2013: Recommended Halloween Horror Screenings for October 25-31

The Exorcists screens at Arclight Cinemas on October 27

Tired of chainsaws, strobe lights, and dry ice? Eager for a more cinematic way to enjoy Halloween in Los Angeles? For patrons of the arts with a taste for on-screen terror, Hollywood Gothique acts as your creepy curator to the best Sinister Screenings during the final week of October. Come along with us...if you dare!

As the Halloween season nears its conclusion, avid haunt-chasers may find themselves sated on Halloween Haunted Houses and Hayrides and Halloween Theme Park Attractions; fortunately, the City of Angels is also the City of Cinema, with numerous venues screening classic and cult horror movies. Hollywood Gothique has sifted through the options and selected this eclectic list of recommended Halloween screenings. We have endeavored to highlight films that are not only great works of cinema but, equally important, are also in keeping with the spirit of the Halloween season - which is to say, their horrific quality is more spooky than visceral. Read on...if you dare!

RECOMMENDED

evil-dead-ii
See EVIL DEAD 2 - or die!

Evil Dead 2

Location: Arclight Cinemas Pasadena, 336 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena

Date: October 29 at 8pm

WebsiteClick here

Description: Sam Raimi's sequel to The Evil Dead is one of the most hysterically over the top horror films ever made; the outrageous comb of horror and humor really pays off with an appreciative audience.

The Exoricst

Locations:

  • Arclight Cinemas Beach Cities, 831 South Nash Street, El Segundo
  • Arclight Cinemas La Jolla, 4425 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego
  • Arclight Cinemas Sherman Oaks, 15301 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks

Date: October 27 at 8pm

WebsiteClick here

Description: Still the all-time champ of the horror genre, director William Friedkin's film version of William Peter Blatty's novel explores the mystery of faith as it relates to a young girl (Linda Blair) allegedly possessed by the Devil. At the time dismissed for its supposedly excessive horror, the film reveals its carefully wrought structure and subtlety more and more with the passing years.

myster of the wax museum

The Mystery of the Wax Museum/Dr. Cyclops

Dates: October 27-28

LocationThe New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles 90036 (323) 938-4038

Showtimes:

  • Mystery in the Wax Museum: Sun: 3:50 & 7:30 pm; Mon: 7:30 pm
  • Dr. Cyclops: Sun: 5:30 & 9:10 pm; Mon: 9:10 pm

Website: Click here

Description: The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1932, later remade in 3D as House of Wax with Vincent Price) mixes horror with wise-cracking humor in a way that doesn't always blend, but it still has a peculiar thrill to it, and the unmasking scene (which finally reveals the identify of the disfigured killer) rivals The Phantom of the Opera for shock value - all the more so because this film was shot in an early two-tone Technicolor process. Theatrical screenings are very rare these days, so take advantage of this opportunity. Dr. Cyclops is less interesting, featuring Albert Dekker as a mad doctor who miniaturizes his victims; Ernest B. Schoedsack (King Kong) directed. Also in color.

murdersintheruemorgueMurders in the Rue Morgue/The Raven

Location: The New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles 90036 (323) 938-4038

Dates: October 29-30

Showtimes:

  • Murders in the Rue Morgue: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm
  • The Raven: Tuesday and Wednesday at 9:00pm.

Website: Click here

Description: Director Stuart Gordon and actor Jeffrey Combs host a double bill of classic black-and-white horror films inspired by the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Gordon and Combs collaborated on their own Poe adaptation, "The Black Cat," for Showtime's Masters of Horror series a few years back, and later presented a one-man stage play about the author, Nevermore, which they hope to turn into a film.

The two films are a showcase for the talents of Bela Lugosi. In Murders in the Rue Morgue, he plays a mad sideshow charlatan attempting to prove the theory of evolution by transfusing blood from an ape to a human; the film is old-fashioned and a bit creaky, but the atmosphere is wonderful. In The Raven, Lugosi is paired opposite Boris Karloff for a teaming if titanic horror icons, with Lugosi as Dr. Vollin, a mad surgeon inspired by Poe to create torture devices to purify his soul by unleashing his inner demons on innocent victims.

The Phantom of the Opera with Live Accompaniment

Phantom of the Opera 1925 posterLocation: Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S Grand Ave Los Angeles, CA 90012 Phone: (323) 850-2000

Date: October 31 at 8pm

Tickets: $33 to $66.

Website: Click here

Description: The Walt Disney Concert Hall continues its annual tradition of screening classic silent horror movies on Halloween night, with live organ accompaniment. This year's title is the 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Chaney as the disfigured denizen of the hidden chambers and corridors beneath the Paris Opera House.

Although Rupert Julian's direction is lackluster, the sets and the title character maintain the film's classic status all these decades later. Chaney is perfect as the Phantom - not only his performance but also his makeup, which is revealed in a spectacular unmasking scene that piles camera angle upon camera angle to emphasize the horror.

The Phantom of the Opera also screens at at the Old Town Music Hall on October 25, 26 & 27, with screenings on Friday at 8:15PM; on Saturday at 2:30PM and 8:15pm; and on Sunday at 2:30pm. Tickets are $10. The address is 140 Richmond Street, El Segundo, CA 90245. Call (310) 322-2592 for more information, or visit their website by clicking here.

psycho poster greenPsycho

Location: Arclight Cinemas Sherman Oaks, 15301 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks

Date: October 28 at 8pm

Website: Click here

Description: Alfred Hitchock's film version of Robert Bloch's novel takes the essential story and transforms it from pulp horror into classic screen terror, all in gloriously stark black-and-white. Anthony Perkins is perfectly sympathetic as Norman, the lonely young man in the grip of his Mother, who takes umbrage at his interest in a beautiful blonde (Janet Leigh) when she stops off at the family hotel for a night. This film was remade in the 1990s with Vince Vaughn in the Norman role, but the 1960 original remains the true classic, and Hitchcock's directorial manipulation really works its magic on the big screen, creating a communal sense of suspense among the viewers.

The-Shining

The Shining

Locations:

  • Arclight Cinemas Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood
  • Arclight Cinemas, La Jolla, 4425 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego

Date: October 30 at 8pm

Website:Click here

Description: Stanley Kubrick's film version of Stephen King's novel disappointed the author's fans when it came out in 1980, but decades have proved Kubrick right: his icy take on the material stands the test of time, creating a chilly portrait of a father (Jack Nicholson) falling under the spell of an evil hotel, urging him to slaughter his family.

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NOT HORROR BUT RECOMMENDED ANYWAY

the-day-the-earth-stood-still

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Location: The Old Town Music Hall, 40 Richmond Street, El Segundo, CA 90245

Date: Sunday, October 27 at at 7:30pm

Website: click here

Phone: (310) 322-2592

Description: Director Robert Wise's 1951 classic is science fiction rather than horror, but it offers its share of suspense as an alien visitor (Michael Rennie) arrives on Earth, accompanied by an unstoppable robot capable of effortlessly disintegrating our weaponry. (The film was remade to much lesser effect with Keanu Reeves in the Rennie role.) Also on the bill is George Melies' delightful 1902 silent short subject A TRIP TO THE MOON.

At Old Town Music Hall, doors open 30 minutes before show time. Every show begins with music played on the pipe organ, an audience sing along, and a comedy short. There is a 15-minute intermission, followed by the feature film.

These Are the Damned

Location: The Bing Theatre, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Date: October 29 @ 1pm

Tickets: $4 general admission; $2 seniors (62+) and LACMA members

Website: Click here

Description: LACMA screens this excellent but very downbeat 1965 science-fiction film, about some hapless people who stumble upon a secret government program involving radioactive children being tutored to survive a nuclear holocaust. The great Joseph Losey directed, for Hammer Films, a company more known for Gothic horror. 87 minutes, black and white, Scope, 35mm. Written by Evan Jones; directed by Joseph Losey; with MacDonald Carey, Shirley Field, Viveca Lindfors, Alexander Knox.

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MENTIONED ELSEWHERE

an-american-werewolf-in-london-poster"An Evening with the Makers of An American Werewolf in London" showed up in my article: "Halloween 2013: Weekend Recommendations for October 24-27."

The Nightmare Before Christmas 20th Anniversary Scare-ebration was previously recommended in "Halloween 2013: Horror Screenings for October 18-20" and in "2013 Halloween Haunts for Children."