Grimm Up North

A movie event with more mottled flesh on show than kicking out time at Yates.

By Manchester's Finest | April 30th '13

Grimm Up North tickets? Check. Wry smile at the name? Check. A big, strapping guy with me so I look as though I fit in? Sort of. And with that, I was ready for the grimmest experience since that time my mum walked in on me having sex.

Grimm-Up-North-Manchester

Grimm Up North describe themselves as “Manchester’s home of horror and cult films”, and frankly, after looking at the blood spatter coating their website, I’m not about to argue. (Particularly as we’ve already discovered that I don’t have the virginal status to save me from a movie killer.) Hosted roughly twice a month, Grimm’s movie events alternate between Manchester’s Dancehouse Theatre and Stockport Plaza. The irony of holding it in Stockport wasn’t lost on me — a town where much of the population are already dead behind the eyes, stumbling around with crumbs of pasty flaking off their faces like the rotting flesh of the living dead.

Hosted in a magnificently deco theatre that could have been from The Shining’s Overlook Hotel, the first film of the night was ‘Entity’, starring Dervla Kirwan leading a team of ghost-hunters round a disused Russian psychiatric facility. When she screams “Why me?”, you wonder if her sins from Ballykissangel haven’t come to haunt her.

But whilst it was well-trod territory, the location scout deserves a medal. The plot was built around the facility, in fact — a suspicion confirmed by the following Q&A with cast and crew that gave a rare insight into the funding, distribution and production of an independent movie. Reportedly in Leeds, they’d found an abandoned building haunted by past indiscretions — a description previously reserved for Jimmy Savile’s pad.

Whilst they’d done well on a limited budget of £7.50 — most of which was spent on AA batteries for the endlessly dropped torches — there could have been a little more tension. The movie double-bill then screened ‘I Didn’t Come Here To Die’ — an American offering that felt tongue-in-cheek. Or eye-on-stick, in this case. So, were they any good? I guess I’ll only know after the true test of a horror movie — flinching at a shadow over my shoulder in the bathroom mirror.

Grimm is a great niche initiative, only about eight quid and a brilliantly alternative night out. And rumour has it people even dress up on occasion, particularly for themed film nights. I imagine it’s a bit like Rocky Horror, without the ‘Rocky’ bit. Or the fishnets.

Oddly, it could be the new date night. Girls get to pretend they’re scared, whilst guys get to pretend they’re less scared than the girls. Verdict? Try it, you might like it.

Gemma Wildgoose (@gemwildgoose)

grimmfest.com/grimmupnorth