Wow! What a weekend it has been.
Before I go any further, let me say now I am INCREDIBLY tired. So, so tired.
In addition to attending Grimmfest 2018 – which I will talk about below – I’ve also been keeping an eye on all the news from New York Comic Con (NYCC) 2018. The con finishes in a few hours time, but I’m still aiming to keep everyone updated on all the big stories of each day, so I’ve not clocked off just yet.
Anyway, lots going on this weekend, so tiredness and rambling may take over the following post. Apologies in advance if everything below descends into random words and streams of consciousness, but that’s all I’ve got right now.
Before I talk about the event, here are a few shots from the weekend. You’ll see an image of me looking very tired – this was from Day 3 (hence the look of exhaustion) – but that’s a better image than anything that followed Day 3, trust me!
OK, so let’s talk Grimmfest 2018 – a four-day film festival, which was held at the Odeon Great Northern, Manchester. The event included 21 films, around 16 shorts, heaps of Q&As/discussions with producers, directors and cast members and a dedicated hub filled with traders selling horror merchandise.
The event stretched from Thursday 4th until Sunday 7th and kicked off at 6:30pm on Thursday, running through until 1am. On Friday the event picked back up at 10:30am and continued until 1am and then stuck to a similar scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
To say that Grimmfest was extensive (and exhaustive) is an understatement, however, it was also very good. Very, VERY good.
This was my first time attending Grimmfest (and a film festival in general), so I was a little unsure of what to expect. What I found was a well organised event, packed with content, filled with friendly, like-minded individuals and backed by some great guests.
Would I go again?
Here’s how each day went…
Thursday 4th October 2018
The event kicked off on Thursday, with three films (and associated intros/Q&As). The first film was Re-Animator (1985) – a genre classic.
Kicking off the event with three films was the perfect way to start Grimmfest, as three films is (for me) the right amount of movies for an opening night. Re-Animator eased me in and the next two films offered me something new.
Throughout the opening night, staff were on hand to answer any questions and fellow attendees (most of which were pros at this sort of thing) were able to share their experiences from past events. This made for a warm first night, backed by a couple of good movies (the third film, not so much).
It was a late finish (around 1am), but a fair few people stuck it out. That said, the final film of the night was subtitled, which was probably not the best scheduling decision as it was a little too late to be reading and concentrating, but hey ho.
Friday 5th October 2018
An early start for Friday, but I managed it (just about) and was at the cinema for just after 10am. I watched every film and short of the day, bar one movie and left around 1am.
I opted to skip one film on Friday because:
a.) I was tired from the night before.
b.) The schedule was so jam-packed, the only way to shoe-horn in time for lunch was to simply skip a film. So I picked a movie to miss and dropped out for two hours to pop to a local restaurant for a meal with the other half.
In total I watched five films and a collection of shorts on Friday and while it was a very long day, once again it was a very enjoyable one. I got to watch two really good films – Office Uprising and Summer of ’84 – and it seemed like most attendees were in for the long haul, so there was a great atmosphere.
Saturday 6th October 2018
This is when the tiredness REALLY kicked in. Two late nights meant that I simply couldn’t make it in for 10:30am on Saturday and instead I didn’t rock up to the festival until late afternoon.
Arriving around 4:30pm I stayed for three back-to-back movies (and associated intros/Q&As), opting to skip the final film of the evening which came on at 11pm. Once again, many attendees were still in full attendance, but I was flagging so I knew I’d made the right decision to stick to only three films.
Sunday 7th October 2018
By Sunday I was pretty much running on empty and as such I made the decision to attend one film – two max. In the end I met this decision somewhere in the middle and opted for one film and one short.
I could tell, during the course of that one movie, that I was ready to hang up my Grimmfest pass and head home. Don’t get me wrong, I was really enjoying the festival, but tiredness simply took over and I needed a change of scene.
After watching the movie (and the short) I said goodbye to the guys who I had sat with for four days, I took off my pass and I walked out of the cinema. There was at least one film from the Sunday that I really wanted to watch, but I was done – my body was making decisions which my head couldn’t argue with and I needed to go home.
Overall, Grimmfest was a total blast and I WILL certainly return next year. In fact, I’m already trying to rope in a few friends to come with me in 2019 as I know they would love Grimmfest.
Tiredness and the packed schedule got the better of me this year, but that’s got to be expected – this was my first year and I really didn’t know what I was in for. Grimmfest is designed to give attendees plenty of content for their hard earned cash and it really didn’t disappoint.
Was there too much content?
Perhaps, although that’s not a complaint, it simply meant that breaks were in very short supply. In order to have a decent meal or to even take a break that lasted more than 30 minutes I had to ditch a film.
Of course, if I was an attendee that was more than happy to sit from 10:30am until 1am without lunch/dinner then there was no problem at all. However, I got fed up of eating snacks after a while and simply needed something more substantial so had to schedule in my own lunch time.
But I really can’t complain – this was such a well executed event without any hiccups. Apart from a little delay (of ten minutes) on the opening night, everything ran to schedule. Never have I been to an event that has stuck to the schedule. Especially not an event that has included so many guests.
Now that I know what Grimmfest is like I will approach next year’s event with a little more planning. I’ll factor in breaks (skipping films accordingly) and I’ll pace myself a little more so that I don’t hit the wall so soon.
I’m excited for what 2019 has on offer.
Now, did I mention how tired I am?