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2017 09 29 Grimmfest 2017

 grimmfest poster

Grimmfest Kicks off in October

Written by Charlotte Stear

October is nearly upon us which means Halloween (the best time of the year) is just around the corner. But for many people, October means that one big horror event is nearly upon us, Grimmfest!

Now in its ninth year, Manchester’s Grimmfest is the horror and cult film festival that keeps going from strength to strength, each year more impressive than the last. Its audience has grown in size and it has become well known for its diverse choice of movies. Here at Horror DNA, we’ve had great pleasure watching it grow to become one of the big competitors to London’s FrightFest

Having reported on the festival from its early days, I was honoured and excited to join the team to help programme this year’s festival and yes this will seem slightly biased, but 2017’s festival line-up is one of its best yet! Hugely anticipated movies like Leatherface and Better Watch Out shall be screened over the weekend, as well as overseas festival favourites like 68 Kill and Dave Made a Maze. These are the films horror fans in t’north wouldn’t easily have the chance to see so we’re proud to bring them up here. We also have Grimmfest’s own Simeon Halligan’s latest movie Habit which will be opening the event, a much anticipated movie in Manchester due to it being shot just minutes from the festival venue!

There are, of course, many films you may not have heard about screening over the course of the four day festival and I’m here to list my five favourites that may be a little under your radar. It goes without saying that every film we’re screening we’re excited to present, but these five are just my personal must-sees.

poor agnes poster

Poor Agnes

This sums up Grimmfest pretty well, my first top pick is Poor Agnes which opens the festival on Friday morning at 10am. Grimm screens the best movies from the moment the cinema doors at The Printworks open, and until they turf us out in the early hours, none of this warming up until the main event business.
Poor Agnes is a Canadian horror film that follows a female serial killer and her bizarre relationship with her latest victim. A bleak yet oddly charming feature that hypnotised me from start to finish, this is a great reason to get out of bed early and get to the cinema, you don’t want to miss this one.

Screening: Friday October 6th 10.20am

freehold poster


Warning: do not eat your lunch while watching this movie like I did. Freehold takes place in one setting, a flat in London that is occupied by an estate agent, but just like those creepy urban legends you’ve heard about, there’s someone else living in his apartment who comes out when he’s not around. This movie is everything, it’s creepy, disgusting, funny, and it has heart. Everything comes together in this incredibly poignant and disturbing as hell story that will no doubt be the hit of the weekend.

Screening: Friday 6th 4.30pm

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Fake Blood

Two filmmakers receive a disturbing fan video to their last movie which triggers them to investigate the effect of violence in their films in a new documentary, however the documentary takes them to dark places they could never have expected. The fact that these are the two actual filmmakers behind a past Grimmfest screened film Mon Ami make for an incredibly convincing “mockumentary”. It feels uncomfortably real and the found footage style of the movie only heightens the stress of their situation. This movie lingered with me for a while after I watched it. Rob Grant will also be at the screening so it’s going to be very interesting to hear about the inspiration behind this one!

Screening: Saturday October 6th 9.00pm

mfa poster


One of the best things about this year’s festival is the amount of female fronted horror flicks and how they’re all refreshingly unique, MFA being the most powerful of the lot. The film follows an incredibly shy art student, struggling with her craft who is raped by a classmate at a party. When she confronts him later his denial of the incident pushes her to the limit and she accidentally kills him, not only giving her a thirst for vengeance, but a new lease of creative life. This movie is incredibly important right now, it depicts events that are all too common in a formidable, but not overly violent way. At the centre of this fierce movie is lead actress, Francesca Eastwood, who gives the best performance you will see the entire weekend.

Screening: Sunday October 8th 2pm

borley rectory poster

Borley Rectory

So this is a film about the most haunted house in Britain and it features Reece Shearsmith, Nicholas Vince and Julian Sands, did you need more reasons to check this one out? Well, this will be the most unique piece of cinema you will see at Grimmfest. It mixes traditional filmmaking with digital animation, model work and paintings to name just a few techniques, culminating in a truly haunting cinema experience. This is also the world premiere, just to make it that extra bit special.

Screening: Sunday 8th 4pm

That’s just a sample of the great movies we have in store for festival-goers but if you don’t have your tickets yet, don’t worry! Grimmfest runs from Oct 5th-8th and tickets are available by clicking here. See you there!

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About The Author
Charlotte Stear
Staff Writer
Charlotte is a lover of all things spooky and macabre. If she's not reading Shirley Jackson or Stephen King, she's watching The Lost Boys for the millionth time. She loves to travel, mainly to places that are super haunted in the hopes of meeting some friendly ghosts.
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