Taking on a third screen at the Empire Leicester Square for the first time, Film4 FrighFest the 13th looks set to be the most interesting and ambitious yet when it arrives bearing 48 features for a series of screenings and talks over the last weekend in August.
With expectations already at fever pitch for many of the higher profile titles playing in Empire 1 as part of the main programme, some tough decisions will have to be made as to when to dip into the Discovery and Re-Discovery strands taking place simultaneously in screens 4 and 5.
Alongside the previously announced opening and closing features (make-up maestro Paul Hyett's The Seasoning House and James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson's Tower Block respectively), it perhaps comes as no surprise that the likes of the eagerly anticipated, Sam Raimi produced The Possession and hotly-tipped anthology V/H/S would be standing alongside the remake of Maniac, Paco Plaza's [REC]3 Genesis and Jennifer Lynch's Chained as part of the main event.
The presence of Dario Argento, taking part in a Q&A as Total Film's guest Icon, isn't the only nod to Italian genre cinema over course of the weekend, with Federico Zampaglione's neo-giallo Tulpa and the Manetti brothers' Paura 3D screening with documentary feature Eurocrime!, a celebration of 70s Italian crime thrillers.
Continuing the nostalgic vibe, the Re-Discovery screen will be presenting brand new restorations of the Hammer Studios classics The Devil Rides Out, Rasputin the Mad Monk and The Mummy's Shroud, with James Whales 1935 masterpiece The Bride of Frankenstein taking centre stage amidst a series of retrospectives that culminates with hot ticket Nightbreed : The Cabal Cut, playing for the first time in the UK.
The opening and closing events aside, British horror gets a strong showing with the briliantly received sophomore feature from Peter Strickland, Berberian Sound Studio (tying in nicely with the weekend's giallo leanings), and Jon Wright's Tremors-flavoured monster movie, Grabbers. Elsewhere waving the flag for British genre cinema you'll find cannibals (Sawney), clowns (Stitches) and, there's always one... Cockneys vs. Zombies.
With dozens more films playing, special guests yet to be announced and more than a few surprises in store, your best bet would be to head over to the FrightFest website and start plotting your way through the programme. There are still day passes available and with tickets for individual films due to go on sale on July 28th, there's plenty of opportunity to catch as much as possible over the five days.
The Film4 FrightFest the 13th runs from Thursday 23rd to Monday 27th August at the Empire Leicester Square.
Further details can be found at www.frightfest.co.uk
Tickets available from www.empirecinemas.co.uk or on 08714 714 714
Get updates first on Twitter by following @Film4FrightFest