Abertoir Horror Festival- Bring It On!

Clear your diaries this November as Abertoir is back! For those of you who are unfamiliar with what I’m talking about; Abertoir is a horror festival that takes place in my home town of Aberystwyth every November and this year it will be running from the 8th until the 13th; this is an exciting prospect as the festival organisers have treated us fans by adding on an extra day.

Abertoir 2011's Poster- The Best One Yet!

The festival is now entering into its sixth year and its popularity continues to grow. I first came across Abertoir back in 2006 while attending a screening of one of my favourite horror films “The Wicker Man” (1973) followed by a Q&A session with director Robin Hardy which was very exciting and new for me at the time; However I did not purchase the full pass until 2009. The festival pass gives us gore-hungry fans unlimited access to every feature the festival has to offer; from an awesome range of films, both independent and mainstream as well as classic screenings; there is a short film competition which also allows film-makers to enter in their work and festival-goers to rate them. The festival also features live music; in the past we have seen fantastic performances from “Zombina and the Skeletones” and “The Damned” while this year we will be treated to music from “Devilish Presley”, “Ghostfire” and “The Laze” that is all included within the pass.

I think the festival is an awesome opportunity for all horror fans; the atmosphere is very friendly and there is a sense of community among everyone. I feel so fortunate that I have been able to see some of my favourite horror films on the big screen that were released before my time including “An American Werewolf In London” (1981) and as previously mentioned “The Wicker Man” (1973). One of my favourite experiences was meeting the Godfather of Gore Herschell Gordon Lewis and participating in a “test screening” for his latest film at the time “The Uh Oh Show” (2009) as well as meeting Doug Bradley (Pinhead-in “Hellraiser” (1987).

With Herschell Gordon Lewis

As I am studying film at university the festival is educational for me as well as fun; last year I attended a screen writing master class with Nicholas David Lean which I found incredibly beneficial in terms of understanding the film industry resulting in taking some important advice away with me. Other past highlights for me would include the opportunity of watching silent cinema on the big screen accompanied by a live piano; the mystery grind house films- nothing better than plenty of blood and guts to end the evening! Also the live theatre production of the “Grand-Guignol” which was both entertaining and intense; and how can I forget the inventive “horror-themed” cocktails provided at the bar!

Vampire Kiss Cocktails!

Vincent Price is the festival’s unofficial Patron Saint; this year we will be celebrating his centennial with a screening of “The Masque of the Red Death” (1964) followed by a special visit and Q&A session with his daughter Victoria Price- which I’m really looking forward to. The line-up of short films this year also look wicked!

Vincent Price

During Abertoir 2011 I am planning to provide coverage on a day to day basis of the going’s on’s at the festival. As I have stated I just think the festival is an awesome opportunity for all horror fans; through Abertoir I have personally gained a better insight into the horror genre and have been lucky to see the films provided as well as the master classes and all the festival has to offer. I would definitely recommend attending this festival to anyone with an interest in film; “Early Bird” passes have gone on sale today for £49.00 and this will be continuing until October; after that the price will increase to £55.00. The pass is worth purchasing and is a great money saver in comparison to paying for the events as you go.

Bring on Abertoir 2011! Its gonna be the best year yet!

For More Information:

“Like” This Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/abertoir

& Follow @AbertoirFest on Twitter!

Hayley Alice Roberts.

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