Hysteria Fest started in 2022 and takes place at Arkadin Cinema in the heart of the historic Bevo Mill area of St. Louis, Mo. 2022 was described as "Year Zero" to test the market for a horror festival in the area. That year was invite only. We completely sold out the event months before. The atmosphere was electrifying, and it was described as having a "punk rock" feel to it. We knew we had something special on our hands.

There was no way we couldn't turn this into a permanent festival. So 2023 is the first year we opened up for submissions and expanded it beyond a two-day festival. That was a success, so now we go on to 2024.

This is a festival ran by horror-lovers and the audience is very supportive of filmmakers. We take horror films from all subgenres, from slashers to horror-comedies to literally anything that is horror or tangentially-related to horror. If there is a theme this festival is going in, it's playing films that are challenging or push the envelope. If you have any films that especially fits that description, please send our way.

We are also running a screenwriting contest with the winners announced on the evening of the fest

Best Director - Feature Film
Best Feature Film
Best Performance - Feature
Best Score - Feature

Best Director - Short Film
Best Short Film
Best Actor Short film
Best Actress Short film

Best Screenplay

Audience Award

Non-English language films must have subtitles burned.

Short Film Running Time: 25 minutes (max)
Feature Film Running Time: 125 minutes (max)

Submission does not guarantee entry into festival. Filmmakers will be notified no later than September 18th, 2023 if their film has be accepted into the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Stephanie Bencin

    This is such a terrific festival - I was thrilled to be programmed with some really great films and really think they're building something really special.

    December 2023
  • Zeddy Chevron

    Communication and hospitality was streamlined. A great fest getting its starts in stride. Excited for what it continues to offer as an extremely worthwhile event.

    October 2023
  • David Davidson

    I was happy to be nominated and elated when awarded. One of the festivals to look for to have your work recognized.

    October 2023
  • Francisco Lacerda

    While I didn't have a chance to attend, I have nothing but praise for this festival's online communication. Lovely staff and judging from the audience feedback, it's a fantastic event.

    October 2023
  • Thanks for selecting "Enter the Room" into your festival. I wasn't able to attend the festival in person, but was impressed with the level of detail and frequent communication provided throughout the process. I have seen some of the selected films on the website at other festivals and every single one of them are great. I met Paul at another festival a few weeks ago and was impressed by his knowledge and passion for filmmaking, especially in the Horror genre. I had a very good experience overall and will definitely consider submitting future projects to Hysteria Film Festival.

    October 2023