Arriving with the subtlety of an axe to the head Grimmfest 2013 has exploded into being with a first day that has set the standard for the remainder of the festival. Day one has not only satisfied an initial thirst for blood and fear, but has stimulated and enhanced the craving for more, as if a dark lord teaching their young apprentice. It would be fair to say that things began a little slowly before developing into an undeniable horrorfest as the day progressed.
Opening at fringe venue The Lass O'Gowrie, 'To Jennifer' was a brave but not wholly successful spin on the found footage genre using only an iphone as its tool but its brashness and ingenuity must be applauded. Short film 'Next Exit' really raised the bar showing that there is always a new story to be told, and surprised despite appearing to initially follow generic tropes. Second feature 'Home Sweet Home' offered a new take on the home invasion story which was as brutally visceral as it was beautifully cinematic and the unpleasantly entertaining snuff film parody 'House With 100 Eyes' showed there is more to come from a genre that has been well served in recent years.
The real highlights though were reserved for the evening at the Dancehouse Theatre. Short film 'Crazy For You' from experienced writer but first time director James Moran was a brilliantly observed romantic comedy that just happened to have a serial killer as its lead. Mixing the macabre with the misunderstood this was a film that promises much from its creator.
Following quickly on the heels of 'Crazy For You' came 'The Borderlands'. This darkly comic, tense and genuinely frightening religious investigation from writer and director Elliot Goldner took its audience on an unrelenting journey through their own supernatural fears and is without doubt one of the most terrifying films of the year.
If the standard of the opening day is anything to go by this year's festival is certain to be the best yet and it is with excited, fearful anticipation we wait to discover what the organisers have in store for audiences over the next 3 days.
For more information and tickets visit www.grimmfest.com