As you can probably tell from our posts for the last few days, we’ve been a bit bummed out that our Spooky Samhain, the most wonderful time of the year, has been muted a little bit thanks to COVID-19 and all sorts of other slowly-unfolding disasters around us. One community that’s about to get hit extra hard by all this is Salem, Massachusetts, which is an absolutely wonderful and amazing area that absolutely depends on your tourist dollars in the month of October to stay afloat — and is in crisis precisely because that can’t happen right now.
So, sure, you can stay out of Salem, but Salem doesn’t have to stay out of your heart. Enter Arielle Cimino and Jeff Ryan’s Mass Hysteria, which screened a few years back at IFFBoston, looks like a lot of fun. It’s a local production, and should warm your heart (though not too much), so you should give it a watch. Here’s the trailer, too.
Here’s a synopsis:
“It’s Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts, and it’s Paige’s last show as a Salem Witch Trial reenactor. Sick of the drunken tourists that flood the streets every year, she’s decided this will be her final show. Tomorrow she’ll leave town and make a real go of acting in New York. Her cast-mates are sorry to see her go but they vow to have a killer last night. During her final show as Paige is delivering her ‘witch’s curse’ upon the audience, a tourist violently dies. The police chalk it up to coincidence but the crowd wonders if Paige really did curse the man. She lashes out at the gathered tourists, mockingly cursing them all… and one by one, they start to die. Now convinced that the ‘Witch’ has them in her clutches, the tourists give chase. Paige and her friends flee through Salem with only one goal: To get through Halloween night, ALIVE.”
Mass Hysteria is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, so why not check it out? It’s not like you’re going to be shotgunning pig’s blood with the head of the Satanic Temple this year anyway (we’re just joking, guys, please don’t curse us, Hail Satan was a great movie), so enjoy this substitute! And why not pair your viewing with a good deed — donate to The Salem Pantry here so that the Halloween fun can continue as much as it possibly can next year.