IN DREAMS ARE MONSTERS, a major BFI UK-wide film and events programme supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and the ICO comes to the big screen at cinemas nationwide, from 1 October to 31 December 2022.

The season is a fresh, inventive and inclusive celebration of the horror genre, tracing how the imagery of nightmare has been created through film, and how stories of monsters have always been political.

Through five mythical horror archetypes – the beast, ghost, vampire, witch and zombie – IN DREAMS ARE MONSTERS explores how these monstrous bodies have been represented on screen over the last hundred years and how they have been reclaimed by new voices in horror filmmaking.

A UK-wide programme of over 35 supported special events and screenings has been announced. This includes four new commissions by leading regional horror festivals and the ICO Tour:

Mayhem Film Festival (Nottingham, 13-16 October) presenting a “Night of the Cat” double bill exploring the mythology of the Bakeneko (monster-cat) which begins with Kaneto Shindo’s Japanese horror KURONEKO (1968) with a kaleidoscopic live score from Nottingham-based artist Yumah (aka Lucy Morrow).and concludes with a 30th anniversary screening of Stephen King’s SLEEPWALKERS (1992) to continue the cat theme into the night.

Abertoir (Aberystwyth, 15-20, 25-27 November) is presenting a nationwide event celebrating the Blaxploitation Horror genre in partnership with the Bristol Black Horror Club; with a special 50th anniversary screening of BLACULA (1972), the first studio-made horror film by a Black director, and the first time a Black vampire had appeared onscreen. It is responsible for starting a whole sub-genre of exploitation movies that took familiar horror tropes and reimagined them for the African-American audiences of the 1970s. The screening will be followed by a live panel discussion on the Blaxploitation horror genre including the director himself, William Crain, making his first ever UK appearance, with the event will be broadcast live via satellite into venues across the UK, allowing audiences to take part nationwide.

Grimmfest (Manchester, 19-20 November) will be working with the MMU Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies to present their Monsters and Movies series of screenings, in-depth Q&As and talks with some of the most important creative minds behind a host of iconic monster movies including a conversation with Neil Marshall about his seminal female-led creature feature THE DESCENT (2005) as well as his latest film THE LAIR (2022). Grimmfest's two day event will feature a selection of new and classic monster movies and invite key creatives to talk in depth about their work, their passion for monster movies and those movies' influence and reflection on contemporary society. Other guests confirmed so far include: Mick Garris, Alice Krige, Reece Shearsmith, Shauna McDonald, Charlotte Colbert, Corin Hardy, Dominic Brunt, Shaune Harrisn and Ashely Thorpe. Film include THE THING (1982), SLEEPWALKERS (1992), THE HALLOW (2015), WOLF MANOR (2022), SHE WILL (2021) and more at the Odeon Great Northern in Manchester.

Celluloid Screams (Sheffield, 20-23 October) will be working with immersive cinema pioneers Live Cinema UK to present a 30th anniversary live cinema experience of Ghostwatch (1992). Resurrecting the original spirit of the broadcast for a hauntingly good immersive celebration of the paranormal, Parky, and Pipes, in Sheffield (October 21, Peddler Warehouse) BFI Southbank (28 October) and across the UK. With a Q&A with director Lesley Manning and writer Stephen Volk, peek behind the curtains, and re-enter the glory hole.



Independent film exhibitor and award-winning subtitler Matchbox Cine will bring renowned film writer, film programmer, producer and director Kier-La Janisse for a screening and Q&A tour. The tour will coincide with the publication of the new, updated edition of her seminal book House of Psychotic Women. The activity will begin at the Weird Weekend festival at Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, and continue with events in Edinburgh, Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Cardiff and London. Each event will be delivered in partnership with the local genre festivals of the city; Dead by Dawn, Grimmfest, Mayhem Film Festival, Celluloid Screams and Abertoir Film Festival. The London’s event will be partnered with The Final Girls at BFI Southbank.

Encounters Film Festival in Bristol will curate a programme of contemporary, international shorts from their archive and annual call for entries, exploring the politicised body in horror and how the genre gives a voice to marginalised communities. After a launch event at the festival the shorts will be offered as a touring programme and for screenings before feature films taking part in this season. Each film will be accompanied by a filmmaker Q&A with Encounters Head of Programme, Ren Scateni, who will also produce a thought piece on the collection of short films and their political ambitions and impact.

Cinema For All will provide community cinemas nationwide a menu of 17 titles from their booking scheme, via partners such as Eureka, Mubi and Altitude releasing. The titles will respond to the monster archetypes and will be available at a reduced cost to attract bookers and help them take some programming chances on some more specialist titles. Bursaries will also be available to help groups curate immersive experiences for their screenings.

The Independent Cinema Office (ICO) is also offering a menu of horror films for regional exhibitors looking to put on IN DREAMS ARE MONSTERS themed screenings. The selection of titles will introduce audiences to the genre's cinematic history and ability to explore radical ideas about monster archetypes including classic titles: DOG SOLDIERS (2002), THE FOG 1980), GANJA & HESS (1973), HÄXAN (1922), THE BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW (1971), THE BLOODETTES () and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (, 1968). Participating venues include: Depot (Lewes), Prince Charles (London), Africa in Motion (Edinburgh, Glasgow), Broadway (Nottingham), Tyneside (Newcastle), Moana Art (Oxford), Queen's Film Theatre (Belfast), Plymouth Art Centre, and more.


From October to December, Warwick Arts Centre will present Show Me Your Teeth, an exploration of feminism and the representation of women in vampiric tales. The season will include a programme of films from early cinema to contemporary titles and accompanying short films, a zine with newly-commissioned written pieces and illustrations by artists and writers from across the Midlands, a zine-making workshop and an expert panel discussion addressing the themes explored throughout the season, hosted by film producer Jennifer Handorf.

At the Electric (Birmingham), Beauty into Beast: Werewolves, Women & Wild Shapeshifters will explore the evolution of shapeshifting women: and map how their on screen portrayals and the audience perceptions of them are a reflection of the changing role of women within society, and the female werewolf as a threat to patriarchal society, from CAT PEOPLE (1942) to DON’T SAY ITS NAME (2021) and live stream Q&As for THE HOWLING (1981) and GINGER SNAPS (2000).


On the Halloween weekend Storyhouse (Chester) will bring their outdoor cinema brand, Moonlight Flick, back to the Carriage Shed, creating an atmospheric pop up event space to celebrate the season’s theme. From FW Murnau’s NOSFERATU (1922) through to LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008) and TWILIGHT (2008) Storyhouse will take audiences on a journey to examine the Vampire figure and genre from different perspectives, as a metaphor for deviance, whether sexual, religious, or cultural and for a fear of change that may spread through society if left unchecked.

Abbeydale Picture House (Sheffield) in collaboration with Reel Steel present a Hammer Horror retrospective weekender, with a series of standout titles crossing monsters, vampires and zombies: from THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES (1966) to Terence Fisher’s THE DEVIL RIDES OUT (1968), THE GORGON (1964) and DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1966). The screenings will be introduced by Horror Academic Diane Rodgers, and will be accompanied by a free exhibition of original cinema release quad posters from a local cinema historian's private collection - gathered since the 1960s. Halloween weekend will also see a rare 35mm double bill of CANDYMAN (1992) and HELLRAISER (1987), accompanied with demonstrations of 35mm projection equipment by the Projected Picture Trust.

On 27 October, Hull Independent Cinema will host a double bill screening of A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT (2014) and NOSFERATU (1922) at Hull Minster, with live score accompaniment and a panel discussion about the evolution of the vampire on screen and how the figure mirrors real-life anxieties and preoccupations of the time find their way in to contemporary representations.


Across October, Ghouls On Film will celebrate the history of witchcraft and folklore, beginning with an exhibition of work from local artist Triona Doyle. The exhibition will launch at The Black Box on October 2, with silent film screenings accompanied by Skull DJs Stuart Watson and Ryan Fitzsimmons. A full day of folk horror events will be held on October 30, including a Samhain creative market, followed by screenings of THE BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW (1971)and Robert Eggers THE WITCH (2015). Prior to the screening, local folk musicians Aoife O’Reilly and Catriona Gribben will perform a set of traditional Irish folk music and Ghouls on Film programmer Isabella Koban will introduce the films, exploring the history of witchcraft and outlining how modern depictions of witchcraft on film project current social anxieties onto the feminine body.

As part of the Foyle Film Festival, Nerve Centre (Derry) in partnership with In Your Space Circus will create an immersive cinema experience inspired by A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) and the popularity of Stranger Things. This cinematic experience on 26 November will invite audiences to a slumber party where 'rogue teens' will tell ghost stories and invite spirits to the party. Expect spooky audio visual, SFX and live performers for a night to remember.


In the tradition of Scala All-Nighters, Creative Production Company Riot Productionswill host an All Nighter Film Festival in Glasgow on the Winter Solstice (21 December). Centered around the “transgressive witch” and its feminist renaissance, the programme will mix rarely seen horror films with more commercially successful films, spanning 100 years of cinema, from HÄXAN (1922) to Argento’s original SUSPIRIA (1977) alongside a Queer Witch themed club night.

Across November and December In the Hebrides, Screen Argyll’s It Came From The Deep will explore local audiences’ complex relationship to the sea, with water both a source of livelihood and a threat to life, a great unknown where lurk monstrous creatures. Alongside screenings of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954), Bong Joon-ho’s THE HOST (2006) and Hideo Nakata’s DARK WATER (2002)there will be an illustrated talk “Surrounded by Water – Our Elemental Fear” and a monster making workshop for all ages will also allow audiences to animate their own personal monster into their local landscapes.


In Oxford, the Ultimate Picture Palace will put on a one-day Vampire Film Festival (15 October), featuring titles such as FASCINATION (1979), THE HUNGER (1983) and THE ADDICTION (1995). The introduced programme, from film critics, academics, and horror aficionados, will explore themes ranging from class to sexuality and gender, addiction to socio-economic decay, as well as shed lights on titles that experiment with the film form itself. The festival will be enriched by introductions from film critics, academics, and horror aficionados, including a Q&A session led by Professor Sam George and Dr Bill Hughes of the Open Graves, Open Minds project.

From Halloween to December 2022, Fabrica will introduce audiences around Brighton & Hove and Lewes to the frightful and delightful world of horror with Here There Be Monsters! This wide ranging programme will include a live score screening of NOSFERATU (1922)by acclaimed harpist Elizabeth-Jane Baldry special seasonal screenings (Halloween, Winter Solstice and Christmas), free screenings of horror shorts in partnership with One Bum Cinema Club, and more. Attenborough Centre for Contemporary Arts (ACCA) will also host Cinecity’s event on Female composers and Horror: award winning composer Sarah Angliss will be joined in-conversation by Elizabeth Bernholz (Gazelle Twin) and Jen Handorf, producer of Alice Lowe’s PREVENGE (2016).


In Clevedon, Curzon will be host an immersive screening of John Carpenter's THE FOG (1980) (4 November) in the historic 110 year old cinema: projection mapping techniques will allow the film to expand from the screen and into the audience’s space, alongside actors, ghostly projections and haze and fog machines set off from film cues. A digital radio station will run live in the build up to and after the event using broadcast samples from KAB Radio 1340 as heard in the movie. Bristol’s DJ Cheeba will also produce a thematic DJ set in the cinema bar after the event.

Watershed (Bristol) Home is Where the Horror Is (10 December) will be an immersive all-nighter event, produced in partnership with Bristol Black Horror Club. The event will look at how monstrous manifestations of site-specific horror can act as a bridging point to explore themes of identity, class, gender, sexuality, race, and mental health, and bring the radical and political roots of horror to the fore. The inherently experiential nature of the genre will be emphasised through incorporating a live, immersive wraparound experience, developed in partnership with immersive horror studio Stormjar including screenings of DEMONS (1985), NEAR DARK (1987) and TALES FROM THE HOOD (1995) and more.

Exeter is infamous as the last place in England where women were hung as witches. Multi-artform venue Exeter Phoenix will draw on this dark history through a series of features, short films, immersive walks, live scores and zines, to explore the themes that have influenced Folk Horror through the ages. Four events will be delivered between October and December, including an immersive short film screening at Exeter Castle/Rougemont Gardens, a live score screening of HÄXAN (1922) and a celebration of “the Dark Lord” with a screening of EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE! THE GREAT SATAN (2017), in partnership with Spinning Path.


Across Halloween and through to December independent cinema and multi-art venue Chapter (Cardiff) will present a season focusing on “The Monstrous Welsh” and folk horror as a space for exploring complex subjects around identity and representation. The programme will include, among other events: a screening of Liam Gavin’s A DARK SONG (2016), and a discussion on the modern magik community in Wales, led by academic and author Howard David Ingham ; a special event around the use of Welsh language in SAINT MAUD (2019), with a discussion on ‘Brad y Llyfrau Gleision’ (The Treachery of the Blue Books) and the suppression of Welsh language ; a screening of Marc Price’s zombie film COLIN (2008) and a discussion with contemporary budget horror filmmaking with Phil Escott and Marc Price.

Events and screenings will be added regularly to so make sure to check the website regularly for events taking place in your region.

You can see the full list of project supported on our transparency page HERE.

Please note: more projects will be supported throughout the season via “screening support” awards of up to £500 towards licence fees, marketing costs and speaker fees.