USA/1h 34m)
After being sent to a sinister religious retreat by their stepfather, siblings must escape to try to save their mother.
Plus short film: THE OVERKILL
5.30pm MASK OF THE DEVIL
(RICHARD ROUNTREE/2022/UK/1h 28m)
Taking a job with a low-rent pornographer, a feisty young woman ends up battling an ancient evil.
Plus short films: CURSE OF BAXTON HOUSE and EAT YOUR EGGS
8pm VIDEO SHOP TALES OF TERROR WORLD PREMIERE!
Inspired by the ‘video shop’ at HoS, six directors present tales in the spirit of the classic horror anthologies.
10.30pm A SHIP OF MADNESS: DEEPER AND HIGHER WITH PAZUCUS
(GURCUIS GEWDNER/2021/Brazil/1h 43m)
Documentary. The director revisits his recent adventures, asking just how far can underground Brazilian film go?
SUNDAY 22ND JANUARY
10am ANOTHER DAY TO LIVE THROUGH
(PETER SIMMONS/2023/UK-Finland/1h 22m)
A determined young woman and an embittered old soldier are trapped in an isolated cabin.
Plus short films: THE WOODS ARE STILL PLAGUED and UNTIL DEATH
(CHARLIE STEEDS/2022/UK/1h 27m)
On a rescue mission to the North Pole, Captain Mortimer gets more than he bargained for.
Plus short film: HAUNTED THRILLS
3pm REVENGE OF BILLY THE KID DIRECTOR’S CUT!
(JIM GROOM/1991/UK/1h 40m)
14 minutes extra terror in this tale of a horny farmer who has his way with a goat, producing a vengeful Billy.
Plus short film: SCATTERBRAINS
5.30pm MIDNIGHT PEEPSHOW
(ANDY EDWARDS, AIRELL ANTHONY HAYLES, LUDOVICA MUSUMECI & JAKE WEST/2022/UK/1h 33m)
Zach Galligan is the Games Master as a man stumbles upon a darkly magical peepshow.
Plus short films: TO RAISE HER SPIRITS and FORE STREET
8pm HALLOWEEN JACK 3D WORLD PREMIERE!
(PHIL WEST/2023/UK/1h 5m)
In “gut-wrenching 3D”! 10 years after Halloween Jack’s holiday camp murders, the survivors return.
Plus short films: THE CHAIN and ERIC
10.30pm CROSS OF THE 7 JEWELS
(MARCO ANTONIO ANDOLFI/1987/Italy/1h 23m)
Famed as one of the trashiest, but least seen, films ever made in Italy, this is the first screening worldwide for 40 years for this ‘lost’ werewolf film, starring he-man Gordon Mitchell and luscious Annie Belle, now restored in 4k.
SATURDAY 14th JANUARY
PAT HIGGINS MASTERCLASS – INDIE HORROR HACKS
Hack the film industry! Pat Higgins (described as “One of the Masters of Horror” by The Dark Side magazine and “Essex’s Own Horror Auteur” by Kim Newman) presents a fast-paced Masterclass full of hacks, tricks and techniques for breaking into the industry, getting your movie off the ground and getting the maximum amount of bang for your buck. From coming up with a killer idea through to getting traction on social media, this is a jam-packed session with plenty of audience interaction, opportunities for Q&A and more indie horror hacks than you’ll find anywhere else!