Frightfest is back for another blood-soaked year, its 19th(!), returning to home turf the Cineworld Leciester Square (formerly the Empire, RIP) and the illustrious Prince Charles Cinema (AKA the coolest indie cinema in the entire world). With 70 films to choose from, from 18 countries across six continents, this year’s lineup is truly exceptional.

Over the course of five glorious days hiding from the sun, horror fans will have the chance to experience their pick of 20 World, 17 European, and 22 UK premieres. Kicking things off is The Ranger, Jenn Wexler’s directorial debut starring The Transfiguration‘s Chloe Levin.

Wexler is the very first female director to open Frightfest, which makes this a must-see all on its own, but the description seals the deal, “an explosive, post-modern slasher, with a kick-ass punk soundtrack.” Sign me right the fuck up, now.

Speaking on her inclusion, Wexler was ecstatic:

We are honored and thrilled to be selected as this year’s opening night film. I made The Ranger because I love punk rock and ‘80s horror. We can’t wait to share it with fans in the city where punk has its roots, at one of the world’s best genre festivals

In complete contrast is the festival’s closing movie, Gaspar Noé’s Climax which is, well, exactly what it sounds like. It’s also, apparently, based on true events, so take from that what you will. Still, love him or hate him, there’s nobody else like him and at the very least Noé will ensure Frightfest closes with a bang.

Other notable additions include; the highly-anticipated follow up to Turbo Kid, from François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell, Summer of 84, Leigh Whannell’s Upgrade, Joseph Kahn’s Bodied, Lucky McKee, as producer, with director Robert D. Krzykowski’s The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then Bigfoot (it stars Sam Elliott — just look at the poster and you’ll be sold),  John McPhail’s Anna and the Apocalypse, Andre Gower’s loving look back at The Monster Squad cult phenomenon, Wolfman’s Got Nards, Paul Hyett’s Heretiks, Pascal Laugier’s Incident In A Ghost Land, Darren Lynn Bousman’s St. Agatha, Matthew Holness’ Possum, and loads, loads more.

summer-of-84 Frightfest

Summer of 84

Naturally, since this is Frightfest, there will be plenty of discoveries to be made (in the Discovery Screens! Eh!) over the weekend, which even a cursory glance at the list confirms. All corners of the globe are represented, including the fest’s very first South African entry in the form of Jerome Pikwane’s supernatural horror Tokoloshe, Aussie creature feature Boar, as well as plenty of great Brit and U.S. horror to sink your teeth into.

Hell, there’s even a movie called Fright Fest, courtesy of Anna Nokavoic. And it’s set on Halloween, for good measure. Speaking of which, the inimitable Fairuza Balk stars in revenge saga Hell Is Where The Home Is, while First Lady of Frightfest Barbara Crampton features in two movies this year, Brad Baruh’s Dead Night and the it-needs-no-introduction sequel Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich.

Likewise, XX and Southbound director Roxanne Benjamin will be screening her short, Final Stop, which was “shot entirely on smartphone, and recorded in full binaural audio using the AMBEO Smart Headset.”

The Ranger

The Ranger

There will even be a special screening of Ghost Stories with Frightfest vets Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman present for a live commentary.

On what makes fans keep coming back to the greatest horror festival in the world, co-director Alan Jones laid it out plainly:

We have celebrated the astonishing vibrancy of this truly independent genre for nineteen years now, and our audience knows that over five joyous days with us they will experience being jolted, shocked, saddened, terrified, provoked, transported, challenged and even transformed

He also had some words for those who believe horror is finally hitting the mainstream.

A lot has happened over the past twelve months … Fueled by a number of head-line grabbing, Oscar-winning, box-office hits, the mainstream thinks it has ‘discovered’ horror in a big way. But the ever-expanding FrightFest community have always known that Horror fantasy has forever been slap-bang centre-stage, and is finally getting the recognition the consistently money-making genre deserves

The full festival line-up of films for Frightfest 2018 can be located on their official site, where all ticketing information can also be found. Festival and day passes for this year’s event go on sale Saturday, 30 June at 12PM GMT exclusively online. Single tickets will go on sale from Saturday, 21 July at 9AM GMT. Wicked Horror will once again be there, to bring you all the must-read reviews and exclusive interviews from this year’s festival. So stay tuned.