FrightFest was born bloody in a dark corner of Leicester Square in August 2000.
Hosted at the pokey Prince Charles Cinema, it offered gore and more with a line-up that included Dario Argento's The Phantom Of The Opera , Ed Gein , The Lighthouse , J-horror Ringu 2 and docs on Mario Bava and Argento.
It was a screaming success.
Key Movie: Audition , Takashi Miike's slow-burning torture horror.
Controversy: Several unexpecting audience members felt faint after Audition 's piano-wire conclusion.
Nazi zombies, werewolves and Japan's answer to Lord Of The Flies kept the screams coming at the second FrightFest thanks to The Bunker , Brotherhood Of The Wolf and Battle Royale .
Jeepers Creepers and Ginger Snaps scared up attention as sleeper hits but Guillermo del Toro's The Devil's Backbone was the festival's real discovery.
Key Movie: Masterful, adult horror The Devil's Backbone .
Controversy: The uncut UK premiere of The Isle had fishhooks and animal cruelty intact.
Tales of ordinary madness dominated this vintage FrightFest with Frailty , Donnie Darko , My Little Eye and the magnificent Spider .
Funny man Robin Williams brought the fear in a double whammy of Insomnia and One Hour Photo , while bonkers J-horror The Happiness Of The Katakuris made jaws hit the floor.
Key Movie: God-bothering, Bible Belt horror Frailty .
Controversy: Serial killer flick Ted Bundy divided audiences - some folk mistook it for a comedy.
A strong line up including Octane , Tattoo , Malefique , Jeepers Creepers 2 and Takashi Miike's truly bizarre yakuza flick Gozu kept the faithful happy.
Meanwhile, smart sci-fi movie Cypher proved there was more to FrightFest than gore and grue and hirsute rocker Rob Zombie came to screen House Of 1000 Corpses with wife Sheri Moon.
Key Movie: Cabin Fever announced the arrival of Eli Roth as a director to watch.
Controversy: Cinema staff dialled 999 when bikers started a punch-up during Charlie's Family .
A wealth of instant classics made 2004 into a year to remember: festival opener Oldboy , Haute Tension and Method madness in The Machinist all raised the bar.
Elsewhere, Dario Argento's iffy The Card Player suffered from following the previous day's retro screening of his masterpiece Deep Red , and Code 46 seemed strangely out of place.
Key Movie: The surprise addition of Creep , a true FrightFest flick.
Controversy: The Toolbox Murders remake split audiences down the middle like a power saw.
Zombies, zombies everywhere: FrightFest's 5th birthday screened all of Romero's Dead movies, including his new Land Of The Dead . The filmmaker appeared on-stage and received a standing ovation from grateful deadheads.
Less successful was a failed satellite interview with Hideo Nakata. The schedule included Dead Meat , Marebito , Evil Aliens and The Collingswood Story .
Key Movie: Oz torture porn Wolf Creek .
Controversy: The hilariously dire Day Of The Dead 2: Contagium offended many Romero fans.
Guillermo del Toro snubbed the London Film Festival to premiere Pan's Labyrinth at FrightFest announcing: "I'm more nervous here than in Cannes".
Adam Green was elevated to FrightFest's favourite son after his gory, old-skool horror Hatchet wowed the audience. A solid programme including Severance , See No Evil , and Ils ( Them ) finished with Korean monster movie The Host .
Key Movie: Hatchet , a fan favourite.
Controversy: Snoop Dogg's Hood Of Horror left the audience howling.
Killer sheep, killer crocs and a killer vagina entertained on-screen, while outside ghouls hijacked a tourist bus during a zombie walk in Leicester Square.
Screenings of Black Sheep , Black Water , Teeth and The Zombie Diaries were fun but the clitoral blowtorch torture in The Girl Next Door had festival co-organizer Paul McEvoy offering post-screening counselling.
Key Movie: Closing film The Orphanage had the crowd in tears.
Controversy: An Uwe Böll Q&A tipped one irate audience member over the edge.
A vintage FrightFest year, 2008 premiered some fantastic domestic horror ( Eden Lake , Mum & Dad ) amid an eclectic line-up that included Tokyo Gore Police , Bubba's Chili Parlor and The Midnight Meat Train .
Fan fave Frank Henenlotter introduced his mutant-porno Bad Biology and Death Race closed the festival in upbeat style.
Key Movie: Swedish kiddie vampire flick Let The Right One In .
Controversy: Divisive French shocker Martyrs left the audience reeling, puking and incensed.
Despite occupying a bigger venue at Empire Leicester Square, FrightFest's electric atmosphere remained unchanged.
Trick r Treat , Giallo , La Horde and the Nazi ghouls of Dead Snow played well to FrightFest sensibilities while The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo discovered mainstream appeal and language-as-virus zombie movie Pontypool proved super-smart.
Key Movie: Ass-to-mouth horror The Human Centipede .
Controversy: They called The Human Centipede "the year's most shocking film". They weren't kidding.
Most famous for the movie it didn't show - A Serbian Film , pulled after the BBFC imposed four minutes of cuts - the 11th annual FrightFest delivered plenty of other shocks including Hatchet II , Cherry Tree Lane , Red White & Blue , F and The Clinic .
Key Movie: Monsters , a creature feature with no budget but lots of impact.
Controversy: A Serbian Film aroused heated debate, even though no one saw it. PR win.