Grimmfest Lineup Announced


Grimmfest, Manchester’s Festival of Horror, Cult and Fantastic Film is back at the VUE Printworks from 5 to 8 October; bigger, bolder, and bloodier than ever before. An urban entertainment venue offering a cinema, clubs and eateries, located on the corner of Withy Grove and Corporation Street in Manchester city centre

Borley screenshot
Borley Rectory just one of the films to be premiered at Grimmfest. Image provided by Ashley Thorpe

The  Printworks will once again find itself under siege from the blood-thirsty hordes of horror enthusiasts and film freaks, as Team Grimmfest unleashes…The Ninth Configuration! The festival’s latest and greatest line-up yet of dark, dangerous, wild, weird, witty, thrilling, chilling, blood-spilling movies, every one of them a premiere or cult classic of one kind or another.

Highlights include:

What we are most excited about is the world premiere of Ashley Thorpe’s remarkable and utterly unique Borley Rectory. Using an elaborate mixture of live action, stills, paintings, and model work, it’s an immersive, eerily atmospheric, and elegantly retro-styled exploration of Britain’s the Most Haunted House. Over six years in the making, it’s been a real labour of love for  Ashley. Featuring a score by former Banshee Steve Severin, and a cast including The League of Gentlemen‘s Reece Shearsmith, Julian Sands and Hellraiser‘s Chatterer and Hothouse pal Nicolas Vince, it’s going to be an extraordinary cinematic experience.

Image provided by Ashley Thorpe


Then there is the International Premiere of Fake Blood, from Rob Grant and Mike Kovac, whose previous movie, Mon Ami, was a Grimmfest hit a few years back. A mordant and malevolent mockumentary that explores the difference between movie violence and reality, it’s a pitch-black comedy that shifts into increasingly chilling and uncomfortable territory, a real masterclass in audience manipulation, that leads the viewer step by step towards its quietly horrible punchline.

Grimmfest is delighted to be hosting the European premiere of Mohawk, fresh from wowing audiences at Montreal’s Fantasia Festival. Following in the wake of last year’s Bone Tomahawk, the film offers further confirmation that the Weird Western is alive and kicking. The much-anticipated follow-up to Writer-Director’s Ted Geoghegan’s critically-acclaimed We Are Still Here, Mohawk juggles elements of such confrontational classics as Ulzana’s Raid, Southern Comfort, and High Plains Drifter, while possessing an eerie ambience and shifting narrative ambiguity all its own. The end result is a brutal and subtly thought-provoking film.


Kicking off this year’s festival, Grimmfest co-directors Simeon Halligan and Rachel Richardson-Jones return with the Gala Hometown UK Premiere of their much-anticipated third feature, Habit; a visceral cinematic visualization of Stephen McGeagh’s acclaimed cult novel, which captures Manchester’s dark heart and sinister sub-cultures. Shot on location, with mostly local talent, Habit has already been snapped up by numerous high-profile festivals, and will soon be flying a blood-spattered flag for the city as an eclectic location for production, all around the world. With much of the film shot only a five-minute walk from the festival venue – an opportunity to enjoy a truly immersive cinema experience.


This year’s festival has a fiercely feminine focus. In M.F.A, Francesca Eastwood, star of recently released flick The Vault daughter of Clint, demonstrates that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree with her steely turn as a rape-victim turned vigilante. Adelaide Clemens (Silent Hill: Revelation, The Great Gatsby) goes in search of a missing twin and stumbles into a world of Nazi-inspired experiments and callous clinical cruelty in the quietly unsettling Rabbit. You’ll also have a chance to meet sweet, small-town Canadian serial killer Poor Agnes (Lora Burke), whose approach to dating is somewhat…extreme;

and there’s some old-fashioned Gothic Romance with a uniquely Russian twist in The Bride. All of these films are receiving their UK Premieres at Grimmfest. There’s a chilling exploration of female self-image in the Regional Premiere of the icy, futuristic body-horror, Replace, co-written by cult auteur Richard Stanley, and featuring the legendary Barbara Crampton. Last, but by no means least, the festival be exploring the traumas of post-natal depression in the bone-chilling Still/Born. Written by the multi-talented Colin Minihan (It Stains the Sands Red), and boasting a powerhouse performance from Christie Burke as the increasingly troubled mother, the film will receive its Regional Premiere at Grimmfest.

Grimmfest will also stage the UK Premiere of the claustrophobic Trench 11; an old-school men-on-a-mission flick which pitches cynical soldiers against nastiness in the trenches of No Man’s Land in the final days of the First World War.


Every year the Grimmfest team strive to find films that will push the envelope, offering some truly head-spinning visuals that leave the audience reeling. This year is no exception. Grimmfest are truly thrilled to be presenting the UK Premiere of the utterly jaw-dropping Dave Made a Maze, the debut feature from Bill Watterson. Described by the organisers as ‘pure Grimmfest’ it’s part slacker comedy, part retro-80s fantasy adventure. Playing like a manic mash-up of Michel Gondry, Charlie Kaufman, and previous Grimmfest favorite John Dies at the End, it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘cardboard set design’. Grimmfest will also be offering a rare opportunity to see Hothouse favourite cult J director Sion Sono’s Tag,  on the big screen, prior to its UK DVD and BluRay release.

Grimmfest assure us ‘that you really do want to see this one on as big a screen as possible’. Beginning with the single most mind-blowing sequence the Grimmfest team has seen in years, this is utterly ‘off the chain’, even by Sono’s standards; a high-octane, break-neck, no-holds-barred splatterfest, which also finds time to offer an oddly affecting meditation on identity and belonging. You aren’t going to know what hit you Our review will be coming soon.


There are always films that the Grimmfest team know that fans will want to check out. The films that are getting all the love at other festivals around the world, the ones that have the fans buzzing with anticipation. This year they’ve secured some real cold-blooded corkers. Keeping with their focus on gender politics, they’ve got leery laddishness confronted by a duo of particularly fatal femmes in British Horror comedy Double Date, fresh from earning its writer-star Danny Moran the ‘Rising Star’ award at Frightfest. There are more lethal ladies to be found in white-trash pulp-noir 68 Kill, the latest from Trent Haaga, writer-director of Grimmfest favorite, Chop. Featuring an all-star cult cast including Matthew Gray Gubler and Anna Lynn McCord, best known for their work with another Grimmfest favorite, Richard Bates, Jr and Sheila Vand it’s a torrid, twisted tale of wild, white trash women and weak-willed, morally-bankrupt men on the road to nowhere good. Elsewhere, Grimmfest has a shocking seasonal spin on the Home Invasion genre in Better Watch Out; while the extraordinary Javier Botet  stars in Freehold, a queasy comic variation on the classic ‘hider in the house’ scenario, in which a brash estate agent falls victim to a former client’s increasingly devious war of attrition carried out right under his nose, in his own home. The festival also boasts old-school Outback Horror in the devious and brutal Australian shocker Killing Ground; two very different explorations of playing for the highest stakes of all in Ruin Me and Game of Death, and as the horror community mourns the late, great, Tobe Hooper, the long-awaited return of Leatherface, in a rip-roaring rebooted prequel, helmed by ferocious French extremists Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury, directors of the infamously visceral À L’Interieur (Inside).


The Grimmfest shorts selection has something for everyone. They’ve got Elder Gods and Demon Births, urban legends and urban blights. Oh, and a white rabbit, just for luck.

Grimmfest runs 5-8 October at Vue Printworks, Manchester UK.

The full line up in addition to Full Festival Passes, Day Passes and Single Film Tickets can be found at




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