Each year the British Film Institute runs a “Blockbuster” season, working with partners across the country to curate a series of big screen events centred around a particular theme or film genre. This year, the focus is on horror, with the season “In Dreams are Monsters” presenting a fresh, sideways look at what they are calling the five monster archetypes: Beast, Witch, Ghost, Vampire and Zombie. As one of the BFI’s partner organisations on the project, Manchester’s Grimmfest have been selected to host “Monsters and Movies” — a full weekend of film screenings, in-depth Q&As and talks with filmmakers behind some of the most iconic monster movies.
Co-hosted by Manchester Met’s Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, the event takes place across 19 & 20 November at the Odeon Great Northern. There, horror fans, film buffs and spooky enthusiasts can gather to delve into those creepy archetypes, learn a little about their historic and contemporary relevance, and sit down for big screen showings of some of the great monster movies, old and new.
a full weekend of film screenings, in-depth Q&As and talks with filmmakers behind some of the most iconic monster movies
The weekend works as a min-film festival, with eight screenings in total, and a plethora of special guests, including actors, directors and special effects masters in attendance. Among the highlights is an appearance by director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers), who will be talking to writer and academic Leonie Rowland alongside a screening of his seminal British creature feature The Descent, and the premiere of his brand new action/monster movie, The Lair.
Writer-director-producer Mick Garris will also be in attendance, alongside actress Alice Krige for a 30th anniversary showing of his film Sleepwalkers, based upon a story by Stephen King. Krige will also join director Charlotte Colbert for a special screening of their acclaimed film They Will, and a broader talk about the representation of women and witches in genre cinema. There’s plenty more too, with classics such as John Carpenter’s The Thing and John Llandis’ An American Werewolf in London amongst the remaining titles on show across the weekend.