The scene is set as the rain is pouring, the wind is raging and everyone is huddled together inside to try and escape the ferociousness of the weather outside.
This time it’s not the latest horror film being screened by Grimm up North it is in fact the reality of this year’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
Unfortunately it’s not an exaggeration either. Whilst there were glimpses of the beautiful weather that the French Riviera is renowned for during my week long, and first time, visit to Cannes, they were sadly fleeting. Though I can’t really complain as bad weather is ideal for film watching and indoor meetings, and that is what I was there for after all.
With schedule in hand, market badge round my neck and an unhealthy appetite for discovery I was thrust into the near incomprehensible world of Cannes film festival.
Cannes, is a multitude of Cannes rolled into one. Whilst the glitz and glamour of the red carpet and the films in official competition for the Palme d’Or, won this year (again) by veteran filmmaker Michael Haneke take the majority of the media attention, it is also crucially a marketplace for all manner of film deals to take place, in between all the partying. It is then a constantly bustling environment, one that is incomparable to anything else.
I caught all manner of horror offerings whilst in Cannes, in amongst the meetings, drinking and celeb spotting (drinking in the same bar as Bill Murray... Pinch me). Ranging from Ross Noble led return of the deranged clown teen horror Stitches to the surprisingly funny and somewhat charming splatter comedy Cockneys V Zombies, (a Zimmer frame has never been so successfully used to heighten tension) to the latest enthralling instalment in the Spanish found footage Rec series Rec3:Genesis.
Of all the films I watched however, Brandon Cronenberg’s dark and twisted satire of celebrity obsession Antiviral and Canadian home-invasion export Replicas stand head and shoulders above the competition. Cronenberg’s ability to capture the zeitgeist of contemporary celebrity fascination is masterfully channelled through a disturbing vision of a near future that would sit comfortably in the canon of his father’s oeuvre.
TRAILER: Brandon Cronenberg's Antiviral
To simply pass it off as a ‘Cronenberg film’, however, would be to do Brandon’s work a great disservice as it is entirely his vision and deserves to be lauded for both its distinctiveness and its originality, it is also definitely not one for the faint of heart.
Replicas is an entirely different monster, equal parts taut suspense and intense family drama. What it lacks in originality it more than makes up for in performance and script.
It is a masterful slice of home terror that utilises the incredible performances of its lead actors to generate a near unparalleled authenticity.
Cannes was then a success filled with all manner of gore splattered and artfully constructed slices of horror and the macabre with barely a moments rest all whilst completely drenched through.
Whilst the festival takes place in October Grimm up North also host monthly screenings so be sure to swing by the website to check out our latest offering: an Asian Extreme night featuring Battle Royale and Tokyo Gore Police on June 21at Dancehouse, Manchester.