Culture, Manchester

Preview: Grimmfest 2019

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By Mike Hingston

Grimmfest 2019 will take place from 3rd – 6th October 2019 at the ODEON Manchester Great Northern, UK

The Brothers Grimm were the forefathers of every nightmare we as a culture have ever had. They created every tapping on your window, every creak in your floorboards and every scratch on your door that left you terrified in bed as a child. It was only after you grew up that you were sure that they could never scare you again. Well it seems they’re not done with you yet.

Grimmfest is the independent film festival that many horror fans have been looking for. Soon to be celebrating its eleventh year, it rightfully boasts a cornucopia of horror and viscera, leaving those who have a stomach for that kind of undertaking excited and those without such a stomach, quaking in their boots. 

The impressive schedule, however, isn’t the only aspect that the festival should be praised and applauded for. Grimmfest has acquired the use of the F-rating system, which allows for films created by female directors and writers to be given the recognition they deserve. This is the only theme of the festival that, rather than sparking fear and surprise from the audience, should earn it the greatest praise. In doing so, the festival lives up to its mantra of sharing the very best in new horror, cult, extreme fantasy and sci-fi movies no matter who makes them, showing no snobbery or prejudice, just a love of films that leave people feeling alive and fuelled by adrenaline through fear.

Looking through the line-up of the three and a half day event I’ve seen so many films that have sparked my interest both intellectually as a film student but also as a film lover, because so many look incomparably amazing. Despite the absolute multitude of great films that are screening for Grimmfest, there are a few that excite me the most…

Little Monsters

Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Josh Gadd and Alexander England, this film is an interesting take on the zombie horror film sub-genre where instead of the usual group of roughed up and gnarled cynical survivors the audience are given a pre-school teacher, a musician and a childrens tv host as their heroes, swapping out rough for soft, gnarled for unprepared and cynical for…well cynical but more because of the world there was before the zombies. Filled with jokes and a difficult challenge of showing children that there’s a fun side to the apocalypse, I can’t wait to see this feature film.


Starring Laura Vandervoort, this is one film that I am excited to see based on the reputation it has to live up to in my eyes. This F-rated film is a reimagining of one of my favourite directors, David Cronenbergs, classics and from what I have seen already, I know that it will do both him and the audience proud. Following the story of a hopeful fashion designer stricken with tragedy but given a chance to get better through an experimental procedure. Anyone who has seen this kind of horror before most likely knows that the words ‘experimental procedure’ placed in such close proximity usually means ‘death and gore abound’ and I for one can’t wait to be in the front aisle for such an event.

Tone Deaf

Starring Robert Patrick and Amanda Crew, this psychological thriller looks to be one of the most interesting films of the festival. Following a young woman who after a relatable rough patch in her life decides to try live in the countryside, in a beautiful house, in a sunny area. Sadly as always with magic deals people secure over the internet, there’s a catch, hers is a slightly more dangerous one though as her renter happens to be going through a tough time himself. Namely a psychotic break. Seemingly packed with psychological scares and horrors leaving you in anticipation, coupled with what looks to be brilliantly mesmerising hallucinogenic sequences, ‘Tone Deaf’ looks to be a top contender for the number one spot of this festival.

The schedule is packed with films that I cannot wait to see, and I am going to be seeing them all. Festivals like Grimmfest are rarer than they should be nowadays, we live in such a time of artistic expression and enjoyment that we are able to celebrate any form of art however we want to, we should be encouraging more festivals like this one to take place as they allow all people to express themselves in their own way and in ways that no one else could ever conceive of, and the best kind of horror is one that you can’t even thing of.

I won’t be missing this festival for the world and if my instincts are correct then I’m probably not going to be missing this festival ever again, and neither should anyone else. Because lets be honest for a minute, who doesn’t like a good scare every once in a while.

Visit for tickets and full line-up and schedule.

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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