feature: Horrorthon 2012 (IFI Dublin)


Halloween and the October bank holiday weekend are almost upon us again and that can only mean one thing when it comes to horror cinema in Dublin… The IFI Horrorthon is back!

Horrothon Dublin 2011 - Irish Film InstituteWell, actually there’s a few horror events going on in cinemas around Dublin this year but given that Horrorthon has been running for… I think it’s 15 years now (?) it seems only fair to give this one some space.

Horrorthon been following the same format for a while now but for those of you who might not be familiar with it. The IFI Horrorthon is a 4.5 day horror film festival running from Thursday evening to Monday night, over the October bank holiday. So this year that’s 25th to the 29th, for the number fans out there.

I’d love to say I’ve been going for years but really I’ve just gone for a full day for the last three years, plus a few extra screening here and there. I’d actually never heard of it before then, which seems like a massive oversight on my part, but hey, what can ya do?

This year promises to be another great year with the festival welcoming its first scream queen, Danielle Harris of Halloween 4 who will presenting her directorial debut Among Friends.

That’s enough introduction I reckon, so without further ado here are…

Nicola’s picks for IFI Horrorthon 2012

Antiviral opens the festival on Thursday 25th October at 7pm.
You can book tickets for Antiviral here.

Quite the coup for Horrorthon this year. Premiering at the festival is Antiviral, the directorial debut of Brandon Cronenberg. Yes, you guessed it, the son of legendary body horror director David Cronenberg. His father has taken a step away from the genre that made him famous in recent years but Brandon seems to be intent on following in his footsteps.

Antiviral takes celebrity fascination that bit further, to a clinic where star-struck fans can share the experiences of their obsession by being infected by the viruses of sick celebrities. When a woman becomes infected with a killer virus she finds herself delving into the life of superstar Hannah Geist to try and unravel the mystery around her death to save her own life.

Citadel is screening on Friday 26th October at 6.30pm
You can book tickets for Citadel here.

Home-grown talent is on show on Friday night at Horrorthon with Citadel, winner of the SXSW Midnight Audience Award and the Galway Film Fleadh Best First Irish Feature award.

Irish horror has been hit and miss over the years, Isolation is the only one I really remember being of any interest, but Citatel has garner great buzz from film festivals and has been picked up for US release with a date set for November 9th.

Ciarán Foy will be introducing the screening and participating in a Q&A after it.

American Mary is screening on Saturday 27th October at 7pm
You can book tickets for American Mary here.

One for the body shock fans. American Mary is about a medical student who becomes disillusioned with the traditional field of surgery and finds herself turn to… let’s say a more underground scene. This being a horror film I can only imagine the turns it will take…

Young Frankenstein is screening on Saturday 27th October at 11.15pm
You can book tickets for Young Frankenstein here.

Horrorthon has featured some classics over the years and this year is no exception.

Young Frankenstein is Mel Brooks’ homage to the monster movies of the 1930s. After years of living down his grandfathers reputation, a young Dr. Frankenstein inherits the castle and sets about repeating his granpappy’s experiments. Mel Brooks’ stylee.

The Monster Squad is screening on Sunday 28th October at 4pm
You can book tickets for The Monster Squad here.

And another classic, this time from the ’80s! I have to admit, I haven’t seen Young Frankenstein or The Monster Squad, which is why they’re both included on this list.

Being over 30, it might be a little late for me to be visiting The Monster Squad for the first time… but then again, you’re never too old for fun right? And how can a film about a bunch of horror fan kids doing battle with Dracula and his team of movie monsters?

Sleep Tight is screening on Monday 29th October at 4.20pm
You can book tickets for Sleep Tight here.

No Horrorthon can be complete without getting to one of the foreign language horror film, particularly because they’ll probably never make it to general release in Ireland.

Sleep Tight is my pick for the festival. From Jaume Balagueró, co-director of Spanish film [REC], comes the story of a misanthropic concierge who becomes obsessed with one of the tenants…

So there you have it. What are you planning on catching in the festival?


  1. comment-avatar
    The Movie WafflerNovember 4, 2012 - 7:11 pm

    I went religiously to Horrorthon for the first six years but the quality rapidly deteriorated. They never seem to screen anything made before 1970 now.

  2. comment-avatar
    Nicola TimminsNovember 4, 2012 - 10:27 pm

    I heard that they never repeat a film so I guess keeping the quality up over the years must be difficult, they’ve probably screened everything good before 1970 at this stage… If that is the case (as in they never repeat a film) it’s probably a bit of a mistake. I’m sure there are loads of proper horror classics people would relish seeing again – as opposed to Monster Squad and Young Frankenstein – not that they’re bad films but personally I’d prefer less comedy horror. Also this year I saw Eurocrime! on the Sat morning, how’s that horror??

    I have to admit, new stuff can be very hit and miss. Mainly I go because I enjoy the experience – I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything new and brilliant at Horrorthon (unless Birdemic counts… that might have been the most fun I’ve ever had in a cinema) but I’ve seen a lot of stuff that I would have probably rented so I’m happy to see them in a cinema.

    That said, I thought the quality was better this year than it was the last two I went. I saw some truly awful crap in 2010 – Altitude and Spiderhole are forever burnt in my mind…

  3. comment-avatar
    The Movie WafflerNovember 4, 2012 - 10:46 pm

    I don’t think they’ve ever shown anything from pre-1970, no Universal or Hammer classics have ever been screened. I agree about the comedy-horror, it seems each year there’s less actual horror and it’s become more of a “cult-movie” festival rather than a genre specific one. It also seems to lean more towards the splatter end of things rather than the sort of atmospheric movies which I prefer.

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