If you live in Manchester and love horror films (or horror-comedy, zom-com, or indie movies) then you almost certainly know about Grimmfest. It’s when Mancunians pack themselves into screening rooms to watch the latest and greatest horror movies that the world has to offer. Not only is it the most popular horror festival in the north west but the biggest film festival in Manchester and one of the top 40 genre film festivals in the world.
For the past seven years, Simeon Halligan and the Grimmfest team have filled Manchester venues with film fans of all ages from cosplaying students to retirees arriving on a bus pass.
This year offers plenty of premieres, including Let Me Make You a Martyr, directed by Corey Asraf and starring the ever-controversial Marilyn Manson, as well as a host of festival highlights like Train To Busan, Beyond The Gates and My Father Die. The whole world of horror is converging on Manchester, with Nordic, American, Asian and British horror just a few of the countries trying to scare you into fainting.
But don’t worry if these titles are unfamiliar. The best horror films always sneak up on you. When films like Ouija and Insidious 23 receive TV, print and radio advertisements, they’re practically guaranteed to be awful.
On the other hand, classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and more recent hits like The Babadook, Paranormal Activity and What We Do in the Shadows received almost none. In fact, those three films only got famous after their run on festivals like Grimmfest so, these are the films you should be watching.
But Grimmfest isn’t just about the movies themselves. It’s absolutely full of genre classics and special guests, with previous festivals including Hellraiser’s Cenobites and Shaune Harrison, the man responsible for some of the best horror makeup ever created.
I’ve been to every Grimmfest since I was eighteen. It’s always amazing and gets better every year with more guests, more interviews and more films than ever before. So if you love films, love Halloween, love Manchester or just plain hate that Facebook friend who counts down to Christmas then choose Grimmfest. You won’t regret it.
The full line-up for the festival is available here and tickets are available to purchase from the Grimmfest website. You don’t even have to commit to a full festival pass. Just pick the films or events you fancy the sound of and buy singles from the same website.
Grimmfest takes place at the Printworks October 6-9.