The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

October 31, 2012

GCC students celebrate scream season

Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — Halloween is the perfect time to gather round for a scary movie, but for students in GCC Albion’s “Horror in Film” class, every Monday is a fight night.

The class, part of a series of film courses offered at Genesee Community College’s Medina and Albion campus centers, goes beyond popcorn and jumping out of your seat when the monster jumps from around the corner.

Instructor Shawn Adamson’s students focus on analyzing the films and the impacts they’ve had on film and popular culture.

”The students are always surprised to learn how much meticulousness goes into making a film,” said Adamson, who uses Psycho’s constant bird imagery and symbolism. “They begin to understand its not just putting people in a room.”

Adamson said the genre is underrated in showing the mood of the times, whether it’s the fear of nuclear war and communism in 1950s movies like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” or the worries about moving away from family values in the 1970s leading to films like “The Exorcist” and “The Omen”.

”The misconception is that it’s the junk food of the american filmgoer’s diet,” Adamson said. “(Horror films) are representative of what we as a society are afraid of ... it’s a convenient way to address those fears indirectly.”

Each week, the class views a different film representing a time period or sub-genre of horror. Adamson mixes early films like Nosferatu with psychological horror films like The Innocents, genre parodies like Tucker & Dale vs Evil, and recent movies like Insidious.

”I try to chose ones that are well respected in the industry, have longevity or ones that i think they may not have seen,” Adamson said.

The coursework does provide for a natural experience.

”We do like to be scared,” Adamson said. “There’s a shared experience of knowing other people are gasping and screaming at the same parts.”

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