Soho Horror Film Festival, one of the UK's most exciting, progressive and fiercely independent horror film fests, is back with a sprawling 2023 hybrid edition - and we're thrilled to bring you the lineup exclusively today.
Spotlighting over thirty features and 50 short films from around the world, the fest will run from November 24 - 26 at the Whirled Cinema in Brixton, London. As always, Soho Horror Film Festival is dedicated to accessibility, meaning those who can't attend the fest in person need not miss out on all the gory and gruesome delights delights, as the online Sohome Horror Film Festival will run from November 30 - December 3.
Since 2018, Soho Horror Film Festival has championed the principle of the three Is: Independent, Intimate and Inclusive, maintaining a welcoming community that proudly platforms minority or marginalized filmmakers and voices.
Let's dive into this stacked lineup courtesy of Soho Horror Film Festival's official press release:
The festival will open with the International Premiere of THE HYPERBOREAN, like KNIVES OUT on a moonshine bender, prepare to get mummy-wrapped up in the rye humour and cosmic chaos of the latest brain buster from the director of CULT HERO and writer of PONTYPOOL.
Not bonkers enough? How about When Harry Met Sally but for necrophiliacs in Isti Madarász’s kitsch and fantastical mortuary romance HALFWAY HOME, psychiatric psychotronic TIFF sensation FIXATION, or American Dream meets Greek Tragedy in the UK Premiere of the perverse HIPPO. Hack up a hairball in the gag worthy but nonetheless beautiful feline body-horror BOOGER, or take a trip to the woods for an analogue arrest of the heart with the gooey and terrifying FROGMAN (seen below) - both of which are feature debuts from previous festival alumni filmmakers Mary Dauterman and Anthony Cousins respectively, seeing their European Premieres.
Upholding the festivals keystone of platforming LBGBTQ+ horror, is the centrepiece film: the International Premiere of SAINT DROGO - from the creators of cult favourite DEATH DROP GORGEOUS – a horny, ethereal and shockingly savage queer folk horror that will leave audiences’ jaws on the floor. Bringing even more horn-dog horror, chow down on carnal delights in Aimee Kuge’s raucous and redemptive CANNIBAL MUKBANG (seen below). Keeping up the gore for some midnight madness is the UK Premiere of Adam Mason’s supernatural slasher BABY BLUE; but if Sunday afternoon gentleness is more your speed then try not to lose your head with the festival circuit favourite THE COFFEE TABLE from Caye Casas.
A showpiece gala for this year’s festival will focus on Satanic Panic. Opening with a special preview of the disturbing documentary SATAN WANTS YOU, which follows the untold story of the 80s moral panic; a reckoning of religious hypocrisy in the harrowing Australian horror GODLESS: THE EASTFIELD EXORCISM; satanic summoning of a more light-hearted (and puppet filled) nature with the English Premiere of ONYX THE FORTUITOUS AND THE TALISMAN OF SOULS, and closing the in-person festival is Dutch Southern’s hypnotic cultist crime opus ONLY THE GOOD SURVIVE.
The Satanic Panic Gala continues into the virtual festival, which opens with the International Premiere of SATRANIC PANIC, a demon filled road trip movie from Australian queer teen auteur Alice Maio Mackay, who will also present her alien parasite feature T BLOCKERS. Australian horror finds itself front and centre in 2023 with the runaway success of TALK TO ME, and to celebrate it Sohome Horror Fest will play host to an Australian Horror summit. Sam Curtain’s nihilistic BEATEN TO DEATH (seen below) will quite literally beat you to death, and confined creature feature SUBJECT is bound to make you feel clawstraphobic. As well as an Antipodean short film showcase and a roundtable discussion of the history and importance of the countries stamp on the genre; come down under mate.
Showing the broadest reaches of the genre, there’s the hand animated marvel of 80s nostalgia in Zach Passero’s THE WEIRD KIDZ, the unholy fusion of Lovecraft and full blown musical in the goofy and earworm filled ELDRITCH, USA, and heart-warming apocalyptic love letter to the power of filmmaking in THE LAST MOVIE EVER MADE.
Fear will assault your airwaves; in the skin crawling study of psychopathy that is TEARSUCKER a man thirsts for – you guessed it – tears, from Chile an all-female black metal band conjures more than just riffs in Patricio Valadares’ INVOKING YELL. Ensuring that the truly unhinged weirdness isn’t just confined to the physical festival is a special preview of the 9 years in the making human sized puppet nightmare ABRUPTIO (seen below), and more marionette madness in the unhinged CAROUSEHELL 3 which finds Duke the merry-go-round horse fighting a hitman chocolate easter bunny!
Flying across the pond to have their International Premiere is the intimate and insidious coven spooker SUMMONERS from Terence Krey, a husband and wife separately plot to murder each other on the same fateful night in Zachary Burns twisted HELL HATH NO FURY, and hilarity and catharsis collide in Cassie Keet’s witty cult comedy SCREAM THERAPY. Closing the festival, deck the halls with bows of horror for a very merry aXeMas with SANTASTEIN.
With special collaborations with female collective Ghouls Magazine – presenting their first curated film programme in GHOULSBUMPS, and a live 25th anniversary celebration of DISTURBING BEHAVIOUR with Drunken Horror Podcast; there really is something for everyone in this gathering of 2023’s horror great! So don’t miss out: Head to Soho's official website for passes and updates, and you can follow the festival on Facebook, X and Instagram @SohoHorrorFest!