Fright Club Comes to Studio 35
Clintonville’s beloved Studio 35 Cinema & Drafthouse (3055 Indianola Ave.) has some new late night programming launching, beginning this Friday, January 24th at 11:30 pm with the horror series Fright Club. According to George Wolf, co-programmer and co-host of the series, the idea is to offer “the best horror films you never got to see.”
Wolf, longtime film critic for the defunct The Other Paper and midday host for WNND, Rewind Columbus, 103.5/104.3, sees uniqueness in the particularities of the film series.
“A lot of late night movie programming brings campy, bad, or classic horror to the screen,” he says. “We are looking for the kind of movies that fans can appreciate – hidden treasures. Everybody’s seen The Shining, and as great a movie as that is, we’re trying to uncover movies people may not have heard about. In some cases, these movies star celebrities who went on to become big stars, and that’s always a kick.”
The idea sprang from conversations Wolf had with theater owner Eric Brembeck while they filmed The Studio 35 Show, monthly episodes found on Wolf’s website maddwolf.com, Studio 35’s YouTube channel, co-host Cheryl Harrison’s drinkupcolumbus.com, and in the theater. Wolf says the idea for some kind of late night series came up during these tapings, and over time a specific program emerged.
When choosing the movies to show, Brembeck had some advice for Wolf: nothing too long, too slow, or in a foreign language. “No one wants to drink beers late at night and read,” is the wisdom Wolf remembers.
He and Brembeck kick Fright Club off with Severance, a 2006 British film that follows a group of sales reps on a corporate team building exercise that goes hideously wrong. The darkest humor mixes with inventive scares in this crowd pleaser, Wolf says.
“For fans of the genre, these are movies they might be surprised they missed,” he says. “They’re good, solid movies that slipped through the cracks.”
They’ll follow that in February (2/21) with Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender’s 2008 genre gem Eden Lake, and March 14th with the Australian nightmare The Loved Ones, a film Wolf describes as “quite unlike anything else.”
“Horror fans are going to be glad they saw them, but even for those with a passing interest in scary movies, the event should be fun,” says Wolf.
Brembeck agrees. He’s done horror series in the past, but likes the different approach.
“I just thought I’d give it a shot with better movies and someone who’s more personally invested in a series like this – good horror movies,” he says. “To see good horror is difficult. Horror’s never been my genre, but the excitement has gotten to me. I’m looking forward to watching these great scary movies and having fun.”
Wolf will be on hand to introduce the film and award some prizes from the Rewind Columbus prize closet, he says.
“It’ll be fun to get together with people who enjoy the good old fashioned scares, enjoy maybe discovering something together,” Wolf says. “Just like it’s fun to go cheer on the Buckeyes with a bunch of people with the same mindset, same kind of thing here. It’s fun to be scared! And we’ll try to keep it lively, too, with added little surprises and prizes.”
Wolf says he’s looking forward to it.
“You can grab a great draft beer, get a really entertaining, scary move in this gorgeous theater. What better way to spend a Friday night in Columbus?” asks Wolf.
Anything else to remember about the series?
Says Wolf, “It’s called Fright Club. Please feel free to talk about it.”
Fright Club tickets are $5. Wolf will have prizes and Brembeck will offer drink specials. For more information, go to www.studio35.com.
Full disclosure: Hope Madden is the “Madd” in MaddWolf and will co-host and co-program the event.