Get ready to scream your head off, cover your eyes and head for the nearest "chicken out" exit. The season's most endurance-testing film festival, the annual Pay-to-Get-Out Horror Marathon at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, returns Saturday, Aug. 29, with 12 hours of thrills, chills and gore guaranteed to turn even the strongest stomach.
If you do cower in your seat until the final credits creep across the big screen, you'll earn a $10 discount and the admiration of your bleary-eyed, horror-fan peers.
This year's feast of fearsome favorites ups the horror ante by featuring six films instead of the usual five. The lineup not only features suggestions from devoted horror film fans, but it's also scarier and darker than past years, says festival organizer Brett Sherris of Northport.
"I'm trying to build adrenaline, raise blood pressures and scare the living daylights out of people," he says.
How scary are this year's offerings? "Carrie," the 1976 classic starring Sissy Spacek as a telekinetic senior prom victim, is "a lightweight" compared with the trio of films that close out the marathon, Sherris says. "You'll need a 'good, hard stomach,' to get through those films, which include the sixth, surprise feature," he says.
Here's this year's creepier-than-ever lineup:
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Co-written by "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon, the film was chosen because "it's a Rubik's Cube twist on the evil dead genre," and "the audience doesn't get what it thinks it's going to get," Sherris says. The movie also includes a spot-on parody of Japanese horror films, which sets up the marathon's second film.
This Japanese haunted house flick is "absolutely outlandish and simultaneously funny," Sherris says. "One minute they are putting a great big smile on your face, the next minute a gusher of blood appears from where you didn't expect it."
The grandmommy of modern American horror stories was directed by suspense master Brian De Palma and based on a novel by Stephen King. Watch out for that dangling bucket of pig's blood, as well as star-in-the-making performances by John Travolta, Nancy Allen and Amy Irving.
The Beyond (1981)
This gory retelling of the familiar story about a house that's a gateway to hell is set in Louisiana. Lucio Fulci's subtitled film is a prime example of the Italian thrillers made famous by directors Mario Bava and Dario Argento, Sherris says.
Sherris has two words for this French New Wave Horror film about a young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child: "gore galore." He adds this trigger warning: "People are going to have to have really strong psyches to make it through."
Surprise film to be announced.
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, Aug. 29 at 10 p.m., Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington
INFO $35, $25 plus breakfast if you stay all night; 631-423-7611, summercampcinema.com