By Helena Hunt, Staff Writer
Halloween is a two-edged holiday. Candy, tricks and treats make Halloween a quintessential children’s favorite. But ghouls and vampires, no matter how much kids like them, can sometimes give the day an adult-only R-rating.
This Friday’s Waco Horror Film Festival will capitalize on the contradictions of Halloween with a free showing of three horror movies that all feature badly behaved children. “Children of the Corn,” “The Children” and “The Omen” will bring to light some of the central preoccupations of our culture.
“These three particular films did a particularly good job at catching something that’s in horror movies but that people don’t talk about as much,” said Blake Ewing, one of the festival’s organizers. “On a basic level, there’s this idea of something you’ve given life to that’s going to surpass you.”
The Horror Film Festival, which is held at McLennan Community College, shows older, more obscure horror films to Waco audiences. The festival organizers will host a discussion on the cultural significance of each film to show that they are more than just slasher flicks.
“I think it’s great to have something like this locally. I think it’s great for the community to come together to look at the movies as more than just movies,” said Kenneth Walker, an English professor at MCC and another of the festival planners.
Ewing said before the Hippodrome came to Waco, the festival was one of the only ways that locals could see classic films without going to Dallas or Austin. This will be the sixth year the Horror Film Festival runs before Halloween.
The festival began as a joint idea between Dr. Jim Kendrick, a film and digital media professor at Baylor, and Walker. Each year it attracts about fifty visitors, who come to discuss and view horror films with scholars and fellow audience members.
The festival will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday in MCC’s Lecture Hall. “Children of the Corn” will open the series. The iconic 1984 horror depicts a cult of children bent on murdering adults. “The Children,” showing at 5 p.m., and “The Omen” at 7 p.m. both also show children turning against adults.
Children, despite their love for Halloween, are not invited to attend. Visitors 17 and over, however, are welcome to come to MCC to enjoy conversation, concessions and a bit of horror on their holiday.