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Orange Cinema Halloween Screening report

TheExorcist.jpgYou'll remember that for Halloween I ran a competition to give away two pairs of tickets to a special screening of Halloween that Orange Cinema were running in London. Located in the middle of a graveyard late at night, special effects around the screen, actors dressed as priests and ghosts, wireless headphones to immerse you in the film, and a big screen projection, it seemed like a dream for Halloween.

Well two people won, Scott and Matt, and they headed off to the screening to enjoy Orange's hospitality, and from the reports they've come back with there was some nice hospitality to go along with it.

Thanks to Orange for giving me the tickets to give away, thanks to you all for entering, and thanks to Scott and Matt for coming back with some excellent reports of the evening, two reports which I'll now share with you all.

Here's what Scott, who you can follow on Twitter, had to say about the event.

So Friday night, I dashed out of work, met my friend at the tube station and got off at Mile End. The graveyard was not far, maybe a five minute walk, and there were bouncers at the gates. I show my ticket, they check our names off, slap a wristband on us and hand us each a wind up torch (I thought this was really cool, I love gadgets).

The graveyard had been sparsely lit with green, blue and red lights, with fog machines helping to make it look extra creepy. There were also speakers everywhere playing Tubular Bells. The path to the screen was a long, winding one and along the way we passed a couple of 'priests' spouting words of warning to us all (one of them was really awesomely silhouetted against a red light/fog background, imagine the poster but with a red tint). One section of the graveyard in particular hadn't been lit, and in that area was a woman dressed in white moving very slowly, that gave me a little chill. I'm not sure this was supposed to be part of the experience but, passing the graveyard's car park, we saw a couple of cars with 'Dog Patrol' written on them that led me to think that at some point during the film they were gonna let the dogs out for a The Omen style scare. Didn't happen.

So we get to the screen, where they're giving out mulled wine, and we see that the seating area is covered, and we've all got director's style chairs. On each seat is a bag from Orange, full of popcorn, chocolate, a drink plus a SIM card. There's also a set of headphones and a receiver. The seats fill up, and eventually Kim Newman comes to the stage. He seemed a little nervous as he went through the safety announcements and introducing the evening but, having read a lot of his stuff, it was cool to have him there. They then showed us a trailer for a Reneé Zellweger horror movie, Case 39, plus a short scene from the film where what looks like two foster parents of a child that's most likely evil attempt to do the world a favour and kill the child by putting her in an oven (!). In all honesty it looked a little trashy, Newman mentioned that Empire gave it two stars, I don't think it's anything to get excited about.

The screening was then properly underway, and I found that seeing the movie on the big screen made me rediscover just how incredible the film is, add to that that they showed what I think is called 'The Version You've Never Seen' on DVD, since I'd certainly not seen this version before. At key points throughout the film they would have the fog machines running, like when they go in Regan's room and it's freezing. It was a nice touch.

Of course, the scene that sticks in my head is the spider-walk - if that was my kid coming down the stairs with blood pouring out of her mouth, atheist or not, I'd've been straight down the church asking for an exorcism, not asking doctors and psychiatrists for a check up!

All in all a bloody good night out and, as they mentioned this being the first event of this kind that Orange has put on, I hope that there are more of them to come.

And again, thanks so much to you for giving me the opportunity to have this experience!

No problem Scott, thanks for spending the time and writing it up.

Matt was winner number two, and he wrote a piece about it over on his own site, and Cream. It's a well written piece and well worth reading, Here are a few extracts to give you a taste of his evening, an evening which he describes as “a pretty perfect evening”.

”My view has always been that, unless a Director is making a film with the intention of it being broadcast on TV or being released straight to DVD, then “the way it is meant to be seen” will always be: “at the cinema”.

However, for possibly the first time in my life I can now say that I actually have seen a movie the way it was meant to be seen. It’s a film that I have previously watched at the cinema and found to be long, slow and dull before now.

For the last few years, I’ve found Hallowe’en to be something of a let down , and I had a sinking feeling when I was looking through the TV listings and saw that one of the films being shown on Hallowe’en was the bloodcurdling, pant-wettingly scary...Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones!...

...this Hallowe’en was a bit different to the last couple, thanks to Richard at Filmstalker Magazine who hooked me up with a couple of tickets to a Film event hosted by Orange. It was billed as “A Night of Fright” and involved heading over to Tower Hamlets Cemetery, creeping along a mazy pathway through the gravestones – which were being tended by various actors dressed as haunted women or priests - and finding our way to a large outdoor Screen which stood proudly at the front of rows of chairs (all adorned with suitably large goody bags and fleecy blankets).

130 of us sat gathered around drinking mulled wine, munching popcorn, wrapped in blankets, and watched William Friedkin’s The Exorcist on a cold, moonlit night in the middle of one of London’s oldest Graveyards.

Just beautiful...

...watching it as we were, on a beautifully cold autumnal night, in this most eerie of settings, made the film come alive for me...

...we were all given state-of-the-art wireless headphones so that we could all listen to the film without the distraction of the sounds of London floating across us. We were even able to flick between the film’s normal soundtrack and the Director’s Commentary (I listened for a while and I’ve never known a Director give so much depth as Friedkin in a commentary).”

Here's one of the official images from the screening, just to give you a taste of what you all missed!

Orange Halloween Screening

Thanks again to Orange for the tickets.



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