50 Greatest FrightFest Movies Of All Time

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2010)

The Movie : Easily the film that made the most noise at FrightFest 2009, the first Human Centipede shocked, reviled and caused fits of nervous giggles. There were even reports of vomiting in the aisles…

Why It's Great: It’s great when a film comes along that causes this much of a hullabaloo, and that’s exactly what Human Centipede did. Love it or hate it, at least you knew about it.

The Orphanage (2007)

The Movie : Director Juan Antonio Bayona and screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez present El Orfanto to an excited crowd of festival goers in 2007, unveiling one of the spookiest ghost stories we’ve seen in a while.

Why It's Great: With del Toro producing, The Orphanage is guaranteed to be a quality chiller – and with its great cast and lack of cheap jump scares, it’s exactly that.

Pans Labyrinth (2006)

The Movie : Guillermo del Toro makes a return trip to FrightFest and he’s got an absolute beauty with him – this time it’s giant fauns and a guy with eyes in his hands. Awesome.

Why It's Great: As if we needed another reason to love Guillermo del Toro, the Mexican auteur chose FrightFest over the London Film Festival to debut Pan’s Labyrinth . Whatta guy.

Wolf Creek (2005)

The Movie : Aussie director Greg McLean pitches up at FrightFest with a little film called Wolf Creek in tow. Meanwhile, his lead actresses Cassandra Magrath and Kestie Morassi also make an appearance.

Why It's Great: The talk of the town, Wolf Creek was the film to see at FF 2005 – and it definitely didn’t disappoint. We’re still scared to watch it again.


The Movie : Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and Rupert Evans all make an unexpected appearance at Hellboy ’s FF2004 bow, joining their director Guillermo del Toro on stage for a Q&A.

Why It's Great: Not only did we get the full glorious film, we also got most of the film’s cast – and the ever-entertaining del Toro. Not bad at all.

Oldboy (2003)

The Movie : Director Park Chan-wook's revenge-riddled masterpiece, which showed at FrightFest 2004. Choi Min-sik is the wronged businessman out for blood.

Why It's Great:
Have you seen the corridor hammer scene? That’s history in the making right there.

Haute Tension (2003)

The Movie : French film director Alexandre Aja springs into the spotlight with his daring, shocking slasher flick.

Why It's Great: When it debuted at FrightFest, word of the film's earth-shattering twist had gotten out, meaning nobody expected quite what Aja delivered…

Audition (1999)

The Movie : The first ever FrightFest packed a heck of a punch (and a needle, and a bag…) as it debuted this gem from Japan.

Why It's Great: What’s not to love about a film that turns gender roles on their heads as a young girl spins the tables on a widower who potentially wants to marry her?

Donnie Darko (2001)

The Movie : Donnie Darko was made for FrightFest – from humble beginnings, it’s built itself up as a revered cult classic, and rightly so.

Why It's Great: Impenetrable but riveting, achingly cool but not in-yer-face hip. This is the cult masterpiece of a generation.

Monsters (2010)

The Movie : We sponsored Monsters as our film of the Fest in 2010, and it ended up being the pseudo-monster flick that came out of nowhere and transformed into one of the biggest hits of the festival. Deservedly so.

Why It's Great: The film itself is awesome, but what came next was even better – director Gareth Edwards signed up to make the Godzilla reboot. We can’t wait to see it.

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.