Are You Afraid of the Dark was such a big part of my childhood. It used to come on Nick and I remember watching the creepy stories with my sisters. I think its funny how my mom hated Goosebumps and wouldn’t let me watch the movies or read the books; but let me watch this.
In Are You Afraid of the Dark, there are a group of kids who form The Midnight Society and meet late at night telling scary stories. This story is told by Frank.
So there is this old Rialto theater that is doing badly. Nobody seems to care about old movies or want to see anything. If they keep doing this bad they are going to be shut down forever.
Pete is heartbroken as he not only loves theaters but old movies. (Why are these guys always named Pete?) He tries everything he can, but no luck. Soon the doors will be shutting forever.
One day everything changes.
Dr. Vink comes on the scene (this is the first episode that introduces this character). He offers the manager a bargain. He will give them the film Nosferatu, and he assures the they will soon be rolling in dough. All he asks is for one night a week to show his other films. They agree and the film is put upstairs and forgotten.
One day the reel they were playing breaks, and they have no choice but to play Nosferatu. They do and it becomes a sucess. They start raking in the dough. Soon they are showing it all the time and even opening a special time, Midnight Madness.
Dr. Vink returns for his part of the bargain, but the manager won’t listen. He promises that they will regret making that choice.
Pete is watching the movie again, to try and figure out why it is becoming so popoular. He looks at the screen and starts to notice that Nosferatu is looking toward him.
In a style of Last Action Hero, Nosferatu comes out of the screen and starts wrecking horror on others. It’s a great episode that you must watch for yourself. I haven’t been able to find a link, besides Amazon Instant watch. Let me know if you do.
I loved this film so much as a kid! There are so many amazing things involved in it!
It’s a DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie). Now I’m from the generation that these movies came out every month and were amazing. Today all the DCOMs are completely dumb, and poorly written, but back in my day they were actually something to look forward to on a friday night.
It’s a very well done modern version of the Phantom of the Opera. I loved how well they do it! I love almost everything Phantom of the Opera-y. (The 1945 version was atrocious! Don’t watch it!)
They reference so many other movies, that it just makes a cinephile like me squeal in delight!
It has MICKEY ROONEY! Yes this amazing man plays a misunderstood guy, and classic film buff. When I watched this film I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to have quotes and film plots memorized that I just whipped out whenever something came up that was similar. Phantom of the Opera, may have started me in my love of classic film, but this film completely changed my personality.
It takes place in a movie theater, one of my favorite places to be and where I have always wanted to work at. I wish I could get a job there, but so many others want to work there it’s hard to get in. 😦 One day!
Taylor Handley was the main guy. I had the hugest crush on him when this film came out, I was like 8 or 9 and in love with him.
So the film starts out with the credits and Fugue in D Minor, classic, horrific stuff! Love the creepiness of the organ! We are also told that when the original theater was destroyed to create the new megaplex, a man was supposedly trapped in there and now haunts the megaplex for all eternity.
Taylor Handley’s character, Pete Riley, introduces us to the megaplex where he works at.
They are getting ready for a huge film premiere, Midnight Mayhem, at the theater. He is the assistant manager and not only in charge of a making sure everything goes just right, but a crazy collection of workers.
There’s Shawn MacGibbon and Senior Manager. He is getting passed over for the owner’s doofus son. Something he is not happy about. He’s Pete’s boss.
Ricky “Rules”. He always follows the rules to a T and makes sure everyone else does.
“Scary” Terry. She is always talking about some seemingly innocent thing turns out to be murderous. She loves the macabre.
Hillary “Honey”. She’s the mom of the group and always calling everyone dear, sweetie, or honey.
“Question” Mark. Whenever he’s told to do something, he always answers with a question mark.
“Racy” Lacy. Always moving a mile a minute.
Merle. He’s not really under Pete either, he kind of does what he wants. He’s the projectionist and handyman extraordinaire. He feels under-appreciated at his job.
“Movie” Mason. Played by the wonderful Mickey Rooney! I love Movie Mason and wanted to be just like him. Movie Moreland! I love the sound of that. Mason is mistreated by Shawn MacGibbon. Everyday Mason comes with a mock schedule, his family owned the old theater and it was his personal playground. MacGibbon hates him, and is verbally abusive to him every time he sees him. Mason is absolutely awesome though. He has an amazing speech in the film. It was so well written.
“Movie Mason: When we arrive in this world magic is all around us…Yet as the years pass, simple pleasures aren’t quite so simple to find. Myths… Legends… Fall away. Santa’s secrets are revealed. Card tricks lose their fascination. True wonder is hard to come by… But there is always magic at the movies. Pirate ships… bicycles that fly… angels earn their wings, beautiful women marry handsome men and we all learn that there is no place like home. To destroy that magic, to shatter those moments to me is a sin so grave it would almost be incomprehensible!”
Pete’s mom is going out that night so he ends up being stuck with his cinephillic brother and sister. This turns out to be the least of his problems as there is a masked figure roaming about that is causing all kinds of disasters all over the theater.
Electrical systems fail, a candy machine breaks down and shoots the gumballs all over the lobby. Then the popcorn machine goes haywire and Pete has to figure out how to stop it. Every time he solves one problem new ones start popping up.
The Phantom then starts pranking films based on their plot or name. In Cyclone Summer, a Twister like film, he places a giant fan that blows destructively at the audience.
In Cut to Black, he makes lights flicker on and off, cutting to black. He continues on this spree. Giant blowups ballons are misplaced and pop up elsewhere, MAYHEM ALL OVER.
Pete valiantly tries to stop him and determine who he is! Will He find out? Watch and see!
Now for movies he references are the following (I watched this a few weeks ago so sorry if I don’t list all of them, comment any I don’t catch):
King Kong: The Gorilla balloon that attacks the people in the Mayhem Movie
The Wizard of Oz: Mason quotes from it and references it.
Twister: Cyclone Summer is a parody of it
Godzilla, The Giant Behemoth, The Great Gila Monster, or The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms: Midnight Mayhem has a huge dinosaur that attacks a city.
Scream. The girls are in the bathroom and the phantom is lurking around scaring them much like he tries to scare Sydney.
Scream 3. A similar scene with the phantom lurking around happens in here too.
Sleepless in Seattle. The kids hope that the mom will be proposed to in this way.
Hollywood Hotel. Mickey Rooney sings the song “Hooray for Hollywood“.
The Sword in the Stone. They are running a promotional that if you pull the plastic sword out of the plastic stone you will win free movie passes. Pete runs and grabs it to destroy the blow up balloons.
Tarzan or George of the Jungle. Pete swings on a vine over to capture the phantom.