8 Films To See At Grimmfest

For it's 13th Edition, Grimmfest will return to cinema screenings at Manchester's ODEON, Great Northern. Running from 7th to 10th October, with an online version taking place from 14th to 17th October. As a preview, here are 8 of my choices for films worth catching at this year's festival.

1. Alone With You (UK Premiere)

While waiting for her girlfriend to return home for their anniversary, Charlie Crane (Emily Bennett) discovers she’s trapped inside her apartment and begins a frantic fight for survival as nightmarish visions descend and a voice in the wall guides her towards a way out. The past year has seen filmmakers respond to lockdown by utilising the limitations in creative ways, and that seems to be what Bennett has achieved as co-director, co-screenwriter, and star of this psychological thriller.

2. The Beta Test (English Premiere)

The latest film by Jim Cummings sees him playing a Hollywood agent who's engaged to be married, only to receive a mysterious letter inviting him for an anonymous sexual encounter. He then becomes ensnared in a sinister world of lying, infidelity, and digital data, in this black comedy which promises echoes of American Psycho in its satire of toxic masculinity.

3. King Knight (Northern UK Premiere)

Living the dream, Thorn (Matthew Gray Gubler) is the revered high priest of a modern-day Californian coven. When his wife discovers a deep-seated secret from his past, Thorn sets out on a soul-searching journey back to his hometown. You can read my review about it, written previously for Fantasia Fest.

4. Midnight (European Premiere)

Oh-Seung Kwon offers a dazzling reinvention of a classic suspense film trope, following a life-threatening hide-and-seek between a devious killer and a deaf woman. The premise immediately brings to mind Mike Flanagan's Hush, and promises a fiendish feature that will leave viewers on the edge of their seats.

5. The Sadness (Northern UK Premiere)

Occurring in an alternate Taiwan, a rapidly spreading pandemic ignored by the government has mutated into a rabies-like affliction. The infected find themselves driven to enact their cruellest impulses, as the streets erupt in a sea of violence and depravity, where everything becomes a weapon or an orifice. In the midst of this escalating nightmare, a young couple tries to reunite amongst the chaos. I reviewed it for Fantasia Fest, and it's one worth seeing to make your own mind on.

6. Slapface (Northern UK Premiere)

After losing his mother in an accident, a boy copes by forming a relationship with a monster in the woods. Described as a fairytale of childhood alienation and adolescent rage, this screened to rave reviews at Frightfest, so the prospect of seeing it is exciting.

7. We're All Going To The World's Fair (UK Premiere)

In a typical American suburb, lonely teen Casey stares at her computer screen. She's decided to take the World's Fair challenge, a worrisome ritual at once banal and bizarre. Documenting every step of this viral challenge, Casey finds her body and mind are being taken hold of. A mixture of coming-of-age tale, found-footage horror, and amateur YouTube videos, this promises to be a quietly devastating look at loneliness.

8. When The Screaming Starts (Northern UK Premiere)

When he’s invited to the home of aspiring serial killer Aidan (Ed Hartland), filmmaker Norman (Jared Rogers) believes he has the subject for a documentary which could make his career. A wannabe Louis Theroux who believes in the potential of his work, Norman spirals into obsession as he lets real killings slide so long as he has the footage. My review for it can be read at Moving Pictures Film Club, as previously covered for Frightfest, where I likened the film as Man Bites Dog-meets-The Office.

Grimmfest runs from October 7th to October 10th, and the Virtual Edition runs from October 14th to October 17th. Tickets are on-sale now.