One thing that has had a surprisingly huge impact on nerd culture, and pop culture as a whole, is horror. There’s a lot that horror has given us outside of increased heart rates and sleepless nights. Countless A-list actors got their start in horror movies, like Kevin Bacon in “Friday the 13th,” Johnny Depp in “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” and Jennifer Aniston in “Leprechaun.” It has given us some iconic characters like Michael Myers, Norman Bates, and Jason Voorhees. Many horror movies, TV shows, and books tell some incredibly memorable stories. Of course, the horror genre has some of the best and most revolutionary makeup and special effects in film. However, the best part about horror is the community around it. Horror seems to have more of a cult following than other movie genres.
If you’re someone who obsesses over horror, or a newcomer looking to get more into it, there’s a monthly gathering of horror nerds right here in Western New York. Thursday Night Terrors is a horror and cult classic film series held at the Amherst Dipson Theater (3500 Main Street) once a month. Horror films ranging from terrifying classics to some of the campiest movies out there are showcased. They also make sure to strike a balance between better-known titles and lesser-known ones. Thursday Night Terrors started back in August of 2016 and its fanbase is still ever-growing.
The movies are shown in 5-month long “seasons.” This season, they have shown 1988’s “The Blob” and Stephen King’s “Christine,” and will be showing “My Bloody Valentine,” “The Howling,” and “Chopping Mall.” There are two showings of each movie, one at 7:30 P.M. and one at 9:30 P.M. When you purchase your 7:30 P.M. ticket, you are also able to enter a raffle to win some fun, spooky prizes like VHS tapes of classic films, horror artwork from a Buffalo-based artist, pins, and more.
The best part about Thursday Night Terrors has to be the community. A lot of the regulars seem to know each other and are open to new horror-lovers to join them on this monthly movie night. It also appears that some people are even making friends at these events. Thankfully, everyone there is a lot friendlier than the monsters on screen.
During my first time there, technical issues caused a brief intermission. No one complained or yelled. Instead, most people clapped and cheered during the silence while others helped resolve the problem. It’s overall such an incredible experience to be able to meet with others who share a passion with you to laugh and jump with fright together.
Peter Vullo, who runs Thursday Night Terrors, is big into horror and wanted something for fellow horror fans to do here in Buffalo, so he made it happen. He contacted the owner of the theater he worked at, he got in touch with a local artist to design posters for the film series, and advertised Terrors on social media. His way of thinking is if there isn’t already a place for people to share in their particular passions or hobbies, just build it yourself and hopefully a community grows from there. I am definitely on board with that philosophy. This is how a lot communities get started, which is great for those looking for specific communities like ones for “Dungeons and Dragons,” “Super Smash Bros.” or even book clubs.
Horror is such a major part of nerd culture and pop culture. It’s exciting that there’s a monthly event right here in Western New York that celebrates it in such a fun way. If you want the chance to be able see some classic horror movies on the big screen, Thursday Night Terrors at the Dipson Amherst Theater is your opportunity to do so.
Keep track of Thursday Night Terrors by tuning in to this Facebook group.