The 7 most exciting horror movies showing at the BFI London Film Festival 2016

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This year the  BFI London Film Festival celebrates its 60th birthday in style. Not content with showing the best movies in the world over 12 days, the organisers have even built their own pop-up cinema !

Situated in the gorgeous Victoria Embankment Gardens it boasts 780 cinema-style seats, Dolby 7.1 surround sound, and 4k digital projection – perfect for soaking up the many gory thrills and shivery chills buried within the Festival’s vast line-up.

For your pleasure, we have nailed down the 7 most intoxicating, provocative and bat-shit bonkers horror flicks that could well shoot straight to the top of your must-see list.

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 – The Wailing  –  Korea (2016)       Supernatural/Fantasy  156m     Dir –  Na Hong Jin

What ?

A cop investigating a spate of mysterious deaths in a very rainy Korean village embarks on a collision course with ultimate evil.

Why ? 

Because it’s one of the loudest most intensely grueling horror films ever made.

The Wailing has slaughtered the opposition on the festival circuit, taking top honours at Fantasia, with love being heaped upon it by both audiences and critics alike.

It’s Korean, and along with the impeccable The Handmaiden and ludicrously entertaining Train to Busan, forms an intimidating genre trio that no other country will come even close to matching this year.

What the Festival says 

…a spine-chilling horror fantasy that gathers the momentum of a runaway train, transforming from a rustic noir into an occult free-for-all. It’s as if Rosemary’s baby had grown up, left home, dropped acid and joined the circus.

When ?

                     WED 12 October 2016  20.50      Picturehouse Central, Screen 1

                      SUN  13 October 2016 14:00     Odeon Leicester Square


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 – I Am Not a Serial Killer  – Ireland/UK (2016)   Horror/Thriller  104m     Dir – Billy O’Brien

What ?

Max Records plays a charismatic 16-year-old sociopath determined to confront a deliciously loathsome entity in the shape of Christopher Lloyd.

Why ? 

Because it’s overflowing with acerbic dialogue, graphic embalmings, and disarming set pieces.

I Am Not a Serial Killer may well be an adaptation of Dan Wells’ acclaimed novel for young adults but it totally commits to a dark horror ideology.

This classily shot and confidently acted flick is part of the John Wayne Cleaver pentalogy, so you might as well get on the bandwagon now.

What the Festival says 

…a chilling and darkly humorous study of adolescent alienation, featuring a knockout performance from Max Records as the most disarmingly empathetic young sociopath you are ever likely to meet.

When ? 

                     Tuesday 11 October 2016 21:00      Prince Charles Cinema

                      Wednesday 12 October 2016 21:00    Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2


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 – Creepy  – Japan (2016)   Psychological/Investigative Thriller  130 m     Dir – Kiyoshi Kurosawa

What ?

A cutlery based ordeal leads detective Takakura down the path of academia in search of a quiet life. However, his socially sketchy new next door neighbour Nashino has other more subversively snaky ideas.

Why ? 

Because it’s the return of J-Horror legend Kiyoshi Kurosawa into the genre fold and the Nipponese maestro of moribund isn’t taking any prisoners.

The refreshingly self-reliant Creepy trusts its sense of the surreal, perfectly judged performances, and ruthlessly honed script to create terror, rather than the desperate orchestral stabs of cheap jump scares.

Mr. Nashino is a grotesque and twisted horror movie villain, prone to casual acts of monstrosity, with an ingenious disposal method that will change your attitude to vacuum packing for good.

What the Festival says 

… An insidious, and surprisingly droll masterclass in slow-burn atmosphere, Kurosawa proves he has lost none of his touch as a true master of the macabre. See it now before the inevitable Hollywood remake.

When ? 

                     Saturday 08 October 2016 20:30      Haymarket Cinema, Screen 1

                      Sunday 09 October 2016 12:30        Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5

Released in cinemas (UK & Ireland) on 25 November 2016





 – The Void  – Canada (2016)   Retro  Horror    85 m     Dir – Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski

What ?

Midnight movie mayhem as mysterious robed assailants lay siege to Marsh County Memorial Hospital, forcing the occupants to confront the failed scientific experiments of a deranged cult leader.

Why ? 

Because it spawns from the amazingly imaginative Astron 6 cooperative (Manborg, Fathers Day) who made one of the best horror films of last year in The Editor.

The Void channels Fulci(The Beyond),Carpenter(Prince of Darkness,The Thing) ,and Gordon(Society) to fashion a practical FX crowd pleaser.

The tagline – “There is a hell…..this is worse ” says it all.

What the Festival says 

The Void may be rife with sly nods and knowing winks, but the result is far more than a game of spot the movie reference. Kostanski and Gillespie have concocted a truly nightmarish mythology all of their own, complete with arresting visuals and a plot as twisted as the horror-obsessed minds from which it came.

When ? 

                     Saturday 15 October 2016 18:15      Picturehouse Central, Screen 1

                      Sunday 16 October 2016 15:45       BFI Southbank, NFT3

TRAILER (proof of concept)

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 – Playground  – Poland (2016)   Juvenile psychopathology   81m     Dir – Bartosz M Kowalski

What ?

A couple of polish lads seeking entertainment on a boring summers afternoon, migrate towards their sociopathic impulses, with unthinkably horrific consequences.

Why ? 

Because this based on true events shocker could well be the most controversial film of the year. Even director Kowalski doubts the audiences ability to endure its horrors in one sitting.

Though unclear exactly which true story the movie is based on, it shares many traits with the tragic 1993 murder of James Bulger – a case that prompted a second wave of the “Video Nasties” debate with Childs Play 3 the main focus of vitriol.

The fact that documentary film -maker Kowalski(A Dream in the Making) should choose this subject matter for his debut foray into fiction is, whilst quite logical, also astonishingly brave.

What the Festival says 

… every bit as disturbing as it should be, featuring distressing scenes of horrific violence yet without ever resorting to crude sensationalism. Cold, controlled and savagely upsetting, this remarkable but incendiary piece of work seeks only to ask difficult questions, not to offer easy answers.

When ? 

                     Wednesday 12 October 2016 18:30      Vue West End Cinema, Screen 5

                      Friday 14 October 2016 18:30        Hackney Picturehouse, Screen 1


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 – Prevenge  – UK (2016)   Black Comedy/Drama/Fantasy  88m     Dir – Alice Lowe

What ?

Ruth is a single mum to be and her unborn baby is telling her to murder people – a lot of people.

Why ? 

Because it’s the writing-directing debut of the talented Alice Lowe, who scripted and starred in cult caravanning horror Sightseers for Ben Wheatley. Her star may not share the same trajectory as the darling of indie British horror but it’s rising just as fast.

So you want authenticity ? Lowe was actually 7 months pregnant during the shoot.

The cast features the always faultless Kate Dickie (The VVitch) and the superb Jo Hartley (This is England).

What the Festival says 

…has an exhilarating sense of tonal incongruity, constantly wrong-footing any of its characters foolish enough to underestimate seemingly dour Ruth’s capacity for extreme behaviour. Prevenge offers an insight – albeit a severe one – that goes far beyond hormonal havoc. What not to expect when you’re expecting.

When ? 

                     Thursday 13 October 2016 18:30     Haymarket Cinema, Screen 1

                      Sunday 16 October 2016 12:15    Picturehouse Central, Screen 1


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 – The Autopsy of Jane Doe  – USA (2016)   Autopsy/Supernatural  99m    Dir – André Øvredal

What ?

A father and son coroner team set to work on the corpse of a woman found naked and half buried at the scene of a brutal massacre. As the exploration of the cadaver deepens – so does the mystery surrounding it.

Why ? 

Because it marks the long overdue return of Troll Hunter director André Øvredal, not to mention his English language debut. The Norwegian has been less than prolific since making his cult folk-tale curio but has emerged spectacularly out of the movie woodwork, with another horror fantasy called Mortal and an epic Roald Amundsen biopic on the way.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe sees the incomparable Brian Cox(Manhunter) take a relatively rare stab at the horror genre delivering a warm and generous performance.

The effects are in the hands of make-up artist Victoria Money, a prosthetics designer for no less than 32 episodes of medical drama Holby City.

What the Festival says 

.Gleefully ratcheting up the tension, Øvredal’s expert sense of timing makes for an often agonising endurance test. Pulling no punches with its graphic medical scenes, this post-mortem is certainly not for the squeamish. But for those with a strong constitution (and an even stronger stomach), a wickedly humorous and devilishly surprising thrill ride awaits. Prepare to be screaming in the aisles – this might just be the most fun you’ll have in the dark all year..

When ? 

                     Thursday 13 October 2016 21:00   Embankment Garden Cinema

                      Friday 14 October 2016 12:00      Embankment Garden Cinema

Saturday 15 October 2016 18:3     Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2


Festival Info :

Tickets for these films and many others go on sale to the general public at 10am on Thursday, September 15th SEP 2015.

You can book here at

or by phone on –   020 7928 3232  –  between 10am and 8.30pm

Usually, some tickets go on sale at the relevant venue about 30 minutes before the film starts.

Tickets cost :

Weekday matinees –  Between £9 and £12.75

Evening and weekend screenings –  cost between £12.75 and £16.

Gala screenings – cost between £16 and £28.

Bradley Hadcroft