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Telluride Horror Show

The wildly popular Telluride Horror Show film festival takes genre fans to elevated heights in more ways than one!

Telluride Horror Show

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As I gear up for another year of must-see horror, I wanted to reflect back on one of the highlights of 2023: attending the Telluride Horror Show. Not only was it my first time attending the Horror Show in the world-famous Telluride, but it was also my first time attending an in-person film festival rather than simply covering festival films virtually.

I am so glad to say my time in Telluride was a fun, horrifying blast of a time.

The Telluride Horror Show is Colorado’s first-ever horror film festival. It will be returning for its 15th edition on October 11-13, 2024. One of the highest-attended genre film fests in the world, the Horror Show attracts the latest and best genre films from around the globe and attendees from all over the country for an incredible gathering of diehard horror fans in the world-famous mountain resort town of Telluride, Colorado.

For three packed days, experience an exciting mix of horror, suspense, thriller, dark fantasy, sci-fi, and dark comedy in Telluride’s unique theaters, with most of the films having one of their first U.S. showings. The festival line-up showcases feature films & short films from new and established talent, special programs, guests, and events.

Most importantly, the film selection at the 2023 festival was fantastic. The lineup included everything from horror comedy to slow-burn psychological scares to absolute emotional damage in the best way (hello, The Coffee Table).

There were nineteen feature films and several blocks of shorts, so there was truly something for every horror fan.

Some movies I had definitely heard about and went in excited to see, while many others were brand-new discoveries that did not disappoint.

I’ll be sharing a small selection of my personal festival highlights over the next few days, introducing you to the best genre films I recommend you seek out and add to your watch list if you haven’t already.

Many filmmakers and authors were in attendance.  Vinegar Syndrome set up a booth so physical media aficionados could return home with a stellar selection of films. The schedule was packed enough — there was always something to do and plenty of variety — but not so packed that I felt overwhelmed or disappointed I couldn’t see everything I wanted.

There was enough time between films and events to replenish your snacks and chat about films with the other attendees standing in line. My favorite concession item of the weekend was the blood bag cocktails.

Three cinemas showed films, and every venue was within a few blocks of one another, which is perfect for a person like me who could get lost in a paper bag. But it was easy to navigate the fest, and by the end of the first day, I felt like I had been coming to the fest for years.

Set in the gorgeous mountains of Colorado, every time I stepped out of a cinema, I could look around and see trees with fall colors and breathtaking skylines.

The vibe is very chill and friendly. Everyone I interacted with was a horror fan, like me, and everyone was excited to talk about horror all weekend. Even when we disagreed on a film, everyone I interacted with was respectful and kind, and we just enjoyed the fest.

Having experienced this incredible festival firsthand, I want to offer three tips for attending the Horror Show, should you join us this year. 

First, be sure to wear comfortable shoes. All the venues are close to one another, but you will spend a lot of time walking between them and possibly standing in line. With so much time on your feet, you will be happy to be comfortable. I almost prioritized looking cute in some fall boots, but I am glad I chose comfort and picked my sneakers.

Second, wear layers. Look, we’re talking about the mountains in October. It will be chilly. It could even snow! You don’t want to be stuck without a hat, gloves, and a practical coat. However, some of the theaters become packed with fest attendees and get a little warm. You want layers you can add or remove as needed.

Finally, prepare for the elevation. I did not think ahead to this one, and it caught me off guard. Don’t let the same thing happen to you!

Telluride is 8,750 feet/2667 meters above sea level. That was a significant elevation change for me. I ran out of breath quickly while walking around town the first couple of days, but I had adjusted by the end of the fest. Make sure you hydrate and take it easy if the elevation gets to you. Thankfully, there are lots of opportunities to sit down and enjoy a film.

With all that said, if you are a horror and film lover, and it’s within your means, you should make every effort to attend this festival.

The friendly atmosphere, the beautiful scenery, and the slate of films make this a fest that is very worth experiencing in person.

Written by: Ariel Powers-Schaub
All images courtesy of 

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