Later this month, the annual fear fest that brings together horror lovers from all over Leicester, is set to shock a cinema full of gore-hounds. With the night’s line up of chilling cinema all set up, and the date being made concrete (Friday 27 October), the excitement for this enigmatic event is rising. To feed this hype, I decided to take you through the malevolent maze of Slasher flicks, and gore movies, which you can expect to see, in anticipation for this Horror heaven.
Film #1: 28 Days Later… (2002) – 1h 53min
To kick off the night, what better to start with than a true education in horror? Cillian Murphy fronts this first fright, as he wakes up in an abandoned hospital, which he soon discovers is in an abandoned city… or is it? In a now over-saturated subgenre, zombie films are rarely bursting with originality. But this film easily stands among other movies, such as ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and ‘Night of the Living Dead’, as films which shaped and forged this sub-genre which is now so heavily imbedded into pop culture. With a legendary opening sequence of an isolated London, frantically skittish performances from survivors, and an intriguing take on zombies, this movie is a classic and a perfect way to set the scene for the rest of this horror landscape.
Film #2: The Eyes of My Mother (2016) – 1h 16min
Easily the most obscure title in this article is Nicolas Pesce’s incredibly dark, and thematically black gore-fest ‘The Eyes of My Mother’. The less that is said about this hidden gem of horrifying storytelling, the better, as the shocks and striking visuals will only hit you harder. One key element to the film is an intensely sinister child actor who uses her innocent appearance to make her dismal statements pack even more of a punch. This child is a mixture of the children from ‘The Omen’ and ‘Orphan’, with the mind of Jigsaw from ‘Saw’, along with a sprinkling of Annie Wilkes from ‘Misery’. I would maybe suggest watching the trailer, but that would most likely only raise more questions than it answers. The audience will not expect the nasty little horror that is ‘The Eyes of My Mother’, and as a result will put the ‘fright’ in ‘Frightarama’.
Film #3: MYSTERY FILM
As in true Phoenix fashion, one of the five films is being kept hidden; just as is done with their ‘MYSTERY FILM’ screenings each month. This speculation will only have more people boarding the hype train, as people guess at the film being everything from the new ‘Jigsaw’ to one of the Universal classics like ‘Dracula’. I guess this is one more reason to buy a ticket, to see what creepy picture they choose to show us half way through the horror-thon.
Film #4: Young Frankenstein (1974) – 1h 46min
After a whole lot of disturbing imagery and indie horrors, it’s the time of the night when we take a look back at another classic. This time more of a light hearted film, in the form of ‘Young Frankenstein’. The late Gene Wilder fronts this must-watch horror comedy, as a comedic version of Dr. Frankenstein; a role which seems to be imbedded in the 70s nostalgia of everyone who witnessed it. Aside from Wilder, the film stars an impressive bunch of legendary comedy actors, including ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’s Peter Boyle, and ‘Blazing Saddles’ star Madeline Kahn. As if that wasn’t enough humour royalty, the film is written and directed by Mel Brooks, whose work in ‘Spaceballs’ is carved into my childhood more than actual ‘Star Wars’. So, whether you’ve seen this testament to classical horror and 70s comedy before, or have somehow missed it, make sure you’re still awake for this one. It’ll be refreshing to hear laughs amidst a night of screams.
Film #5: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – 1h 31min
“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…”. Those words echo throughout the halls of horror, and warn of the coming of a knife-fingered beast who will jump into your own dreams the second the film ends. It wouldn’t be much of a horror all-nighter without a visit from Freddy, whether that is in the classic originals, or the redundant remakes. Thankfully they’ve gone for the former, and treated us to Wes Craven’s original nightmare. In the movie, arguably the most infamous slasher in horror history, Freddy Krueger, invades the dreams of a group of unlucky teens on Elm Street as they fight to stay alive by avoiding sleep. With the wicked rule of ‘if you die in a dream, you die in real life’ looming over Nancy and her friends, they hatch a plan to end this malevolent force for good. This film features a relatively subtle cast, which leads to a stronger narrative, as the character’s realism is more tangible. A young Johnny Depp does appear in the movie, as one of the friends, and seems to play an 80s caricature; complete with big hair, a Walkman, and oversized headphones. No matter how many times I see this superior slasher I still jump out of my seat at the sight of Freddy trying to fillet our protagonists. An oldie, but a goldie. This is possibly the best way to end the night, as we’re given nightmare fuel, to stop anyone who even thought of having a nap.
So, if you’re free this Friday night, and want either an education in horror, or a refresher course in the classics, come down to the Phoenix… at your own risk. Don’t come crying to me if you have nightmares afterwards. As put in that ever so nostalgic ‘Goosebumps’ title sequence: “Viewer beware, you’re in for a scare.”
Frightarama will be held at the Phoenix cinema, in Leicester, on the 27th of October 2017, starting at 10pm.
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