Horror movie junkies rejoice! The Art Theater in downtown Champaign is hosting a film festival of frightening flicks known as Shocktober for its second year running. Over ten horror film events, ranging from ’80s classics to present-day slashers, will be terrifying moviegoers throughout the month of October at the cozy cinema on Church Street. Aside from individual screenings, there will also be an all-night John Carpenter movie marathon on Friday, Oct. 24, featuring such screen gems as Halloween and Trick ‘r Treat. Below is a closer look at some of the pictures on the Shocktober schedule.
ScreamKicking off the month of scares is Wes Craven’s classic ’90s slasher Scream. The original movie introduced audiences to the dynamic trio of Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, brought to life the iconic mask that is Ghostface and has spawned three excellent sequels. The film is set in the quaint town of Woodsboro and follows a group of teenagers and various other community members as they are stalked and terrorized by a murderer in a ghostly mask. The movie is not your typical slasher and features an incredibly sharp, often hilarious script written by Kevin Williamson. One minute you’ll be laughing or smiling at a clever twist or piece of dialogue, and the next minute you’ll be screaming at the appearance of Ghostface in someone’s closet. Scream is definitely not a film you’ll want to miss when the Art Theater brings it back to the big screen and, on top of that, the showing on Wednesday, Oct. 1 is free!
Poltergeist This Steven Spielberg-produced thriller from 1982 is about the Freeling family as they are haunted by a host of ghosts in their new home. While the movie is somewhat cheesy and wouldn’t be judged as scary by today’s standards, it boasts special effects and thrills that were top-quality for the year of its release, most notably the climactic battle with the poltergeist. A remake of Poltergeist is set for release next year, so brush up on your horror movie curriculum and check out the original classic, starting Oct. 3.
The ExorcistHailed as the scariest movie of all time by several critics, The Exorcist was THE original demonic possession motion picture from which countless filmmakers have borrowed over the years. Linda Blair shot to stardom and received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Regan, the young girl plagued by an evil entity, which two priests attempt to exorcise. Along with Blair’s nomination, the movie received nine other nods for acting, cinematography and direction among other categories. Last year marked The Exorcist’s 40-year anniversary and, upon a recent viewing, I can assure horror movie fans that it hasn’t lost any of its shine. Reawaken those repressed memories of Regan levitating hauntingly from her bed, rotating her head 360 degrees and projectile-vomiting onto a priest on Oct. 17, 18 and 23.