Grimmfest 2018 – 10 Years of Horror Celebrated in Style!
Grimmfest 2018 Horror Film Festival
Grimmfest is a magical event full of horror films, cult classics and a community feel so warming they needed to turn the air-con up in the screenings. The festival celebrated its 10th year in style with some amazing films and guest talks throughout the long weekend. This is only the 2nd time we have attended this horrifyingly brilliant festival but I know it’s not going to be the last! The films were amazing, the people were friendly and the atmosphere was alive! So here are my thoughts on this incredible festival of fatalities. Click the title links for my full review of some of these films! 😃
Await Further Instructions (dir. Johnny Kervorkian, 2018)
Await Further Instructions is a politically driven and interesting concept for a sci-fi horror. The British film concerns a young couple visiting family over the festive period and dealing with both racially fuelled tension and an unknown force locking them in the house. Tense, claustrophobic and paranoia driven this smart little film will have you staring at your loved ones and wondering if you would survive Christmas quarantine with them.
Girls with Balls (dir. Olivier Afonso, 2018)
French, feminist and fucked up! Girls with Balls is so worth your time! When a netball team’s bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere they manage to locate a small lodge with some strange and disturbing patrons. Little do they know that it’s hunting season and these ‘duck dynasty’ looking fuckers are ready for pursuit. This playful horror-comedy is full of fun, splatter and girls kicking ass!
Office Uprising (dir. Lin Oeding, 2018)
Time to level up! Office Uprising deals with work politics, office hierarchies and an energy drink that turns you into a supped up boss level monster. Desmond faces off against his co-workers as he and his rag-tag group of friends attempt to beat each level of the office they are locked in. Littered with video game and pop culture references this is a super fun rom-zom-com romp through a high rise office building. I mean, it’s worth your time for Zachary Levi alone!
Dead Night (aka. Applecart) (dir. Bradford Baruh, 2017)
What a head twist of a film this is. Dead Night follows Casey and her family as they take a trip to a lodge that they hope has healing powers. While collecting firewood James, the dad, comes across a strange woman ‘passed out’ in the cold. Then the real twists begin. Beautifully shot against a snow-draped landscape this film is like a Shakespeare play in the modern age. Double double, toil and trouble bloodied axe and TV crackles!
Tigers Are Not Afraid (Vuelven) (dir. Issa López, 2017)
Beautiful ethereal and captivating. Tigers Are Not Afraid is visually stunning beyond words. Interwoven with fairytale fable and animated imagery five young orphans must help each other survive the drug cartel run streets of Mexico. This magic-realism film will have you gaping in wonder, smiling with childish glee and weeping from the bottom of your heart. Championed by Guillermo del Toro, Tigers Are Not Afraid is a ghost story, a gritty crime drama and a true urban fairytale.
Summer of ’84 (dir. Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell & Yoann-Karl Whissell, 2017)
The 80’s are alive and kicking in Summer of ‘84 and we are clearly loving it! When a group of young misfits begin to suspect that a local man on their cul-de-sac is behind the multiple disappearances of young boys they take matters into their own hands. Armed with their Manhunt walkie-talkies and a head full of conspiracy theories Davey and his friends set out to solve the mysteries of their neighbourhood.
With a beautiful nostalgic tint and enough twists and turns to keep you hooked this is a coming of age horror worth your time. Will the boys survive and finally discover the truth about magical vaginas, or will it all end in blood and tears?
Neckface (dir. Llanbobl Vision Ltd, 2018)
What happens if the most perfect day of your life ends up not so perfect? A bride wakes up on the morning of her wedding day assuming the only thing she will have to worry about is drunken relatives and whether her chair ties will match the colour scheme, but that’s the least of her troubles. When she discovers a monster growing from her neck she has to chose to hide it or embrace the little creepy blob.
Marta (dir. Lucía Forner, 2017)
What if Daria met the 21st century and wanted to be a serial killer? Welcome to Marta. When she decides that she wants to try her hand at murder Marta finds the perfect victim and sets up her camera ready for action. With fourth wall breaks and a feminist motif of ‘women can be serial killers too!’ Marta is a short and half.
Nightmare Cinema (dir. Alejandro Brugués, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Ryûhei Kitamura & David Slade, 2018)
An anthology of horror set around an empty cinema screen, Nightmare Cinema brings you bugs, blood and body mutilation. It consists of five segments from five incredible horror directors.
With a little touch of something for everyone, this anthology will keep the whole family happy. There’s a campy slasher, Twilight Zone horror, Catholic possession, psychological disillusion and a Sixth Sense drama. Nightmare Cinema is stitched together by a Projectionist ready to bring your worst nightmares to light, and he does so with glee.
So grab your popcorn, find your allocated seats and recline into horror.
The Witch in the Window (dir. Andy Mitton, 2018)
Every town has a legend, a story told to children by torchlight, in Middlebury Vermont that legend is of The Witch in the Window. Simon brings his son Finn to the old farmhouse he is intending to flip but as they work on fixing ‘the guts’ of the house they realise they are not the only residents. It starts off small, a door creaking open or something out of the corner of our eye that shouldn’t be there, just like an optical illusion. Atmospheric, amazingly scripted and beautifully acted this is an original horror that taps into family and fear.
The Devil’s Doorway (dir. Aislinn Clarke, 2018)
Sometimes people are the real monsters. This is the case in The Devil’s Doorway. Set in a remote Irish home for ‘fallen women’, code for unwed mothers and any woman who inconveniences her family, the true horror of this film comes from the backbone of truth to its story. Father Riley and Father Thornton are sent to investigate the miraculous event of a blood weeping Mary statue but what they find is much more sinister and all completed in ‘God’s name’. Shot on 60mm in the style of a found footage documentary there is a constant tense pulsing and claustrophobic atmosphere to the film which left me both satisfyingly scared and emotionally devastated.
I’ll Take Your Dead (dir. Chad Archibald, 2018)
Morality and monsters prevail in I’ll Take Your Dead. William has an unwanted and morally grey job, he makes dead bodies disappear. Circumstances out of his control have led to him being the go-to man for the local gangs when they need to dispose of a victim, and it’s just another day at the office when they bring a young woman’s body to his doorstep. However, her arrival was premature and she is in fact still in the realm of the living. The relationship between William and his daughter Gloria is the real driving force of this ghost story that reveals in slow scares and beautiful scenery.
Anna & The Apocalypse (dir. John McPhail, 2017)
A British musical set during Christmas and a zombie outbreak….wait, what? When a zombie outbreak happens in Little Haven on the night of the big Christmas show Anna and her friends must fight their way through hordes of festively-themed undead to reach their loved ones. This film may edge a little too close to High School Musical at points but it always hits back with a zombie kill that reminds us that Father Christmas is bringing gore down the chimney this year. Tis the season to go for a headshot!
Now, as with any good festival, there were stalls full of horror goodies and Grimmfest merch galore! We ended up with a few posters, including a signed poster from Aislinn Clarke, director of The Devil’s Doorway. She was amazing, I was a nervous ball of awkward…so standard really. We also treated ourselves to an amazing IT print from AlleyCat Designs and an I, Zombie pin as well.
We also got an amazing Horror Channel loot bag with some amazing freebies inside!
We were also the looky winners of one of the raffle prizes, an amazing limited edition Summer of ’84 DVD!
I’ve included some links below, check out these amazing independent companies! Christmas is coming and the horror fan in your life will definitely appreciate it!
The Final Thoughts
If you have never been to a horror film festival I highly recommend going to one! Grimmfest is the right combination of big premiers, small international releases and world-class short films. Find your freak niche and others that revel in it just as much as you do!