HALLOWEEN: AMERICAN HOLIDAY OR CELTIC FESTIVAL?
A quintessential American holiday…. Or is it? Hallowe'en (short for Hallows' Evening) is thought to have originated from an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain, held November 1 to ward off spirits. Samhain became All Saints Day, then All Hallows Eve before arriving at its modern incarnation.
• Dr Kate Cantrell is a lecturer in English Literature teaching Gothic Stories and the origins of Halloween. She says many people assume Halloween originated as an American holiday, but that is not the case. Media contact: Sarah Green 0417 799 331 and Nicholas Britnell 0477 007 443
TOP 13 MOVIES TO MAKE YOUR BLOOD RUN COLD
Halloween or not, people love scary movies. It (2017) grossed almost $19 million in Australia alone, and its 2019 sequel scared more than $10m out of Aussie audiences. But what is the scariest movie of all time?
• Film and Television academic Dr Daryl Sparkes has listed his Top 13 scariest movies. Did your favourite make it? Here’s the sneak peek: cult hit A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) comes in at 7th. Media contact: Sarah Green 0417 799 331 and Rhianwen Whitney 0428 527 296
HALLOWEEN: IS IT HERE TO STAY?
For some people, Halloween is a frightening reminder of how Americanised Australia is becoming, but for others there’s nothing wrong with a day where you can dress up, eat candy and have some fun.
• Cultural studies expert Dr Jess Carniel can discuss Australians’ participation in Halloween and share her thoughts on whether the commercialised American tradition has any place in Aussie culture. Media contact: Sarah Green 0417 799 331 and Nat Gradwell 0449 186 116
FROM ‘THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN’ TO ‘SAW 9’, HISTORY OF HORROR IN FILM
Horror films exist in many forms be it Gothic, slasher, supernatural, zombie, or science fiction. Why do audiences love to be shocked, and what does the history of horror films tell us about ourselves (fears, interests and needs)?
• Associate Professor Marcus Harmes is a researcher into horror films of all types (Gothic, slasher, supernatural, zombie, science fiction). Media contact: Sarah Green 0417 799 331 and Rhianwen Whitney 0428 527 296
BEHIND THE MASK: HOW HALLOWEEN EXPLORES MORTALITY
Alongside the lollies and laughter, Halloween is characterised by its costumes - dressing up as undead creatures such as vampires, zombies and ghosts. Is there something more macabre to this performance than just festive frivolity?
• Associate Professor (Theatre Studies) Janet McDonald says as a theatre concept, role-playing and re-enacting mythic and/or real events, has existed throughout human history. Vampires, zombies and ghosts all link to immortality ‘with a clause’, allowing a person to explore the concept of death (inverting misery to merriment). Media contact: Sarah Green 0417 799 331 and Rhianwen Whitney 0428 527 296
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