Grimm­fest

2- 5 Oc­to­ber, Manch­ester The sixth an­nual genre fest went all out for 2014. Colin McCracken was on hand…

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Conventions -

Simeon Hal­li­gan and Rachel Richard­son-Jones ( White Set­tlers) are the film­mak­ing duo who run reg­u­lar screen­ings in Manch­ester along with the an­nual Grimm­fest which this year took place in three sep­a­rate venues across the city.

Grimm has al­ways mixed it up, giv­ing as­pir­ing film­mak­ers a chance to screen their work along­side the greats, so almost ev­ery show was ac­com­pa­nied by a qual­ity short. On open­ing night, The Babadook was met with de­light from a sold out au­di­ence. A Women In Hor­ror showcase at hip eatery/ screen­ing room Go­rilla fol­lowed on Thurs­day.

Later that evening, fem­i­nist ve­gan hor­ror The Herd left au­di­ences dazed and reel­ing, as the night pro­gressed into a dou­ble bill of Brian O’Mal­ley’s stun­ning first fea­ture Let Us Prey and Richard Bates Jr’s neo- psy­che­delic follow on to Ex­ci­sion, Sub­ur­ban Gothic.

“This is the per­fect venue.” said Ital­ian hor­ror score legend Clau­dio Si­mon­etti as he pre­pared back­stage at The Dance­house, a fully op­er­a­tional dance academy. Per­fect be­cause on Fri­day night his in­car­na­tion of Gob­lin took to the stage to live score Ar­gento’s Sus­piria.

Ex­cel­lent mi­crobud­get ur­ban haunt­ing For­got­ten kicked off Satur­day morn­ing, with a su­perb dou­ble from down un­der in the guise of House­bound and What We Do In The Shad­ows. Top make- up FX artist Shaune Har­ri­son ( see SFX 251) was also on hand to work his magic in a se­ries of com­pelling live demon­stra­tions.

Satur­day night ex­plored the dark side of Hol­ly­wood with Starry Eyes ( hot tip for this year!) and Zombeavers, which makes Troma’s out­put look like Mer­chant Ivory. Spooky Ir­ish mys­tery The Canal brought the week­end to a close.

With loads of Q& As, guests, sign­ings and live events, Grimm­fest sep­a­rates it­self from the majority of hor­ror events by tear­ing down the vel­vet rope. This fa­mil­ial event ex­udes a sense of com­mu­nity that many hor­ror fes­ti­vals shy away from. Ev­ery year it gets bet­ter, and ev­ery year it feels more like home. www. grimm­fest. com

The brochures sported a de­li­ciously retro

look.

The cast of The Herd rock the ca­sual look at all times.

Bruno Tre­vi­tali from Gob­lin has had quite enough.

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