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Grimmfest, Manchester's International Festival of Fantastic Film is delighted to announce the first tranche of titles for 2022.

The festival will be returning to regular venue, The Odeon Great Northern, in Manchester on October 6th – 9th, for four high-impact, fear-filled days of the very best in genre cinema.

The full line-up of features, shorts, guests, and associated events still remain a closely guarded secret, as the team continue to finalise, finesse, and fine-tune the programme. But, by way of an appetiser, Grimmfest presents the first sinister salvo of selected features all of which will be up for our annual ‘Reaper’ awards, which range from BEST FEATURE, BEST SHORT, BEST DIRECTOR, BEST SCREENPLAY, BEST SCORE, BEST ACTOR, BEST ACTRESS, BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY, BEST SFX, BEST SCARE to our AUDIENCE AWARD, voted on by Grimmfest attendees.

A young girl, struggling to awake from a coma, navigates the nightmare-freighted world of her own subconscious, in Ryan Stevens Harris's astonishing steampunk gothic fairy tale, MOON GARDEN (USA, 2022), which evokes the best of Jan Svankmajer and Terry Gilliam, Cronenberg and Clive Barker, for an emotionally charged, deeply personal narrative of redemption and renewal, that will enchant and haunt in equal measure. Grimmfest are thrilled to be hosting the film's international premiere.

An international premiere, too, for Scott Slone's whip-smart, genre-savvy reinvention of the perennially popular Paranormal Investigation Found Footage trope, MALIBU HORROR STORY (USA, 2022). A machine-tooled old-school thrill ride, packed with brutally effective jump scares and dark, twisted wit; slyly self-aware, yet genuinely gripping and creepy, tense and unsettling, it's been rocking audiences back in their seats in festivals across the States, and the Grimmfest team can't wait to introduce it to UK audiences for its international premiere.

There's queasy, uneasy pitch-black comedy, in the UK premiere of FEED ME (UK, 2022), Adam Leader and Richard Oakes' narratively and tonally slippery study of suicidal depression, cannibalism, and emotional alienation, which dances deftly between farce and ferocity, horrifyingly funny and just plain horrifying, in a manner that is both dazzling and disorientating.

A ride share road movie with a shapeshifting alien parasite on board, Raúl Cerezo and Fernando González Gómez's THE PASSENGER (Spain, 2021) relocates the action of THE THING to the back of a moving vehicle, for a mordantly funny horror-comedy, that balances belly laughs and brutality quite beautifully, alongside a droll and subtly nuanced portrait of self-deluded sentimental machismo made good worthy of Carpenter or Hawks. The film is receiving its UK premiere at Grimmfest.

Back in 2018 Andy Mitton’s THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW won BEST SCARE award at Grimmfest and now he is back, with THE HARBINGER (USA, 2022), fresh from its premiere at Fantasia fest. An extraordinary and idiosyncratic response to recent events, recasting pandemic paranoia as a battle for existence itself against monsters mental, metaphorical, and metaphysical, as a frightened young woman is infected by an inescapable waking nightmare and finds herself stalked by a predatory dream demon determined to entirely remove her from reality.

And a honeymooning couple chooses entirely the wrong way to consolidate their marital union, as a mind-expanding experiment with an unfamiliar psychotropic drug unleashes monstrous appetites and mental and moral meltdown, in John Ainslie's hallucinatory, hilarious, and utterly horrifying cautionary tale of ill-considered actions and terrifying consequences, DO NOT DISTURB (USA, 2022) Another Grimmfest premiere screening.

Josie and the Pussycats collide with Lovecraft and Lucio Fulci, as a no-nonsense all-girl rock band agree to an extra gig as a favour to a friend, only to find themselves facing off against pan-dimensional alien brain parasites and a whole town full of infected, ravening zombies, in Pablo Parés' deliriously demented pyrotechnic splatterfest, and future midnight movie classic, PUSSYCAKE (Argentina, 2022), receiving its northern UK premiere at Grimmfest.

And last but by no means least, Japanese maestro of mayhem, Ryûhei Kitamura (The Midnight Meat Train, Versus) pitches vicious heist men Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff up against Vernon Wells' illegal organ trafficker and his implacable seven-foot boiler-suited henchwoman, Erika Ervin, then cheerfully cranks the chaos and carnage right up past eleven, in the gleefully gory and utterly outrageous THE PRICE WE PAY, (USA, 2022) a Grimmfest northern UK Premiere.

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