The Season Before the PreSeason

Last year I launched the Halloween Moviefest preseason. Because the only thing better than watching 31 straight days of horror films is, well, a month of horror films to get things warmed up. Halloween movithoning takes research and practice. One should not go into it without a proper warm up.

So it seemed fitting to ease into the preseason with a movie that somehow escaped my year-in-horror preview. I intentionally skipped some of obvious choices like Get Out and Rings earlier in the year in order to screen them at home during the official season. Or the preseason. Or a random weekend when only a new horror flick will suffice. Who are we kidding? There is no bad time for a scary movie.

One of the things I have learning by sharing my obsession for horror films is that I am definitely not alone. So I pulled together some friends, family and co-workers for scary movie night - like at an actual movie theater with a big screen and sound and popcorn and obnoxious fellow movie goers. It Comes at Night scored 88% on Rotten Tomatoes in its opening weekend so that seemed like a good choice. I am not known for being terribly spontaneous so it took a little over a week to plan. And to my horror (the real kind, not the movie kind), the movie started disappearing from theaters after its second weekend. My first clue. I ended up chasing the movie across 5 counties and 75 miles to the closest venue. Our group took up an entire row as we procured our snacks and waited to be scared.

And waited.  And waited.

You know that moment when you reach the inflection point where mathematically there isn't enough time for the film to be redeemed? Yeah, that. Even a "Carrie" ending would have been too little, too late. As the movie faded to black and the closing credits started to roll, an entire row of movie patrons, in three-part harmony, said, "What?!?" My exit from the theater was not unlike Ralphie's walk home after receiving a C+. Except I didn't get into a fight. I went for food and drink instead. 

We never figured out what it was that comes at night. All of the options required way too much abstract thought for the quality of the film. I went back to the trailer afterwards and tried to see if I had missed something.  Movie trailers are made to make the film look like a hit - even when it isn't. Or to look like a scary film when the only thing scary is how bad it is. I guess there is some consolation in knowing that I did not leave a horror film off the preview.

I feel like we are owed a redemption. The preview for Annabelle Creation that played before the film was good enough to make me jump and August is really the last opportunity for a season before the preseason. I just hope I haven't already seen the best part of that movie.