Champaign Art Theatre features Psycho, Frankenstein

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s almost a necessity to watch a horror movie to get into the spirit of the holiday.

Champaign Art Theater is providing a means to set the Halloween mood by featuring two classic Hollywood horror films. As part of Champaign-Urbana Film Society Discussion Series, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic, “Psycho,” and Boris Karloff’s 1931 adaptation of “Frankenstein” will be playing.

“I’d definitely see “Psycho” because of the film class I’m (currently) taking, and because I just love scary movies in general,” said Enrico Mirabelli, sophomore in Media.

Both “Psycho” and “Frankenstein,” though created several decades ago, have remained Hollywood classics and still have cult followings.

The movies continue to be some of Hollywood’s classic horrors because of the cinematography, the sound and the structures of the films themselves.

“(In ‘Psycho’), everything in the film works toward creating suspense, so our expectations get delayed because of the way each shot is shot,” said Naida Garcia-Crespo, graduate student in English. “We don’t really see all the information that we would need to see to actually know what’s about to happen.”

This delay in expectations and build-up of suspense is what creates that anxious feeling while watching horror movies and what makes your heart beat just a little faster, said Garcia-Crespo.

“Frankenstein,” on the other hand, holds its place as a classic because of Frankenstein’s unforgettable appearance.

“‘Frankenstein’ isn’t a faithful adaptation to the novel, but it’s still a cult classic for people who like horror because of the subject. He’s memorable,” Garcia-Crespo said.

Champaign-Urbana’s Film Society Discussion Series facilitates short discussions following the films. Created in September 2010, the organization hopes to provide an avenue for film enthusiasts and aspiring filmmakers to continue their passion for film.

The Art Theater already hosts a Directors Series where it features classic Hollywood films by classic directors, but the discussion sessions are a new program. In addition to group dialogue, the Champaign-Urbana Film Society provides information, ranging from important facts to fun tidbits regarding the film.

Such discussions provide audiences with more context in which the movie is made, which brings the viewing experience to a different level of understanding.

“With classic films, it makes a difference if you know the historical context,” said Luke Boyce, co-founder of the Champaign-Urbana Film Society. “Sometimes, the lack of appreciation for these kind of older movies comes from a lack of understanding of where these movies come from and what context they’re set in.”

“Psycho” was featured this past weekend. However, there will be two showings of “Frankenstein” on Halloween weekend, at 12 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, both followed by a discussion.