Prepare to be scared as horror festival returns

Islanders who don’t mind being afraid of what might be lurking in the dark of the Shetland winter will have the opportunity to enjoy a season of gothic and horror films.

Following last year’s successful Perpetual Darkness Festival, a broad range of films ranging from black-and-white classics to science fiction horror and foreign ghost stories will be screened between now and January.

The festival kicks off this weekend with a special family matinee screening of Ghostbusters at the Shetland Museum on Sunday. It will be followed by Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 adaptation Bram Stoker’s Dracula next Friday.

Although not part of the festival, a new restoration of F.W. Murnau’s legendary silent cinema horror classic Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, an early adaptation of the Dracula story, is to be screened twice at Mareel on Halloween.

Perpetual DarknessThe other films making up this year’s Perpetual Darkness season of horror are Hitchcock’s Psycho, a pre-Christmas screening of John Carpenter’s The Thing and Japanese director Hideo Nakata’s original Ringu, which was later adapted as The Ring in the US.

Alex Wright of the Perpetual Darkness Society said: “We’re pleased to be able to offer a wide spectrum of films this year that range from childhood favourite, to gothic nightmare, to alien body-horror.

“We were really wanting to expand this year with a children’s matinee showing that’s family-friendly – Ghostbusters – and a foreign language story, the Japanese VHS ghost story Ringu, as well as more traditional offerings and a follow-on from the successful Ghost Stories for Christmas, which will feature more live story readings.

“We’d say we don’t want to give anyone nightmares, but that would be a lie. We absolutely do. The long nights are coming. It’s time to lock the doors, turn out the lights, and let ourselves feel a little scared.”

• All films will be screened in the Shetland Museum.


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