The best horror films are at MOTELX

Ever since its first edition in 2007, MOTELX has screened the most recent horror features from all corners of the world, as well as retrospectives and homages sometimes accompanied by its directors, the greats of the horror genre.

Besides feature films another programming highlights are the short films, national and international, before each screening or on their on at "Short Films at Lunch". The MOTELX Awards, recognizing the best Portuguese horror short film and the best European feature film are one of the Festival's highlights.


All the films screened at MOTELX are divided in several sections, including contemporary cinema, short films, retrospectives, children's programming and documentaries.

Méliès d'Argent Award - Best European Feature Film

One of the highlights of the 10th edition was the launching of our first feature film competition: the MOTELX Méliès d'Argent  Award - Best European Feature Film. Along with the Best Portuguese Horror Short Film, there will also be a feature film chosen at MOTELX for the annual Méliès International Festivals Federation gala, thus contributing to the promotion and awareness of genre cinema made in the old continent. Previous Méliès d’or winners include Álex de la Iglesia’s “Day of the Beast”, Michael Winterbottom’s “Code 46”, Pascal Laugier’s “Martyrs”, and Thomas Alfredson’s “Let the Right One In”. We also hope to see in the near future a Portuguese feature among those competing for the prize.

Room Service

In a joint and continuous effort between national e international distributors, MOTELX is the ideal place for the promotion and release of the greatest horror films. Since its first edition, the Festival has an original and carefully curated programme that has definitively captured the audience. The presence of directors and actors who visit the Festival to present their films is common, often scheduling Q&A sessions at the end of their screenings.

Doc Horror

Doc Horror is the section where films about great authors, classics, sub genres, or unknown cinematographies are screened. Documentaries that introduce the element of reality and help to contextualize the strange “pleasure” of watching horror films. The strand of reflection, formation and study are always present in the programming of each edition. Fear is a primary instinct, easy to provoke, even causing dependence, and which has an after-effect of adrenaline recreating universes, extending the emotions and stimulating memory like no other film genre. During the 6 days of the event the objective is to create a place where you can analyse the effect and fascination that fear has on mankind since the beginning of time.

Cult of the Living Masters.

To consolidate the objective of encouraging and promoting the production of Portuguese horror films, MOTELX receives every year a special guest, an author whose career is determining for the genre and who can transmit his experience to those who want to learn the art of frightening through the big screen. With the presence of a living Master in the Festival, a selection of his most notable films is screened. Masters of Horror who have previously attended the Festival include: Mick Garris, Stuart Gordon, George A. Romero, Tobe Hooper, John Landis, Dario Argento, and many more.

Special Screenings

Homages, anniversaries, restored copies, TV shows, and others. MOTELX's special screenings aim for a sensibility to the “terrifying present” and the “fearful past” that surround us in Portugal and worldwide for a programme full of surprises.

International shorts

International shorts are part of the Festival's programme since its origins. A short before a feature film or in special screenings dedicated to this format (as is the case of the "Short Films at Lunch", 45 minutes of cinema at a special price). In this section we can also find national short films out of competition.

Big Bad Wolf

The section that presents horror (but little) to the youngest audience through films screenings and playful activities. With screenings in Cinema São Jorge, Teatro Tivoli BBVA, Cinemateca Júnior, and, more recently, in Museu Berardo, the Big Bad Wolf intends to reconcile the relationship between children’s stories and the universe of horror, understanding that both are important steps in overcoming fears and insecurities that make the child become a young adult. 

Section X

In 2020, MOTELX presented a special programme of experimental horror short films, a dialogue between the chaotic wonders of experimental filmmaking and cinematic horror, both sharing the grounds of counter-culture. Stylistic challenges and alternative approaches, experiments that (re)built today and tomorrow’s horror films’ visual identity, bringing forth a new cinematographic soil to manifest the phantasm of horror in underground filmmaking.


Every year MOTELX hosts a world of activities and events based on the horror genre that goes beyond regular screenings. These parallel events not only enhance the dynamic of the Festival's venues but also of Lisbon, in a city-wide celebration of horror.

Masterclasses with some of the genre's masters, workshops on a wide variety of topics regarding production of horror films, horror games nights and (not so) horror games afternoons are some of the events happening during the Festival's.

The MOTELX Warm-Up is also starting to become a recurring part of the Lisbon calendar, with events starting in the first days of September. Our open air screening in Largo Trindade Coelho is one of the most highlighted nights of the Warm-Up. These activities aim to promote the Festival as well as the horror genre and those in it.

Open Air Screenings

Starting in 2013, MOTELx, as part of the warm-up events leading to the start of the festival, screens a film with free entrance in Largo São Carlos, in Lisbon.

Workshops and masterclasses

One of the main goals of the Festival is to support and encourage the production of horror movies in Portugal. Since its first edition, MOTELX offers practical workshops on different subjects, from make up and digital animation to low budget filmmaking, as well as masterclasses with the many guests that come to the Festival every year. 


The Festival's funnest event. A quiz for all horror and movie fans to come and test their knowledge, while taking part in a night of total craziness.


Sleepless nights in the most iconic venues in Lisbon with local and international DJs and artists. 
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