Belfast Film Festival Offers Something Strange This Halloween

There's thrills and chills with a night of drive-in classics in Bangor while the Black Box dresses up for a scary movie marathon

If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, it’s probably Belfast Film Festival’s weekend of Halloween horrors, starting on Saturday, October 29 with two drive-in screenings at Bloomfield Shopping Centre in Bangor.

There’s room for 100 vehicles, or perhaps a few less if anyone plans to bring their Ectomobile rapid response vehicle to the original 1984 Ghostbusters (6.45pm).

These odd-ball scientists trap pesky ghosts, spirits, haunts, and poltergeists for money. They wise-crack their way through New York and stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, one which will release untold evil upon the city.

If you dare to stay at the drive-in after dark, beware of a crazed serial killer in a white face mask and a large black robe. Wes Craven's Scream (9.30pm) is one of the best in the slasher film genre with Neve Campbell on the receiving end of strange phone calls enquiring about her favourite scary movie.

On Sunday October 30, the Black Box will be converted into a deep woods hellhole as Belfast Film Festival and the venue present The Backwoods Halloween Horror Marathon.

There will be tents for the audience to pitch up in among the indoor foliage and plant life. Beanbags and flashlights will be provided and attendees are encouraged to wear their pyjamas.

The event is for over 15s apart from the noon screening of Coraline, a glorious animation about a young girl who walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life.

Scream

Things take a darker turn for the 2.30pm screening of Tucker & Dale vs Evil, a hilariously gory, good-spirited horror comedy, doing for killer rednecks what Shaun of the Dead did for zombies. Tucker and Dale are two best friends on vacation at their dilapidated mountain house, who are mistaken for murderous backwoods hillbillies by a group of obnoxious, preppy college kids. When one of the students gets separated from her friends, the boys try to lend a hand, but as the misunderstanding grows, so does the body count.

A classic of the horror-comedy genre, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (5.00pm) never lets up, thanks to Sam Raimi’s inventive style and Bruce Campbell’s hysterical performance.

Ash (Campbell), the sole survivor of The Evil Dead, continues his struggle with the forces of the dead aided by his girlfriend Linda. The two discover a mysterious tape recorder and hear the voice of Professor Knoby reciting passages from the Necronomicon, or Book of the Dead.

Cabin in the Woods (7.30pm) is a satirical horror film that pokes fun at the sub-genre it’s also reinventing. The story follows a rambunctious group of five college friends who head away for a weekend of depravity in an isolated country cabin, only to be attacked by horrific supernatural creatures (including unicorns, werewolves and zombies) in a night of endless terror and bloodshed.

And bringing the 12 hour marathon to a close is a terror that will chill your blood and torment your mind. With a derisory 15% on Rotten Tomatoes, Neil LaBute’s The Wicker Man (10.00pm) starring Nicolas Cage is widely regarded as one of the worst and unintentionally funny remakes ever. Once you embrace the awfulness in all its glory, it’s a hugely enjoyable movie experience!

The Rifftrax version of The Wicker Man gives you the chance to watch (and listen to) the hilarious commentary written and performed by the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Tickets for all screenings are available online at www.belfastfilmfestival.org.