The raison d'etre of the Irish Film Institute is to celebrate film in all its wild and woolly forms, and it doesn’t come wilder or woollier than the Horrorthon weekender, a glorious (nee gorious) celebration of horror movies and cult classics past, present and future.
Now celebrating its thirteenth unlucky year, Horrorthon started life as a lively monthly gathering for horror movie devotees in the IFI Meeting Room, before founder members Edward ‘The King’ King and Michael Griffin expanded it into an annual festival event: these days, it’s a five day extravaganza, and one of the IFI’s most popular and beloved happenings… And, trust us, Horrorthon is a bash to remember, a gleeful celebration of that most-maligned of genres: the horror movie refuses to die, and continues to reinvent itself for generation after generation of punters, revelling in the incomparable shared experience of digging a fright flick on the big scream… sorry, screen.
Over the years, Horrorthon has presented the Irish premieres of any number of modern classics, from Pan’s Labyrinth and 28 Days Later (with director Danny Boyle and cast in attendance) to Donnie Darko and last year’s Opening Night Presentation, Paranormal Activity. The real fun is to be had in bringing classics like John Carpenter’s Halloween and Steven Spielberg’s Jaws back to the big screen, while affording Irish audiences an opportunity to view any number of under-the-radar delights they might otherwise be forced to catch on DVD. And then there are the truly indescribable guilty pleasures that Ed King feels compelled to share with his beloved Horrorthon massive, ranging from obscure giallo masterworks (Don’t Torture A Ducking) to Filipino James Bond knock-offs – anyone lucky enough to catch For Your Height Only, starring pint-sized action hero Weng Weng, won’t forget the experience anytime soon.
This year’s Horrorthon programme offers the usual eclectic treasure trove of delights, from the inevitable Paranormal Activity 2 and acclaimed alien invasion stunner Monsters, to the controversial remake of seminal ‘video nasty’ I Spit On Your Grave and any number of breakthrough indie hot-tickets, amongst them Aussie neo-western Red Hill or Texan revenge flick Red, White & Blue. Then there are the cult classics, from Charles Laughton’s masterpiece Night Of The Hunter to Ed Wood’s legendary z-movie Plan 9 From Outer Space - Horrorthon is an equal opportunities offender.
The Bottom Line: this labour of love is one of the most truly unique events on the IFI calendar, and bloody good fun from start to finish. Why not treat yourself to a weekend pass and enjoy a truly horrible weekend?
Since going to print, Horrorthon has added an extra title for your sheer fright! On Saturday, October 23rd at 23.30, catch the revenge flick Red, White & Blue.