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A Halloween spent in lockdown is the perfect time to feast upon the quintessential horror classics that we all love to fear. Whether it’s the head spinning experience of re-watching The Exorcist or binge watching the good, the bad, and the very ugliest of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, we all know how to tell a safe bet from a dodgy Netflix choice just as well as we can tell a good piece of chocolate from an unwanted apple in a trick or treat bag.

 

But what about the films that have slipped through the cracks? There are many reasons why certain horror films haven’t received the attention they deserve. A lack of advertising, coming out at the wrong time of the year, or maybe because for lots of cinema goers one or two scary films a year is more than enough. For the films on this list however, the reason why you’ve probably never seen them has nothing to do with their quality. These are some of the lesser known but  better placed fright fests to satiate your Halloween sweet tooth on this spooky stay at home weekend. This list is not to be confused with an “underrated horror films” selection. That’s an interesting but separate discussion. The films on this list were generally well received critically, but they unfortunately just never seemed to get the reach that they deserved. So sit back, relax, and prepare to be bombarded with a universe of existential horror you probably haven’t yet heard about.

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This year’s edition of the GAZE LGBTQ+ Film Festival is a prime example of the quick thinking and compromises that film programmers and festival organisers have had to make in 2020. Usually a fixture of the August Bank Holiday weekend, they waited their time and announced a fantastic programme for 30th September – 4th October. Unfortunately, plans to host live screenings as part of the festival were curtailed by COVID-19 lockdown measures that have been put in place for Dublin, as we’re sure you’re all too aware. The festival, however, soldiers on with aplomb. Aided by the IFI@Home online platform, the programme will proceed, with a great line-up of screenings and events to provide the festival experience. We’ve gone through the full schedule to pick out 5 things at GAZE 2020 you simply cannot miss.

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Been working through our picks of international films you should watch and looking to add even more to your list? You’re just in time for the Subtitle Spotlight European Film Festival, taking place at the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire this weekend, Jan 31st – Feb 2nd. A selection of European subtitled films will invite viewers to see cinema in a whole new way.

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There was much discussion about the jokes that Ricky Gervais made at the expense of Hollywood superstars at this year’s Golden Globes. However, what stood out for me was what should have won an award for the “golden quote” of the night. It came from the director of the highly anticipated South Korean film Parasite, Bong Joon-ho. He gave the much needed reminder that:

 

“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films”.

 

This really spoke to me- and not just in English. If I could add one addendum to this brilliant insight, it would be that viewing international films also exposes you to different cultural fabrics, different challenges and, different experiences. Aside from that, they’re also very entertaining and remain such an underappreciated cinematic art by large chunks of Western audiences. So in order to help you get over the horrific inconvenience of subtitles, and in light of Bong Joon-ho’s golden quote. Here are 20 international films to watch in 2020.

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The full programme for the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2020 was launched at the Light House Cinema in Smithfield this afternoon. VMDIFF Director Gráinne Humphreys announced details of this year’s programme, a 12 day extravaganza of cinema and an opportunity to see the very best of world cinema and film talent in Dublin.

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Excitement is beginning to build for this year’s edition of the Dublin International Film Festival. With announcements gradually trickling out from VMDIFF and a full programme announcement taking place next week, the biggest film festival in the Dublin calendar will be upon us again soon and this year’s edition is going to the dogs, in the best way possible. The festival have announced that a dog-friendly screening will be taking place this year, a great opportunity to finally bring a bit of culture into the lives of Dublin’s philistine canines!

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The Silk Road International Film Festival is returning to Dublin. One of the first festivals on the calendar in the capital, the festival will be hosting its eighth edition between the 21st & 25th January 2020, screening a variety of international cinema and providing a showcase of features, documentaries, shorts, music videos & student films. The festival this year is being held in January in order to coincide with the celebrations of the Chinese New Year, and will provide the opportunity to begin another exciting year in the fair city of film for those who appreciate celebrating a diverse range of cinema.

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The fifth event of its kind in Ireland, the Dublin Arabic Film Festival 2019 will take place at the Irish Film Institute and the Chester Beatty Library from the 4 – 6th of October. Sine the Omar Sharif visited the first edition of the festival in 2014, DAFF has presented some of the finest features that the Arab world has to offer to the fair city of film, and this year with festival director Zahara Moufid at the helm and Oscar nominated movie producer Jim Sheridan again serving as Festival President, it’s looking like a promising season of Arab cinema ahead.

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The full programme for the 17th edition of the Irish Film Institute’s  Documentary Festival has been announced. With fifteen features, including 10 Irish premieres, and the always insightful and keenly awaited Irish shorts programme, the IFI Documentary Festival 2019 looks set to continue a great year of  Irish and international documentary being showcased in the fair city of film.

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As if the attractions at the GAZE LGBT Film Festival this or any year could be limited to a mere five standouts! Still, as one of the standout annual events in the fair city of film, both as a consistently excellent programme of cinema and as one the country’s biggest LGBT gatherings outside of Dublin Pride, GAZE generates considerable excitement every summer and it’s worth looking at why. The mood of film fans is buzzing nicely ahead of GAZE 2019’s Opening Gala taking place tonight, a sold-out screening at the Light House Cinema of the documentary Deep In Vogue. You can get an overview of this year’s programme here, but with so much to choose from in the five days of film ahead, we look at five reasons why you must get yourselves into the screens for GAZE 2019.

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