Horror buffs will poke and prod a friend who is afraid of My Little Pony into seeing Halloween, saying over and over it’s not really that scary, even though they know goddamn well it is. And in the lead-up to All Hallows’ Eve, it’s their goal to take any willing soul to any horror revival screening, be it The Silence of the Lambs at the Laurelhurst, the original Dracula at the Academy, or, if they’re particularly sadistic and want you never to trust them again, Martyrs at Fifth Avenue Cinema.
But here’s the thing: Enjoyment of a horror film—particularly for a non-junkie—is predicated on the notion that the less you know, the richer the experience.
Which is why you should never, ever watch a legit horror flick with a superfan. Maybe it’s the synthesizer scores, or the weird Pavlovian reaction triggered by the sight of red-dyed corn syrup, but the minute the movie starts, a horror fan’s entire body turns into a spoiler factory. Some fans gasp three minutes before a scare, or stare at you every time something unexpected is about to happen, waiting for your reaction. Even the silent ones give hints, suddenly developing restless legs syndrome or cupping their hands over their mouths to prevent a spoiled surprise.
Which makes revival screenings a very difficult prospect. On the one hand, there are few cinematic experiences quite like being in a room full of adults who can’t help but gasp at the terrors onscreen. On the other hand, if you’ve never seen The Silence of the Lambs, it’s not necessarily entertaining to sit in a theater full of knowing, snarky idiots who insist on doing their Multiple Miggs impressions. They’re the same people who scream “Boo!” at their friends, or during Psycho mutter, “Oh, I forgot how early she dies.”
You can’t blame horror fans for getting excited to see their favorite movies on the big screen. Nor can you blame them for wanting to see how the uninitiated will react to the things that made them fall in love with these flicks in the first place. But no matter how well-intentioned and genuine a fan’s excitement, behaving like a living spoiler robs others of that magic. You got your friend to that screening of Re-Animator. Now let them fall in love on their own.
- So yeah, you should totally do that Multiple Miggs impression during The Silence of the Lambs. Laurelhurst Theater. Oct 18-24.
- Bela Lugosi makes Team Edward his bitch in the original Dracula. Academy Theater. Oct 18-24.
- Turkish Rambo makes up for the Stallone version’s complete lack of zombies, and adds extra ass-whomping. Oh, and it’s a Filmusik event, so there’s a live, original score. Hollywood Theatre. 7 pm Friday-Saturday, Oct. 18-19 and Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 23-26.
- Hitchcock’s silent movie The Ring doesn’t have a creepy girl coming out of a TV, but it does feature a live score. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 8 pm Friday, Oct 18.
- Cthulhu demands you watch a series of H.P. Lovecraft shorts. Do as Cthulhu says. Hollywood Theatre. 9:40 pm Friday, Oct 18.
- Actor Greg Sestero milks the beguiling cult success of The Room and presents his new book about the making of the film and being torn apart by women named Lisa. Cinema 21. 10:30 pm Friday-Saturday, Oct. 18-19.
- Frankenstein’s monster needed love too, and when he found it, Bride of Frankenstein became one of history’s most iconic horror flicks. Hollywood Theatre. 2:30 pm Saturday-Sunday, Oct 19-20.
- With Martyrs, French director Pascal Laugier made a fucked-up revenge flick that would give Jeffrey Dahmer nightmares. 5th Avenue Cinema. 8 pm Saturday, Oct 19.
- How amazingly weird is Re-Animator? At one point, a lovelorn decapitated head attempts to orally pleasure a woman. It’s incredible. Hollywood Theatre. 9:40 pm Saturday, Oct 19.
- Samurai don’t sit around obeying the rules in Samurai Rebellion…no sirree! NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 3 pm Sunday, Oct 20.
- Hitchcock’s silent classic Downhill gets the live-score treatment too. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 7 pm Sunday, Oct. 20.
- Before he became cinema’s most famous set of eyebrows, Martin Scorsese changed the tide of filmmaking with 1973’s Mean Streets. Mission Theater. 9 pm Tuesday, Oct 22.