The horror film genre is one that attracts a fairly fervent fan base, from all observations. And I have to qualify it on an observation-only basis, because I have never seen a horror movie. Unless The Shining counts, and I'm not sure it does. But clearly--unlike me--the vast majority of the population has no problem separating the insane violence in these films from reality. In fact, loads of people revel in the dark, gruesome and occasionally ridiculous themes of these films. That's easy to understand on a lot of levels. Horror flicks are relatable metaphors for harsh economic realities and complex family issues, and people identify on some level with what's going on on-screen. It's an interesting cultural phenomenon when merciless, evil serial killers take on a certain anti-establishment charm that's somehow not hard to reconcile with their bloodlust. And Texas Frightmare Weekend is the perfect place to see this play out on a large scale. The three-day festival is teeming with fans hoping for a glimpse of their favorite villain or depraved screenwriter. This year's event features appearances by Halloween creator John Carpenter, director George A. Romero and many other big names. Film screenings are, of course, de rigueur. And for wannabe filmmakers, a series of workshops entitled "Frightmare 101" will cover all the basics. The event runs from Friday through Sunday at the Sheraton Grand Hotel DFW, 4440 West John Carpenter Freeway. Weekend and daily passes are available at texasfrightmareweekend.com.
Fri., April 30; Sat., May 1; Sun., May 2, 2010