As an upwardly mobile film fan there are numerous festivals of varying size and genre vying for your valuable attention, and more importantly your hard-earned cash. Fortunately, there is one that makes any deliberation moot as it has quickly grown into an important and essential calendar staple for any fan of horror cinema.
Over the weekend of 6th-9th October the 8th annual Grimmfest Film Festival took place at The Printworks’ Odeon cinema in Manchester. In previous years features such as Taiko Wahtiti’s clever and witty faux-documentary What We Do In The Shadows and Caradog James’ sublime artificial intelligence thriller The Machine have held their U.K. premiere at the festival, but the 2016 lineup was without doubt the strongest yet.
Combining the current cinematic trend for Southern Gothic darkness with a resurgence in intelligent zombie films, Grimmfest delivered a varied line-up that had a little something to sate all genre appetites.
And seeing as though it’s impossible for everyone to attend we donned our best classic horror t-shirt and popped along to have a look in order to bring you a handy guide as to which films you really need to keep an eye out for over the next few months. Without further ado here are the best films from a very good year.
10. What We Become
The first of three zombie films on this list, and to prove there is still life in the old genre yet, three very differently themed films. What We Become plays out similarly in tone and style to early episodes of Fear The Walking Dead, when confusion and ignorance were rife, but manages to maintain a sense of originality despite the obvious references.
Quarantined in their home during what is initially thought of as a simple viral epidemic, things go from bad to worse for the Johansson family. Infected neighbours, an aggressive military and surprising levels of stupidity coupled with a real lack of any common sense leads them into situations that become increasingly dark and dangerous; on more than one occasion you'll find yourself questioning their life (and death) choices.
Playing on our fears of the unknown and enforced captivity, What We Become is, however, an intelligent zombie film that, while following many of the tropes and themes we are used to, still manages to blend them together with an atmosphere of tense oppression. A decent entry into the genre, and one which carries a finale almost unbearably bleak in its futility and despondency.