Jamie Neish: Horror fest worth screaming about

Adele Hartley. Pic: Comp
Adele Hartley. Pic: Comp
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I’m constantly bowled over by how much Edinburgh has to offer its large and avid film community.

Not only does the city play host to the world’s longest continuously running film festival, but it is also packed with other cinematic events to delight and intrigue all year-round – one of which, Dead by Dawn, took place last weekend.

Initially established in 1993 by novelist and editor Adele Hartley, (pictured), Dead by Dawn has blossomed into one of the city’s most treasured film festivals, earning the respect from horror aficionados far and wide who descend upon the Filmhouse in late April every year to revel in a heady selection of scary films, both old and new.

This year, the festival’s line-up was a doozy, playing host to a couple

of films not yet screened in the UK. The most notable of all were Oculus, a paranormal thriller starring Scotland’s very own Karen Gillan, and 13 Sins, director Daniel Stamm’s follow-up to The Last Exorcist, featuring a performance from the iconic Ron Perlman.

But the classics on offer were of decent merit, too. There were two features from Joe Dante, The Howling and Twilight Zone: The Movie, Candyman, and a special screening of William Castle’s House On Haunted Hill to celebrate Dead by Dawn’s 21st anniversary, with a specially recorded video introduction to boot.

This was all interspersed with frivolities, which included a more grown-up version of pass the parcel, allowing attendees to exchange DVDs, books and the like.

It’s a testament to Hartley, who continues to programme the festival to this day, and to the eager audiences who continue to attend in their masses, that insured Dead by Dawn’s success this year and for the future.

Read more from Jamie at www.emptyscreens.com