In Haunt

Creative chaos (of the best kind) meets Christmas fun – that’s the vibe of Make A Scene’s upcoming interactive film screening of American comedy horror Gremlins at Oxford Street’s The Refuge on 15 December 2018.

Taking place in the atmospheric basement space of this bustling bar, there will be drag queen gremlins, and fancy dress is encouraged (with prizes for those who go the extra mile), of course. What better way to enjoy this festive comedy horror flick?

With a matinee show at 3.30pm and a later showing at 7.30pm (the evening which includes a Kingston Falls Christmas party), it is even easier for guests to pick a screening which suits them.

And no wonder. This very special event has been put together by Make A Scene – no strangers to arranging occasions which ‘wow’ audiences time-over. They are Manchester’s big gay interactive film club, known for putting on delightfully OTT showings to the public, with popular past events including The Witches and Hairspray.

However, the Gremlins Christmas event is set to reach new heights with the possibility of festive slime, eccentric decorations and even more on the cards. Adults can enjoy special themed cocktails conjured up by The Refuge staff and the party will be a feast for the senses… for sure.

The mood is set to be especially Christmassy too, as The Refuge and wider Principal Hotel will be boasting a range of beautiful festive decorations and events. On the same day as the screening, though not at the same time as the showing, there will also be a performance from Hallé Youth Choir (5.30-7pm) and an appearance from the town crier as the venue gets into the seasonal swing of things.

But this version of Gremlins also has a brilliantly dark edge. Make A Scene Director, Gary Williams, reflects on why this showing of the film will be a unique festive event that audiences are sure not to forget:

“Not everyone enjoys Christmas or people get a little sick of Christmas sometimes! Gremlins is just a great antidote...after all, there's a tradition of Christmas horror from Black Christmas to Krampus and beyond.” He told us.

“It's all about this ‘perfect’ time of year having a dark underbelly or being upended by darkness. You only have to look at Divine to know there's nothing more fun than ripping down and smashing up a Christmas tree.”

In turn, guests will be able to enjoy plenty of dark and delightful additions to the showings. And Gary is not just passionate about Make A Scene opening up new ways to interact with film, but allowing for reflection of wider social themes too:

“In addition, we're doing a free event at Tribeca on 17th December about queer characters in Christmas comedies and how there really isn't much of an inclusive tradition in Christmas films for queer people. Tangerine is the film we're showing… an unusual narrative about a trans sex worker released from prison on Christmas Eve. She finds out her boyfriend has been cheating on her, leading to a hilarious rampage across the city to find the girl he had a fling with and teach her a lesson!”

But why the choice of Gremlins and drag as a Christmas combination? Gary had more to say…

“I remember watching Gremlins as a kid and having a Gremlins toy that you could turn inside out from a Mogwai toy to a Gremlin toy. I guess in some ways Mogwai are the ultimate drag queens... it's all about metamorphosis and going from this cute sweet thing into a total monster!”

Audiences will be able to enjoy majestic, monstrous appearances from some of Manchester’s finest queens. According to Gary:

“Speaking of total monster...Grace (Oni Smith) is going to be turning it out dressing as the girl Gremlin from Gremlins 2. She was iconic! Everyone remembers that one girl Gremlin.

“Both of the films have this naughty, raucous sense of humour and this sort of punk sense of terror. People loved the first film because of these mischievous, evil little monsters who just terrorise this town with such a sense of humour. They're hilarious and nasty and there's something audiences responded to and still respond to after all these years!”

See for yourself.

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