I’m not sure at what point I realised I was losing my grip. Perhaps it was the moment in existential French psychodrama Pandemonium where a recently deceased motorist finds himself being introduced to hell by a 7ft-tall mega-demon; or it could have been the copious vomiting scene in Cobweb, which was the third copious vomiting scene I’d witnessed in 24 hours. Either way, by the time I got to the third day of Frightfest, I realised it was time to go home – even though, for the crowds of gore devotees gathered outside the cinema behind me, this was just the halfway point.
Now in its 24th year, Frightfest offers both new movies (often getting their world premiere) and classic chillers, taking in the whole gamut of the genre from straight-up slasher flicks to bizarre artsy experiments. Over five days more than 70 films are shown on several screens, and there is a wonderful community feel: people dressed in Evil Dead and Cannibal Holocaust T-shirts mix amiably with cos-players decked out as mad scientists and vampires.