Lone Peak Cinema’s Horrorfest offers much more than slasher flicks

By Sarah Gianelli EBS Associate Editor

BIG SKY – If Sally Fisher and Anna Husted want the community to know one thing, it’s that Lone Peak Cinema’s Horrorfest is not just gory, peek-between-your-fingers thrillers. Of course those films are also represented in the two days of back-to-back scary movie screenings on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29, but the line-up includes much more.

Stretching the limits of the genre, Horrorfest will also feature comedy-horror, now seemingly tame black and white classics, new releases, foreign films that are more strange than spine-chilling, local low budget projects, and three kid-friendly films.

“We’re really trying to push the family-friendly offerings this year,” said Fisher, who owns Lone Peak Cinema with her husband, Scott Fisher. “There’s really something for everybody out there.”

The films appropriate for youngsters will be matinee screenings beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Classics such as “The Birds” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show” are also on the roster, as well as an appearance by Missoula filmmaker Christian Ackerman. Ackerman, who was featured at the first annual Horrorfest last year, presents his film “Terror Vortex” and provides a sneak preview of “Karpenter,” a recently completed project filmed in Hamilton, Montana.

Lone Peak Cinema’s Horrorfest features a diverse array of films including family-friendly flicks, comedy, foreign films, classics, new releases and cult classics in addition to more conventional thrillers. PHOTO COURTESY OF LONE PEAK CINEMA

Each night a silent movie feature will be accompanied by live music. Artists of Antiquity, comprised of local musicians Ed Brummit, Ben Blodgett and Jamie Mathis, return with a performance of an original, live score to the final Sunday night showing of a creepy montage by puppetry animators the Quay brothers.

Inspired by Artists of Antiquity’s performance last year, DJ Tiny will spin a live score to sections of “Night of the Living Dead” at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Event co-organizer Anna Husted, who has a master’s degree from New York University’s esteemed film department, is bubbling over with enthusiasm for the genre, and for Horrorfest.

“Don’t let the title ‘Horrorfest’ scare you away,” Husted said. “I would encourage people to try something new. If they’re afraid of horror, just pick one movie you haven’t seen and come see it.”

Husted said she fell in love with the genre when she saw John Carpenter’s science fiction thriller, “The Thing.”

“[The Thing] is all about the AIDS epidemic, but I love that you read it through the political climate of 1982, before it was even at its peak. Horror is really just a genre about vulnerability, political climate and sexual politics.”

“It Follows,” a 2014 supernatural, psychological thriller, and “Get Out,” a new film in which an interracial couple uncover a conspiracy in which older white people are stealing the lives of black young adults, are two Horrorfest films that are particularly relevant to the times.

There will be many specials going on at the theater throughout the weekend—Lone Peak Brewery is sponsoring Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. showing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and will have a featured beer on tap, and look at the schedule to guess which flick will be supplemented with free ice cream.

And, if you buy a weekend pass, you’ll receive an invite to a secret double-feature screening at 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27 at an undisclosed outdoor location.

This year, Town Center is augmenting the Halloween festivities with a Horrorfest kickoff block party on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. hosted by The Big Sky Real Estate Co. On Saturday there will be a “mini-monster mash” in Fire Pit Park from 4 to 6 p.m. with trick-or-treating and live children’s music by The Whizpops!.

“We’ve named it Horrorfest because it’s not just films,” Fisher said. “We wanted this to grow as an event, as a grassroots effort that brings the town together to celebrate Halloween weekend.”

See the fall festivities roundup on page 49 for a full schedule of Halloween weekend events. Visit lonepeakcinema.com for an up to date listing of screenings and showtimes.