February 6, 2015 The NY Horror Show spooks Long Island 1-16-15 to 1-18-15
Horror film conventions have been popping up all over North America in recent years. With the rise in popularity of the genre due to a renaissances of Horror themed television series, the mainstream possess a hunger more than ever. While the bulk of these conventions in the New York Tri-State area are held in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, there has been an absence of such an event on Long Island. Garnishing an estimated population of 7.75 million, it is rather shocking to think the area has not warranted a good dose of Horror fun until now. Created by the inventive people of The Macabre Faire Film Festival and TwitchTwitch Productions, in association with the team behind Eternal Con, in 2015 Long Island celebrates with The NY Horror Show. Taking place the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend of January 16th through 18th at Upsky Long Island Hotel in Haupppauge, the event promised to be a different experience that others of its kind. While having the typical array of vendors and celebrity guests, this event also combines a film festival that featured over one hundred titles from all over the globe. Generously spread out over the weekend, attendees had the option to discover some up and coming Independent films, some premiering for the first time.
Kicking off the weekend, Friday night was the Gala Red Carpet Macabre Faire Film Festival Evening for the 2014 Awards. Presented in a classy matter, film makers, actors, and celebrity guests were dressed to the nines as they walked down the hall to the main ballroom for a night of dinner and award presentations. Elated to be in attendance, each guest was stopped along the way for video interviews by a strong showing of press including The Anthony Cumia Show and The Examiner, among others. Speaking with a variety of aspiring artists, one could see these are more than guerrilla filmmakers, they are serious about their craft and have a clear vision of what they are trying to attain. It cannot be downplayed that in the modern filmmaking industry it has become more difficult than ever to get noticed, and that is why organizations such as the Macabre Faire Film Festival is so vital to Horror scene. Impressive and well-planned, the red carpet premiere was a wonderful, different way to begin, thus assuring an eventful weekend ahead.
Starting bright and early at 10 AM on Saturday, Upsky Long Island Hotel was broken into sections that consisted of a celebrity room, film viewing rooms, and a massive vendor room. Speaking of celebrities, this is the main reason many come to these events in the first place, and The NY Horror Show did not disappoint bringing on an interesting mix of such. With a list that included Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist 1973), Robert Mukes (House of 1,000 Corpses 2003), Stacey Nelkin (Halloween III: Season of the Witch 1982), Warrington Gillette (Friday the 13th Part II 1981), Elizabeth Shepherd (Tomb of Ligeia 1964), Lesleh Donaldson (Happy Birthday to Me 1981), Rutanya Alda (Amityville Horror II: The Possession 1982), Sharon Lentz (Dark Shadows series), and make-up artist Sue Lee, among others, this was some real Horror lovers could sink their fangs into. Too often other conventions acquire the same guests time after time, where The NY Horror Show brought on some guests whom seldom make appearances. In fact, some fans drove out from Pennsylvania and New Jersey just for a chance to meet the likes of Nelkin, as they confessed their love of Halloween III to her. Humble, pleasant, and personable, this guest list was a home-run and it will be interesting to see whom they bring on for future events.
After meeting their favorite Horror film actors/actresses, attendees had a chance to wander over to the aforementioned vendors room. Also a key draw for attendees, a let down in quality and quantity of vendors can make or break a Horror weekend. Laid out in a organized fashion like established conventions such as Monster Mania, this vendor room did not let down one bit. Featuring a mix of vendors selling films, collectibles, t-shirts, hand-crafted accessories, art, jewelry, and so much more, there was plenty to keep the eyes of shoppers busy. Bringing to the forefront the vast offering of Long Island based entrepreneurs, it was a stimulating and inspiring exhibition in window shopping many did numerous times all weekend.
Not stopping at films, guests, and vendors, The NY Horror Show even offered workshops, panels, costume contests, and even live music during the evening hours. All in all, it was a thought-out, organized, and diverse weekend that exceeded the exceptions of many. Where others have tried and failed at organizing such a celebration of Horror on Long Island, The NY Horror Show excels. It is not easy to pull off such a massive under-taking such as a three day weekend of activities to keep people interested to want to come out, and judging by the turn out, this was a successful first time event for all. Perhaps the most visionary aspect of it all was the wrap around of the Macabre Faire Film Festival. This alone left a sense of discover, aspirations, and a glimpse into the future of Horror cinema. Give The NY Horror Show another year or so, it will challenge to be right at the top of the pack of conventions, and that is exactly what Long Island needs.