Tyneside Cinema Halloween all-nighter

Film editor Steven Ross takes us inside the Tyneside for a night of spooky silver-screen thrills.

Steven Ross
27th October 2019
Carrie stands on stage before the film begins Image: Steven Ross

Four screens, four horror films being screened on each, the bar open all night, the stage was set for Tyneside Cinema’s Halloween all-nighter.

Image: Steven Ross

Every year Tyneside Cinema screens a series of horror flicks the Saturday before Halloween to chill your blood and ruin your sleep schedule. I have been to the event the last two years, although this year it was more expensive than the first time, at £13 for four films it is still a tempting deal. Each cinema screen has a theme connecting the four films that will be shown. This year's themes were, Blaxploitation (over-the-top horror with black leads), Brexitapocalypse (British post-apocalyptic films), Horror is King (Stephen King Adaptations) and Video Nasty (previously banned gore-fests).

Being a massive Stephen King fan and wanting to forget about Brexit rather than revel in the horrors that it will bring, the screenings that I chose to watch were ‘Horror is King’.

10.30pm: The first film was Misery (1990) and despite having seen it before I had forgotten the subtle humour that is interwoven into this brilliant thriller, see Paul Sheldon’s (James Caan) constant sarcastic rebuttals to his vicious tormentor. Stephen King was inspired to write the book by his greatest fear, that he would be killed by one of his deranged fans, and Kathy Bates’ Oscar-winning performance as Pauls’ ‘number one fan’ Annie Wilkes, brought King’s fear to life.

"Sissy Spacek plays the bullied high school student with a penchant for telekinesis and mass murder"

12.35am: Carrie (1976) was the second film of the night and Stephen King’s first novel. Sissy Spacek plays the bullied high school student with a penchant for telekinesis and mass murder. Her sadistic mother is a similar character to Misery’s Annie Wilkes and makes Carrie’s crimes understandable, if not forgivable. This film is a slow burn and the highlight comes in the drawn-out seconds before the iconic pig’s blood scene. The tension packed into the moments leading up to this is an incredible feat of film-making.

Carrie Screening Image: Steven Ross

2.35am: Time for something a little different, and Creepshow (1982) helps to break up the night. This film is an anthology of five spooky stories, 2 of which were based on King novels, although he adapted all five into the screenplay himself. King appears in one of the segments and his son is seen in the prologue and epilogue, bookending the tales. This is one of King’s lesser know associations, but is definitely worth a watch, if only because it is more light-hearted than most of his other work.

4.50am: Okay, so I wasn’t technically present for the last film of the night, Salem’s Lot (1979). It was one King adaptation I really wanted to see because I love the book, but it started at 5 in the morning and it’s 3 hours long. Alas, I did not witness the vampiric terror of Salem in all its glory on the big screen. Maybe next year…


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