THE CULTURE OF CINEMA“ Virtual+ “  I hear you ask?

For fifteen years the South African HorrorFest film festival and Halloween event have graced the screen with every kind of thrill and chill at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town.   The Covid pandemic has forced the 16th edition on-line, but we want to keep the cinema spirit alive and host at least around half a dozen movies at our favourite cinema venue and give cineastes and horror fans the chance to still experience a segment of the festival as it was intended (albeit socially distanced)

The cinema line-up includes local trip FRIED BARRY, the unbridled SKY SHARKS, two sneak previews of new cinema releases (TBA), a special free sneak preview competition (for FREAKY) and two documentaries, including ROCKY HORROR 45, looking at this legendary movie musical’s legacy, and a look at the late Wes Craven’s notorious, but undeniable early movie in THE LAST WORD ON THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (the latter of which will only get one cinema screening, no on-line access). Hence, Virtual+ …(Book at


Which brings us to the mammoth on-line edition of our spooky, creepy, freaky, scary and exhilarating film festival, for which we teamed up with local horror streaming service Frightfan.TV (full list further down). 

Over forty titles take you through the gamut of sub-genres, with vampires, killer dolls, mutants, zombies, possession, gore, very bad men and evil minds, supernatural forces, Troma and Full Moon madness, alien possessed psychos, a different take on the Japanese kaiju (giant monster) movie, horror filmmaking documentaries, fantasy-, sci-fi- and comedy elements, and even flying sharks controlled by zombie nazis!  And of course a coffin load of short films.


The upside of this virtual edition means people who had a geographic disadvantage in attending the Cape Town location across more than a decade and a half, can now access it online! And not just in other parts of South Africa, but Africa as a whole.And that’s not where it ends – this year The Global Horrorfest refers to around half of the SA Horrorfest line-up accessible by the rest of the world!


With such a huge and cool line-up, the festival period will stretch across Halloween season and beyond, from Wednesday 28 October to Friday 13 November, giving you enough time to catch all of the movies if you’re so inclined (full movie list further down this message).
Many on-line festivals limit screenings to a very specific access window of a few hours, but for the SA Horrorfest and Global Horrorfest, the bulk of the more than 3 dozen movies (most having their African premieres) will be accessible across the full duration of the festival, with some only open within a 48-hour window, others 3 to 5 days, and one for 6 hours.  Only two movies will also have ticket limits.


The 5 exciting feature-length SHADOW REALM short film collections come from all around the world,including the USA, Australia, Belgium, Spain, France, UK, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Germany, Israel, the Russian Federation, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and some countries we rarely get submissions, like Tunisia, Kuwait, Myanmar, Iran, Turkey, Republic Of Korea and Malaysia.  4 of these anthologies will be accessible globally across the festival duration, with only 1 collection geo-locked for Africa territories.


One of the cinema highlights each year at the Horrorfest is The Makabra Ensemble’s new original live soundtrack performance to a classic silent film. With the cinema audience restrictions, it is not conducive to do so in 2020 – Instead, with it being the centenary of legendary German Expressionist film THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, for the virtual edition, the film will be streamed with the live soundtrack performance shot beneath the big screen at the 2007 SA Horrorfest (at the Labia Theatre), the live musician footage added in an extra on-screen window.


The territory for Horror and filmmaking documentaries remains a rich for exploration, and this year we have 5 titles, all featuring an exciting range of bigger and up & coming filmmakers.  These include: HAIL TO THE DEADITES – a look at fans of the Sam Raimi EVIL DEAD franchise CLAPBOARD JUNGLE – a filmmaker’s personal documentation of the struggles indie filmmakers face realizing their cinematic dreams THE HORROR CROWD – digs into the Hollywood Horror filmmaking community TALES OF THE UNCANNY: The Ultimate Survey of Anthology Film – explores this well-established format THE LAST WORD ON THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT – looks at the controversial Wes Craven film and its impact on cinema (this will only have one exclusive cinema screening, no on-line access)


Lloyd Kaufmann and his legendary Troma team had been making wild and crazy indie movies for around 45 years! We’re excited to include several of their productions this year, including brand new offering #SHAKESPEARESSHITSTORM (based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest!), MUTANT BLAST, THE SLASHENING and Troma flagship character, the immortal evergreen TOXIC AVENGER parts 1 and 2 (watch them as a hilarious double feature!) 


In addition to many independent producers and companies like Raven Banner, another indie studio producing great entertainment for decades is Charles Band’s Full Moon, spawning such long-running franchises like the Puppet Master, Subspecies and Killjoy movies.  This year the Horrorfest will feature Puppet Master-linked BLADE: THE IRON CROSS and NECROPOLIS: LEGION.


Single on-line tickets are R50 each with a full festival pass only setting you back R600 (resulting in around R12 a ticket!).Both booking and viewing can be accessed at An added bonus on buying a ticket will have you earn a free viewing code to catch a movie on the regular Frightfan platform line-up after the festival. Cinema ticket booking at Quicket. 

On top of this, there will be free content to access 25 – 28 October, a few days leading up to the official event starting date to get you geared up for the festivities ahead.It will include two free anthologies of short films picked from across the Horrorfest history with a cool blend of various Horror moods from calm to the extreme, even music and humour. These free titles will have limited access, so move quick!

Amid the feature film countries ranging from countries like Canada, the UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, we have two movies with South African directors, FRIED BARRY (made in Cape Town) and THE UNFAMILIAR (made in the UK).


We recently created our new YouTube channel Horrorfest – currently loads of trailers for movies screening at the 16th Horrorfest are uploaded there, plus filmmaker interviews.  Long term the channel will feature all things Horror, from movie and book reviews to features, interviews and more.


The live Bloody Parchment literature event (with authors reading from their work) is normally hosted in one of the Labia Theatre cinemas, and will this year (surprise-surprise) also be virtual (via Facebook and YouTube). And again, it means this time the entire world can check it out.


With public Halloween dress-up more difficult at this year’s event, we will host pictures and video posts showing off outfits and make-up on the Horrorfest Facebook Group.  Prizes for best looks (for South Africa only, but great international efforts will not go un-lauded)


Naturally, the movies in the Horrorfest line-up is for mature audiences only – so if you’re under 18, you’ll have to sit this one out.Get full movie info at the website: