Since its inception in 2012, Horror-On-Sea has grown to become the UK’s largest independent festival devoted to the genre.

Now, for the first time, it will be spread across two weekends – starting on Friday, January 11, and running through to Saturday and then Sunday, January 13, and then again from Friday, January 18, to Sunday, January 20.

“We’re all grown up now,” says Horror-on-Sea’s director and creator, Paul Cotgrove.

“We’ve had to spread the festival across two weekends, as we have had so many submissions from up-and-coming film makers and there are just so many good quality, independent films to show.

“In fact, across the six days of the festival, we’ll be screening from 10am to midnight.”


From vampires to hookers with hacksaws, murderous hillbillies selling strange “beef” to hellacious cats named “Angel”, Horror-on-Sea promises full-length features and shorts from across the whole horror spectrum - including killer donuts.

The programme itself features a hand-picked mix of the very latest British and international horror films, with “lots of black humour and serious horror,” as Paul explains.

“If I see something and think ‘wow, the audience will love this’, then it is automatically put into the schedule.

“Some films are borderline thrillers, but others, such as Leaf Blower Massacre 2 (USA) – which opens Horror-on-Sea on Friday 11th – is a clever movie, made on an absolute micro-budget, which horror fans will 100 per cent appreciate as it references Eighties classics such as ‘Driller Killer’.

“Essentially, Horror-on-Sea reaches out to all film fans, but will always have a particular appeal to people who love their horror.”

Paul Cotgrove is justifiably proud of his festival’s burgeoning reputation as the pre-eminent platform for independent film-makers: “Other horror movie festivals show big budget films but Horror-on-Sea screens wonderful, new work and is also a chance for fans and film-makers to meet each other, share their passion and exchange ideas.”


Horror-on-Sea has now become an internationally-recognised showcase for young writers, directors and producers, which sees many travel to Southend to join the fans, discuss their own work and learn from other movie makers, such as local legend, Pat Higgins.

Higgins will be presenting a masterclass at the festival’s base at the Park inn by Radisson Palace hotel on Saturday, January 12, from 3pm.

A prolific filmmaker, Pat has been described by Scream magazine as “One of the key names in the British horror revival” and will be presenting a fully-interactive show about horror, screenwriting and filmmaking.

Tickets are on sale now for the 2019 festival, which will again be held at the Park Inn by Radisson Palace Hotel on Southend’ seafront.

The venue will be hosting many world premieres from the horror genre, including; Sniper Corpse on Sunday, January 13, and Bannister Dollhouse on Sunday, January 20.

Other highlights of the festival will include Stewart Sparke’s Book of Monsters.


The film charts the story of a teenager named Sophie whose 18th birthday party becomes a bloodbath when six terrifying monsters descend upon her house, intent on devouring the party guests and killing anyone who tries to leave.

To survive the night, Sophie will face her destiny; monsters are real - and she’s the only one who can stop them.

How’s this for a film title - 6 Headed Shark Attack’?

This film, from America tells the story of what is supposed to be a marriage boot camp on a remote island turns into a test for survival when a six-headed shark starts attacking the beach.

Trapped with minimal weapons they try to fight off the shark, but quickly discover that no one is safe in the water, or on land’.

Then there’s Polterheist about two hapless small-time criminals who kidnap a psychic medium, forcing her to contact the gangster they murdered to find his buried cash.

Racing against the clock with fear of reprisal from a psychotic gang boss, they accidentally unleash a demon hell-bent on revenge.


Also on the menu will be an offering from America, titled Buzzard Hollow Beef, hailed as a “teeth-gnashing cannibal classic”.

Still reeling from her recent divorce and custody battle, Jordan Vollmer escapes with her nine month old son to her father’s remote farmhouse for what she hopes to be a peaceful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

But when the Vollmers venture into the small town of Buzzard Hollow, they are greeted by some strange and unsavoury characters, the Pickett family, who behave suspiciously when asked about the source of their famous beef.

With a more upbeat title, Space Babes from Outer Space fuses sci-fi with horror as three space women land on Earth in search of sexual energy to fuel their spaceship and get back home. They befriend a lonely farmboy who helps them on their plight, all while evading their mortal enemies, the Scrotes.

Just ahead of Valentine’s Day, Dead Love, could bring out the romantic in you - well sort of. The film is about a young train engineer in a small Colorado town whose world is upended when his mother suddenly takes her own life.


At the funeral home, he meets Fiona, a beautiful and mysterious mortician who takes a strong interest in him.

Prices for individual films start at£6 per film and a day pass from £25.

For serious fans, a Mega Festival Pass - that gets you into everything – offers value deal at £100 for the entire festival- could be the way to go.

For a full list of all the films showing as part of the festival, as well as times and tickets visit or call the festival hotline on 07981 824 283.