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Thursday, October 6, 2016

6th Annual Crete Library Horror Fest

The nights are getting shorter, the air a bit chillier, October is here, and with it, my favorite holiday  and Film Club event: Halloween and Horror Fest!  Over the past 5 years we've had a good selection of straight-up scary films, so I thought I'd mix it up a little bit this year and show 4 horror comedies.  For those of you unfamiliar with the genre, it's quite easy to explain.  Horror Comedies just take elements from both genres and mash them together into one film.  You get some funny with your scary.  I've picked 4 that I think are good representations of the sub-genre as well as just all-around good films.  Just like previous Horror Fests, we will have four films over the course of two evenings, back-to-back.  So, without further ado, here is your 2016 Horror Fest Line-up:

(click the titles for trailers)
10/19 @ 5:00pm-Slither
10/19 @ 7:00pm-Zombieland

10/20 @ 5:00pm-Shaun of the Dead
10/20 @ 7:00pm-Cabin in the Woods

October 19th at 5:00pm- Slither

Slither is a 2006 American science fiction comedy horror film written and directed by James Gunn in his directorial debut, and starring Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Gregg Henry, and Michael Rooker.  The film has similar themes and concepts as the 1986 B movie Night of the Creeps.  Slither was a box office bomb which received generally positive reviews from critics and has since become a cult film.  Director James Gunn cites Night of the Creeps as well as Shivers and The Brood by David Croneneberg as two of the biggest influences on the film.  He also references the 2000 manga Uzumaki by Junji Ito, and pays homage to the studio Troma Films, where Gunn began his career.  Journalist Steve Palopoli said that the film was, "a tongue-cheek pastiche of at least a dozen '80s horror films."  Rotten tomatoes reports an 86% fresh rating and Scott Tobias of the AV Club said this in his review, "Slither may look like the undercard to a drive-in double feature, but it easily outclasses the solemn shockers that the studios crank out every week.  And it's scarier, too."

October 19th at 7:00pm- Zombieland

Zombieland is a 2009 American horror comedy film directed by Ruben Fleisher and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.  The film stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin as survivors of a zombie apocalypse.  The films follows a geeky college kid making his way through the zombie apocalypse, meeting three strangers along the way and together taking an extended road trip across the Southwestern United States in an attempt to find a sanctuary free from zombies.  Zombieland was a critical and commercial success, grossing more than $60.8 million in 17 days and surpassing the 2004 film Dawn of the Dead as the top-grossing zombie film in the United States until World War Z in 2013.  The film holds an 89% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 3 1/2 stars saying this in his review, "I laughed more often, and harder, at the best gags here than I did with any number of other comedies this year.  It's a strangely high-spirited lark, giving all of its leading players plenty to eviscerate in between sweet nothings and wisecracks.  Is Zombieland for everyone? Uh, no...but humor is a funny thing, and occasionally a bloody thing, and now and then you find a comedy that offers some wit to go with the innards."

October 20th at 5:00pm- Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 horror comedy film directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost.  Pegg plays Shaun, a man attempting to get some kind of focus in his life as he deals with his girlfriend, his mother and his stepfather.  At the same time, he has to cope with an apocalyptic zombie uprising.  The film was marketed as a romantic comedy with zombies, or RomComZom.  Shaun of the Dead received critical acclaim.  The film has a 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  Keith Phipps of the AV club says this in his review, "Wright directs with an expert sense of rhythm but never lays his technical finesse on with Guy Ritchie thickness; he lets his characters take center stage even after he's shown he can frame them through a gaping hole in a zombie's stomach.  Mixing horror and humor is no mean feat, but Shaun of the Dead tightens throats in fear without making the laughs stick there in the process."

October 20th at 7:00pm- The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods is a 2012 American horror comedy film directed by Drew Goddard in his directorial debut, produced by Joss Whedon and written by Whedon and Goddard.  The film stars Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford.  The plot follows a group of college students who retreat to a remote forest cabin where they fall victim to backwoods zombies, and two scientists who manipulate the ongoing events from an underground facility.  Goddard and Whedon, having worked together previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, wrote the screenplay in three days, describing it as an attempt to "revitalize" the slasher film genre and as a critical satire on torture porn.  The film has a 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes out of 253 critical reviews.  Roger Ebert gave the film 3/4 stars saying this in his review, "Do horror characters make choices because of the requirements of the genre, or because of their own decisions?  And since they're entirely the instruments of their creators, to what degree can the filmmakers exercise free will?  This is fairly bold stuff, and it grows wilder as the film moves along.  Horror fans are a particular breed, the analyze films with detail and expertise.  The Cabin in the Woods has been constructed almost as a puzzle for horror fans to solve.  Which conventions are being toyed with?  Which authors and films are being referred to?  Is the film itself and act of criticism?  With most genre films, we ask, "Does it work?"  In other words, does this horror film scare us?  The Cabin in the Woods does have some genuine scares, but they're not really the point.  This is like a final exam for (horror) fanboys."

Horror Fest is my favorite film club even and it always ends up being a great time.  I hope you can make it out this year for a couple evenings of scary movie fun!