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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Arthouse cinema of horror


    Courtesy of The Loft Cinema

    An evening of fright flicks, scary shorts, trivia, prizes, food and spirits, Scream-o-Rama serves seven blood-curdling films in the course of 12 horrifying hours at The Loft Cinema’s annual all-night horror movie marathon on Friday.

    “This is our annual, all-night slumber party,” said Jeff Yanc, program director at The Loft. “It’s one of the most fun things we do all year. If you like horror movies, then this is a dream come true — all horror, all night.”

    An annual Loft tradition since 2006, Scream-o-Rama provides an array of movies and activities spanning from dusk till dawn. This year, the event will kick off with the unrated U.K. cut of “Friday the 13th,” followed by “Suspiria,” “Tremors,” “The Fly,” “The Incredible Melting Man,” “Wolf Creek” and concluding the evening with the psychedelic ghost story “Hausu.”

    “This is an outstanding lineup of film; every one of them is a must-see for horror fans,” said Bradley Schauer, assistant professor at the School of Theatre, Film and Television.

    Presenting everything from classic horror to contemporary and beyond, Scream-o-Rama provides a unique choice of horror films for fans of the genre. The Loft works to balance the appropriate amount of horror by blending scary, silly and funny subgenres.

    “‘Wolf Creek’ is very disturbing, but it’s arguably the best of the ‘torture porn’ cycle of the early 2000s,” Schauer said. “Director Greg Maclean has a great sense of the history of Australian film and uses the eeriness of his Outback locations to their fullest effect. ‘The Fly’ is David Cronenberg’s brilliant remake of the 1958 science fiction film, with the scientist’s genetic experiments and gradual mutation acting as a metaphor for AIDS. ‘Hausu’ is a deeply imaginative, completely bonkers Japanese film from 1977 that has developed a sizable cult following. It’s so surreal and off-the-wall that a piano eats a schoolgirl, and you hardly bat an eye.”

    Scream-o-Rama is annually held in the main theater of the Loft, pulling crowds of anywhere between 400 and 500 audience members during peak hours. Offering twisted trivia, liquid courage, prizes, souvenir barf bags and food throughout the evening, Scream-o-Rama is an event tailored to emulate the scream-fest slumber parties of youth.

    “It’s especially fun watching these movies with an audience,” Yanc said. “Obviously you can rent or stream all of these movies online, but watching them with a bunch of other people, screaming, laughing and drinking together makes for a lot of fun.”

    In an effort to add to the gritty ambiance often associated with the horror genre, The Loft will project five of the seven films on original 35 mm prints.

    “As a projectionist, I really enjoy the fact that we show a lot of the horror films on original 35 mm film,” said Kyle Canfield, manager and projectionist at the Loft. “At Scream-o-Rama, audience members get the opportunity to watch an aged version of the film, and it’s pretty cool that we get to play these movies with the history and natural dirtiness associated with 35 mm. It really adds to the feeling that you’re watching cinema, as opposed to just watching a movie.”

    For those able to last the entire evening, Scream-o-Rama offers an on-stage commemorative group photo for any and all “survivors.” In addition to the freaky food and drinks offered throughout the night, The Loft provides a breakfast buffet in the price of the ticket.

    “It’s definitely a worthwhile event to do at least once,” Canfield said. “I would suggest coming rested, and to take a nap before the event starts. The other great thing about it is audience members have the opportunity to leave a movie and go get some food, spirits and take a break before returning to the theater. I like that Scream-o-Rama lends itself as an experience to the viewer, so they can cater the experience to themselves. It’s a lot of fun, and there’s always a nice variety of films to enjoy.”

    The frightening festivities are set to kick off at 7 p.m. and run till 7 a.m., though viewers are free to view any and all films showing — pillows and blankets are welcomed and even encouraged to those interested in surviving the overnight Scream-o-Rama. General admission is $15 for the evening or $13 to members.

    “It’s pretty cool, because when you stumble out into the daylight at the end of the event, it very much feels like you’re in a horror movie,” said Zach Breneman, deputy director at The Loft. “And for a minute, you look at the world entirely differently.”


    Follow Elise McClain on Twitter.

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