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Posted on October 15, 2023

It Came from Television: Spirit of Children Halloween Fundraising Event

Dawn Keetley

On October 20, 2023, Adam Beam – a student at Shippensburg University – will be hosting a 12-hour horror movie marathon, interspersed with interviews with icons of horror, indie film makers, and horror fans and critics. The goal: to raise money for Spirit of Children.

Haven’t heard of Spirit of Children? This is who they are: “Since 2007 Spirit of Children has raised over $110 million to provide funding for art, music, aquatic and pet therapy programs as well as supporting Child Life salaries. Funding has also helped partner hospitals purchase sensory and educational items, toys used for distraction during medical procedures, and much more. 100% of every dollar donated supports the Child Life department in our 154 partner hospitals across the United States and Canada and supports Child Life departments at hospitals in local communities.”

So, who is Adam Beam? I interviewed him to get some information about himself and this important Halloween charity event.

A Bit About Myself:

I am a senior at Shippensburg University with a major in Communications, Journalism, and Media with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism. I am also studying for a minor in History. I’m heavily involved in student media here on campus and have been active in these organizations since my freshman year of college. I am currently the General Manager of Shippensburg University Television (SUTV), the Opinion Editor for The Slate and the Human Resources Director for WSYC 88.7FM. I also serve other leadership roles on campus such as president of the Residence Hall Association. After college I would like to be an on-air reporter and multimedia journalist for a broadcast news outlet somewhere here on the east coast.

The Event:

The event is called “It Came From the Television.” Thanks to the permission of Spirit of Children, we will be raising funds for the charity throughout a 12-hour livestream on Friday, October 20th from 8pm to 8am. The event will stream on Twitch and YouTube.

Here is the GoFundMe page, where you can donate. 

Donations collected through the GoFundMe page will officially be live on Monday, October 16th and will be open throughout the remainder of October until midnight on the 30th. We have set our goal for $10,000. However, we’re not only raising money for this great cause, but we also want to celebrate Halloween and horror as a whole. We have 31 guests ranging from directors (Mick Garris and Stephen Cognetti), influencers (Cory McCullough and Molly Henry), podcasters (We Hate Movies and Girl, That’s Scary), and scholars (Dr. Dawn Keetley and Tananarive Due). Just like “The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs” it will be a curated night of classic horror films and independent short films all hosted by myself.

As mentioned, once I have graduated from Shippensburg University I hope to have a career in broadcast journalism. While I may not be reporting the news for the event, this has been a massive learning tool in networking, video editing and content creation, as well as being comfortable on camera. After all, if I can conquer being on camera for 12 straight hours, surely I can handle the 6 o’clock news.

Am I a Fan?

Absolutely! Ever since I overcame my fears of it and finally watched Scream (1996) as a child, I fell in love with the genre. I was also heavily influenced by the YouTube channel Cinemassacre, and their annual Monster Madness series. James Rolfe was a massive inspiration to me in my younger years and it’s still crazy to me that I was able to interview him for this event. Horror is a comfort genre for me. I’ll always be a sucker for a slasher film or found footage flick here and there.

Horror at Shippensburg:

Shippensburg is a very unique place, with a film taste that’s hard to land a finger on. With that being said, of the students I have surrounded myself with over the past four years I have found some fellow genre fans. It seems found footage is always a favorite at social gatherings, as are some of the modern renaissance films like those of Jordan Peele or A24 (Talk to Me especially). I have heard a lot of buzz for newer releases like Saw X, The Exorcist: Believer and Five Nights at Freddys.

Favorite Scary Movie(s):

A tough question to say the least. For me, my favorite horror film rotates between three films: Scream (1996), Fright Night (1985) and Lake Mungo (2007). 

Scream is the horror film that made me love horror films and have been a loyal fan to the franchise since that initial viewing. Fright Night is just so much fun and it’s the movie that made me want to make movies. Lake Mungo is what I consider to be the scariest film ever made and one I find to be as near perfect a horror film, and film in general, can get.

Here is the information about this Halloween event again:

The 12-hour livestream will air on Friday, October 20th from 8pm to 8am. The event will stream on Twitch and YouTube.

And here is the GoFundMe page, where you can donate to this worthy cause. 

A group of kids dressed in Halloween costumes talk to a girl dressed as a witch who is standing on her porch and is surrounded by many lit pumpkins.
Posted on September 22, 2023

Always Check Your Candy: Talking Trick ‘r Treat

Elizabeth Erwin/ Podcast

In today’s episode, we’re kicking off the spooky season with Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat (2007). Told in an anthology format with non-linear storytelling, the film is a virtual shoutout to Halloween lore making it a cult classic among horror fans. But does it deserve its reputation? We’re breaking it all down today with spoilers so stay tuned!

Mentioned in this episode:

Keetley, Dawn. “Trick or Treating in Halloween Movies.” Horror Homeroom, 7 October 2016. 

McIntosh, Matthew A. “Samhain: The Celtic Inspiration for Modern Halloween.” Brewminate: A Bold Blend of News and Ideas, 30 October 2020.

Vorel, Jim. “In Praise of Trick ‘r Treat, the Ultimate ‘Halloween Night’ Movie,” Paste, 29 October 2017.

Posted on September 30, 2020

October: 31 days, 31 horror movies from all over the world

Guest Post

What I like about horror is the versatility of the genre: it can be appropriated and reworked in a million different ways. Every country and every culture has unique approaches and unique stories to tell through horror, and we’re missing out if we’re not opening ourselves up to them.

But opening ourselves up means authentically to predispose ourselves to accept and appreciate foreign horror movies in their particularity. Especially when it comes to countries in what’s usually called “the Third World”–countries with radically different cultures, histories, and perceptions of what qualifies as horror. And, also, countries in which filmmakers more often than not work with limited budgets and have only recently started producing horror movies.

The last decade has helped these local industries take off: video-on-demand services have made these movies easier to access internationally, and new producers (like Netflix and Shudder) have begun investing in foreign projects. As viewers, the best we can do is watch these movies–show our support so they can keep growing and enriching the film industry, horror included.

For all these reasons, for anyone’s potential October watch-a-ton (either this year or the ones to come), I’d like to suggest a theme: horror movies from all over the world. And, if you’re interested in knowing major content warnings for these movies, you can check this Letterboxd list. Read more

Posted on June 23, 2020

Horror Fans, Don’t Call the Cops!

Sara McCartney

What do you think of when you think of the police? Do you think of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and many more Black people who should be alive today? Do you think of the brutal police responses that have interrupted peaceful protests around the nation?[1] Do you think of your favorite television show? Entertainment, from buddy cop movies to gritty thrillers to police procedurals to detective dramas, have shaped our perception of law enforcement, sometimes under the direction of actual precincts.[2] And if you’re following the news, the incongruency between the real-life police and their fictional equivalents is impossible to ignore.

One of the reasons I love horror is because it’s very good at not taking the status quo for granted. The best horror unmoors us from our assumptions about the world. As calls to abolish the police enter the American mainstream, it’s time for us to rethink our familiar narratives about cops, and that’s where horror comes in, because the cops you’ll find in horror movies aren’t quite what you’ll see in Law and Order.

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Posted on October 21, 2018

A Rage-Filled Halloween for Our Time

Dawn Keetley

From what I’d read before going in to David Gordon Green’s Halloween (2018), I was expecting a portrait of the deep and lasting effects of grief and trauma. The film chooses to ignore all the sequels to John Carpenter’s 1978 original and picks up the story of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) many years later, after two failed marriages, a daughter (now estranged), and a granddaughter. Instead of a complex study in the lingering after-effects of trauma, however, Green’s Halloween gives us simple, unalloyed rage. A fitting Halloween, perhaps, for our own anger-filled post-Trump moment.

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