09 January, 2009

Horrorfest: 8 Films To Prep For

First, let me establish context for the un-initiates who might happen to stumble across this blog entry (rare as that chance may be). After Dark Horrorfest is an annual film festival (of sorts) now in its third year. Each year, they choose 8 "Films To Die For", which are hyped as films too _____ (insert superlative here) for mainstream release. The 8 films are screened in select theaters across the country for one week or weekend of the year. The past two years' Horrorfests have been in November; this year it was pushed back to January.

And for those who have gone through this with me (in person or spirit) once (or twice) before, this is my planning post. Considering that Horrorfest starts TOMORROW, running from January 9-15 (Friday through the following Thursday).

The good news is, Horrorfest is coming to Pittsburgh. Looking at the theater list not too long ago, I was afraid that it wouldn't, but it is. Carmike 10 at SHV. Interestingly, this marks the third of the three local (or semi-local) theaters that I've been to more than just once or twice in my life. First year was the Destinta, then the theater down at the Waterfront. Now this one. It's like each of the theaters wanted to give Horrorfest a try, but not one of them yet has liked it enough to bring it back a second time. Or maybe they're getting together and flipping coins for which area theater will get to host the festival. Who knows. But the bottom line is, Horrorfest is coming to my neighborhood, so I'm gonna be able to attend once again!

So I just worked up my magic on the show schedules over the next week, and it's time to work out a plan of attack. See the Excel spreadsheet here, or view a snapshot of the pertinent information contained therein, here. Of course, if you're not spreadsheet-inclined, you can just listen to my analysis below.

(Oh, and disclaimer - I can only guarantee that this schedule is accurate for this particular theater (assuming there are no errors) - if you live elsewhere, check your local listings)

But first, I'll list the 8 Films To Die For, and give but a brief (extremely brief) description of each, just to give you some kind of context for the titles (and perhaps to help you decide which ones sound interesting). More information is, of course, available at Horrorfest Online.

The Broken - doppelganger story
Slaughter - backwaters farm story
Perkins 14 - serial killer story with a twist
Butterfly Effect: Revelation - time travel/serial killer
From Within - mass suicide mystery
Dying Breed - cannibals/Tasmanian "devil"
Autopsy - hospital horror
Voices - "the ones who love you most want you dead"

Now then, about the show schedule. Movie times are at 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9pm on each of the seven days (Friday through Thursday). Those numbers are actually approximate, so check the spreadsheet for the exact times. But that's five slots a day. There are only three *different* films playing each day, with the one exception of Saturday, in which you can see 4 *different* films if you're up for it. There are two main daily schedules (we'll call them A and B). Three of the eight films are playing on schedule A and /only/ on schedule A. The other five are shuffled between three different variations of schedule B. Now for some problems -

Two bad things about the schedule. First, there are two movies that cannot ever be seen later than the 5pm slot. Which means that if I want to see all 8 films, I have to get up early and miss dinner at least twice. Which is a pain in the ass, but at least 5pm isn't /too/ early. Still, I wish they would cater to the horror fan lifestyle and show more of the movies later at night. Yeah, I know, theaters have closing times, too, but I definitely think I should be able to go out and see a movie (/especially/ a horror movie) at 2 or 3am if I feel like it. But hey, complaining about that here won't do any good. The other schedule problem I wanted to mention was the fact that one of the films is only viewable at one and only one showing (Perkins 14 on Saturday in the 7pm slot). Boy, I hope it's not sold out.

Okay, first, known schedule conflicts. The only one for me is that there's an Open Stage tomorrow, Friday, the first day of the fest. Damn weekly open stages. Well, it's actually not a big deal, because the A schedule that's running on Friday is running exactly the same on Monday and Thursday. So I won't have to miss out on anything. Now, to see the three A-schedule movies, I'll have to get up for the 5 slot on Monday or Thursday (might as well do it Monday), and from there, I might as well do all three in one go. So I anticipate being occupied like 5-midnight on Monday for those three. With Thursday as the backup, in case anything happens.

Now then, the remaining 5 films. Since Perkins 14 is only showing once (Sat at 7 spot), I anticipate catching that showing. Slaughter is the B-schedule film that only shows in the 5 spot. I might as well catch it on Saturday and do the three-fer for that night. I'd have to get up for the 1 spot to do the four-fer, so that's clearly out of the question.

On that plan, that leaves 2 more films, both of which are playing on Sunday in the 7 and 9 spots. A nice leisurely two-fer Sunday, that I don't have to get up early for, between the Saturday and Monday three-fers. That sounds good. Whatever Sat or Sun movies I might miss for whatever reason can be made up for on Tue or Wed, /except/ that one Perkins 14 showing on Sat.

So here's my proposed plan, with the green slots indicating "Plan A" and the red spots indicating the backup "Plan B". Of course, anyone who is interested in scouting out some (or all) of these movies with me, is more than welcome to let me know about your schedule and what conflicts you might have, so we can work something out. Horror's great fun alone, but it's fun with friends, too. :)

Whew. See how much planning that took? And you wonder why I never want to leave the house...

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