Spooks and frights fill the night at the SELC Halloween Film Festival


SELC held the Halloween film festival at Centennial Plaza Saturday, Oct. 16.

Alyson Rodriguez, Contributor

Screams filled the air at the Union Cinema on Oct. 16 as UTEP’s Student Engagement & Leadership Center (SELC) hosted a Halloween movie marathon to celebrate the Halloween spirit. The Halloween Festival is back from the dead. 

The event screened three different movies, which included Hocus Pocus (1993), Carrie (1976), and The Conjuring (2013). The first movie that was shown was Hocus Pocus (rated PG) at 11 a.m. Things started getting scary when the original Carrie (rated R) was shown at 1:30 p.m. To end the spooky festival, The Conjuring (rated R) was played at 4 p.m.  

SELC provided free snacks and sodas to attendees. The event was  open to UTEP students, faculty, and the surrounding community. Kids of all ages and grown-ups attended the three movies and took part in the Halloween fun.  

“All of us at SELC really love Halloween, and we thought a Halloween movie marathon would be a fun way to engage people on campus,” said Elizabeth Jakobsen, a sophomore in Neuroscience and intern for SELC. “We’ve had a good crowd here and lots of people have been bringing guests.” 

The movies that were screened are considered by many to be Halloween classics. Hocus Pocus, directed by Kenny Ortega, is about a teenage boy named Max who moves to Salem, Massachusetts with his family. On Halloween night, Max, his little sister Dani and their new friend Allison explore an old house that used to belong to witches. Allison tells the siblings about the history of the house and warns them about waking up the witches. Max dismisses the story and accidentally frees the witches. With the help of a magic cat, the kids must steal the witch’s book of spells to stop them from being immortal.  

Carrie, directed by Brian De Palma, is an adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel. It centers around a teenage girl named Carrie White, who is an outcast at her high school and sheltered by her domineering religious mother. One day she finds out that she has telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom. She uses her newly found powers to unleash havoc on her bullies and get revenge. 

The Conjuring, directed by James Wan, takes place in 1970 and centers around couple Lorraine and Ed Warren, renowned paranormal investigators and demonologists. They are called to the home of Carolyn and Roger Perron who live in a secluded farmhouse with their five daughters. The family has been experiencing many supernatural and paranormal experiences that affect them negatively. The experiences begin to escalate quickly and violently, and Ed and Lorraine must help the family to stop it.  

“I am a big horror movie buff, so I really enjoyed this film festival,” said Jose Talamas, a freshman majoring in criminal justice. “I thought it was a fun event and SELC should have more film festivals like this one.” 

To find out about more events being hosted by SELC visit their website, https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/selc/ and follow them on Instagram @utepselc .  

Alyson Rodriguez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]; @alyson_rod1127 on Twitter.