In Haunt

Ducie Street Warehouse Mini-Cini, Manchester 

Review by Daisy Brocklehurst, Haunt Manchester Intern 

The Mini-Cini on Ducie Street (c) Daisy Brocklehurst
Image: The Mini-Cini on Ducie Street (c) Daisy Brocklehurst

Friday the 13th is a date that’s highlighted on many spooky calendars. Perhaps you’re the superstitious type that takes the day off, or maybe you head out like any other Friday night. If you’re a fan of the original Friday the 13th movie, then you might have been with the other thirty-six horror fans that holed up in the new mini cinema at Ducie Street Warehouse to experience the jump scares (made all the more real by the 3D version of part III) from our favourite summer camp counsellor and terrorizer - Jason Voorhees. This one-off screening by Grimmfest, the first of many at Ducie Street Warehouse’s brand new thirty-six seater miniature cinema, was not only the perfect way to spend the evening of Friday 13th but also a festive way to mark the halfway point to Halloween.   

Grimmfest is Manchester’s International festival of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi films. Their main festival runs in the first week of October for four days, and is centered around exclusive film premieres, Q and As with film makers and actors, and an all-round celebration of independent film in the heart of the city. Grimmfest also holds smaller events such as the mini-cini screenings and the Easter film festivals, in true spooky fashion of course.   

There is no better way to spend an overcast Friday evening in Manchester than by getting the drinks in, finding your seats, and enjoying the scare fest that is Friday the 13th parts II and III. The excitement was palpable in the Ducie Street Warehouse bar as horror fans spotted one another from Grimmfest’s previous events and even one audience member’s very stylish Friday the 13th themed footwear. Everyone grabbed their drinks and their original-style 3D glasses, with Simeon Halligan (the producer and director of Grimmfest) reminding us “this isn’t going to be Avatar.”  

Image: Inside the Mini-Cini (c) Daisy Brocklehurst

Simeon’s introduction lays out the plots of the films for those of us (me included) who have only seen the original Friday the 13th and brings everyone together for the tradition that is a Grimmfest raffle. One very lucky viewer went home with original Friday the 13th artwork (much to the excitement of their partner). Silence soon descends in the stylish, intimate venue … until it is discovered that beer can be ordered to our seats; there’s a shuffling and muted pinging of Apple pay across the room. Once that’s over, we’re officially underway.  

During the interval we all spill out into the bar discussing the best horror films, arguing about whether the original or the remake was superior, and wondering if the new adaptation of The Lost Boys can ever live up to its original counterpart. The collection of horror buffs that we are, we vary in age and background. One couple are making the most of a night out having finally found a babysitter, another group are off to Satan’s nightclub afterwards, and yet when the lights go down and the movies play, we are all the same - fans of cult horror classics who appreciate the unkillable nature of these classic film franchises.  

We drift back into the cinema and get settled, cardboard red and blue glasses at the ready for Friday the 13th part III, where we witness the origin story of the classic Jason hockey mask. Now if the first film was retro, part III is hilariously disco. The 3D glasses certainly enhance the Farrah Fawcett hair of the decade, as well as various implements jumping from the screen, such as a pitchfork and a speargun. Vintage technical aspects aside (the clichéd actions used for the 3D effects producing more laughs than screams), it was an amazing opportunity to see these seminal slasher films once again on the silver screen, being supported by the spooky subcultures of Manchester and beyond.  

Image: The crowd (c) Daisy Brocklehurst

Grimmfest’s Mini-Cini screenings will continue this Friday 27th May with the 4k restoration of Psycho followed by Psycho II.  




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