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  Connor Petrey - Editor-in-Chief

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Horrorhound Weekend Indianapolis Entry 

  HHW Press Pass

From September 6th to the 8th of 2019 we were in the glorious world of Horrorhound Weekend. Spawning two conventions a year in our neck of the woods, we couldn’t have been more excited to venture to Indianapolis to explore the vendor tables, meet some of our favorite celebrities (at a reasonable price), and to get to know our fellow horror hounds that walk among us. An annual tradition x2 this year, myself and my father usually travel a little ways down the road to the world of Sharonville Convention Center, a con that we never ever miss since 2015 and for my father even earlier than that. 


As a horror fan and a film fan in general, I've always found us to be so lucky to be able to meet some of our film heroes, with many greats from the past returning for the Indianapolis convention, as well as a lot of new faces entering the arena. 


Moving this year from the small, rather cramped hotel that they were in the previous years in Indianapolis to the absolutely gigantic convention center was a bit of a level up for Horrorhound Weekend, and we were sure glad to attend. Vendors were spaced out throughout the entire center, with a booth everywhere you looked and autographs being sold at every turn. It was a special time as always, but unlike our usual time at the Sharonville Convention Center, this time felt off; something just didn’t feel right this year, and to be perfectly honest… I don't know 100% what it was that made it feel this way. Maybe the fact that we knew the layout of the other convention center better from years of “practice” or maybe the folks attending the celebrities were a little more friendly other years - it’s difficult to determine the deciding factor. 


We received a weekend pass to the event, but due to circumstances such as mileage, we chose to only travel for Friday and Sunday event days. Let’s begin with Friday...


Friday was met with a lot of goods and some really memorable, yet small bads. When we arrived at the center, we found parking easily which was an absolute positive start to the day, but when we arrived, the signage was hard to follow - for first time attendees at this center we weren’t quite sure where to go but we found our way. Then we were met with the ticket booth, where we were fortunate enough to gain a Press Pass which I will forever hold as a prized possession of our company. 


From there we waited for the time to come; we had the opportunity to upgrade our passes but it ultimately wouldn't have been worth it for an hour of bonus time in line on Friday evening. But as we chose the two shortest days to attend, we had to strategize our best moves (Horrorhound Weekend was only open from 4pm to 9pm but most celebs left prior to the 9 o’clock close). During this day we met some really phenomenal people such as one of the people we were so excited to meet, Matthew Lillard. He certainly lived up to expectations. His line was absolutely gigantic, and throughout both days his line never varied and maintained its size, but he kept the energy up. Lillard would run around the line, give high-fives, and chant some words of encouragement to us. He was all in all a great guy, and that was just while standing in line. As we finally paid the fee to meet him ($50), he took my pop figure and began to sign it, shaking my hand, introducing himself and asking me about my shirt (I was wearing a Fantastic Beasts t-shirt), which after explaining what it was, he exclaimed that he hated the movie. We had an awkward joke and closing interaction before I similarly awkwardly asked for a hug (something I’d seen him do throughout the line), which he did with comedic sincerity. Matthew Lillard may have signed my pop figure in the wrong sharpie due to me being star-struck, but he was 100% worth the $50 price tag. Although still not quite worth the $30 additional for a photo (something that will come up for most of the celebs.)


From there the days went a lot faster as we explored booths, and met Bonnie Aarons for $30. She signed my Funko beautifully, and you can tell the fame of her character hasn’t gotten to her, as she was absolutely great, especially for a The Conjuring fanatic such as myself. Then I went to one of my ‘maybe’ celebs, however after seeing him at the table I couldn’t say no to getting a photo with the man, the legend, Greg Sestero from the iconic “bad” movie, THE ROOM, and getting him to sign a book off his table, The Disaster Artist ($40). 


However to close off my day, I found a wonderful looking Freddy Krueger funko pop for Jackie Earle Haley to sign, thinking that it would be an awesome addition to my slowly growing Funko collection. I wait in line (a smaller line than expected) and pay my money, only for the handler dealing with money to tell me that Haley only signs the outside cardboard of the Funko’s and never the plastic. This may seem like nothing to some people, but for people that get their Funko’s signed they should know that you should almost always have them sign on the plastic only because it looks awesome on display. Usually I wouldn’t mind as much, but at that time I thought about it and wondered why that’d even be a thing, so I retracted my autograph sale before getting to meet Haley in the flesh. At a steep $60 price tag you’d hope that the man would sign whatever you wanted and with the restriction provided - I was out and slightly annoyed. 


As we left the auditorium, I reflected on the booths and how there seemed to be an element missing but never did I figure out what that element was. Maybe it would come to me on day two. 


As the sequel day arrived, we managed to get the same parking (thank goodness), and as I already had my wristband/Press Pass I was ready for my day. I remembered on this day to actually wear my crpWrites t-shirt to the convention, correcting a dumb and honest mistake I made the first day at the con. When the doors opened up, we made our way to Justin Long’s table only for him to not be there yet, which was fine because it opened up room for us to get others out of the way. 


Starting our day strong, we met one of my absolute favorite actors, John Carroll Lynch ($40) or as some of you may know him, Twisty the Clown from AHS: Freakshow. He was fascinating, charming, and easy to have a conversation with as we talked for a near 15 minutes before exiting the table. Someone you certainly shouldn't miss if he makes an appearance around you. From there we went to Malin Akerman ($40), another wonderful experience in the books as she explained this was her first con and we had a nice, small conversation about her future projects and Children’s Hospital, a moment of awesome geeking out occurred but it sure wouldn’t be the last. 


After Malin we got the chance to meet Tobin Bell ($50), a horror icon, who played the titular villain Jigsaw in the SAW franchise. He was quiet and this experience was actually our second meeting, with this being the first time I got an autograph from him however, which is a collectable I desperately needed in my collection. Then came another first time convention appearance, meeting with the one and only Patrick Wilson, in which I nearly had an in-line nervous breakdown as I couldn’t retrieve my Watchmen poster from the plastic sleeve, clearly trying to tear. My father managed to get it out at the last second, with even the handler stepping in to blow on the poster to try to release it from the sleeve’s devilish grip. When we first interacted it was nerve racking and awkward, with myself mentioning that one of my guilty pleasure films was the Jason Bateman film, The Switch, a film in which Wilson played the competing man to win over Jennifer Aniston’s affection. But he replied with, “That’s really random” and which I admitted it was, looking down at the table. Luckily my father, who stood beside me stepped in, saying that I write reviews (pointing at my shirt). Wilson seemed slightly interested asking me if I’m the one that writes them. Unprepared I say that I see as many films as I can when they release and that I saw Annabelle Comes Home opening night, and loved it. I go on to say that I love all of his films, I believe a couple of times, in which he replies, “You know you don’t have to love every film…” I pause and reply with “I don’t like the first one,'' and he nods with my opinion. I leave the line in a panic and while this is probably the biggest panic I will have this day from meeting a celeb, he isn’t my number one to meet, as that honor goes to the one and only Justin Long; a man that has not made his way to his signing table. 


Then I go with my dad and meet several other big names that were wonderful to meet, such as Carla Gugino {$40) (Spy Kids, Gerald’s Game) and Rose McGoven {$60} (Scream, Planet Terror). Two that weren’t on my initial list to meet, but were wonderful nonetheless. As our day started to come to an end we were finally getting the chance to meet Justin Long ($60) to close out our day - getting him to sign my Tusk poster, which he signed immaculately. I just wish it was easier for me to talk to celebrities at times. I did mention how great Accepted was in which he didn’t say anything, so I then mentioned that I met Kevin Smith while he was signing my Tusk poster to which he didn’t respond as well, but did nicely shake my hand, introduce himself, and sign exactly how I wished it to be signed. Overall it was worth the unique experience, I just wish a conversation could have been struck. 


As we finish our day with yet another signature, we explore the floor one last time, getting a few creative shirts from freshly printed shirt artists at the con - another tradition we have at every Horrorhound Weekend we are able to. We found some spectacular sculptures, some original art, and some crazy cool original films to take home, such as THE BARN and VELOCIPASTOR. As we left Horrorhound Weekend and headed home, you must wonder if I figured out what might have been so different- what felt so off between this one and the Sharonville location, and to tell you the truth, it's probably just because Horrorhound Weekend Cincinnati has become home to us, and change is sometimes hard to swallow. 


Thanks to Horrorhound Weekend and We Hope to See You Again in March 2020!

WATCHMEN - Patrick Wilson
RICK & MORTY - Justin Roiland
TUSK - Justin Long
SHAGGY - Matthew Lillard
THE NUN - Bonnie Aarons
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