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Friday, June 14
The Indiana Daily Student

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OPINION: This summer, watch more horror movies

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Recently, a few of my good friends came over to catch up after the end of the school year. We usually watch a movie whenever they come over, and this time we chose “Frankenhooker” – yes, that’s a real film – out of Amazon Prime’s absolutely deranged selection of horror B-movies. 

The film was absolutely delightful, and we all had a blast watching it. It was the perfect mix between campy and gory. Laughing to Frank Henenlotter’s intentionally stupid script with my best friends made me realize the truth of the matter: horror is the summer genre, and more people need to recognize that unalterable fact. 

Summer has been defined for decades by the institution of the drive-in movie theater. They’re typically only open during the summer, unless you live somewhere exceptionally warm. The hot, humid nights of summer have become horror-filled ones for generations of drive-in attenders. 

Drive-ins have been instrumental in horror culture since their beginnings, often showing B-movies and weird science fiction. Since studios didn’t usually send their popular first-run movies to smaller drive-ins right away, shockingly-titled horror films with words like “It!” or “Them!” hit these screens. 

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That magic isn’t lost just yet. Even if they’ve significantly diminished in number since their heyday in the 1950s, there are still around 320 operating drive-ins in the United States. There’s probably one still open near you

I’ve had many fond memories at my local drive-in movie theater, The Skyline Drive-In in Shelbyville, Indiana. While they usually stick to new releases, they also feature horror films and monster movie marathons. One of my favorite theater-going experiences was seeing “Nosferatu” with a live organist at The Skyline. It’s the type of fun you can only get during the summertime. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to drive-ins, which means watching at home. Film is much more fun with friends, so while you’re off from school and have a bit more extra time on your hands, organizing a watch party can be an incredible bonding experience. Though, of course, you do have to choose the right movie, which can be tough. Picking a campy horror movie that doesn’t require an extreme amount of attention can help bypass this issue. 

There are plenty of horror films with overt summer theming. Think “Jaws” or “Friday the 13th,” both of which, among others, take place during the summer months. The days are hot, the nights are short and there’s plenty of antics to get up to in the dark. 

I’d also recommend movies like 1990’s “Tremors” or 1954’s “Them!” Neither of them are necessarily summer-themed, but they’re tons of fun to watch with friends. As I previously mentioned, Amazon Prime has a huge collection of stupid B-movies to scroll through, especially if you have the AMC+ add-on. Your watch party can and will be stellar. 

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If you want to head to the theaters, there’s a good selection of horror movies you can see this summer as well. The absolutely stunning “Evil Dead Rise” came out recently, and I seriously suggest it to anyone who even has a passing interest in the series. You don’t have to see the previous films, but it does make it more fun. Along with that, Stephen King adaptation “The Boogeyman” is coming out June 2 and horror-comedy “The Blackening” will be released June 16. 

There’s nothing wrong with experiencing a few horror movies by yourself. Some of the scariest things I’ve ever seen were during short summer nights alone on my laptop.  

However your summer goes – whether you go out to the drive-in with your best friends or stay home and stream a movie – make it a scary one. I promise you will have a much, much better time. Especially if you watch “Frankenhooker.” 

Danny William (they/them) is a sophomore studying media. 

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