The sleepy town of Sitges, just 20 minutes from Barcelona is a great day trip from the Catalan Capital and, set in a cove, the seaside resort is a welcome break from the busy streets of Barcelona. Famous for it's gay community and Carnaval, it also plays host to one of the coolest Film Festivals in Europe - Cannes this ain't.
Starting on the 1st October and running until the 12th, the 42nd Sitges Film Festival showcases the best of the horror genre in various locations in the town. The festival has been growing from strength to strength, with last year's festival showcasing over 320 movies, with over 100,000 spectators jumping with their popcorn. This year's festival looks to be another great 11 days!
As well as screening some of the classic movies (The Pit and the Pendulum, A Clockwork Orange, Alien, Nightmare on Elm Street and even Ghostbusters), the festival is also screening the premiere of eagerly-awaited sequel "Rec2". Shot in an abandoned Barcelona building, Rec shot to fame in 2007 as the spoof documentary female reporter Angela follows the city's firefighters on a "normal" night. What follows was a Blair witch style mockumentary that was so good, Hollywood decided to make a carbon copy.
The festival also pays homage to some of the horror world's most esteemed players and creators, with this year being no exception. Clive Barker of Hellraiser fame is honoured, and another Brit, Malcolm McDowell is also honoured. If the name rings a bell, cast your mind back to Stanley Kubrick's banned film around when I was born - clue, I've mentioned the film already. These gentlemen will grace the stages where many other huge stars have been before - Quentin Tarantino, Ralph Fiennes, Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster to name but a few.
The great thing about the Sitges Film Festival in my opinion, is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. So while the festival will be closing with John Hillcoat's The Road starring Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smith-McPhee, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce - you also have time mid-week to check out "Best Worst Movie", "The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon", "Lesbian Vampire Killers", "Vampire Girl vs Frankenstein Girl"....need I go on?!
Fancy coming to the Festival? Nearby Barcelona will be a great option for accommodation, as Sitges is a little pricey during the Film Festival Week. Try these apartments for rent in Barcelona, for a lsst minute deal. And if you can squeeze in some free time for your stay between screenings, then check out this great Barcelona Guide.