In Haunt

Frightening, freaky and fantastical films galore – that’s what Grimmfest is known for, Manchester’s international film festival focusing on the latest releases in the horror genre. The 12th edition of the popular annual event was due to take place at ODEON Great Northern in October, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision has been taken to transform it into a virtual festival. Prepare for a tantalizing selection of feature film premieres, movie shorts and more, on a new online platform that audiences can enjoy from home!

This innovation in format is the result of serious discussion and planning, with the Grimmfest team keen to ensure the safety as well as enjoyment of all involved. In turn, Grimmfest 2020 will run online as a ‘virtual festival’ on the same dates of 7-11 October 2020, whilst a live event will take place in spring 2021.

By Grimmfest

So what can be experienced online at Grimmfest 2020? Thankfully the festival will still be continuing to unleash the range of feature film premieres, Q&As, new short films and talks it is known for. This year includes a virtual line-up of over 19 features, an exclusive Q&A with director Mick Garris (also set to receive a Grimmfest Lifetime Achievement Award) and two short film showcases. To ensure the best online festival experience, for 2020 Grimmfest is working with Eventive, allowing for Geo-blocked, DRM protected movie premieres as well as a combination of livestream and recorded interviews, press rooms and special virtual events for an immersive festival feel.

Another highly-anticipated online feature will be an exclusive panel on 'Iconic women in horror', featuring a range of inspiring women involved in this year’s selection of films as they discuss their careers.

So how about some of the new titles? Of the 19 feature film premieres, options include the UK premiere of Unearth, a #MeToo era influenced vampire experience Ten Minutes To Midnight and a tale of biker vengeance Revenge Ride, as just some options. Fancy an encounter with a corrupted canine companion? Ropes is a chilling film focusing on an isolated wheelchair-bound woman trapped in a house with a service dog turned savage, and other titles include the innovatively-named Fried Barry, the UK premiere of The Special and a northern premiere of Triggered. Fans of ‘70s cult cinema may well enjoy the UK premiere of Urubu, whilst for humour-meets-horror there is the side-splitting An ideal Host and then for something altogether different, how about the world premiere of Death Ranch… with added cannibal Klansmen?!

Just the titles alone highlight Grimmfest’s well-earned reputation for providing variety and excitement within the horror genre. Steve Balshaw, chief programmer, reflects:

"We are selecting some fantastic genre movie premieres that people can enjoy from the safety of their own home. With so many titles already confirmed, this is shaping up to be a fine alternative.”

Simeon Halligan, festival director added: “We are indebted to the ODEON, who have worked with us to offer alternative ways to present the festival and are pulling out all the stops to help us make sure Grimmfest 2020/21 is a success. We are also pleased that our key Sponsor ‘Horror Channel’ are able to continue their support throughout 2020, enabling us to put on an amazing post lockdown celebration of genre cinema”.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Grimmfest has also highlighted its ability to adapt to provide audiences at home with exciting online content, via its new venture Grimmfest TV, which Haunt wrote more about here. Hence a virtual version of the festival is highly anticipated!

Grimmfest 2020 full festival ‘Online’ passes are now available, go to for details, and the schedule so far is here

By Emily Oldfield 

Image provided by Grimmfest 




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