It’s been far too long since we’ve all had a good collective scare in cinemas. While shrieks and screams behind required masks may have somewhat of a muffled quality, they’re no less impactful when it comes to experiencing horror in a group setting. It’s how we were meant to be scared out of our skins.
With Halloween rapidly en route, Fathom Events is giving us a chance to find the fun again in group fear. The company, known for reviving classics on the big screen in limited-run engagements, is rolling out its Fright Fest nationwide with a cauldron full of spooky screenings.
The screaming starts with Carrie (1976), celebrating its 45th Anniversary. Based on the Stephen King novel, the film was a breakthrough for director Brian DePalma, who deftly blended camp and chills into a one-of-a-kind mix. Newcomer Sissy Spacek brought tremendous sympathy and gravity to her superb portrayal of a high school outcast with telekinetic powers who, bullied past her breaking point, turns prom night into a bloodbath.
Carrie’s interactions with her crazed, devoutly religious mother (the astounding Piper Laurie) are the film’s most unforgettable moments, including one involving the kitchen cutlery that remains a showstopper. Carrie also stars John Travolta, William Katt, Betty Buckley, and Amy Irving, and helped to establish the now-overused horror trope of “And just one more thing…” Carrie plays Sunday, Sept. 26 and Wed., Sept. 29.
Saturday, October 1 brings a peerless double feature from 1931: Universal’s original Dracula, directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi, and Frankenstein, featuring Boris Karloff and directed by James Whale.
Both films remain iconic, with Dracula simmering in malevolent atmospherics and Frankenstein delving into unsettling themes of playing God and misunderstood monsters. (Hopefully, Fathom will be showcasing the uncensored version of Frankenstein, which includes an alarming moment in which the monster tosses a little girl into the water, mistakenly believing she’ll float.)
Later in the month, on Oct. 30, Whale’s The Invisible Man, featuring some impressive special effects for the time and a manic performance by Claude Rains, and the gloomy and lackluster The Wolf Man share a bill.
The series also includes The Evil Dead (1981), an inventive, low-budget horror film by Sam Raimi, on Oct. 7, and Wes Craven’s original Scream (1996) on Oct. 10 and 11.
A 30th Anniversary screening of Silence of the Lambs (1991) hits on Oct. 17 and 20. No matter your take on the persona of Buffalo Bill, it’s hard to deny the brilliance of director Johnathan Demme’s Oscar-winning take on the novel’s grim, disturbing material. Featuring magnificent performances from Jodie Foster, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Scott Glenn, and, as everyone’s favorite incarcerated cannibal, Anthony Hopkins. Try some fava beans and chianti with your popcorn.
For more movies and a full schedule of theaters and showtimes, visit www.fathomevents.com.
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