Thursday, 19 May 2011


Monday was a busy, busy day on the hunt for GRIMMFEST content. Too many horror screenings in fact! I missed an early screening (Cos I'm rubbish at getting up early!) of THE WICKER TREE, the sequel to the original THE WICKERMAN and directed by Robin Hardy (The man behind the original). Although I've heard rumours it's not that hot!

I chose morning screening of new UK (Screen Yorkshire and Warp X) horror KILL LIST over Xavier Gens (FRONTIERS) new movie THE DIVIDE, which I hope to find out more about soon. KILL LIST is a really interesting movie with great naturalistic performances from its key cast which includes Myanna Buring (The DESCENT 1 +2), our guest at GRIMM UP NORTH 2009. As the plot unfolds we come to realise that our slightly unbalanced family man lead character is actually a contract killer with a list of victims he must take down for cash. As you might suspect, things don't go to plan and slowly we come to realise that something is very wrong in this world. The film takes an unexpected change of direction in the 3rd act (ala DUSK TILL DAWN) into classic horror territory which surprises shocks but also mystifies a little. I'm not sure the jarring plot totally adds up but it's certainly a visceral and involving watch, sometimes violently shocking, sometimes very funny! Definitely worth a watch. Think it's gonna screen at FRIGHTFEST later this year and if its not released by October, we'd be keen to screen at GRIMM.

THE SPEAK is an interesting little US supernatural thriller, cleverly utilising the one take visual style we saw in THE SILENT HOUSE recently.  Despite the restrictions you might associate with this technical and stylistic choice the film manages to remain atmospheric and at times pretty scary, it also has a cameo from Tom Sizemore.

Sacrificed screenings of Kevin Smith's RED STATE and new UK horror HOLLOW for the Screen international party. Was it a mistake? Well, the UK Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey and Gregg Dyke (head of BFI) talked to the crowd of UK film talent and expressed their political differences but also their joint commitment to British film. After the demise of the UK film council and the move of responsibilities to the BFI, it's not yet clear if anything has really changed? Here, I also bumped into Piers Tempest who produced new ghost thriller THE CALLER which stars Stephen Moyer of TRUE BLOOD fame and comes out later this year in the UK. The trailer looks intriguing.

We finished at the Finnish party! I wasn't sure I'd find much on the horror/fantasy side of things here until, of course, I remembered that Nazi Scifi movie IRON SKY is a Finnish film. The part crowd source financed movie revolves around WW2 style Nazi's who have hung out on the darkside of the moon until now. They mean to take back Western Europe and the rest of the world! It's a crazy concept, which looks visually spectacular; utilising major CGI effects work on a pretty limited budget. The film gets a UK release later this year. I talked to the producer and discussed the potential of bringing the movie to GRIMM this year. Watch the trailer here:

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