When: 5th – 8th October 2017
£: A full festival pass costs £75, day passes cost £20 – £30. Individual tickets cost £8
What is it?
Grimmfest 2017, Manchester’s film festival of new and classic horror, cult, fantasy and sci-fi movies, will take place from 5th to 8th October.
The festival will feature world premieres, cult classics and eclectic film shorts. This year’s highlights will include the world premiere of the unique Borley Rectory. Using an elaborate mixture of live action, stills, paintings, and model work, it’s an immersive, eerily atmospheric, and elegantly retro-styled exploration of the most haunted house in Britain. More than six years in the making, it’s a real labor of love for its creator Ashley Thorpe. Featuring a score by Steve Severin (Siouxsie and the Banshees), and with a cast including The League of Gentlemen‘s Reece Shearsmith, Julian Sands and Hellraiser‘s Nicolas Vince, it promises an extraordinary cinematic experience.
Grimmfest will also be hosting the International Premiere of Fake Blood, the new film from Rob Grant and Mike Kovac, whose previous movie, Mon Ami, was a Grimmfest hit a few years back. A mordant and malevolent mockumentary exploring the difference between movie violence and reality, it’s a pitch-black comedy that shifts into increasingly chilling and uncomfortable territory, a real masterclass in audience manipulation, that leads the viewer step by step towards its quietly horrible punchline.
To kick off this year’s festival, Grimmfest co-directors Simeon Halligan and Rachel Richardson-Jones return with the Gala Hometown UK Premiere of their third feature, Habit; a visceral cinematic visualisation of Stephen McGeagh’s acclaimed cult novel, which captures perfectly the dark heart, and sinister sub-cultures of Manchester. With much of the film shot only a five-minute walk from the festival venue, this is a chance for a truly immersive cinema experience.
This year’s festival has a fiercely feminine focus. In M.F.A, Francesca Eastwood, daughter of Clint, demonstrates that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree with her steely turn as a rape-victim turned vigilante. Festival audiences will also have a chance to meet sweet, small-town Canadian serial killer Poor Agnes (Lora Burke), whose approach to dating is somewhat… extreme; and there’s some old-fashioned Gothic romance, with a uniquely Russian twist, in The Bride.
Every year the Grimmfest team strive to find films that will push the envelope, that will offer some truly head-spinning visuals, and leave the audience reeling. This year, Grimmfest will be presenting the UK Premiere of the jaw-dropping Dave Made a Maze, Bill Watterson’s guaranteed-to-gain-a-cult-following directorial debut. Part slacker comedy, and part retro-80s fantasy adventure, it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘cardboard set design’.
Keeping with their focus on gender politics, there’s leery laddishness confronted by a duo of particularly fatal femmes in British horror comedy Double Date, fresh from earning its writer-star Danny Moran the ‘Rising Star’ award at Frightfest. There are more lethal ladies to be found in white-trash pulp-noir 68 Kill, the latest from Trent Haaga, featuring an all-star cult cast including Matthew Gray Gubler and Anna Lynn McCord. It’s a torrid, twisted tale of wild, white trash women and weak-willed, morally bankrupt men on the road to nowhere good.
As ever, the Grimmfest shorts selection has something for everyone. They promise elder gods and demon births, urban legends and urban blights. Oh, and a white rabbit, just for luck.
More info: grimmfest.com/grimmupnorth