It’s one minute to midnight and you hear from the speaker: “Are you ready for a trip into the unknown?”
Cheers of enthusiasm erupt from the audience as the lights go down and the first movie starts playing.
This is the beginning of the Prince Charles Cinema’s first ever mystery movie all-nighter. For the price of £12.50, I spent my Saturday night in a cinema watching five previously unknown movies.
There’s one clue to the theme of all the movies. Saturday night’s clue was: “a container with a flat base and sides, typically square or rectangular and having a lid.”
As we waited in suspense for the first showing, I was dreading the presence of a horror movie. But the first film was Kiss Me Deadly, a film-noir crime movie from 1955.
This film took a literal interpretation of the clue as it features a mysterious box, which when opened at the very end contains something similar to Pandora’s box.
At around 1.40am, the first film is done so we run to the bar before it closes. After the second film, the cinema began to empty – either people just weren’t fans of the films shown or tiredness had got the best of them.
At the beginning of each film, there’s a moment of suspense when the lights go down and the next movie begins. The opening title of film number three had the audience applauding. The movie was Se7en.
Set in New York and starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, it follows a team of detectives tracking down a serial killer and murdering people who’ve committed one of the seven deadly sins.
Again, how it fit in with the clue was literal. At the very end of the movie there was a box. No spoilers, but the box has something to do with one of the murders the serial killer carried out.
It was after Se7en finished that I started thinking, I might actually be able to make it through this all-nighter.
The title for the fourth film appeared, Buried. All that came to mind was: “shit.” A quick Google search confirmed my fears. 95 minutes of Ryan Reynolds buried alive.
The film fit the theme though as Reynolds was contained in a coffin. This kind of suspense-laden film isn’t to my taste, but I ended up watching the whole movie. Usually with films like that I need a stiff drink afterwards, but it was 8am now, and the bar shut five hours ago.
By the final film, the once full cinema was now around a third empty. The song Eye of the Tiger began to play, which could only mean one thing: Rocky.
As we later found out we were actually watching Rocky III. As to how Rocky III fit the theme of the night – maybe it was to do with all the boxing rings.
By around 9am Rocky III was over and I was ready for bed. The mystery movie all-nighter was definitely an experience, but a word of warning: don’t make the mistake of not sleeping before the event. Your body will hate you the following day.
Photography by Neelam Khan Vela