February 1st, 2013: City of the Dead aka Horror Hotel

What It’s About: College student Nan Barlow (Venetia Stevenson) finds more than she bargained for when she takes Professor Alan Driscoll’s (Christopher Lee) advice and goes to the remote Massachusetts town of Whitewood to do research for her paper on witchcraft.

Why Watch it Today?: The film’s first climax occurs on the night of February 1st, or Candlemas Eve.  Priests traditionally blessed the parish’s candles at Candlemas, which marks the presentation of Jesus at the temple.  It is the Christian answer to pagan celebrations that marked the end of winter and the coming of spring with bonfires and checking to see if badgers or serpents emerged from their dens to see if winter would soon be over (a precursor to the American Groundhog Day).  The film itself is a Gothic horror film that occasionally veers into “So-Bad-It’s-Good” territory; find a full review here.

The Trailer: s

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