The most spooky season is almost upon us and I thought it was time to have a look at some of the horror film festivals you can go to. I will be focusing specifically on festivals that are low cost/free and virtual as an option. As we love horror but only in the movies, everyone needs to stay safe. Plus for a lot of folks, having the festival online is a lot more accessible, so I want to shine a light on those who are determined to bring horror to everyone wherever they are.
For those who are not wanting to go to any festivals or events in person, the Blumfest is the perfect festival happening this year as it is completely online. In comparison to the other events on this list, Blumfest is relatively new – with 2021 being its second year running. But don’t you worry it may be new, but Blumhouse is providing us with a lot of fantastic horrors, I have no doubt its second year will be up to the task.
As it was with last year, Blumfest 2021 will be sure to show sneak peeks, updates on current or future productions, news and announcements, along with various panels featuring guests. We will most certainly get something on Halloween Kills and its sequel Halloween Ends.
OCTOBER 1ST 2021
FREE | ONLINE
MORE INFO : blumhouse.com
Abertoir Horror Festival
In Ceredigion, Wales, the Abertoir Horror Festival is a six-day festival that celebrates both classic and modern horror. Originally a three-day event, it was so popular that it has expanded to not only include screenings but also concerts, theatre shows, masterclasses, as well as a short film competition that features horror and fantasy.
Though traditionally an in-person event, after the many lockdowns in the UK, they listened to the fans who appreciate the flexibility and accessibility that online festivals create. But do not fear, as they will be featuring a “Zoom bar” space where attendees can mingle with one another.
Unfortunately, if you do not live in the UK, you might not be able to view the films, though there might be some events available online.
NOVEMBER 12TH — 14TH 2021
£39 | IN-PERSON | ONLINE
MORE INFO : abertoir.co.uk
SLAY Film Festival
For those who may want to dip their toe into the horror experience, look no further than the Slay Film Festival. Unlike the other festivals on this list, this festival only features shorts, so if your heart can only take so much it is perfect. Featuring all the types of stories you expect from the horror genre such as ghost stories, slashers, dystopia and many other nightmarish experiences.
The in-person experience is held in both Seattle and Portland, but for the online experience, you can buy tickets for each day. Unfortunately, there is no festival pass, but this format does allow you some flexibility if you can only have time for a few days or less.
OCTOBER 22ND — 31ST 2021
$15-20 | ONLINE
MORE INFO : slayfilmfest.com
Toronto After Dark Festival
For those residing in Canada, the Toronto After Dark Festival is the one to watch with not only horror but also action and sci-fi to get excited about. Featuring not only films and shorts from North America, but also from Asia and Europe to sink your teeth into. And for those obsessed with zombies, you will love their Zombie themed night.
Though they offer formal live talks with a Q&A section, festivalgoers and filmmakers are welcome to socialise in a relaxed and accessible manner, in the Pub After Dark. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be an option for those attending virtually to interact.
OCTOBER 14TH — 17TH 2021
$14-160 | IN-PERSON | ONLINE
MORE INFO : torontoafterdark.com
A Night of Horror
The Night of Horror Festival is a long-established festival now in its 13th year. Based in Melbourne, Australia, it shows not only feature films but also shorts. Dedicated to showing a vast array of independent films, 90% of its shorts and 50% of its feature films come from open submission, rather than agents or distributors.
They have a good reputation of directors that have featured their first films at this festival, most notably Mike Flanagan. But it is not only just films, that often have live talks from directors in the horror business with a Q&A at the end for all your terrible questions.
OCTOBER 18TH — 31ST 2021
$9-96 | ONLINE
MORE INFO : anightofhorror.com
Soho Horror Film Festival
The Soho Horror Festival tries to shine a light on creatives that aren’t as represented in the mainstream as they should be. In their 4th year running, they are running their second virtual experience that will feature eclectic horror, but also thrillers, dark fantasy, sci-fi, black comedy and LGBTQ+ movies. What makes this festival special is not only their focus on independent and less-known films and filmmakers, but a lot of these films will be shown for the first time in the UK.
DECEMBER 3RD — 5TH 2021
PRICES TBA | IN-PERSON | ONLINE
MORE INFO : sohohorrorfest.com
What horror film festivals are you going to this year? Share in the comments!