Grimmfest 2019 Festival Report – Day 2

grimmfest 2019

After a kickass opener, I settled down for Day 2 of Grimmfest with the surreal Russian feature QUIET COMES THE DAWN. A young woman, who loses both her brother and her mother, is plagued by nightmares. Whilst some clues point to her mother having once belonged to a cult who tampered with the dreamlike state for their own nefarious reasons, she decides to seek out help from a clinic that specialises in dream therapy and group lucid dreaming in order for her to overcome her fears.

Whilst QUIET COMES THE DAWN had an interesting initial premise, clues vital to the plot were present from the very beginning, which I quickly sussed out early on, and thus the finale isn’t this big reveal that it tries to make out.  Quite a large chunk of the lucid dreaming session also seemed to struggle to hit the mark and comes off quite confused in many respect. The film has some good ideas but doesn’t seem to use them to maximum efficiency.

Following the first feature, festival programmer Steve Balshaw treated us to a series of short films. ROAD TRASH was a highlight with its goth girl going around burying dead animals with BOO also offering some brilliant scenes as a woman tries her utmost to stay on the straight and narrow after 7 years clean. The majority of the shorts didn’t really do it for me for numerous reasons. Some just didn’t seem to end properly or make much sense whilst others seemed to concentrate on the metaphors or social commentary a bit too much that the actual story lost its impact. THE LOST FILMS OF BLOODY NORA was quite delightful and dark though whilst I was absolutely cat-tivated (geddit?) with the disappearing cat activity in STRAY.

Launching into the afternoon, EVERY TIME I DIE brought about a tale of a paramedic named Sam who carries around the guilt of his sister’s passing when she was 6 years old. As an adult man, he finds himself blacking out and losing memory of things he’s supposedly said and done. When Tyler, the husband of Mia, the woman he’s been dating, returns from service in the army, his life seems to turn upside-down as the only woman he’s ever loved slips through his fingers. A mini-vacation away with his work colleague Jay, his wife Poppy and her sister and her husband, which turns out to be Mia and Tyler, begins a chain of events that sees Sam fighting to save those around him.

A fascinating concept that’s beautifully shot using some wonderful reflection work and first-person perspectives, EVERY TIME I DIE somehow lifted the mood despite the trail of death in its wake. The film effortlessly pulls the viewer in as you begin to question the world, just like Sam does, as life seemingly falls apart for him. Some interesting ideas combined for an intimate effort from filmmaker Robi Michael.

Mid-afternoon, I unfortunately missed A SERIAL KILLER’S GUIDE TO LIFE and short film THE CABINET. However, in my absence I got to have a chat with the lovely Pollyanna McIntosh about her feature film debut DARLIN’, a sequel to THE WOMAN and third film of the OFFSPRING trilogy. You can look forward to that being published in the coming weeks. The interview set me up nicely for the screening of DARLIN’ itself. Following on from The Woman, the little girl that The Woman takes with her at the end of the movie is now a teenager and finds herself in the hands of the church who look to “save her” and convert her from a feral teen into a child of God.

A brilliant piece of filmmaking, especially for a debut, that fits nicely into the series. Pollyanna has managed to put her own stamp on DARLIN’ and take it in a direction not expected whilst keeping links and ties with the previous two films. A worthy successor, DARLIN’ feels fresh yet laced with the same attitude we know and love. I don’t think anyone else could have done a better job. After all, who knows The Woman better than the lady who plays her herself.

Rounding off the night, for me anyhow, was supernatural ghost ship tale BLOOD VESSEL set towards the end of WW2. I thought I knew what to expect with this movie but it surprised me in many ways and even had a The Mummy (1999) vibe to it that I couldn’t resist. Read my full review of BLOOD VESSEL.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stick around for 4×4 but I’m keenly looking forward to tomorrow’s first flick of the day, Tone-Deaf.

Tickets are available at

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About Bat 4417 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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