Day Two Diary
Grimm Up North is now in full swing and I have spent the past 12 hours holed up in the AMC theatres in Manchester watching an amazing array of horror films! It is also the second day in a row I have driven in to a rather grey looking Manchester, only to be greeted by a lovely rainbow as I get there. Not so grim up north eh? (Sorry, couldn’t resist).
Grimm Up North has a schedule of some pretty diverse stuff so here is a quick round up of what I have seen today. Bigger, fuller, meatier reviews will be on their way for some of this newer stuff.
The day kicked off with this classic David Cronenberg film, great way to start the day. I really loved getting to experience this on the big screen. The film really captures a Stephen King feel and Christopher Walken’s performance is really exciting. It set a rather cool tone for the day, and I was ready for more.
Black and Blue Films Presentation
After Dead Zone we were treated to an interesting Q&A and presentation by the guys behind the film company Black and Blue Films. Starburst magazine hosted the event and interviewed Martin Kemp, Jonathan Sothcott and Billy Murray. They showed clips from their features which include Airborne, Strippers vs Werewolves and Stalker. Black and Blue films specialises in genre films and is proving a home for great British talent, all three have a true love for films which was refreshing to hear them talk about. The guys were back later to talk about Kemp’s first film, Stalker.
Fracture (Short Film)
Before we saw our next film on the list, Urban Explorer, we were treated to a 15 minute short film about three people on a mission in space. The film focuses on the secrets these people are keeping and how they can’t stay hidden forever. I always think how hard it must be to condense a story into such a small amount of time so this definitely appealed to me, there was a clear story and it was interesting from start to finish. Nicely done. You can check out the short here https://www.fracturemovie.co.uk/
A group of foreigners take a tour through the unexplored maze of tunnels underneath the city of Berlin. This film had the opportunity to do something really cool, an underground route full of possible Nazi secrets had me thinking it was going to go somewhere really different and interesting. Instead it chose to go the way of a torture porn flick and that really disappointed me. All out gore with no real pay-off. A great cast and good characters were apparent throughout though, and there were some definitely interesting ways of killing off the characters but it is a missed opportunity to do something bigger here. I was pretty hungry going into this screening but that was quickly resolved!
A woman who tries to get over her writers block by moving to the country is joined by a mysterious woman who claims to be her new PA. Strange goings on start happening and it soon apparent this woman is not all that she seems. Martin Kemp’s first feature got its world Premiere at Grimm Up North and he was nice enough to stick around afterwards for a Q&A. While I thought there were some great elements to this thriller (there was a definite nod to the Hammer Horror days) it didn’t always hit the right notes for me. However, I did really enjoy the ending, which really embraced a classic horror feel that creeped me out. All in all, not a bad first film for Martin Kemp, keep it up.
Hoodie Holocaust (Short film)
Another short film that really impressed me. A family leaves their home only to have it burgled by some hoodies. However, when on inspecting the house these hoodies find out some gruesome secrets, the family are not as squeaky clean as they think and they get their comeuppance. This short was written and directed by Adam M.Williams, check out the film company here, I really loved this, a good mix of horror and humour! https://www.deadreckless.co.uk/
So the night for me ended on this incredibly intense Spanish film about a family who move house, only to be targeted by ruthless career criminals out to get everything they want. To say the film is intense is a massive understatement; it is gripping, brutal and devastating. An unbelievable performance by everyone involved left me feeling pretty shook up afterwards. It was the film of the day for me and one I will not stop thinking about for a while.
Today was a good day! Highlight for me has to be Kidnapped, but when I say highlight I mean…the film that had the most effect. I will be thinking about it for a while and I most certainly will need a lie down after watching it. While it’s not the kind of horror film that I like to endure, I would recommend it, but not for the faint of heart.