By Jocelyn Illing, November 2 2018 —
Everyone has goals. Some dream of medical school, while others aspire to be in the Olympics.
My goal this past weekend was to make it through 12 hours of horror movies without falling asleep. Although I lost a few friends along the way, I can say with pride that I survived the Calgary Underground Film Festival’s 12-hour Halloween movie marathon.
For the past few years, CUFF has hosted an all-night Halloween movie marathon at the Globe Cinema. The premise is this: seven horror movies back-to-back from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next day. If you last the whole night, you are entered into a draw to win a prize. With cocktails, popcorn and a costume contest, what more could you want in an all-nighter?
This being my first year attending the festival, I was a bit skeptical about the programming for the evening. As a self-proclaimed film snob, I was worried that some of the horror movies would fall flat. But it is safe to say that CUFF did not disappoint. Here are some of my highlights:
Hell Fest (2018):
The most recent film in the roster, Hell Fest follows a group of friends as they wander around a series of haunted houses at an amusement park. Although they think the event is all fun and games, a masked figure soon swoops in to ruin their evening. With an undeniable resemblance to Calgary’s very own Screamfest, the atmosphere of the film felt familiar, sending chills up my spine as I pictured myself wandering around, not knowing if the people behind the masks would chase after me for fun or in pursuit of ending my life.
Does a film about a murderous car sound weird? It sure was. After acquiring an old car from a man at the side of the road, nerdy Arnie develops an obsession with the car that has a mind of its own. This John Carpenter film has all of the campy qualities of an ‘80s horror classic. Who doesn’t want to watch a rogue car terrorize the streets? Witnessing the strain the car puts on Arnie’s relationship with his family is both hilarious and heartbreaking. You’ll laugh, you’ll scream, you’ll cry.
Murder Party (2007):
Murder Party was a trip. The film takes place during a party organized by a group of artists. In order to spark creative inspiration, they hatch a plan to lure passersby to their party and murder them in the name of art. The terrifying premise is balanced with wacky characters and witty dialogue that makes viewing the film an oddly pleasant experience.