By Ariel Graham
The shrieks, screams, and scares kept coming at the Texas Frightmare Weekend held at the Hyatt Regency DFW International Airport Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6.
The three-day festival of fear is a yearly celebration of all things horror. Over 50 celebrity guests, including Ron Perlman, Billy Zane, Tobin Bell and the stars of the movie “It,” a remake of the 1990 Stephen King film of the same name, were on hand to meet with fans, while Alamo Drafthouse and Arrow Video hosted screenings of new, never-before-seen, horror movies all weekend long.
Despite the impressive amount of gore and gruesomeness on display, the event attracted quite a large number of children. Peyton Brooks, a 13-year-old from Dallas, Texas, was excited to get to meet some of her favorite young stars from “It,” even going so far as to dress up as the film’s antagonist, the evil clown, Pennywise.
“This year we heard that the ‘It’ kids were going to be here, so they decided to dress me up as Pennywise, so I can meet the ‘It’ kids in full costume,” Peyton said. “I really like Georgie, he’s one of the main characters, and he’s closest to Pennywise, and he’s adorable.”
Peyton added that Texas Frightmare is one of her favorite events to attend every year.
“This the biggest horror convention in Texas,” Peyton said. “You get to meet a lot of celebrities and makeup artists, dress up, have fun, and do whatever you want. It’s better than Halloween.”
The number of kids in attendance can be surprising to many people who tend to think of horror movie fans as a very dark and menacing group. But according to Louise Buckler, the community development manager for Arrow Video, that impression is far from the truth.
“I think it’s such a shame that people kind of looking from the outside in think it’s quite daunting, that everyone’s dressed in black and everyone’s got tattoos and piercings,” Buckler said. “But everyone I’ve ever met at horror conventions is lovely, and I’ve made so many friends at Frightmare and other horror conventions in the UK. I think it’s great.”
Buckler is also an avid fan of horror, having watched classic horror films like “Children of the Corn” since she was a child.
“I’ve grown up on horror since I was little,” Buckler said. “That’s what me and my sister used to do when we were little is watch horror films all day. For me personally, everyone I meet at horror conventions is super nice. Everyone’s willing to help each other and share recommendations for films, and it’s just a really nice environment to be in.”
Although many in attendance were fans of the classics like ‘Friday the 13th’ and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street,’ modern-day horror movies are also scaring up a massive following. Films such as ‘Get Out,’ ‘A Quiet Place,’ and the aforementioned ‘It’ remake have all made well over $250 million at box offices worldwide, proving that the public still has a ‘ravenous’ appetite for horror movies. Buckler said whether you are a long-time fan of classic horror flicks or just getting into the genre through remakes and newer films, now is a great time to be a horror movie fan.
“I think we’re really lucky at the moment,” Buckler said. “We’re going through a really good horror resurgence, and there’s some really fantastic films. You’ve got stuff like ‘A Quiet Place,’ which kind of hasn’t been done before. Blumhouse Production House is doing some really cool stuff. Even looking back, you’ve got the ‘Halloween’ reboot coming, which I am super excited about. We’re just so spoiled for really good content. It’s really nice to see people still going to the cinemas to see horror films. It’s great to look back and have that nostalgia, but it’s really good to see that there’s still fresh, new content coming out as well.”