With an opening day line-up of films showing the fantastically original diversity in the genre, and ranging from the brutally violent to the darkly comedic Grimmfest 2014 began in Manchester yesterday. Split between the stylish Gorilla and spiritual home The Dancehouse there was something for all tastes but three screenings stood out and staked an early claim as contenders for the best of the festival.
Opening film House At The End Of Time superbly combined a haunting Gothic ghost story with an emotionally charged narrative that chilled to the bone. A patiently paced story, this Venezuelan drama will take some beating this weekend. Short film She is already garnering praise from many quarters and it would be remiss to reveal too much of this intriguing and oppressive tale. One thing is for certain though; over 14 stark and stylish minutes filmmakers Chelsea Burdon and Mark Vessey have produced a piece that will live long in the memory.
Headline film of the day 1 was undoubtedly Let Us Prey. With a star cast including Liam Cunningham and Pollyanna McIntosh this is a film that channels the best of actioners such as Assault On Precinct 13 with a supernatural element that will keep you guessing. From the stunning opening visuals to the joyful excess of the finale Brian O'Malley's film is perhaps more brutal thriller than pure horror but contains enough shocks to satisfy all audiences. With the casts and filmmakers from several of the films in attendance during the day Grimmfest has once again demonstrated its importance on the festival circuit.
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Liam Cunningham, Pollyanna McIntosh, Hanna Stanbridge and director Brian O'Malley doing Q&A with Colin McCracken on stage at Grimmfest