50 Greatest FrightFest Movies Of All Time

Martyrs (2008)

The Movie : A French delicacy, Martyrs ramped up the gore levels at FrightFest 2008 with its demented philosophy and tension-eking scenes.

Why It's Great: It turned out to be one of Total Film ’s favourite horrors of the year – and you got to see it first right here at FrightFest.

Pitch Black (2000)

The Movie : A highlight for the first ever FrightFest, Pitch Black was one of the most buzzed-about films at FF 2000. Luckily with its bleached visuals and a never-better Vin Diesel, it had the goods to back up that buzz.

Why It's Great: Vin Diesel has struggled to match it since, with Pitch Black taking the Alien mould and freshening it up for the 21st century. Here’s hoping the upcoming third Riddick film will see a return to form for the franchise.

28 Days Later (2002)

The Movie : Danny Boyle pitches up to FF 2002 with the first reel of his non-zombie zombie film. The crowds go wild.

Why It's Great: It’s just a hint of what makes FrightFest so great – exclusives like these are just what audiences are clamouring for, and FF never fails to deliver the (gory) goods.

Eden Lake (2008)

The Movie : A (mostly) pre-fame Michael Fassbender attends FrightFest 2008 to talk about his latest film, Eden Lake , in which he and Kelly Reilly are hunted by bloodthirsty youths in the forest.

Why It's Great: Since then, director James Watkins has gone on to find success with The Woman In Black , while Fassbender… well, he’s not exactly running around in low-budget films anymore, is he?

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009)

The Movie : The Swedish invasion scores another blinder with this adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling crime thriller, with debuted at FF09.

Why It's Great: Two words: Noomi Rapace. Oh, alright, that’s really just one name, but with a single performance, the Swedish actress marked herself out as somebody to keep a very close eye on.

Pontypool (2008)

The Movie : FrightFest 2009 transports us to a little Canadian town called Pontypool, where a radio DJ discovers that a radiowave transmission could prove deadly…

Why It's Great: Fantastic idea brought to life with class and intelligence. This was one of FF09’s biggest surprises.

Colin (2008)

The Movie : The much-publicised British zombie film, which director Marc Price claims he made for just £45.

Why It's Great:
A zombie film that sympathises with the zombie? That was pretty unheard of when Colin took his bow, but the premise works magnificently.

Cherry Tree Lane (2010)

The Movie : A British home invasion nail-biter from Paul Andrew Williams, Cherry Tree Lane made its debut at FF2010 and follows a couple who are terrorised in their suburban home.

Why It's Great: Think the home invasion genre is tired out? Williams proves it’s anything but with this, a tense thriller with something to say.

The Troll Hunter (2011)

The Movie : Norwegian found-footage fantasy, which stomped over to FrightFest in 2011, and proved to be a winsome combination of camp humour and stirring set-pieces. Stellar stuff.

Why It's Great: It’s a tongue-in-cheek horror that wants us to believe trolls really exist – and in that, it almost succeeds.

Buried (2010)

The Movie : After all the controversy, A Serbian Film was pulled from the line-up on request of Westminster Council, who demanded it be classified by the BBFC first. Replacing that film? Buried , a man-in-a-box thriller that thinks outside of it.

Why It's Great: Claustrophobic? This’ll either cure you or kill you. An impressive feat in imaginative filmmaking, Buried also proved once and for all that Ryan Reynolds can do drama.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.