Frightfest celebrates the classics

Horror favourites return to the big screen - and blu-ray.

by Jennie Kermode

A Nightmare On Elm Street is 30 years old this year, making it significantly older than some people in the Film4 Frightfest audience. It's one of a number of classic films being shown at this year's festival on the discovery screen, which seems appropriate as there will now be people catching it for the first time (even if they've seen the 2010 remake). For older fans, meanwhile, this meant the chance to catch up with an old favourite in the company of Robert Englund himself.

Showing classic films doesn't only introduce fans to great cinema they may have missed, it also provides them with the reference points to understand contemporary cinema, recognising homage and also noticing when a stolen idea is being rendered badly. Whatever their personal reasons, audiences have packed out the old film screenings as eagerly as the new ones, and Frightfest is now running a special promotion so that those who couldn't get into the event itself can pick up some of them to watch at home.

With Frightfest sold out again for another year, there has been pressure for it to expand across further venues, but the team are reluctant to risk diluting that atmosphere that contributes so much to its popularity. There will be satellite events, however, giving horror fans around the UK the chance to catch some new discoveries closer to home.

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