Grimmfest, Manchester's International Festival of Fantastic Film, will be returning to regular venue, Manchester’s Odeon Great Northern, from 6–8 October to showcase the best in genre cinema.
With the feature film lineup already announced, we are delighted to share this year’s poster artwork by Ilan Sheady, emphasising this year’s celebration on female-centric horror.
But now, that celebration is set to start a day earlier, on the evening of Thursday 5 October, with a special preview screening of Joe Lynch’s SUITABLE FLESH alongside two startling short film premieres and the infamous Evolution of Horror pub quiz.
Boasting a fearlessly full-on lead performance from Heather Graham (TWIN PEAKS, BOOGIE NIGHTS), SUITABLE FLESH is a vibrant, visceral and challenging contribution to the cinematic representation of Cthulhu cosmology, and a heartfelt homage to the late, great Stuart Gordon, to whom it is dedicated.
Plus, an exclusive world premiere: Najarra Townsend (THE STYLIST) stars as an isolated young woman caught between a potentially predatory neighbour and her own paranoia in Stu Silverman's slippery and suffocatingly claustrophobic psychological thriller BUG.
Also, in Brendan Cleaves’ SAM AND DOUG (UK premiere), a tense suburban post-lockdown spin on THE WALKING DEAD, Craig Charles, Carla Langley and Elliot James Langridge star in a tale of a desperate mother forming an unlikely friendship to save her family.
We can also now reveal the lineup of short film premieres in this year's trio of programmes.
Friday 6 October: NOTHING IS REAL
A couple's home life grows ever more divided in Peter Collins Campbell's deadpan and disturbing VARIATIONS ON A THEME.
A young man finds himself, and everyone close to him, undergoing a terrifying metamorphosis, in Matt Bentley-Viney's disquieting CATERPILLAR (Greater Manchester premiere).
A young woman uses her ability to hear the voices of the recently departed to help those left behind in Nacho Solana's unexpectedly moving THERE ARE NO GHOSTS (regional premiere).
A young man and his grief-stricken boyfriend come to regret their choice of holiday resort in Gus Reed's subtly nightmarish RINGING ROCKS (Manchester premiere).
Two young women on the brink of romance discover that time is not on their side in Antoine Dricot's quietly devastating MEMORIES OF THE MOON (UK premiere).
A couple's toxic relationship awakens something evil in Jo Smyth's fever-dream folk horror, FIND YOU HERE (Greater Manchester premiere).
Saturday 7 October: WHERE THE HEART… ISN’T
A man returns to the community he grew up in to discover friends and family in thrall to a sinister cult in Jesse Aultman’s macabre morality tale THE SPIRIT BECOME FLESH (international premiere).
Doting parents teach their young daughter the meaning of Halloween in Sabrina Ariss's chilling TRADITION (UK premiere).
Alan Dunne offers a truly terrifying glimpse of a toxic home environment in the darkly comic FAMILY NIGHT (regional premiere).
An overworked young man receives a truly unwelcome phone call in James Hughes' nail-biting NO CALLER ID (world premiere).
A neglected wife develops an unhealthy fixation with an insect in Stef Meyer and Pascal Bourelier's creepy and claustrophobic MANTRA (North West premiere).
A young man's reunion with his biological father proves traumatic in Andrew Rutter's surreal comic nightmare THE HERITAGE (regional premiere).
An infertile woman remains determined to have a baby in Michael Squid's heart-rending and utterly horrifying JANELLE'S BABY (international premiere).
Sam Fox offers the ultimate “meet the parents” shocker in the truly outrageous FUK'N NUTS (UK premiere).
Sunday 8 October: HERE BE MONSTERS
A desperate scientist finds himself caught between marauding zombies and a food-stealing rat in Semyon Voinov's mordantly funny TRAPPED (regional premiere).
A father-and-son weekend adventure becomes a terrifying fight for survival in Michael Trainotti's gripping old-school creature feature SCRATCH (international premiere).
A would-be social media star discovers that success requires sacrifice in Riccardo Grippo's sour splatter-satire STARR (world premiere).
A rejected young woman discovers an unlikely source of moral support in Shane Bannon's troubling A PERFECT PLACE TO CRY (European premiere).
An aspiring romantic novelist becomes increasingly obsessed with a mysterious, possibly supernatural figure who haunts the library where she works in Javier Yañez Sanz's utterly horrifying BOOKWORM (UK premiere).
An inebriated duo attempts to rob an antique store, only to discover that the older woman running the shop isn't quite as defenseless as she seems, in Tyler Savage's droll tale of EC Comics-style poetic justice, ODDITIES, starring genre legend Adrienne Barbeau (Manchester premiere).
We can also share details of the first of this year’s confirmed guests and Festival Jury members. Joining us on this year’s blood-red carpet thus far:
Raymond Wood, director of the candy-coloured and confrontational FACELESS AFTER DARK. Starring and co-written by Jenna Kanell in the wake of appearing in the first TERRIFIER, the film combines splatter, satire, vicarious vengeance, and a twist of sly metacinematic mischief to offer a pointed critique of some of the more questionable aspects of the horror genre and the ways in which fame in an era of toxic social media can prove a truly Faustian bargain.
Writer-director Miguel Azurmendi, producer Antonio Rosa Lobo, and producer-actor Pablo Lapastora will represent the jaw-dropping KERATYNA, a tense, surreal spin on REAR WINDOW for the age of the internet incel conspiracy theorist.
Enigmatic writer-director Quarxx will take the audience on a tour of hell in his existential portmanteau PANDEMONIUM.
From the creative team of ABRUPTIO, composer and musician Patrick Savage (THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE, A CURE FOR WELLNESS, BENEDETTA, COCAINE BEAR) will be in attendance.
Representing SAM AND DOUG, we will welcome actor Elliot James Langridge (HABIT, NORTHERN SOUL).
Finally, Mike Muncer, founder and host, and Becky Darke, returning guest and events coordinator, of podcast THE EVOLUTION HORROR will be presenting various events in and around the festival. We will also be joined by actor-writer Adam Z. Robinson of theatre company THE BOOK OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT, who will be performing HAUNTED on Thursday night at The Lion’s Den.
Mike and Becky will be hosting a special THE EVOLUTION OF HORROR pub quiz for festival attendees, with horror-themed prizes and merchandise for winners and runners up. This will take place at Lion’s Den on the evening of Thursday 5 October, after the screening of SUITABLE FLESH, BUG and SAM AND DOUG.
We are also delighted to release details of this year's Festival Jury. Faced with the daunting task of debating and deliberating over this year's lineup, and determining those most deserving a visit from the Reaper, will be:
Mary Beth McAndrews, film producer and editor-in-chief at Dread Central
Ben Parker, screenwriter and director (BURIAL, THE CHAMBER [Grimmfest 2016])
Caroline Couret-Delègue, managing director of sales and distribution company Film Seekers
Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes, reader and co-director at the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University and co-president of the International Gothic Association
Amber T, writer and journalist (Fangoria, Arrow Video, Ghouls Magazine, Grimoire of Horror)
Full and day passes and individual tickets are available at https://www.grimmfest.com/festival/