ARTICLES

FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS | BOOTH'S BLOG

Grimmfest 2017: It's (Still) Grim(m) Up North!
By James Whittington, Wednesday 27th September 2017

It was probably intended as an insult; a means of dismissing an entire region of the UK with a few words: "It's Grim Up North". But the Grimmfest team take a perverse pride in that notion. They adopted it as a brand from the start, and still wear it as a badge of honour. Because those overcast skies, and rainy, windswept moors conjured up the doomy Yorkshire Gothic of the Brontes; the harsh post-industrial cities and dour poker-faced black humour shaped the rattling verbal patter and ultra-violent urban wastelands of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange. It's a landscape to inspire dark dreams and dangerous narratives. Some of the country's finest writers of horror and weird fiction have hailed from the region, from Ramsey Campbell, to Clive Barker.

So it seems strange, with all of that visual and literary inspiration to draw on, that there are not more horror films set and filmed there. Sure, some of the film versions of Bronte novels have used real Yorkshire locations, but more often than not, the region is stunt-doubling for somewhere else - the Lake District standing in for the Swiss Alps, our own fair city of Manchester's Victorian and Edwardian buildings standing in for parts of London or New York. In fact, the last time Manchester appeared onscreen in a horror movie AS Manchester was over forty years ago, in Jorge Grau's The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue. Which, after the opening five minutes or so, was mostly shot in the Lake District. Beyond that, and a few obscure films by local cult legend Cliff Twemlow, Manchester's cinematic life has mostly been a reflection of its musical history, in films such as 24 Hour Party People and Spike Island.

Grimmfest is an attempt to change that. The festival was born in part out of a desire to put the city firmly on the horror map. In their capacity as a Manchester-based Director-Producer team, festival supremos Simeon Halligan and Rachel Richardson-Jones have always filmed within the North West region, and the festival has always encouraged and showcased locally-produced work, from Simeon and Rachel's first feature, Splintered, which provided the impetus to launch the first ever festival, to Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell's Yorkshire-based domestic zombie drama Before Dawn, to shorts such as NSFW, Radio Silence, and A Father's Day.

So this year they are delighted to be launching the festival with a truly, defiantly Mancunian film at last - Rachel and Simeon's third feature, Habit. Based on the cult novel by Stephen McGeagh, it's an unsettling journey into the seedier, sleazier corners of the city, to discover the sinister and seductive sub-cultures that lurk there and sample the forbidden and addictive pleasures on offer. The film captures perfectly the city's unsettling, uncomfortable ambiance; that nagging sense that behind the bright lights and bustling bars, the fancy restaurants and hipster hang-outs, there is something older and darker. Something dangerous and predatory, that has you right in its sights. Shot on location, with mostly local talent, the film has already been snapped up by numerous high-profile festivals, and will soon be flying a blood-spattered flag for the city as a location and a centre for production, all around the world. But in addition to cast and crew Q&A, this Gala Premiere screening offers something unique. Because much of the film was shot only five minutes walk from the festival venue - so this is a chance for a truly... immersive cinema experience. Always assuming you don't mind getting a few bloodstains on your clothes...

Strangely enough, sub-cultures and substance abuse seem to be a bit of a theme in this year's Northern films. There's an emotionally brutal brace of shorts, Real Gods Require Blood, and Fissure, which offer very different, but equally unsettling slices of Manchester macabre, and then, by way of contrast...

Grimmfest is also delighted to welcome back our old friends Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell, for the Northern Premiere of their utterly outrageous and all-too-timely cinematic shocker, Attack Of The Adult Babies. A scabrous, scatological, splatter-satire, which skewers the British Nation's sexual hang ups and social divisions with puerile glee and savage abandon, it offers a grotesque and gobsmacking grand finale to this year's Northern strand, and brings the festival to a suitably uproarious and frenzied climax.

Featuring such cult faces as Human Centipede's Laurence Harvey, and "Uncle Peter" himself, Charlie Chuck, the film earned Producer, co-writer, and lead actress Mitchell a Screen/Horror Channel Frightfest "Rising Star" nomination. Dominic and Joanne will be joining us to introduce the film and for a Q&A afterwards.

Grimmfest runs 5th-8th October at Odeon Printworks, Manchester and for more info click here.


MORE NEWS
Doorways to premiere at Leeds Film Festival 2017
Posted on Thursday 12th October 2017

A macabre drama which depicts the psychological paranoia of being homeless will have its world premiere at this year's Leeds Film Festival.

Doorways - written and co-produced by comic-book writer Ed Murphy, follows a newly-evicted young girl who hooks up with a down-and-out veteran who believes his street colleagues are being abducted from the city's sidewalks by a hostile entity. The short film was shot on location in Manchester's Northern Quarter and Murphy wanted to capture the style and feel of renowned British directors Ken Loach and Alan Clarke in his depiction of the homeless community.

"I really wanted a cinematic look which was direct, straight-forward, honest and wasn't too contrive...

SHARE: READ MORE
Borley Rectory will open its doors at Grimmfest
Posted on Wednesday 4th October 2017

From the House On The Borderlands, to the Witch House, from Hill House to Belasco House, hostile, haunted, or demon-possessed real estate is one of the longest-established tropes in horror fiction, and one which very quickly established itself in cinema, too. Indeed, haunted houses appear in some of the very earliest films. The cynical explanation would be that a single, creepy location is always an effective backdrop for a narrative, and will keep the budget down, too. But it's more than this. Like the Home Invasion Film, the Haunted House movie plays on the darkest human fear of all - that we are not safe in the one place we most expect to be. That our refuge from the world is nothing of the kind. That home is ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Eight classic Doctor Who titles are coming to vinyl
Posted on Tuesday 19th September 2017

Silva Screen Records are set to release eight Doctor Who scores onto vinyl and have announced the first two titles which come from opposite ends of the classic series' original run, The Daleks and Survival.

The Daleks was the second Doctor Who story and was originally broadcast in 1963 with music by Tristram Cary. Cary was a pioneer in the field of electronic music, and served as a wartime naval officer specialising in radar and electronics. He combined a career at the cutting edge of experimental music with works for cinema (The Ladykillers), television and radio. The Daleks made their debut just before Christmas 1963 and Cary's music was composed to script as several atmospheric pieces for specific scenes...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Incredible Shrinking Man has never looked so good!
Posted on Tuesday 19th September 2017

Based on the novel by the massively influential sci-fi and horror writer Richard Matheson (I Am Legend, The Martian Chronicles), with a script adapted by Matheson himself, and directed by Fifties sci-fi king Jack Arnold (Creature From The Black Lagoon), The Incredible Shrinking Man is rightly regarded as being one of the finest science-fiction films of all time, a critically-acclaimed smash hit that currently has a 90 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

He baffles science! He confounds medicine! Submitted for your approval, the strange story of Scott Carey - an ordinary young man who, through an extraordinary set of circumstances, becomes The Incredible Shrinking Man! Whilst on a holiday c...

SHARE: READ MORE
Voyeurism, violence and giallo vixens - Watch Me When I Kill arrives on UK Blu-ray October
Posted on Tuesday 19th September 2017

fans of the golden age of Italian gore could have predicted that a comparative obscurity such as Watch Me When I Kill (1977) might still be remembered forty years after its initial release. Yet it is a testament to this terror title's enduring images of perversion, plasma-spillage and potent murder-mystery hi-jinks that it is now remastered in a gorgeous new 4k HD scan by 88 Films and given the bells and whistles treatment! Building up a sizeable fanbase over the decades - understandably adamant that director Antonio Bido (famous for his similarly stylish sickie The Bloodstained Shadow) deserves his rightful place in the pantheon of all time giallo-director greats - Watch Me When I Kill is a captivating car...

SHARE: READ MORE
This release should be called, "Now That's What I Call Italian Horror Music: Volume 1"!
Posted on Friday 15th September 2017

The golden era of Italian horror dated from the early 60's to the mid 80's. During that time directors such as Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Antonio Margheriti, Umberto Lenzi, Joe D'Amato, Enzo. G. Castellari and more directed some of the most outrageous terror films ever. The cult following for their movies is at its height now in 2017. As well as depicting some of the most stylish and horrific on screen images their films included some of the most elegant and beautiful scores.

Vault Of Horror - The Italian Connection presents 20 of the most amazing film themes ever. A heady mix of funk, disco, electronic and prog rock including composers such as Stelvio Cipriani, Franco Micalizzi, Roberto Do...

SHARE: READ MORE
Will you visit House On Sorority Row?
Posted on Monday 11th September 2017

88 Films is ready to unleash a certified teen-tormenting gem in the timeless terror title House On Sorority Row (1983).

Remade as a Carrie Fisher-starring blockbuster in 2009 which was recntly shown on Horror, this original effort - about a dorm prank gone wrong and the terrible consequences - doubtlessly inspired such later revenge-flicks as I Know What You Did Last Summer. A trendsetting genre template, House On Sorority Row is the latest in 88 Films Slasher Classics line.

Special Features:
Brand new Interview with Composer Richard Band
Brand new Interview with Film Critic Kim Newman
Audio Commentary by the Hysteria Lives Podcast team
Trailer
Booklet by Calum Waddell
...

SHARE: READ MORE
U.K. exclusive poster for sadistic horror comedy Better Watch Out
Posted on Monday 11th September 2017

Universal Pictures have released the U.K. exclusive poster for the sadistic horror comedy Better Watch Out which will open in cinemas nationwide from 8th December.

The sadistic horror comedy begins on a quiet suburban street during the holiday season, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from strangers breaking into the house, only to discover that this is far from a normal home invasion.

Featuring a superb young cast including Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould (the stars of M.Night Shyamalan's smash hit The Visit), and Pan's Levi Miller who is on sensational form; as well as Family Guy's Patrick Warburton, and Candyman's Virginia Madsen.

A huge hit at...

SHARE: READ MORE
Attack of the Adult Babies to close Grimmfest 2017
Posted on Monday 11th September 2017

Grimmfest is delighted to welcome back their old friends Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell, with their utterly outrageous and all-too-timely cinematic shocker, Attack of the Adult Babies. A scabrous, scatological, splatter-satire, which skewers the British Nation's sexual hang ups and social divisions with puerile glee and savage abandon, it offers a grotesque and gobsmacking grand finale to this year's "WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST SEE?" strand, and brings the festival to a suitably uproarious and frenzied climax.

In the movie two teenagers are forced to break into a remote country manor to steal Top Secret documents, and uncover a sinister world of sexual depravity and monstrous ambition, where powerful p...

SHARE: READ MORE
Annabelle: Creation - White vinyl release for soundtrack
Posted on Friday 8th September 2017

Following on from the worldwide success of 2014's Annabelle, which frightened the worldwide box office to a gross of $257m comes another chilling story of the possessed doll causing sinister havoc once more, Annabelle: Creation.

Composer Benjamin Wallfisch is recognised as one of the leading lights of his generation, working with film-makers of the calibre of Steven Spielberg, Rupert Wyatt, Gore Verbinksi and Lars von Trier. He has been a Golden Globe, Emmy and Ivor nominee. In a career spanning over a decade and 60 feature films, his recent credits include Hidden Figures, A Cure For Wellness and Bitter Harvest.

A regular collaborator with Hans Zimmer he features on the soundtrack to Dun...

SHARE: READ MORE
Hellraiser - Back in cinemas on October 13th
Posted on Friday 8th September 2017

Audiences beware - Pinhead and his Cenobites are back! To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Clive Barker's iconic horror masterpiece Hellraiser, the terrifying and gloriously gruesome hit film, is re-released in cinemas on Friday 13th October and Steelbook on 30th October.

A couple, Larry and Julia, move into an old house belonging to Larry's family, to make a fresh start. Exploring the dilapidated house, Julia discover a hideous creature - Larry's half-brother Frank, who is also Julia's former lover - hiding in the attic. Having lost his earthly body to other-worldly demons called the Cenobites after a ceremony with a strange golden puzzle box, he is brought back into existence by a drop of blood on the fl...

SHARE: READ MORE
Hammer House of Horror will open its doors on Blu-ray soon
Posted on Thursday 7th September 2017

This star-studded anthology from Hammer Films presents thirteen unforgettable tales of spine-chilling terror. Reimagining classic Hammer themes in a contemporary British setting and signalling a new direction for the legendary film studio under the aegis of producer Roy Skeggs, Hammer House of Horror blends the supernatural with a very modern horror from hauntings and demonic possessions to sinister incarcerations and cannibalism...

A huge hit on its first ITV transmission and again when it was shown recently on Horror, Hammer House of Horror boasts a consistently high-calibre cast including Peter Cushing, Diana Dors, Denholm Elliott, Brian Cox and Sian Phillips.

The complete series is featured...

SHARE: READ MORE
PICK OF THE WEEK
After.Life
AFTER.LIFE
Monday 23rd October
10.45 PM
Darkness Falls
DARKNESS FALLS
Monday 23rd October
9.00 PM
Urban Legend
URBAN LEGEND
Wednesday 25th October
9.00 PM