Hayley Knighten

Seattle Crypticon Horror Convention: Day One

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I’ve been going to Crypticon Seattle for the last five years, and I have to say that this year’s convention was the best. It wasn’t the amazing celebrity guests though there were many including the Soska Sisters (writers/directors of American Mary) and Sid Haag (House of 1,000 Corpses). Nor was it showings of new indie films like Bind and Julia that I regret not having time to see. Nope, the best part about Crypticon was reuniting with all my fellow horror geeks and meeting new ones. As my new friend Tony Kay put it, Crypticon is horror geek summer camp.

meeting a catwoman cosplayer

Conventions bring out the cosplayers and Crypticon is no exception! Check out this amazing hand-made Catwoman costume!

That may sound strange to say about a convention. Usually so many people fill conventions that you spend your days waiting in lines and pushing through crowds, but while Crypticon attracts a number of horror fiends from all over the country, it maintains an intimate feel and once you’ve attended one year, you’ll find yourself meeting familiar faces every year thereafter.

What really set this year apart for me was the opportunity to take part in the convention as a panelist and as press for WPR. I arrived at the Seattle Hilton on Friday from Wenatchee just in time for my first panel where we discussed whether sparkly vampires and PG-13 horror films are genre killing crap or a horror gateway drug.

frankenfurter vs kabuki warrior

Only at Crypticon can you see Dr. Frank-N-Furter battle a Kabuki warrior!

I expected a big Twilight debate, but thankfully the sparkly vamps were only a small part of the discussion. Our panel focused on PG-13 and PG horror films like The Ring and Poltergeist. We talked about what made a film scary and if that could be accomplished in a PG-13 horror film. The overall consensus was yes, particularly in ghost and possession films.

Horror author Charlie Kruger said, “I think when people get really pissed off about PG-13 horror what they are actually saying is that the parts of horror that they enjoy are not going to be in the film.”

Steven Gray of Stalker Farms added, “you’re signing up for a different experience…you’re not going to see maybe the level of violence that you’re hoping for, but you’re probably going to get some of those eerie scenes.”

crypticon panel discussion

For the full discussion (well most of it anyway), click on the image to watch the Horror Addicts video on YouTube.

That said, we all agreed that toning down a violent film for a PG-13 rating leads to disappointment. Examples were the Robocop (2014) remake and the upcoming Deadpool film (which will thankfully be rated R).

As far as PG-13 horror being a gateway drug, many of us had stories of growing up on horror and felt that with so many options to watch rated R horror at home, that the rating did not make much of a difference.

As for the sparkly vampires, my argument was that the Twilight Saga was fantasy, not horror and if anything, fans of the series would be more inclined to seek out more paranormal romance before they turned to horror.

After our panel, my husband and fellow Horror Addict Danny Knightmare and I visited the main convention floor. Our first stop was meeting one of our favorite actors to play Jason Voorhees, Ted White. I was so grateful to meet him. I have a goal of one day meeting every actor that has played Jason and seeing how White is 89-years-old, I had worried that I might never get the chance. White starred in one of the best films in the franchise and he was instrumental in establishing safety regulations on the film set after another actor got hypothermia while filming a scene.

Meeting Ted White

Danny Knightmare and I meeting Ted White who played Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.

Once we recovered from being starstruck, Danny and I attended the panel “Kick-Ass Horror Films You’ve Never Seen” to see fellow Horror Addict and WatchPlayRead contributor, Ronnie Angel speak. During the panel, I made a list of movies mentioned that interested me:

  • Superstition (1982)
  • Killer Mermaid (2014)
  • Mum & Dad (2008)
  • Spider Baby (1967)
  • Attack of the Mushroom People aka Matango (1963)

I haven’t been able to track down any of these yet, but I will continue to look for them. If you’ve seen any of these films, leave a comment and let me know what you thought.

Afterward, I sat in on Danny Knightmare’s panel, “Stuff We Never Want to See in a Horror Movie Again.” I agreed with most of the suggestions, but I think Danny read my mind when he said, “no more cat jump scares!”

crypticon horror panel

Danny Knightmare and panelists Mi Chelle Nessk, William Bivens and Lorelei Shannon (not pictured) discussing things they never want to see in a horror movie again.

Well, that was it for day one. Check back soon to find out what I did on days two and three of Crypticon Seattle 2015!

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