New this year, the October Horror Film Festival will be held every Thursday of October at the Zinema 2 on East Superior Street in Duluth. The team at Zinema 2 wanted to put together a different kind of Halloween special this year. In the past only one movie was shown to celebrate the holiday.
“We haven’t done anything like this in the past few years,” Tyler Johnson, the Zinema 2 manager, said.
The films being shown, in order of appearance, are “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “The Thing,” “The Exorcist,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” according to Andy Bennett, creative director at Zeitgeist Arts.
Each $10 ticket includes a seat at the selected horror movie playing that week as well as a beer or pop/popcorn of your choice.
All the proceeds from the night go to the non-profit corporation Zeitgeist Arts, which gives grants out to local artists in the Duluth community.
Before the movie starts the host Jody Kujawa, an actor and improv comedian, will ask trivia questions relating to the movie playing that week. Giving away free movie tickets pumps up the energy and gets everyone excited for the movie to start.
“There isn’t a set number of tickets to give out, it just depends on the crowd - it’s their responses, really,” Bennett saud.
Dressing up in costume is encouraged. Kujawa will pick his favorite costume of the night to reward that person with free tickets to another movie at the Zinema 2.
On Oct. 2, Duluthians Duane and Kay Rieck won best costume. Dressed up as doctors in white lab coats, the Rieck’s were the only two who put on costumes that night.
“There will be a lot more people dressing up as we get closer to Halloween,” Bennett said.
About 60 people showed up the first night of the October Horror Film Festival. “The house was about three-fourths full,” Bennett said.
Most people at the October Horror Film Festival that night were college-age and older. The Riecks heard about the event while watching TV the previous day and decided to attend.
On the movie playing that night, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Kay Rieck said, “I’d just saw parts of it before. It’s a classic. It’s not really scary in any way.”
The Riecks enjoyed getting out and doing something different.
“I think we’ll definitely come back again,” Duane Rieck said.
“The Zinema opened five years ago and it has always done interesting events,” Bennett said. “Holiday-themed events have been routine.”
After the movie Kristy Johnson, a 43-year-old woman with pink hair, said, “A friend of mine, who already left now, invited a bunch of us and was like, ‘everybody, let’s go,’ so I came with some friends.”
On going back to the October Horror Film Festival, Kristy Johnson said, “Oh, absolutely. I actually won free passes because I answered one of the trivia questions and got it right.”
The movies being played during the October Horror Film Festival were hand-picked by Andy Bennett and Tyler Johnson. Two of Bennett’s favorite horror movies are being played at the festival this month: “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and The “Exorcist.”