As the Day of the Dead descends upon us, we here at the Lowell Film Collaborative are giggling with an evil grin, as we have had a frightfully fantastic Halloween season over the past few weeks. It all started with a hugely successful Mill City Mayhem event at Second Wind Cafe on October 24. Then, this past Thursday, we were invited by our friend Nancye Tuttle to be guest speakers at her “Film, Video and Society” class as Middlesex Community College. The lecture was on nothing other than one of our favorite subjects – horror films, and it was an absolute joy to share our passion with a group of (mostly) interested students. On Thursday night, we ventured up to Litchfield, New Hampshire to brave the seven haunted houses of Nightmare New England. And we finished everything off with a Halloween night screening of the horror classic The Exorcist last night at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.
In between these events, we managed to stockpile our Netflix DVD queue with new and classic films that celebrate the season:
- The Black Cat – Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi classic with plenty of meaty lines for both of them to chew on!
- The Innocents – one of our favorite classic horror films of all time with a brilliant performance by star Deborah Kerr
- The Children – creepy new British thriller about children who turn on their parents after catching a mysterious virus
- Dead End – clever and gory film from a few years ago about a family who get lost when they take a new route to visit their relatives
- Splinter – indie film with an original premise about a shape-shifting viral host that traps two couples in a gas station
- Fear(s) of the Dark – brilliant French b/w animated anthology film that delves into our deepest, darkest fear(s)
- Wendigo – Larry Fessenden film about a vacationing family terrorized by a psychotic local and a deep, dark secret
- Long Weekend – 70’s Australian thriller about a camping couple who break some eco-friendly rules, then become victims of Mother Nature’s revenge
- American Zombie – horror comedy mockumentary that examines a time when zombies have been fully integrated into society
It seemed only fitting that the apex of this wonderful season was last night’s screening. As we sat in the theater of the Music Hall watching a film that absolutely scarred me as a child when watching it on television with my parents at six or seven years old, I felt a sense of reluctance even as an adult when watching it – it is truly that terrifying. Brilliant performances by all the actors, especially young Linda Blair as the possessed child, coupled with the fear not only of the unknown but something that challenges the religious beliefs of our society, make The Exorcist a film that can never be rivaled in the frights it evokes. Happy Day of the Dead!