There is something about horror movies that has an unavoidable draw. We love to be scared. It's strange, if you think about it – fear is, in my experience, one of the emotions people try most to avoid. I'm sure having a madman point a gun at your head is not a pleasant experience. And yet when it comes to the cinema, many lovers of film seek out the shocking, the depraved, the sinister. My theory is that humanity enjoys capturing vestiges of our primal urges; fear, after all, evolved as a warning sign that something was wrong, and so the person (or animal) becomes flooded with adrenaline in preparation for either fighting or fleeing – and adrenaline is basically an internally produced drug. Thus: it's fun to be scared, as long as we, now modern-minded, know that we are actually safe and sound in our homes or theaters.
This upcoming weekend offers a celebration of all things horrific in the world of cinema: the annual Fright Night Film Festival, which takes place at the Galt House Hotel downtown. Fright Night is three days chock-full of celebrities and panels and workshops and, of course, back-to-back horror films.
In the true spirit of “Keeping [Fright Night] Weird” (phrase coined by me), most – if not all – of the movies are contributed by independent filmmakers. The submissions are too numerous to list here – they are playing back-to-back all weekend, after all – but a couple of highlights include “Nothing in the Flowers” (see my interview with David Brewer here and my review of his film here), the awesome zombie-alien action film “Overtime” (see my interview with Brian Cunningham here), and “Below Zero” and the Louisvillian-made "It's In the Blood," both of which screened at this year's Derby City Film Festival.
Those interested in meeting their favorite movie stars are in serious luck, for this year's guests are quite numerous and include Sean Astin, Nicholas Brendan, James Marsters, Peter Davidson, Sean Patrick Flanery, Tyler Mane, Sid Haig, and so on and so on, all leading up to the main celebrity event of the weekend: Bruce Campbell himself will be in attendance on Saturday. All those who wet themselves in excitement should now take a moment to go change their pants.
It all happens this weekend, Friday, June 29, to Sunday, July 1, at the Galt House, located at 140 N 4th Street. Admission to the festival is $25 per day, or $50 for a weekend pass. All pertinent information, including online ticket sales and complete listings of films, celebrities, and other events can be found at the Fright Night website.
Image: Fright Night website