As I rolled into Manchester for my annual feed of horror, cult and sci-fi cinema, I realised that I only ever venture into the city for this celebration… a 4 day holiday with likeminded people enjoying some of the finest fruits of genre cinema yet to be released and a sprinkle of classics to get nostalgic over. It’s also the first time in a year that I’ve met up with my writer buddies, John Townsend from Starburst Magazine and our very own Courtney Button who this year is a Grimm volunteer, helping out with the festival.
Before I could sit down and enjoy the evening’s entertainment, I was whisked off for an interview with The Hallow director Corin Hardy and star Joseph Mawle. The Hallow opened the gala night at 7pm so I didn’t know what to expect so my interview with the duo was based only on the synopsis and the trailer. Both Corin and Joe were a joy to talk to and shared some insights into the making of and inspiration behind The Hallow. Stay tuned for that interview!
Kicking off at 7pm in the new home of the Odeon Printworks in Manchester, Grimmfest screened the much-antipated The Hallow. The plot focuses on husband and wife Adam and Clare and their baby son Finn who move into a rural farmhouse in Ireland having previously lived in the city of London. The couple are warned by a local to stay away from the woods but Adam needs to monitor the trees as part of his job. Not heeding the neighbours advice, the family find out just how different life in the sticks can be.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Hallow and as a creature film combined with an emotional tale of a family unit struggling against them, it worked incredibly well. I particularly loved the creatures and everything about them such as their appearance, their movement and their motives, and how the introduction of the creatures affects the lives of Adam, Clare and Finn, with the parental roles played superbly by Joseph Mawle and Bojana Novakovic. A very creepy tale told in a convincing, emotional way. What a feature debut from director Corin Hardy! I can’t wait to see more from Corin in the future (and the next film may just be The Crow remake!)
Following the smashing opener, the Grimmlings sat down for the Northern Short Film Showcase featuring four short films from a variety of Northern filmmakers including Grimmfest regular, visual FX and make-up artist Shaune Harrison who premiered his short film, The Box, starring Emmerdale’s Dominic Brunt, an actor who’s fast becoming a name on the horror circuit with his two directorial features Before Dawn and Bait. Also screening as part of the Short Film Showcase were Snatchers, Driven and Process, conjuring up disturbing home invasion, guilt trip sat navs and dementia on another planet.
Completing Grimmfest 2015’s opening gala were The Office meets Shaun of the Dead horror comedy Blood Sucking Bastards and short film El Gigante, two films I unfortunately had to miss due to needing my beauty sleep before travelling back to Manchester for Day 2 and the first full day of films. I did however manage to sample the gaming delights of the festival hub on the first floor of the Odeon Printworks where Bitlord are featuring games throughout the entire festival weekend. There’s also plenty of stalls to purchase posters, t-shirts, artwork, testube baby creatures and soundtrack vinyls and cassettes, as well as featuring signings and photo opportunities with the stars. The entire Grimmfest Festival Hub is open throughout the entire festival and is a good place to browse and also chat with like-minded people.
Single screening tickets are still available to purchase at the Odeon Printworks box office. You can find out more at grimmfest.com
Check back tomorrow for the next festival daily update.