Oh the horror! – The Front | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

The Associated Students Productions’ fall films series will feature four horror films to keep viewers on the edge of their seat – or couch – at the newly renovated Underground Coffeehouse, featuring a collaboration with Western’s Scream Queens. 

On Friday the 13th, the first film of the series was, appropriately, the Friday the 13th film “Jason X.” 

Before the screening of the film, conversations were shared among students who didn’t know each other as they settled into oversized couches. Compliments of Halloween attire, admiration for Bellingham’s fall weather and the absurdity of the Friday the 13th franchise were amongst conversation topics.

First-year Western student Zoe Kelton was among the 20 or so students in attendance for the showing and they appreciated the smaller-scale of the event compared to other events, such as First Night Out. They said it was easier to talk to people, especially as an introvert.  

The other films that will be shown include “Talk to Me,” “The Lost Boys” and “Black Christmas,” a personal favorite of ASP Film Coordinator Rachel Silzler, who described it as “the slasher of Christmas.”

Silzler said they hope to expose more people on campus to classic and new horror movies.

Another hope of the event, specifically with the screening of “The Lost Boys,” is to expose more people to the inherent queerness of the horror genre, as described by Colter Lemons, co-founder of Western’s Scream Queens.

“The Lost Boys,” an ‘80s vampire flick, was chosen by Silzler in collaboration with Scream Queens, a club on campus that watches horror films and discusses the queerness within them, meeting every Thursday in Bond Hall 101 at 6 p.m. 

In a meeting description, the club stated that they have “always believed in the inherent value and queerness of horror in that it has the ability to tackle the issues other genres cannot and represent the Other like, well, none other.”

“The Lost Boys” was produced in 1987, coinciding with the AIDS epidemic. According to Lemons, the vampirism in the film can be viewed as a metaphor to AIDS.

“In the ‘80s, there were many young, runaway gay men that were ousted out of their homes because they weren’t accepted for their sexuality. Many of them were extremely vulnerable to predators of all kinds. And what is a vampire other than a predator?” Lemons said. 

“The Lost Boys” also explores the theme of found family, a theme that many in the club can connect to, Lemons said.

The film will be shown at the Underground Coffeehouse on Nov. 17.

Western Professor Midori Takagi of Fairhaven College teaches a course on horror films with an emphasis on learning about the “common components of horror films that have been used to censor or scapegoat different and ‘otherness’ in American society and culture,” according to the course description.

Oftentimes monsters commit horrific violence and care little whether their victim is male or female, how they identify sexually, how they present themselves or what the societal norms are, Takagi said.

“That’s where the queer coding comes out, with monsters saying societal norms are rubbish,” Takagi said.

Catch the next fall film, “Talk to Me,” at the Underground Coffeehouse on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. 

Kenna Peterson

Kenna Peterson (she/her) is a campus news reporter for The Front this quarter. She is a third-year journalism pre-major. When she isn’t on campus or at work, she can be found hanging out with her cat, Rigatoni, watching horror movies with her roommates or drinking a London fog.

You can contact her at [email protected].

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