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Embracing spooky season with horror films and cost-effective tickets at SRQ theaters

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As Halloween creeps up, watching a horror film with friends for spine-tingling thrills may be an activity most students desire to partake in. Sarasota has several movie theaters close to New College, but students on budgets can look forward to purchasing a movie ticket for just $2.50 at Parkway 8 Cinema, a cash-only discount theater that screens second-run movies. While the past few years have brought on a new golden age of horror, many films have been straying away from premiering near Halloween.

 Movie theaters’ success has been in question due to the emergence of streaming. But it seems as though horror films are what keep movie theaters relevant. Most people are still willing to pay money to watch a film that may give them nightmares. The reason why, for the most part, is the explosion of young talented incoming producers and filmmakers who are passionate about telling horror stories. Movies such as Get Out and It are films that have certainly inspired more Hollywood studios to invest money into the development and creation of more horror movies.

Over the course of the 20th century, “dump months” have begun to emerge in the film industry. Although this term is not used by big Hollywood studios, it has been widely embraced by film critics. Dump months are the times of the year when commercial and critical expectations for American filmmakers are low, usually January-February and August-September. This is because the spending before dump months is usually high and other forms of competition, such as sports, negatively affect movie attendance.  

Horror films released during dump months are slowly starting to gain popularity. Hit horror films such as Mama (2013) and Cloverfield (2008) were released during dump months. These commercial successes, along with other ones, are now making them a more prominent addition to dump months. However, other films released during these times can also have lower ratings, cannot be marketed easily, are intended for teenage audiences and films that would have been released at other times of the year if better test screenings were done. Even though some may want horror films to be released in October, winter’s somber feel may make audiences more acceptable to this new shift.

The local movie theater Parkway 8 Cinema is currently showing Rambo: Last Blood, Lion King, Hustlers, Good Boys and several others. They only accept cash, with the exception of movie tickets which can be purchased by card. The tickets are $2.50 but shift to $3.00 after 6:00 p.m. Their fountain drinks and popcorn are relatively inexpensive: small drink is $4.75, medium is $5.25, large is $5.75, small popcorn is $5.75, medium is $6.25 and large is $6.75. The staff there are friendly and easy to make conversation with, so after a movie or before people could probably ask questions about Sarasota. Students can also see movies at Hollywood 11, AMC Bradenton 20 and Burns Court, which sell tickets from $8-$10.  

When asked for the top horror movies to name in a forum post, most people agreed on Midsommar (2019) and Hereditary (2018). 

 “I love Hereditary and the Babadook and a lot of the others on this list, but Jane Doe unsettles me on a really deep level I can’t quite describe,” Alyssa Motilinski (‘13) said.

“I agree with everyone above on Midsommar and Hereditary,” Thesis student Ariel Parets shared.

“Also agreed on Midsommar and Hereditary, just be prepared for some fucked up stuff– the first ten minutes of Midsommar hit me right in the phobias,” Thesis student Catio Moore said.

Ari Aster wrote and directed Midsommar and Hereditary. He is also a part of the young producers in this time of the golden horror age. 

In the forum thread, plenty of other movies were mentioned: Silence of The Lambs, Audition, Rosemary’s Baby, Jennifer’s Body, The Ritual and Cabin In The Woods were popular recommendations.Someone even struck the thought of starting a horror club, so students who have horror film addictions or interested in the film industry could consider joining. It could also create a space where students can talk about the movies after relieving some of the jitters before going to bed.

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