“Canada’s #1 Destination for Horror”
Wikipedia defines Horror as “a genre of fiction which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten, scare, disgust, or startle its readers or viewers by inducing feelings of horror and terror.”
The adrenaline. Your heart pounding. Screams. Bangs. Unexpected sounds suggesting there’s something in the shadows. What is it that makes horror movies appealing? Is it that we like to be frightened? Or are we just intrigued by the unknown?
On November 11th and 12th 2017, Frightmare in the Falls celebrated the premiere of what will be an annual weekend haunted attraction in Niagara Falls, Canada. The two day intimate and interactive festival attracted visitors from near and far to unite in a place where they can dress up, express their creativity, and celebrate all things to do with horror.
“What’s intriguing about horror movies is that the average or ‘weird’ person can become the hero. It’s relatable, and we like those situations which embrace the power of the outcast,” says Meggan, Writer and Illustrator of Coffee Powered Comics.
The exhibit featured vendors, seminars, interactive activities, panels, film screenings and even the opportunity to meet and greet with celebrity guests including a grown up Alex Vincent form Child’s Play and Malcom Danare who starred in Christine.
Famous horror film vehicles such as the 1958 Plymouth Fury in Christine and the Munster Coach were on site and available for some sugary social media photo-ops!
So Many Creative Brains Under one Roof
Inside the exhibition hall, vendors from across Southern Ontario set up booths displaying their most unique and original pieces of art work.
Walking around the crowd at Frightmare, I, as a person who clearly knows very little about the horror genre, was fascinated by the passion and interest expressed in creepy, odd, and scary paraphernalia.
From jewellery, to sculptures, to clothes, to artwork, to realistic-looking masks, artisans channeled their talents into creations for horror fans and collectors.
Correne Amer of Morbida explained that she makes one of her necklace collections from pieces sourced from antique clocks, some which are over a century old.
Displayed at the Precious Mutations booth was a phenomenal handmade foosball table, with each of the football players carved and painted to represent an iconic horror character. The artist, Keith Busher and his buddies work to make sculptures and games with a gory spin such as “Hungry Hungry Aliens”, inspired by the original Alien movie.
Scareware Productions , a company “where art meets horror” showcased a selection of their life-like masks. The process of recreating these gruesome faces involves sculpting plaster moulds, casting the hard plastic or latex material, and then hand-painting the mask, sometimes down to the intricate detail of an eyeball.
Interactive Workshops & Spooky Seminars
Both days of Frightmare in the Falls were jam-packed with options to attend workshops, seminars and film screenings.
I sat in on the Makeup Tips & Tricks workshop led by Ryan Louagie of The Butcher Shop FX Studio. In under an hour, Ryan used his model to demonstrate spectacular zombie makeup, giving informative tips from safety, to hygiene, to how to gain inspiration for authentic horror looks.
“Think of the areas which deteriorate naturally on a corpse first. The first places to rot are areas with cartilage, so you want to express this when creating makeup for the living dead,” says Ryan.
Another girl in the audience commented saying she’d worked in a funeral home, where she’d acquired her talents in zombie makeup by experiencing the deceased up close. She laughed and said she finds real people more scary!
Saturday’s panel finale involved a highly anticipated Horror Cosplay Contest, where people who’d spent countless hours on their costumes and makeup participated in an improv scenario, giving them the opportunity to bring their characters to life.
Apocalypse World Tour
Set up at Frightmare was a mini demo course to give you a taste of the famous Apocalypse World Tour, which takes place at Haunt Manor over the weekend of December 8th and 9th.
Throughout an interactive video game-style haunted set, participants gear up with cutting-edge replica military training weapons and shoot laser beams at live actors dressed as zombies. Recreating an experience of a blockbuster movie about the living dead, participants can feel the rush of starring in a apocalypse movie.
So what makes the Horror Genre so Fascinating?
Simply put, I believe it is the rush that comes from a narrative which is suspenseful. The makeup, sets, and special effects enhance the production, but traditionally, the horror genre comes from books which rely on the plot and characters to drive the pulse of the story. Expression of the genre through artwork, film and costume allows the creation of what we picture in our minds.
The Above Photo is art by Steve McGinnis, Horror Illustrator
Get Ready for Frightmare 2018
Already planned for next year, the frightening festival is scheduled to take place over the weekend before Halloween on Saturday October 27th and Sunday October 28th 2018. You’re sure to find something original and worthy of winning any Halloween costume contest from a visit to Frightmare in the Falls.
Love from Lala.
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