Fright Night London: A CAPA Halloween Movie Night

Nov 3, 2018 10:52:00 AM / by Genevieve Rice

In this week's post, Genevieve relives CAPA's My Global City Fright Night event which featured a showing of the cult classic horror film, 'An American Werewolf in London'.

I have never been that into scary movies. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just can’t watch blood, gore, or anything remotely suspenseful. This means that Halloween has always been a bit of a stressful time for me. I enjoy watching scary movies with friends, but I don’t know how much of the movie I will end up actually seeing. The scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when the killer bunny attacks everyone? I had to close my eyes, that’s how bad I am at watching blood in movies. It can be embarrassing, but it also explains why I am so uneducated when it comes to classic Halloween movies. However, this Halloween, I wanted to challenge myself to actually watch a classic Halloween scary movie. It also just so happened that one of my favorite professors at CAPA was hosting a Halloween movie night at CAPA London. CAPA’s latest event seeking to allow us all to come together and get to know staff and students. Fright Night, as it was aptly named, was a movie night where we watched the iconic An American Werewolf in London. This movie was chosen not only for its fun classic scary factor, but because David, the main character, happened to be just like us: an American in London.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2018_London_Genevieve Rice_ Movie Poster from An American Werewolf in LondonAn iconic horror for Fright Night!

Fright Night, which went from 6 to 8 pm, was an amazing way to kick off Halloween. Only a few students ended up attending, so the atmosphere was intimate and relaxed, with an equal staff to student ratio. We began with an icebreaker game, pizza, popcorn, and candy. Then Dr. Mike Punter gave a bit of a spiel on the history of the movie and the horror film industry in general before we began the movie. This helped set the stage for the movie and gave us a few insights into the genre that I would have had no idea otherwise. Then it was time for the movie. My test began. Could I actually watch the whole film without closing my eyes or freaking out just a little bit (I might also add that werewolves are like my kryptonite, since growing up I had a bad experience that included a vacation in the mountains in Transylvania, some real wolves howling in the distance, and very mean siblings).

Scene from an American Werewolf In LondonThis is a look that we all know well from our first weeks in the UK!

I was shocked. Not only was I not terrified—most of the time—I was actually laughing more than I was grimacing! This tragi-comedy was hilarious, a good kind of scary, and just the right amount of bloody. It highlighted so many of the experiences that my fellow CAPA students and I have faced since coming abroad! The unfriendly close-knitted British pub scene was so relatable that my friends and I were laughing ourselves out of our chairs. We could see ourselves in the main character, David, and his friend Jack as they made cultural blunders and experienced British culture at its finest. The struggles that we have faced over the past two months were so neatly presented and so relatable that the comedic relief outweighed the horror and gore for me. Also, being able to recognize a majority of the places and landscapes, from London to Wales (where the opening scenes were filmed), made the movie come alive in a way that it wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been living among those places for the past weeks. The places where the Londoners encountered the werewolf were places where I have spent a good amount of time, which made the movie seem real and funny all at the same time.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Fall2018_London_Genevieve Rice_ On the Tube on the Way Home from CAPA Fright NightOn the Tube on the Way Home from CAPA Fright Night.

An American Werewolf in London was a great choice because of the location and because of the way that it makes you think. The main character is faced with a difficult decision of sacrificing himself for the ‘greater good’ or choosing to allow others to suffer because of him, even if his circumstance is unfair. The moral dilemma that this movie discusses is artfully hidden by the humor and horror, allowing the viewer to take away whatever they choose. However, at its heart, it shows the struggle of sacrifice and is a movie that leaves you thinking.

The countryside that I have seen looked a little too much like the British country in the movieThe countryside that I have seen looked a little too much like the British country in the movie.

This Global City event was the perfect way to start my Halloween night and my introduction to the horror genre. The combination of fun, food, and thought-provoking conversation made this Halloween special, even if it is in a city that isn’t as excited as America for this October holiday.

Thanks, Genevieve!

Genevieve Rice


Genevieve Rice is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An English Literature major at Anderson University, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

Genevieve's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.


Learn More about the CAPA London Program

Topics: London, England, Local Culture