Grimmfest horror film festival 2015: The best line-up yet?

Louise Bolotin

Featuring national and international premieres, directorial debuts and, best of all, Sam Neill, this year’s Grimmfest is looking like a spectacular horror fest.

Not all the best film festivals go to London. Grimmfest, Manchester’s annual programme of horror, cult and sci-fi screenings, is back next month for its seventh annual extravaganza and is unparalleled in its curation of films and fringe events. The Grimm Up North team behind Grimmfest push the boundaries further every year – for 2015, they claim the programme will be ‘bigger, bolder and bloodier than ever before’.

This time round, horror aficionados aren’t only getting an eclectic assortment of 30-odd films, but also talks, special guest appearances and even a gaming hub. The gaming area will offer fans the opportunity to play a range of games dating from the 1980s onwards, which fit the festival’s themes. Some of the games are brand new and designed by local creators, cementing Grimmfest as a truly northern event.

‘Bigger, bolder and bloodier than ever before’

As usual, premieres – regional, British and international – abound on the festival’s calendar. The gala opening night has two north-west débuts: Corin Hardy’s The Hallow, which stars Joseph Mawle (Benjen Stark in Games of Thrones), and Blood Sucking Bastards, which features Fran Kranz of Cabin in The Woods, plus another Game of Thrones star, Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell). As part of the Northern Showcase, there’s a world premiere of The Box, the directorial debut of Shaune Harrison, best known for his SFX expertise. And those are just the hors d’oeuvres.

This year’s Grimmfest has a retro theme based around heavy metal horror, dystopias and 80s post-apocalypses – think Mad Max and Bladerunner. And among the talent on screen are Sam Neill, Johnny Vegas and punk legend of Henry Rollins of Black Flag. There’s also space for that perennial classic, Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, plus a special charity screening of Wes Craven’s Scream. With all that on offer, Grimm Up North’s pronouncement that this is their greatest line-up yet could well turn out to be true.

Culture Guides

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022


Classic pre-Code cinema, the Artist Film Weekender and the music of John Williams are amongst our highlights this month.


Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry


It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Poet Helen Mort. Photo by Jan Bella


There’s live literature and book-buying opportunities a-plenty as November unfolds and Manchester – celebrating five years as a UNESCO city of Literature – and the wider North region welcomes some great writers, both in real life and online.


The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Alongside radical sci-fi adaptations and free arts festivals, we take a look at some of the Christmas shows happening in the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Compass Festival 2022
Activity Until 27 November 2022, FREE

Compass Festival 2022

sunny bank mills
Activity Until 27 November 2022, from £2.00

Sunny Bank Mills Christmas Art & Makers Market

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios