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Grimmfest 2015 – FULL Festival Passes On Sale NOW!!

Grimmfest-logo-896x1024GRIMMFEST 2015 FULL FESTIVAL PASSES NOW ON-SALE

And so it begins…

We are incredibly excited to announce that Grimmfest 2015 full festival passes are now on sale.

This years festival will take place at Odeon Printworks, Manchester UK, Thur 1st – Sun 4th Oct.

Full Festival Passes will gain you access to every screening. This includes 20 feature film premières and a plethora of the best new genre shorts from around the globe. Grimmfest are building an amazing programme of the very best new horror, sci-fi and dark fantasy films that will include World, European and UK premières. It’s going be awesome.

This years Grimmfest will be bigger and better than ever before. Films will be presented on an enormous screen with state of the art projection facilities and incredibly comfy seating.

The first batch of full festival passes will reserve you a ‘Premiere’ seat – the best in the house for over 40 hours of genre film madness! There are only 70 Premiere seats available, so snap yours up now, before they all go!

Your pass will also allow access to celebrity guest Q&A’s, exclusive signings (there may be extra charges for guest signatures), the market place (browse the stalls for goodies), exhibitions, a gaming arcade and loads more around the building.

Full festival passes are £65.00. That’s less than £3.30 per feature film, incredible value for money!

Single performance tickets will be priced from £7.00 (no booking fee) and will be on sale with Day Passes (Prices TBC) once the line up is announced on 2nd September.

Festival Structure:

Thursday Opening Gala – 7.00pm until 12.00 Midnight

Friday – 12.00 Midday-12.00 Midnight

Saturday -12.00 Midday-12.00 Midnight

Sunday – 12.00 Midday-12.00 Midnight

Line up announcements coming soon so stay tuned to www.grimmfest.com for all the latest news.

Grimmfest Review – Saturday 4th October 2014

GRIMMFEST-2014-FB-HEADERGrimmfest Review – Saturday 4th October 2014

After Goblin the night before I was still buzzing and Saturday was always going to be a big day. With a short film showcase starting us off early and then 6 features after , it was going to be a long one. So starting 30 minutes late didn’t help but screening shorts can always be problematic at the best of times, and at least the Grimmfest guys were screening each short in the correct ratio .

I won’t go into too much details for the shorts but please try and check them out as many of today’s up and coming talents start in short films.

The Dancehouse, Oxford Road , Manchester

The Visitant 2014 USA 7 Minutes – Director Nick Peterson 7/10
Split 2014 UK 18 Minutes – Director Andy Stewart 9/10
Vomica 2014 UK 15 Minutes – Director Andy Green 7.5/10
Don’t Play With The Food 2014 Spain 9 Minutes – Director Daniel Munoz Caniero 6/10
The Stomach 2014 UK 15 Minutes – Ben Steiner 7.5/10
All I Know Is Nothing 2014 UK 3 Minutes – Director Matthew Barker 4/10
Autumn Harvest 2014 Norway 17 Minutes – Director Fredrik Hana 9/10

theforgotten-clemThe Forgotten (2014) UK 90 Mins Dir – Oliver Frampton. Starring – Shaun Dingwall, Clem Tibber, Elarica Gallacher, Lyndsay Marshal.

Teenager Tommy (Tibber ) is sent to live with his father (Dingwall) after his mother has a nervous breakdown. His father squats in an empty flat is a derelict London estate and makes ends meet by ripping scrap metal from the boarded up flats. After Tommy settles in he starts to hear noises coming from the flat next door, and after becoming friends with the fiesty Carmen the pair decide to investigate further.

A great British ghost story for 2014. Clem Tibber is wonderful as Tommy, a young loner with dysfunctional parents and a love of drawing. Dingwall is an father, who really only puts up with Tommy because he must and he has many problems of his own. And finally Elarica Gallacher really impresses as Carmen who appears hard on the outside but has a real soft centre.

With the pacing of an MR James story and reminiscent of Ken Loach’s The Haunting , The Forgotten puts a modern twist on the ghost story and uses it’s locations and amazing cast to superb use. I won’t mention much more as I don’t want to spoil anything, but just to say if you enjoy slow burning ghost stories then this will be for you. 7.5/10

On a final note I interviewed director Oliver Frampton and stars Clem Tibber and Elarica Gallacher. The interview hopefully will be up soon and will post a link here as soon as it does.

HouseboundHousebound (2014) NZ 109 Mins Dir – Gerard Johnstone. Starring – Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiata, Glen-Paul Waru, Cameron Rhodes, Millen Baird.

Now for a complete change of pace with Gerard Johnstone’s Housebound.
Kylie Bucknell is caught trying to steal money from a cash machine and is placed under house arrest. Unfortunately she is placed in the custody of her mother who Kylie can’t stand. Her mother is a constant blabbermouth and is also convinced that her house is haunted. Kylie dismisses her mother’s rants yet she herself starts to hear whispers and experience bumps in the night . Is it just her over-active imagination brought on by being stuck in a place she hates or could there be someone or something trying to communicate?

Housebound is an absolute triumph . It is funny, scary, gory, and I suppose being from New Zealand will draw comparisions to Peter Jackson’s early work. But there is so much more to it that mere comparisons . O’Reilly is top notch as the ballsy in-your-face Kylie, who really doesn’t give a fuck and her mother played by Rima Te Wiata is just the polar opposite who always manages to rub Kylie up the wrong way. But if you scrape away the family dysfunction you then find a genuinely creepy haunted house horror film, but with so many facets that just all work.

Housebound is a real hidden gem and I encourage anyone who like a creepy horror mixed with great comic relief to check this out ASAP, it will not disappoint. 9/10

coherence-posterCoherence (2013) 89 Mins Dir – James Ward Byrkit. Starring – Emily Baldoni, Nicolas Brendon, Maury Sterling.

A group of friends meet up for a dinner party, and while they are there a serious of strange events start to unfold . But could this be because of a comet that is passing overhead that evening in close proximity to the earth?

I must admit I was not looking forward to Coherence and after 20 minutes I was hating it. It was full of loud, brash obnoxious 30-somethings who were so far up their own arses it was painful. BUT stay with Coherence as after say 25 minutes things start to happen to the group and the story takes so many twists and turns that your mind starts to hurt. It really did deliver, and it has a really ambitious storyline . It is for the whole just shot in one room , and with a group of people it does give a feeling of intimacy and claustrophobia.

So give Coherence a chance, stick with it and you will find at the ending you may be scratching your head thinking what the fuck, but it is a really impressive , intelligent film. 8/10

What_We_Do_in_the_Shadows_posterWhat We Do In The Shadows (2014) 87 Mins Dir – Taika Waititi, Jermaine Clement. Starring Taika Waititi, Jermaine Clement, Jonathan Brugh, Ben Fransham, Rhys Darby.

WWDITS was the one film today that I was really looking forward to. I had seen the trailer and am a big fan of Conchords so with both anticipation and a little trepidation (well it might be shit) I sat in my usual spot , all alone which is how I usually watch films at festivals.

But I needn’t have worried as it is absolutely wonderful. From the very first moment the audience were in stitches as was I.

WWDITS is a faux documentary following 4 vampires who share a house in the New Zealand , it documents their daily struggles to cope with modern life as well having that need to feed on human blood.

If you are to watch one film this year then make sure it is What We Do In The Shadows, it is something very special and gets the very difficult art of comedic horror absolutely spot on. 9.5/10

starry-eyes-poster-jay_shawStarry Eyes (2014) USA 98 Mins Dir – Kevin Kolsch. Starring – Alex Essoe, Noah Segan, Pat Healy, Amanda Fuller, Shane Coffey.

Last of the night for me (I was too tired to wait for Zombeavers) was the much lauded Starry Eyes (see Oli Ryders review here ) .

Starry Eyes is the story young aspiring actress who works at a coffee shop to make ends meet. She gets an audition for the shadowy Astraeous Pictures and so begins a series of more bizarre meetings where Sarah (Essoe) eventually enters into a very unusual agreement .

I wanted to love Starry Eyes, yet I only liked it. For me it was far too much style over substance although the last 25 minutes were as brutal as I have seen on the big screen. Starry Eyes just didn’t know what it wanted to be. It was stylistically set in the 1970s although it is modern LA, there were hints of Suspiria, House of The Devil and even Kill List.

A beautifully shot film , that just seemed to me to lose something in getting the story across and I just can’t put my finger on what that was? A look at Hollywood from the inside that then tears it’s way out, Starry Eyes is a slow burner that goes ballistic towards the end and definitely won’t be everyone’s cuppa, but it is well worth a look. 7/10

Phew , so that was Saturday. An impressive mix of comedy and horror and not a dud anywhere to be seen. Well done team GRIMM!!

Now just one day left and WOLFCOP!!

Truth or Dare (2013) Review

GRIMMFEST-2014-FB-HEADERGRIMMFEST 2014

tod1TRUTH OR DARE (USA 2013)

Dir – Jessica Cameron

Starring- Jessica Cameron, Ryan Kiser, Heather Dorff, Shelby Stehlin, Devanny Pinn

The internet has led a revolution in bringing the unseen, graphic and disturbing to our screens, whether it be through the grim Two Girls One Cup video, or the most recent and graphic video for the band Cattle Decapitations’ song Forced Gender Reassignment (note- If you Google any of these then I am not responsible for what you may see), it’s a form of technology that allows us to access material that would never see the light of day on DVD. It’s ironic that in the 30th anniversary of the video recording acts that full uncut versions of films that spawned that act, the so called video nasties, are up on YouTube. It’s relevant then that TRUTH OR DARE looks at excess, shock and the difference between what is real and unreal in the internet world, along with a slight swipe at those seeking internet fame, though admittedly it brings this about in a less than subtle fashion.

A group of friends, who are running an online video group called the ‘Truth or Daredevils’, publish their video which purports to show a real shooting. Once the video has gone viral and scored many hits, they become famous, and whilst milking this fame on a talk show they reveal that the person who was shot, wasn’t actually killed at all and he makes an appearance as well, to reveal he was in on it. They are confronted on the same talk show, by their biggest fan who isn’t happy that the film was faked, but his rant is cut short when he is chucked out by security. The group decide to head to an out of bounds location to shoot there next stunt, but before they can go ahead with it, the same crazed fan from before turns up at the house, armed and wanting to make his own truth or dare video, proudly announcing that he is the new member of the group, but taking charge and forcing the group, at gunpoint to carry out a new game. Once it starts, with a few truths that reveal uncomfortable facts about certain members of the group, to then going into dares which become increasingly sadistic, leading the group to try and figure out a way around there un-welcome new member who is running the show to a more disturbing level.

tod2First of all TRUTH OR DARE is certainly extreme, it doesn’t relent the graphic acts it depicts and it does become a slight ordeal to watch, especially in the final part of the film, where the dares become more aggressive and painful to view. Even I, found one scene involving a bottle, quite hard to stomach and felt very queasy during it, and in the Grimm screening there were a few walkouts. Though I can respect Cameron for doing this as the violent dares which are carried out play into the madman’s ideology of creating something real. The character of the crazed fan (brilliantly played by Ryan Kiser) is a product of twisted ideology, and the need to see something online that isn’t a fake. There’s a great scene where Kiser’s character starts to get very angry at the YouTube user comments, saying that what they’re seeing is a fake, as they are shattering his psychotic need for realism, and even in this scene there’s a sly dig at people on the internet looking for something graphic to be real, and not differentiating between reality and fiction, even though the truth or daredevil group are being tortured online, and the YouTube hits are increasing, the internet users are still none the wiser.

At the heart of the film though is a nice commentary on the pointlessness and selfish rise of internet fame for doing nothing of merit, where the truth or daredevils become famous for faking a shooting, or doing something stupid, they bask in the brief rise of fame which they receive. You can go on YouTube and see any short daredevil clip where people are doing something daring to eventually achieve a mass rise in hits to their video. Even on the E4 channel there is a compilation programme called RUDETUBE, which lists these pranks or stunts in popularity. Admittedly the acting at first is a bit ropey and some of the characters in the daredevils group come off as slightly annoying, and during some of the ‘truths’ certain confessions come out that make you wonder whether it’s worth rooting for them or wait to see what happens to them. Yet by the end you end up rooting for some of them, as they are slowly torn apart by their online show and there psychotic new member.

tod3Admittedly I went into TRUTH OR DARE knowing it was going to be gruesome, but left not expecting it to be as graphic as it turned out to be. Speaking to other people about the film, some liked it, some didn’t, it was a divisive film in the long run, and that can be a good thing, it at least gets people talking. I know some would have found the upfront brutality and dodgy acting too much to take. I feel that, yes it is excessive, but there are reasons behind the bloodshed, and in the end the film comes off as an extreme balls out commentary on fame, online obsession and online real life violence versus fictional violence. Cameron, along with the Soska twins again are showing the horror genre that female directors are certainly just as equal as there male counterparts, and it’s to her credit that she has managed to make a film, that I found graphic and unsettling, yet also intelligent and smart.

7/10

The House At The End Of Time (2013) Review

GRIMMFEST-2014-FB-HEADERGRIMMFEST 2014 REVIEW:

thateot1THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME (Venezuela, 2013)

Director – Alejandro Hidalgo

Starring- Ruddy Rodriguez, Gonzalo Cubero, Guillermo Garcia

Running Time – 101 Minutes

Starting the Grimmfest full day proceedings in style and at the early time of 10.30am, is the first horror film feature to come out of Venezuela and comes off as a very good strong supernatural thriller, with nods to films such as THE OTHERS and to the work of Mario Bava, all the while carrying a distinct South American style that cannot really be replicated by any other continent’s cinema.

Thirty years after being convicted of the murder of her family, Dulce (Rodriguez) is released on parole and put under house arrest in her former home, where the tragedy took place. Dulce is trying to re-piece the incidents of that night, as she claims her innocence in murdering her husband and the disappearance of one of her sons. Despite her lapse of faith in the Catholic Church she recounts the events to a visiting priest (Garcia) who wants to hear her story.

We slip in between present and past as Dulce tries to connect what happened with the strange occurrences currently disturbing her, while she remains alone in the creepy mansion, which her and her husband had bought for very little in a government auction. It’s only through the priest’s researching that they discover the chequered and tragic history that the house holds, and through a series of bizarre incidents Dulce, reconnects with the past and has an opportunity to change it.

thateot4Carrying the distinct style of having melodrama, supernatural thriller and even a case of time bending narrative, THATEOT successfully and ingeniously scares it’s viewer as well as keeping them hooked on the unfolding narrative. It’s not a dull ride and along with some superbly handled jump moments, the film is both an intelligent and consummate supernatural thriller alongside being a study of the nature of regret and the need for closure. Dulce is left inside the house, not allowed to leave the building or grounds and only has the past to think upon, and to desperately search for the answer to why one of her children disappeared on the night of her husband’s murder, and to end the years of torment she experienced in jail, by at least finding an answer.

Admittedly the film does lose some ground in the scenes involving Dulce’s children in the past causing trouble, and feuding over a girl the two brother characters both fancy, and do slightly fall into a sentimental, days gone past mode, though they do eventually serve a purpose to eventually highlight a tragedy that unfolds. The time travel or rather narrative that crosses scenes between two different periods of time (without giving too much important plot away), also at first takes a while to accept and personally feel that I would like to go back to this on a second viewing as I wasn’t fully convinced it worked. Though admittedly this is only a slight setback as the layout of these scenes work well, and keep the viewer tightly involved in the story up until it’s final conclusion.

The time travel narrative and even the element of the history of the house, which we discover also, lend a slight Lovecraftian style to the film. Performance wise Rodriguez is fantastic as Dulce, in both her present and past roles. The past carrying a figure of a women who is a strong mother character, trying to cope with her husband’s lack of being the main breadwinner and dealing with her two children, as well as the dark and haunting troubling goings on in the house, and her present figure looking frail, white haired and broken by the years lost in jail, with only the creepy house as company but also determined to seek out closure.

thateot3THATEOT, as mentioned before carries a unique and distinct style to it that can only really be found in Latin American cinema, and not replicated anywhere else, even in an American remake (we’ll see how long it takes for that to come about), as it juggles a fantastic supernatural story along with strong narrative juxtaposition between past and present and some superb performances especially from its main lead, in creating a distinctly normal but tragic character that holds our attention, and also superb direction from Hidalgo, who keeps pulling tricks on the viewer that doesn’t insult their intelligence but rather keeps us engaged to the end that lend substance to the film.

8/10

Grimmfest review – Thursday 2nd October 2014

GRIMMFEST-2014-FB-HEADERGrimmfest review – Thursday 2nd October 2014

So it’s the start of Grimmfest 2014 and firstly it’s off to a new venue for the early day ‘fringe’ showings. Gorilla is a bar/venue on Whitworth Street West in Manchester and is where many might remember The Green Room and it was the first time I have been there. The bar is nice and open with a great range of beers (at city prices) and the screening room is just to the rear where they hold gigs. Much more positive than last years fringe venue with only a couple of minor issues with sound that was too much bass and a bit of reverb as it is built into a (still working) railway arch.

But can’t argue with it for a venue to watch a couple of films, but no more as we were sat on folding chairs and by the time the second film finished my arse was totally numb. But I waffle so on with the films.

Firstly I missed the first 2 films of the day The House at The End of Time and Truth or Dare but as I arrived at the venue it was good to see someone walking out of Truth or Dare saying “That is just too much for me” . That’s what Grimmfest fringe is all about, watching extreme, interesting and underground films on the big screen.

Gorilla

Julia-posterJulia (2014) USA 95 mins . Dir – Matthew A Brown. Starring – Ashley C Williams, Cary Woodworth, Tahyna Tozzi.

Julia is a brutal rape/revenge film. Following a horrific gang rape nurse Julia Shames (Ashley Williams) is introduced to a new radical form of therapy which sees her attempt to rebuild her life through fighting back and empowering her. Julia is told however that she must not seek out those who abused her , this however could be difficult as she encounters one of her attackers at her place of work leading to thoughts of revenge.

Beautifully shot, Julia harks back to 1970s exploitation thrillers and think of MS.45 and I Spit On Your Grave. A wonderful performance from Ashley Williams is sadly overshadowed by a clunky script , one dimensional characters and an awful ending. A visually stunning film that lacks any substance which is a real shame and you can clearly see director Matthew A Brown is a huge talent. 6/10

THE-WELLThe Well (2014) USA 95 mins. Dir – Thomas S Hammock. Starring – Hailey Lu Richardson, Max Charles, Booboo Stewart.

The Well is the feature directorial debut for Thomas S Hammock, who is better known as production designer for films such as The Guest, You’re Next, All The Boys Love Many Lane and many more. The Well is a post-apocalyptic western where water has become everything and rain is a thing of the past. Kendal (Richardson) is living in an abandoned farmhouse with her gravely ill friend Dean. A greedy water baron starts to ‘evict’ farm tenants one at a time in a brutal manner but Kendal is intent on fending of the brutal thugs.

Hailey Lu Richardson is superb as 17 year-old Kendal and the barren landscapes and harsh environment add to a truly stark and bleak story of survival. But the story just cannot justify the 95 minutes run time and is painfully slow in places. It is all very well having a beautifully shot feature , but when it plods at a snails pace you start to lose empathy with the main characters and their situation. Again you can see the talent from Hammock , he just needs the right, well paced vehicle. 6/10

The Dancehouse

From Gorilla it was on to Grimmfest’s home for the last 4 years The Dancehouse on Oxford Road in Manchester. A stunning art-deco dance school that is a wonderful (if at times frustrating) venue for a film festival.

Herd-milkposter-2The Herd (2014) Short Film UK. Dir – Melanie Light. Starring – Pollyanna McIntosh, Victoria Broom, Jon Campling, Sarah Jane Honeywell, Dylan Barnes.

The Herd is from director Melanie Light, and by god it packs a punch. A group of women are locked in cells in a squalid outbuilding. They are being kept and artificially inseminated to keep them in a perpetual state of pregnancy for the sole reason of harvesting their milk. The place is run by an evil ‘nurse’ (McIntosh) and overseen by two incredibly brutal male guards (Barnes & Campling).

An in your face confrontational film that places females in the role of dairy cows and revokes the most basic human rights one would allow the most vile war criminal. Dark, disturbing and as hard hitting as a heavyweight , The Herd will have you thinking long after the most heart-breaking end credits have finished. Melanie Light wanted to get across a message and she certainly did that . 9/10

letuspreycoverLet Us Prey (2014) UK 88 Mins. Dir – Brian O’Malley. Starring – Liam Cunningham, Pollyanna McIntosh, Hanna Stanbridge.

The big film of the night was Let Us Prey, a UK big screen film starring Game of Thrones heavyweight Liam Cunningham.

New police officer Rachel Heggie is on her first night shift at an old run-down Scottish police station. On her way to work she witnesses a young boy racer hit a mysterious man (Cunningham) who was stood in the middle of the road. She rushes over to find the man has disappeared but the windscreen is smashed and there is blood splattered on the headlights. She arrests the young lad and enters the station for her first shift with him in tow.

Thus begins a night of strange and increasingly violent events as more of the locals are arrested and locked up in the station for various hideous crimes, including Cunningham himself. But why is he there and what are his motives? An old good vs evil tale with an Assault on Precinct 13 twist.

Sadly Let Us Prey was a real let down, it was disjointed, the script lacked any direction and the story grew more laughable and predictable as the film progressed. I adore religion in my horror but this was just not for me at all. Liam Cunningham broods , Pollyanna McIntosh kicks ass and I sat tapping my feet waiting for the end credits. I so wanted to like this (and it has been getting rave reviews, so maybe it is just me?)as it is a UK horror with UK actors but all it ended up as was bad horror by numbers. 3/10

suburbangaothicSuburban Gothic (2014) USA 90 Mins. Dir – Richard Bates Jr. Starring – Matthew Gray Gubler, Kat Dennings, Ray Wise.

So onto the last film of the evening and a complete change of pace with Suburban Gothic. Director Richard Bates Jr has a lot to follow his directorial debut Excision, and he has gone for it big style.

Suburban Gothic sees Raymond (Gubler) return to live with his parents after gaining a business degree but failing to find employment, he has a quick wit, a quicker tongue and a flamboyant dress sense. His mother is overbearing, his father (Wise) is a college football coach and finds Raymond a huge disappointment , so Raymond hooks up with his old school friend Becca (Dennings) . But some Mexican landscapers discover a girls body buried in his parents garden and Raymond believes the house is now haunted and his life takes a series of twists.

A fantastic look a surburban American life, a dark and satirical story that is just hilarious. This will definitely split horror fans, those looking for action, blood or gore will be disappointed but those looking for a fun quirky story far detached from the norm will be pleasantly surprised.

The casting is what makes this film work, Gubler is great and Kat Dennings is stunning but the star is Ray Wise who is just so well Ray Wise. He had me in stitches with just a string of completely inappropriate things a father should never say. There are also some wonderful cameos from The Soska twins, John Waters and a great piece of casting with Jeffrey Combs as the local doctor.

The only negative was the ending that felt a little tacked on, but that aside it was a triumph.

A brilliant way to finish DAY 1 of Grimmfest, and I urge you to check out Suburban Gothic but leave your horror preconceptions at the cinema door. 8/10

So five films today, two great two good and one turkey. So onto Friday 3rd October which is Head Fuck day at the fringe and GOBLIN scoring live to Suspiria in the evening. Oh my!!

White Settlers (2014) Review

wsettlers1WHITE SETTLERS (UK, 2014)

Director – Simeon Halligan

Starring- Pollyanna McIntosh, Lee Williams, Joanne Mitchell

UK DVD Release – October 20th 2014 from Warwick Films

There is no such thing as bad publicity and probably no such thing as bad timing, and in the case of WHITE SETTLERS, both will probably apply. After getting announced for this year’s FrightFest, the publicity for the film built up around articles from THE GUARDIAN and THE SCOTSMAN, which announced and effectively gave the film the moniker as the Scottish Referendum horror movie, and with a screening at London’s prestigious horror festival, and screenings announced for early September on video on demand and cinema a couple of weeks before the vote, the film nicely played into the publicity, and why not, as publicity for any film nowadays let alone small independent features such as this one, is well deserved and most of all needed. I even suggested to the director, Simeon Halligan, at a Q&A at one of the Manchester Dancehouse screenings, that on the night of the vote, where the film would be screening again, to take a William Castle esque vote, and have the audience have YES and NO cards. Holding up the YES cards for they should die, and NO they should live.

Referendum debates and votes aside, the film itself extends far beyond a one off nationalist vote and rather extends it to a more basic battle between the classes, middle and lower class, the haves and the have not’s. This is most notable in the films earlier scenes, where we establish our two characters Sarah (McIntosh) and Ed (Williams) who are travelling up north to view a house across the Scottish border. On meeting an estate agent, (BEFORE DAWN’S Joanne Mitchell), who explains to them that the house is going for a bargain price, they also find out that the locals are being priced out of the area. Yet Sarah and Ed are pleased with the property and for them it’s a very affordable price.

wsettlers3Once they move into the house and spend the day renovating it, it’s no surprise that a busted fuse box, leading to the lights and the electricity to be out for the rest of the day and night, becomes the cloak of temporary darkness that will escalate the events that unfold. Sarah starts to think she is seeing people outside of the house in the barn areas. Lee annoyed at her constant suspicions, is none the wiser and wants to get on with his sleep, yet it’s not long until both of them start to be terrorised by people wearing pig masks and speaking in a Scottish accent, leading the English couple having to face the menace of the locals, who have plans for them.

Going back to before, the film extends beyond its obvious English versus Scottish element and goes into more of a story of class war, so to speak. Sarah and Ed are affluent enough to move up into the North beyond the border and buy up a property that is cheap for them, but for the locals who are struggling to get by, they can’t afford it, and rather see it as an affront to their national pride see it as more of an insult to the way that the higher or middle classes can move in and buy something that is essentially a house last occupied by a local owner, and just take it for granted as it’s in a lovely area, and looks far more picturesque than London. You could have easily set this film in a rural area in England and had the same effect.

The fact that the film has the Scottish angle is made in part by its title, WHITE SETTLERS, a reference to a term used by a hardcore Scottish nationalist group to lobby the influx of English immigrants and yes the attacking pig mask characters have the national dialect, which would add fuel to the films publicity, but the story is very transitional in a national or even country sense. Overall the direction is a lot more confident than Halligan’s previous film, SPLINTERED (2010), which I felt was enjoyable, but had its flaws. WHITE SETTLERS at least evokes some tense home invasion style moments, and the action moves along briskly to keep you glued and anticipating where Sarah and Ed, will end up at by the end credits. The chemistry between the couple is well handled, and the actors work well with their characters in that they add a likeness to them, that if handled wrongly, and they came across as too arrogant, would not drive the audience to have any sympathy for their plight.

wsettlers2McIntosh is also very good in a physically demanding role, and is starting to show how she is being chosen as a regular actress in horror. Though I feel certain flaws lie in its ending, as even though as much as I appreciated it, as it goes for something different, part of me still wonders how this would feel if it went (and without giving too much away hopefully) down a more typical horrific or darker ending, and how this could be interpreted or reacted upon.

Scottish referendum and yes or no vote’s aside, in the end who can blame the makers for cashing in on the publicity and releasing it at referendum time, as overall WHITE SETTLERS comes off as a solid and well made horror flick.

7/10

White Settlers is available from Amazon HERE

R.A.D the new screening wing of Grimm Up North announce their first Manchester screenings

R.A.D (RETRO AND DANGEROUS) is the new screening wing of Grimm Up North dedicated to bringing Manchester the best in explosive, awesome and old school cinema; with totally excellent double bills R.A.D is all about delivering the Raddest of Retro Vibes, Iconic one liners and fist pumping amazing cinema!

First up is an amazing Patrick Swayze double-bill on SUNDAY 27th July at Gorilla in Manchester.

rad1PATRICK SWAYZE BAD ASS DOUBLE BILL

Road House:

Patrick Swayze stars in the Retro classic Roadhouse as Dalton: a handsome, existential, hard as nails bouncer who owns both a degree in philosophy and a Mercedes. When arriving at his latest job, at the roughest spot in Missouri, The Double Deuce, Dalton crosses Wesley, the Don of the town who soon makes life more difficult for the legendary doorman. What ensues is a barrage of small town explosions, totally manly montage sequences and perhaps the greatest fight scene of all time.

Point Break:

A rash of daring bank robberies erupt in which the bad guys all wear the masks of former presidents. Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves), a superbly named former football star who blew out his knee and became a studly crime-busting fed instead, figures out that none of the heists occur during surfing season and all of them occur when surf’s down; so these robberies are totally done by some wave shredding foes. Utah goes undercover with some surfer dudes, led by Spiritual Guru Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), over the course of this cinematic masterpiece Keanu & Swayze former a close bond after super babe Tyler (Lori Petty) teaches Utah how to surf waves like a pro. Utah & Bodhi’s bromance comes under threat when Utah starts to suspect that Bodhi and his pals are the Presidentially masked gang he’s been pursuing all along! A RAD cinematic Bromance masterpiece.

TICKETS £8ADV – AVAILABLE HERE

 

And then on SUNDAY 10th August at Gorilla in Manchester it’s a Bill & Ted DOUBLE 

 

rad2BILL AND TED’S BOGUS DOUBLE BILL

Join us for a totally bodacious double bill journey through time, space and awesomeness with Bill S. Preston Esquire (Alex Winters) and Ted Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) as they travel through time saving the world with the likes of excellent historical figures like Socrates, Beethoven, Napoleon and Ghengis Khan all whilst meeting some super babes and saving the most important band in history, Wyld Stallyns in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure!

Next up is Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey where our heroes find themselves super dead and replaced by two totally not Rad evil clones who intend to kidnap the babes and change the future that the Wyld Stallyn’s have built for Jim Martin, Rufus & friends. Only through some intense games of Twister & Battleships with the Grim Reaper will Bill & Ted manage to save the world, reunite Wyld Stallyns in time for the battle of the bands and most importantly rescue the babes from the clutches of evil!

TICKETS £8ADV – Available Here

UKHS is 1 TODAY . Here is 12 months packed into a few paragraphs !!

 

Happy Birthday to us , Happy Birthday to us!!

hbtm2UK Horror Scene is 1 year old today.

So just to bore everyone I am going on a little journey……

About 2 years ago I was boring someone at my work about films (nothing new there) and horror films in particular. I then went home and thought that I would set up a blog so I could bore the pants off people I didn’t know too. So The Corpsegrinder blog was started.

After a couple of months my little blog was getting pretty good reading figures and I was receiving comments and praise!! Hold on I thought , I seem to be doing something right and people seem to be enjoying what I was writing. But something was niggling me , and that was I was reading some great articles from British writers yet there was a lack of UK sites that also had a UK bias . Now I am not saying there are not any great UK sites out there (there are many) but I thought I saw a gap in the market so to speak , so I began formulating a plan for world domination.

So to cut a long story slightly shorter , I came up with a name and an idea. The name seemed to encapsulate everything I wanted from the site. I then spent weeks designing a site and then a logo which was done by my wife and inspired by a few things including the New York Hardcore music logo (and a nod to Acid Reign ) and finally perfected by the wonderful Jim Connolly (http://jimconnollydrawsstuff.blogspot.co.uk/) who now has become a UKHS writer and a friend.

And after a little tweaking then UKHS was ready to launch, so on May 6th 2013 to much fanfare (in my house) I pressed the publish button and sat back.

UKHS_logo_with_txt_WEBTwelve months later we have published over 800 articles and 72 interviews . We have had over 1 MILLION unique users. We have interviewed such people as Robin Hardy, Luke Goss, Anthony Hickox, Marilyn Burns, Dick Maas, Cindy Hinds, Jessica Cameron, Pollyanna McIntosh and many many more. Not bad !

But none of this could be done without many wonderful people who give their time AND talents freely , just for the love of genre cinema, literature and music.

I could sit here for about an hour and list everyone who has helped UKHS. But instead I will just name a few people.

Firstly UKHS would be nowhere without a guy called Dave Wain. Dave has been with us from the start and is just a hugely prolific and talented writer, Dave owns one of the last independent video stores and does the new UK DVD releases . I know that without the help of Dave then UKHS would be nowhere near the beast it is today.

Secondly Dean Sills. Dean joined UKHS around August 2013 and was eager to interview genre actors and directors, and as an actor himself he had contact with many people especially British and since then Dean has inundated us with brilliant interviews that really show what low-budget directors and actors really do on and off the camera. Again (as with Dave) Dean has been a major reason why UKHS has been a great success in it’s 1st year.

Also I want to give major thanks to the following UKHS writers in no particular order, but each brings something new and fresh to the site and I am just so proud to have them writing for UKHS . So here’s to  Oli Ryder, James Simpson, Mark Pidgeon, Joey Keogh, Luke Green, Stu Smith, James Pemberton, Stuart Anderson, Chris Cavoretto, Duane Hicks, Geoff Johnston, Jim Connolly, Marek Zacharkiw, MJ Dixon and lastly (but never leastly) Matty Budrewicz. I could have sat here and listed my favourite articles, interviews and reviews but there are just so many that I really couldn’t choose.

cheersNow there have been many people and organisations that have helped majorly and here is a short list of some – Arrow Films, Monster Pictures, Second Sight Films, Koch Media, 88 Films, 101 Films, Weinerworld, Grimmfest, Image Entertainment, Cynthia J Sellers, Wayne Simmons, Peter McKeirnon, C William Giles, Paul Norbury and finally my wonderful and supportive family as without them then I would not be doing this. And lastly a huge HUGE thank you to all our readers, Twitter followers, Facebook likers (is that a word?) and Instagram stalkers. Without you we couldn’t do what we are doing , and without the constant exceptional feedback it just wouldn’t be worth it. To horror fans everywhere THANK YOU and CHEERS!!

On a final note there will be some major changes on UKHS in the coming months as we push forward from being just a horror blog to a more professional outfit and we will have a whole new look and a more interactive and responsive layout (but this will take a few months). But rest assured we will still have the same feel of fans writing about something we all love.

May I please thank everyone involved in the 1st year of UK Horror Scene and if I have forgotten to name anyone specifically please don’t take offence as there have been thousands. The last year has shown me that there are so many wonderful people out there.

Here is to the 2nd year and lets hope it is as fun and successful as the 1st.

Cheers – Andy Deen (Editor UKHS)

Please click the links below for our social media !!

UKHS FACEBOOK

UKHS TWITTER

UKHS INSTAGRAM

 

Child of God (2013) Cinematic Review

cogCHILD OF GOD (Dir James Franco, USA 2013)

Starring- Scott Haze, Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco

The prolific James Franco, is certainly one of the most interesting personality’s to emerge out of Hollywood in recent memory. Probably more known for his role as Harry Osborn in Sam Rami’s SPIDERMAN films, the actor seems to be cleverly switching between mainstream big budget roles, and independent features and as well as being an author, poet, screenwriter and director, having already co-directed the documentary INTERIOR LEATHER BAR (2013), and an adaptation of William Faulkner’s AS I LAY DYING (2013), he seems to be adept at taking on a challenge whether in front or behind the camera, and it’s quite apt that he takes on an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s CHILD OF GOD, a pitch black southern gothic tale of violence, madness, degradation and necrophilia.

The film follows Lester Ballard (Scott Haze) a mentally challenged, disturbed man “a child of god, much like yourself perhaps,” who is living in the backwoods of Sevier County, Tennessee. He doesn’t have a home nor do we know whether he has a family, though voice over narration delivered by various characters give possible hints or clues of his past. He is a man of none existence who regularly comes into confrontation with a local Sheriff, played by Tim Blake Nelson, who knows that Ballard is and will be capable of something far worse. When the backwoods man, stumbles across an abandoned car with the two dead bodies of a young couple, who look like they have committed suicide, Ballard takes advantage of the situation and fulfils his twisted carnal desires with the women’s corpse, then taking her back to his shack and to live out a twisted marital fantasy. It’s only when his shack is burnt down in a fire along with the women’s corpse, that he becomes lost in his feral like existence and moves into the caves, becoming more violent wild animal than human, and succumbing to madness and murder.

cog1Credit should be given to Franco for taking on McCarthy’s material head on and showing confidence in adapting the novel to the screen. He peppers the film with some startling and shocking images, whether it is through the scenes of necrophilia, or one early startling shot of Ballard taking a dump in the woods and wiping his backside with a tree branch, which I found certainly a strong, grotesque image, but one that encapsulates Ballard’s existence. He lives in the woods and rejects the norms of society remaining a miscreant to local residents, who are familiar and wary of him. Haze’s performance as Ballard is fantastic, creating and immersing us in the world of this outcast, and for the majority of the film he is the only character on screen, yet he maintains our attention, with his distancing from human characters or the town folk, and rather his relations with either dead humans, or stuffed animal toys.

At certain times though his characters speech, delivered in a wild snarling Southern drawl, becomes indecipherable at points and it’s no surprise that this film was shown with subtitles at its premiere last year at the Venice Film Festival. Though this is only one minor flaw, in what is otherwise a strong, powerful and physical performance, and further credit should go to Haze as apparently he approached the physical preparation and research for this role by losing weight and supposedly living in caves, which is certainly the ‘method’ acting approach taken to the limit.

As a product of Southern Gothic, there is certainly some strong horror elements throughout the film, particularly the setting which certainly has some relation or influence from the real life crimes of Ed Gein, who was also inspiration for PSYCHO(1960), TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974) and the superb and underrated DERANGED (1974), films which are rightly genre classics, yet in the character of Ballard, who’s actions draws upon Gein in the latter part of the film, the horror lies in this character’s madness, his actions, and his possible, dubious history, as in if he is the product of an incestuous background and has he lived this feral existence since childhood, and how this character lives on the margins of society rejecting the norm, to favour a lawless life, that borders on the disturbed.

cog2This is certainly an interesting, if disjointed and at times flawed film, that won’t appeal to many, in fact it’s being publicised as “from the author of THE ROAD and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN,” and those going in expecting something similar to those previous adaptations may be in for a shock, and the same would go for those going to see it on the name of James Franco alone, but as mentioned before he should be given credit for at least going out and crafting and creating an adaptation of a book that contains troubling elements and scenes, and aided by a fantastic central performance from Haze, that strengthens an already disturbing picture.

 

7/10

Submissions for Grimmfest, 2-5 October 2014 now OPEN!

gf1Submissions for Grimmfest, 2-5 October 2014 now OPEN!

Ever dreamed of getting your movie shown at one of the UK’s leading Horror
Film Festivals as well as in cinemas, on DVD and VOD platforms all around
the world? We’ll here’s your chance! Submissions are open and we’re looking
for the best in Horror, Cult, Weird, and Fantastic movies for our early
October festival. If you think this applies to your very own cinematic
offspring, then we’d love to hear from you.

This year, for the first time, Grimm Up North, in partnership with Raven
Banner Entertainment will be offering a very special competition for all
submitted feature and short films.

gf3When you submit your film for festival consideration, you will also have
the option of entering our Grand Jury Competition. The feature film winner
will be afforded the incredible and unique opportunity of having their film
distributed in the UK by Grimm Entertainment and sold internationally by
esteemed genre specialist sales company, Raven Banner. We will also create
a Grimmfest 2014 compilation of the best shorts for UK distribution.

*EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: 14th Feb – 25th April (Cost: Short £12.50. Feature
£35.00)*

*NORMAL DEADLINE: 25th April – 15th Aug (Cost: Short £15.00. Feature
£38.50)*

*EXTENDED DEADLINE: 15th Aug – 29th Aug (Cost: Short £20.00. Feature
£49.00)*

gf2*For more information on submissions for Grimmfest 2014 head to our
website.’ or visit HERE .