(Almost) surviving “Twelve Hours of Terror”

The Hustler breaks down the first seven hours of the Belcourt’s annual celebration of Halloween


(image courtesy of belcourt.org)

Brendan Sawyer, Deputy Life Editor

The Belcourt Theatre delivered an all-night fright-fest Saturday, Oct. 19 with its annual Twelve Hours of Terror. From 10 p.m. to 10 a.m., the theater marathoned seven horror films ranging from classic slasher sequels to demonic hidden gems. The night was one gigantic ode to horror and Halloween. It was any horror fan’s dream come true – that is, for as long as they could stay awake. Personally, I only lasted seven hours, catching four of seven films. The following is an account of the night and my slow descent into sleep deprivation:

9:55 p.m.

We arrive at the theater, armed with pillows and hyped-up on energy drinks. The lobby and bathrooms are decked out with severed heads, fake blood and jack-o-lanterns galore. The lobby is already packed, so no time for grabbing popcorn or drinks. We scramble into the theatre and find the nearest available seats. The first film is “Halloween III: Season of the Witch.”

12:00 a.m.

The credits roll on “Halloween III” – the only “Halloween” film to not star Michael Meyers. The movie follows Dr. Daniel Challis as he uncovers the conspiracy that “Silver Shamrock Novelties” is making masks which melt the faces of those who wear them. The movie is as dumb as its premise, but it works in its favor as  the audiences laughs and cheers the entire time. Despite its sub-par plot, the movie has an incredible atmosphere that sets the tone for the night.

12:15 a.m.

A band called The Boodudes comes out dressed up as vampires and werewolves to play a short set of spooky singles. Their outfits are fantastic, their music not so much. We dip outside to grab some food from a taco truck parked by the theater. I walk back into the theater shoving a pulled-pork burrito in my mouth as the second film, “Devil Fetus,” begins. 

1:40 a.m. 

“Devil Fetus” is awesome. It’s the best movie ever made. It has an exorcism/laser fight, a woman getting scared to death by a cat, demon dogs, family drama, sword fights and more. Oh, and the whole movie is tinted purple (I think it’s something to do with the film reel they had). After the movie ends, the Belcourt staff runs into the theater for  a “name that horror theme song” contest with a bunch of movies I’ve never heard of. I get comfy as the third movie, “Amityville 2: The Posession,” starts.

3:30 a.m. 

I don’t like “Amityville 2.” It feels like an exorcist rip-off with really uncomfortable romance scenes. It’s an hour and 40 minutes long, but it feels like three hours. The lack of sleep is starting to set in by the film’s end, but the theatre employees immediately throw a “best horror scream” contest that wakes me right back up. We get ready for movie number four,  “The Sender.”

4:45 a.m.

“The Sender” is nowhere near as awesome as “Devil Fetus,” but it’s better than “Halloween III” and “Amity 2.” I guess I’m just not a fan of sequels. “The Sender” is about a guy who sends people visions when he feels pain, and it has a killer sequence where he sends four doctors hurtling through the air in slow-mo like it’s “The Matrix” or something.

5:00 a.m.

We can’t do it anymore. They’re playing some zombie work-out tape to get people’s blood pumping but yikes, we can’t do it. We really did try,  but it’s time to go home. We stumble out of the theater and back onto campus, and I collapse in bed, dreaming happily of ghosts and ghouls until 1 p.m. the next day.

All in all, this was a horror experience I will never forget. The Belcourt really has its finger on the pulse of the Halloween spirit, and I cannot wait to go back next year. Maybe then I’ll be able to last the whole 12 hours.