Horror bonanza Grimmfest kicks and screams into Manchester with terrifying bloodbath for fright fans

Scare junkies are set to be treated to a bloodbath as Manchester’s annual horror bonanza Grimmfest gets underway today.

Now in its sixth year, the festival has evolved and found itself in new venues such as The Dancehouse, which has a sense of ‘faded grandeur’, seemingly perfect for horror.

The four-day festival will screen a number of grizzly flicks, including Dawn of the Dead, The Forgotten, Housebound and Open Grave.

As well as a plethora of horror to divulge, a number of special guests will also be holding Q&As and signings throughout the event.

This evening, Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham will be attending and on Friday night prog-rock band Goblin, who played the soundtrack for Tenebrae (1982) and Dawn of the Dead (1978,) are playing a live score alongside the screening of Suspiria (1977).

Grimmfest Festival Director Simeon Halligan, said: “We always try to make each Grimmfest bigger than the last and I’m really excited by what were going to screen at Grimmfest 2014.

WATCH OUT, BEAVER’S ABOUT! Grimmfest has the animal, and undead, kingdom covered

“I’m convinced it’s our best line up yet. We spend loads and loads of time finding films from across the world and we have a regular fan base that trust us to find good films and return year after year.

“It’s a bit like a music festival but instead you sit and watch films.”

In the build up to the horror extravaganza, horror fans were treated to a collection of classic and lesser-known, up and coming films.

These included the northern premiere and preview of Babadook, directed by Jennifer Kent and set to be released in the UK October 24.

The psychological horror revolves around a mother and son who have a distant relationship since the death of the father six years ago.

Babadook relies on classic horror tropes such as flickering of lights, cockroaches and shadows providing uncertainty.

The top hat-wearing and long-gloved ‘monster’ seems to serve as a metaphor for the loss of masculine energy in their lives, the grief that subsequently still remains and the engulfing nature it can have on a person.

The film was an honest presentation of the overwhelming nature of grief and the horrors that can enter lives through vulnerability, ‘but at times the less is more tactic’ would have given the film more impact.

The Babadook - Movies Trailer [HD]

Also on show on the night was the short film Tasha and Friends which can be best described as the Muppets on steroids.  

Drenched in irony from beginning to end, television presenter Tasha becomes envious of her puppet colleagues popularity on the show and plans to sell them on Ebay.

The puppets learn of the plans and plot their own attempt to eliminate the threat of Tasha, using horror clichés, which at times makes the film more humorous than horrifying.

Next up was the 30th anniversary screening of the 1984 original version of Nightmare on Elm Street which seemed incredibly appropriate.

The classic 80’s slasher film, depecting the terrifying Freddy Kruger stalking teenagers dreams in a disturbing blurring of reality and unconsciousness, brought great delight to those in the audience, whether it was the first of the fifteenth time seeing it.

Let God Sort Them Out was the final short film of the night with eerie minimal dialogue and French subtitles narrating a gory tale of the effect of a purge and the fight for survival.

The festival officially got underway this morning, and if the preview is anything to go by, the event is not to be missed.

Grimmfest runs between the October  2-5. For more information, click here.

Image courtesy of United Film Distribution, with thanks.

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