Happy Halloween weekend, ladies and ghouls!
One of the best things about this season, beyond the costumes and parties, is getting to marathon a bunch of amazingly good (and amazingly bad) horror movies for a laugh, a scream, and even a few groans of mental anguish. Below are a few suggestions for viewing material, along with a good beer to pair them with.
In the Mouth of Madness
The much-anticipated film adaptation of the riot-inducing latest book by renowned horror author Sutter Cane, In the Mouth of Madness follows sly insurance investigator John Trent (played by a smirking Sam Neill) as he searches for the presumed missing character of Sutter Cane. What he finds, however, ends up being something far more terrifying and maddening than a simple author. This John Carpenter film is one of the best homages to the work of H.P. Lovecraft, and because of that, my natural pairing for this would be Blood of Cthulhu by Gravenhurst’s Sawdust City. While this beautiful 9.5 per cent ABV Imperial Stout made with raspberries, cranberries, and tart cherries will be more available in the coming weeks, it will make its debut both at the brewery itself and at Bar Hop on Halloween. Have a sip, give in to the madness and the fear, and turn to the person sitting next to you and ask, “Do you read Sutter Cane?”
One of my personal favourite films to watch on Halloween. Based on the Clive Barker short story, Hellraiser is a tale of love, murder, and sadomasochistic demons who share the ultimate pleasure … but not as you know it. For this one, I tend to go with a beer that I’ve often found is unexpectedly good and for that I’m picking Gosebuster by Liberty Village Brewing Co. While not many folks tend to know much about Gose, this beer has often been a good introduction to the style, with lovely hints of sweet citrus and a slight tartness. Gosebuster is available in bars throughout the city.
Because sometimes we all need to see a film in which a recovering alcoholic writer (Jack Nicholson) becomes the caretaker of a hotel in its off-season and, with the help of some enabling ghosts, descends into madness and tries to murder his family (consisting of Shelley Duvall and a child who has the keen mental ability known as, surprise surprise, the Shining). For watching this movie it seems to make sense that you should drink a beer that you would most likely find at a hotel, and that beer for me is one of the most recognized beer brands out there, Steam Whistle. If the temptation to write, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy” over and over gets a little too much, you can always go to Steam Whistle’s “Scream Whistle,” the annual holiday bash at the brewery starting tonight and tomorrow at 9 p.m., with DJ’s Skratch Bastid and Fields McQueen. Tickets are $35 and are available online or at the door.
Night of the Lepus
Giant mutant rabbits with a craving for human flesh terrorize the southwest. Really. I mean, there’s probably a subplot in there somewhere that talks a bit about the overpopulation of rabbits in the world, but in this case, it’s only giant rabbits killing people, and that’s just perfect. Star Trek’s DeForest Kelley makes an appearance, but it’s … it’s not really anything that makes this movie better. While you’re enjoying this terrible and hilarious film on rabbits, sip a beer that naturally lends itself well to game meats: St. Bernardus Abt 12. Abt. 12 is a 10 per cent ABV Quadrupel, with notes of dried fruit, fig, and dark malts that lend itself well with eating the enemy. It’s available at most LCBOs for $9.10.