Last Saturday Cinespia.org presented John Carpenter’s The Thing at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. If ever there was a good idea, this was it. The relationship between an awesome cult classic horror film, a creepy cemetery, and a few thousand revelers was something to behold. One could say the relationship was nearly symbiotic, akin to the connection of the creature in the movie with its hosts, if one wanted to go that route.
From the iconic opening scene featuring Ennio Morricone’s score the crowd was into it. I was half expecting obnoxious drunks to take over and try to make “funnies” throughout, but was pleasantly surprised this situation didn’t occur. When some jack ass shot MacReady (Kurt Russell) with a laser pointer a thousand condescending boos rained down immediately. Yes, this crowd was there to pay their respects to the masterpiece projected on the wall.
The film itself, as viewed by my blanket from 125 yards away, was just as grand as ever. When Clark delivered his iconic line, “I dunno what the hell is in there, but it’s weird and pissed off” the crowd was sent into a frenzy of laughter. The kind of feeling that only comes from watching a movie in large groups. Except here, instead a few hundred people packed into a movie theater, it was a few thousand people which amplified the feeling immensely. I got chills on several occasions.
By the time the blood testing scene came around the crowd was fully engrossed. Every startling moment elicited jumps and shrieks from the horde. This was exhilarating for me since I have seen the flick so many times that the scares no longer affect me. It was great to see others enjoying the scares for the first time.
When MacReady finally uttered, “Why don’t we just wait here for a little while…see what happens” applause and cheers echoed throughout the cemetery. Makes me wonder what the dead think about this proposition. Not exactly rest in peace.
Without a doubt this was my favorite horror movie going experience since watching Evil Dead for the first time in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. I can’t wait for the next horror installment and a big kudos to Cinespia.org for organizing such a great event.
Snore Factor: Z (one of the best)