It’s Grimm Up North! Manchester’s Grimmfest offers cult classics and scary shorts

Grimmfest Logo

Grimmfest 2017, Manchester’s film festival of new and classic horror, cult, fantasy and sci-fi movies, returns this week (5th – 8th October 2017) at the Vue Printworks.

The festival will feature world premieres, cult classics and eclectic film shorts and the line-up includes the world premiere of the unique Borley Rectory, a tale of a Victorian house that gained fame as “the most haunted house in England”.

Using an elaborate mixture of live action, stills, paintings, and model work, Borley Rectory is an immersive, eerily atmospheric exploration of this infamous most haunted house. More than six years in the making, the film from Carrion Films – completed thanks to crowdfunding – has been a labour of love for creator Ashley Thorpe. Featuring a score by Steve Severin (Siouxsie and the Banshees) the cast include Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen) Julian Sands and Nicolas Vince (comics writer and Hellraiser star), and promises an extraordinary cinematic experience.

Grimmfest will also be hosting the International Premiere of Fake Blood, a new film from Rob Grant and Mike Kovac, whose previous project, Mon Ami, was a Grimmfest hit a few years back.

When Rob and Mike receive a disturbing fan video inspired by their previous horror movie, it motivates them to investigate the responsibility of filmmakers in portraying violence in movies. In their pursuit of the truth, they are unwittingly introduced to the real world of violent criminals and their victims.

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 Manchester-based horror thriller.

Habit stars Elliot James Langridge (Northern Soul, Let’s be Evil), Jessica Barden (Penny Dreadful, The Lobster), William Ash (The Tunnel, Hush), Roxanne Pallett (Wrong Turn 6, Emmerdale) and Joanne Mitchel (Before Dawn, Attack of the Adult Babies) Sally Carmen, Louis Emerick, Andrew Ellis, and is based on the brutal novel of the same name by Mancunian writer Stephen McGeagh.

Due for wider release in early 2018, 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 (starring 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.

Also on the schedule is the UK premiere of the jaw-dropping, award-winning Dave Made a Maze, the directorial debut of Bill Watterson (no, not the Calvin and Hobbes creator – this Bill Watterson). Part slacker comedy, and part retro-80s fantasy adventure, it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “cardboard set design”.

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.

Web: www.grimmfest.com/grimmupnorth

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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