Classic Halloween Horror Films in L.A.

If you are a fan of classic horror films and you are lucky enough to live in the Los Angeles area, then you have ample opportunity to sample your favorite titles on the big screen, surrounded by an appreciative audience. Sure, you probably own most of the films on Blu-ray disc, but there’s nothing like seeing a movie in a theatre – especially a scary movie.
Listed below are most of the major horror film festivals taking place in and around Los Angeles this October. For more screenings, check out the film listings at our sister site, Hollywood Gothique.

American Cinematheque’s Dusk-to-Dawn Horrorthon

Creepshow1982posterLocation: The Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Date: October 25, starting at 7:30pm
More Info: Click here
Description: The American Cinematheque celebrates Halloween 2014 with its 9th annual Dust-To-Dawn Horrorthon, featuring seven films running one after the other: CREEPSHOW, GARGOYLES, THE THING (1982), THE NIGHT OF A THOUSAND CATS, THE DEADLY SPAWN, BASKET CASE, and ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST (a.k.a. DOCTOR BUTCHER M.D.) Guests will spend the entire evening and much of the next morning within the Aero Theatre. There will be trailers, short subjects, free food, prizes and give-aways, plus coffee (courtesy of Pete’s Coffee) to help keep your eyelids open.
Horrorthon ticket prices (includes all-night snacks and coffee):

  • General $20
  • Student/Senior $18
  • Members $15.
  • No vouchers


Arclight Beach Cities Halloween Horror Screenings

Location: The Arclight Beach Cities, 831 S. Nash Street, El Segundo, CA 90245

Anthony Perkins does not play Mother in this scene.
The shower scene in Psycho.

Arclight Presents Calendar: Click here

Description: Starting on October 5, the Arclight Beach Cities offers a month of horror films for Halloween 2014, including Psycho, Edward Scissorhands, and The Bride of Frankenstein.
The full schedule is below:

  • Gremlins on October 12 at 7:30pm
  • The Silence of the Lambs on October 13 at 7:30pm
  • An American Werewolf in London on October 14 at 7:30pm
  • Little Shop of Horrors on October 19 at 7:30pm
  • John Carpenter’s The Thing on October 21 at 7:30pm
  • Beetlejuice on October 26 at 7:30pm
  • Psycho on October 27 at 7:30pm
  • Edward Scissorhands on October 28 at 7:30pm


Arclight Hollywood Halloween Horror Screenings


Location: The Arclight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood CA
Arclight Presents Calendar: Click here

Description: Starting on Wednesday, October 1, Arclight Cinemas celebrates Halloween in Los Angeles with a month-long series of horror movies at their Hollywood location, including such classic and cult titles as The Exorcist, The Shining, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Gremlins, Beetlejuice, Shaun of the Dead, Let the Right One In, and An American Werewolf in London.
Arclight Cinemas’s other locations will offer a different selection of horror titles for Halloween 2014.
Complete schedule for Arclight Hollywood is:

  • Beetlejuice on October 12 at 3:30pm
  • Shaun of the Dead on October 10 at midnight
  • Videodrome on October 13 at 8pm
  • Poltergeist on October 17 at midnight
  • From Dusk Till Dawn on October 18 at midnight
  • Gremlins on October 19 at 3:30pm
  • Let The Right One In on October 20 at 8pm
  • John Carpenter’s The Thing on October 24 at midnight
  • An American Werewolf In London on October 25 at midnight
  • The Shining on October 26 at 3pm
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on October 29 at 8pm
  • The Evil Dead on October 31 at 11:30pm


Arclight Pasadena Halloween Horror Screenings

Sigourney Weaver with director Ridley Scott in Alien.
Sigourney Weaver with director Ridley Scott in Alien.

Location: The Arclight Pasadena, 336 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101
Link out: Click here
Description: The Arclight Pasadena presents a month-long series of horror films for Halloween 2014, including Ju-On: The Grudge, Dracula, Night of the Creeps, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Fright Night.
The complete schedule is below:

  • Fright Night (1985) on October 9 at 7:45pm
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer on October 12 at 7:30pm
  • Alien (the director’s cut) on October 13 at 8pm
  • The Shining on October 14 at 7:30pm
  • Psycho on October 19 at 8pm
  • Edward Scissorhands on October 20 at 7:30pm
  • Ju-0n: The Grudge on October 21 at 7:45pm
  • The Exorcist on October 26 at 8pm
  • The Silence of the Lambs on October 27 at 7:45pm
  • Night of the Creeps on October 28 at 7:30pm
  • Videodrome on October 30 at 8pm


Arclight Sherman Oaks Halloween Horror Screenings

Location: The Arclight Sherman Oaks, 15301 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Arclight Presents Calendar: Click here

Description: Starting on October 5, the Arclight Sherman Oaks offers a month-long series of horror films for Halloween 2014, including Carrie, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Monster Squad.

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street on October 12 at 7:45pm
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on October 13 at 7:45pm
  • The Creature from the Black Lagoon on October 14 at 7:45pm
  • Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride on October 19 at 7:45pm
  • The Fearless Vampire Killers on October 20 at 7:45pm
  • The Shining on October 21 at 7:45pm
  • American Psycho on October 22 at 7:45pm
  • The Bride of Frankenstein on October 26 at 7:45pm
  • Rosemary’s Baby on October 27 at 7:45pm
  • The Monster Squad on October 28 at 7:45pm


Cinefamily’s Heavy Midnights: The Witching Hour

Location: The Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Link out: Click here
Description: Saturdays in October, the Cinefamily’s weekly Heavy Midnights series is transformed into The Witching Hour, offering a trio of wicked midnight screenings: The Witches, Troll, and Teen Witch.
The latter two are minor cult items at best, but The Witches is a brilliant piece of cinema. Taking a break from his usual art house work, director Nicolas Roeg brought Roald Dahl’s wickedly amusing children’s story to the screen with the help of some great makeup and effects by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Anjelica Huston stars as the Grand High Witch, who has hatched a plot to dispose of all the children in England by turning them into mice. She opposed by a young orphan and his sweet (but knowledgeable) grandmother. Though nominally a “kids” film, The Witches is amusing and scary, though not too disturbing for young viewers. Recommended.
The schedule is:

  • The Witches on October 11
  • Troll on October 18
  • Teen Witch on October 25

All screenings are on Saturdays at midnight.

Haunted Screenings at LACMA

F. W. Murnau's FAUST (1926)
F. W. Murnau's FAUST (1926) screens October 17.

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

Link out: Click here

Description: As part of Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in conjunction with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, presents a series of Halloween horror movie screenings during the month of October, including Nosferatu, Faust, and Edward Scissorhands.
In a neat big of programming, several evenings will feature double bills or original films and their remakes, illustrating the continuing influence of German Expressionist Cinema from the 1920s, the style of which is still apparent in such later work as Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow.
Screenings take place at LACMA’s Bing Theatre. Tickets are $3 for LACMA members, $5 for general public.
The complete schedule of horror-related screenings is below:

  • Nosferatu
  • October 10, 2014 | 7:30pm
  • Nosferatu the Vampyre
  • October 10, 2014 | 9:00pm
  • *
  • An American Werewolf in London
  • October 11, 2014 | 7:30pm
  • *
  • Faust (1926)
  • October 17, 2014 | 7:30pm
  • Faust (1994)
  • October 17, 2014 | 9:30pm
  • *
  • M
  • October 24, 2014 | 7:30pm
  • *
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • October 25, 2014 | 5:00pm
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • October 25, 2014 | 7:30pm


Old Town Music Hall Halloween Horror Screenings

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

Link out: Click here
Description: The Old Town Music Hall launches its month-long Old Town Music Haunt with THE INVISIBLE MAN, the 1932 black-and-white classic and based on the H.G. Wells novel, and starring Claude Rains. The special effects still hold up today, and director James Whale’s sly sense of humor keeps the film from feeling dates. Co-starring Gloria Stuart (Titanic).
In celebration of the Halloween season, Old Town Music Hall will be screening horror classics every weekend in October, all of them from Universal Studios, the company that specialized in old-school Gothic chillers in the 1930 and 1940s. The theater will be all decked out with spooky decor, so have fun!
The complete schedule includes:

  • Frankenstein (1931) on October 10, 11 & 12
  • The Mummy (1932) on October 17, 18 & 19
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1925) on October 24, 25 & 26 (with live musical accompaniment on the Old Town Music Hall’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) on October 31, November 1 & 2

Screenings are on Friday at 8:15pm; Saturday at 2:30pm and 8:15pm; and Sunday 2:30pm. 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.
Tickets are $10.00 ($8.00 for seniors 62+) Tickets go on sale at the door thirty minutes before show time. No advance sales.

SpectreFest 2014

spectrefest2014_posterLocation: The Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

More info: Click here

Description: The Cinefamily and SpectraVision presents a two-month festival of horror, science fiction, and cult films, including several west coast premieres and some in-person guests. Titles include Kevin Smith’s TUSK; DEAD SNOW 2; THE GOLEM; METROPOLIS; and GREMLINS.
SpectreFest promises “a hand-picked look at the latest and greatest in progressive genre films and forward-thinking music from around the world.” According to the official website, the festival is “a collaboration between Cinefamily and SpectreVision (the new production company founded/partnered by Elijah Wood, Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller).”
The complete schedule is below:

  • Thurs, 10/9, 7:30pm: Dead Snow & Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead (L.A. premiere, cast members in person!)
  • Fri, 10/10, 7:30pm: The Creeping Garden (L.A. premiere!)
  • Thurs, 10/16, 7:30pm ($18/$10 for members): Show & Tell w/ Clive Barker & Nightbreed: Director’s Cut
  • Thurs, 10/23, 7:30pm: Metropolis (w/ live score by Chrome Canyon!)
  • Sat 10/25, 5:00pm: Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Spooktacular!
  • Wed, 10/29, 7:30pm ($15/free for members): Tales From Beyond The Pale: LIVE!
  • Thurs, 10/30, 7:30pm: Gremlins (30th Anniversary screening!) & “The History of PG-13″ Panel
  • Fri, 10/31: special Halloween night event

Unless otherwise noted, tickets are free for members and $12 for non-members.

Street Food Cinema Screenings

The Shining Shelly Duval screams at ax
Shelly Duval in The Shining

Locations: various
Link out: Click here
Description: Street Food Cinema, which screens movies in outdoor venues around Los Angeles, offers a series of classic horror films for Halloween 2014, featuring live music, food, and special guests. Titles include Gremlins, The Exoricst, and The Shining. Guests include Zach Galligan and Linda Blair.
The schedule of screenings is:

  • October 11: Gremlins with Zach Galligan at Victory Park, Pasadena
  • October 18: The Conjuring at Syd Kronenthal Park, Culver City
  • October 18: The Exorcist at Eagle Rock Recreation Center, Los Angeles (benfiting Linda Blair’s World Heart Foundation)
  • October 25: The Shining at Exposition Park, Los Angeles

General Admission prices are $6 for children and $12 for adults. Reserved seating is $11 for children and $17 for adults. Children under 5 are free. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door; entrance priority is given to advance ticket holders.
Doors open at 5:30pm. Live music begins at 6:30pm. Movie screens at approximately 8pm.
Street Food Cinema is Fido Friendly. Bring a blanket, snuggle up, and get scared!

Laserblast DVD & Blu-ray: Punisher – War Zone, Twilight & Bolt

The sleeper hit of 2008 – which ought to be titled “I Fell in Love with a Teenage Vampire” – reaches store shelves this week, along with a classic fairy tale from the 1980s, a pair of spooky black-and-white classics from the 1920s, a Disney animated film about a dog that thinks it’s a superhero, and an action-packed comic-book thriller from last year.
Punisher: War Zone (Lionsgate DVD & Blu-Ray)
Though Wesley Snipes has done his best to retroactively diminish the reputation of the Bladefilms with his bizarre off-screen antics, the first film remains the first truly successful serious comic book adaptation of the modern era. Director Stephen Norrington executed an amazingly stylish action-horror hybrid that seemed incredibly new in 1998, taking a lower-tier Marvel character that few people outside of that world had ever heard of and creating a crazy masterpiece. The way was then cleared for the top-tier characters to have their day, first with the X-Men in 2000 and Spider-Manin 2002; the vacuum was beginning to fill, but when the door opened for Spidey and Wolverine, a few non-starters snuck in as well. Daredevilwas crafted as a star vehicle for Ben Affleck, who was less than convincing in the role, the pricey Hulk was handicapped by director Ang Lee’s determination to over-think (and emphasize a father-son angle that never existed in the comics) and the limp Fantastic Four made money but aimed low while a superb origin script still gathers dust at Fox. Into this over-crowded marketplace bounded The Punisher, starring Thomas Jane as Frank Castle – an FBI agent whose entire family is slaughtered by master criminal Howard Saint (John Travolta, sucking up a large chunk of the film’s all-too meager budget).
What follows is a fairly standard revenge drama no different from any one of a dozen DTV actioners. Jane is perfectly fine in the title role, and is aided by a fine supporting cast (including the always interesting Will Patton and a frail Roy Scheider in one of his final appearances), but despite several interesting sequences (a would-be assassin serenading Castle in a diner before promising to kill him and a wonderfully absurd battle with an enormous Russian brawler illuminate a more interesting direction for the film to have gone) the film just didn’t have the budget for the elaborate set pieces and stunt work that these films require. Frank Castle survives the massacre of his family, but instead of crawling through irradiated seaweed or being bitten by a genetically enhanced squid, Frank just stitches up a costume and starts collecting firepower. This was an interesting angle when he was first introduced in the early ’70s, when movies like Walking Tall and Dirty Harry showed law enforcement figures turning to vigilantism out of frustration, but after more than 3 decades these motivations seem all too trite. It’s hard to blame the movie when the character never even worked all that well in the comics.
The sequel to the decent grossing film went through years of development hell, with several rounds of budget reductions and rewrites finally causing director Jonathan Hensleigh and star Jane to drop out. Punisher: War Zone finally saw the light of day last year with Brit Ray Stevenson (coming off two extraordinary seasons of the HBO series Rome) taking over the title role. We hope to be able to review the film shortly, as we hear that the latest installment has taken an absurdly violent turn, which is likely much more entertaining than the PG-13 version that Lionsgate had at one point considered. The film arrives on SD-DVD in a single-disc edition featuring only the trailer, and on a 2-disc edition featuring a collection of featurettes on the production, a commentary track with the director and director of photography, and a digital copy of the film. The Blu-Ray features all of the above (the featurettes are all presented in HD), plus the addition of Lionsgate’s MoLog technology that “allows users to insert and animate shapes, text, audio, and other graphics right into the film to create ‘blogs’ to share with other MoLog users”. Have fun with that.
click to purchase
Twilight (Summit Entertainment DVD)
The winner of last year’s ‘Make Me Feel Old’ competition arrives this week as a 2-disc collector’s set (in a rather stunning example of anti-marketing, Blu-Ray owners will have to wait 2 months for the HD edition). We haven’t seen the film or read any of Stephenie Meyer’s apparently popular series. What does the back of the box say? Bella Swan (Stewart) doesn’t expect much when she moves to the small town of Forks, Washington, until she meets the mysterious and handsome Edward Cullen (Pattinson) – a boy who’s hiding a dark secret: he’s a vampire. As their worlds and hearts collide, Edward must battle the bloodlust raging inside him as well as a coterie of undead that would make Bella their prey. Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling sensation by Stephenie Meyer, Twilight adds a dangerous twist to the classic story of star-crossed lovers.
We’re not going to get sniffy here – when a vampire film is successful it pays dividends in unexpected ways – and were we anywhere near the target age for this material we’d probably be screaming like a little girl along with the rest of the teen target audience. Imagine if been if there were popular young-adult horror stories targeted at us back in the late 70s (Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys as young vampire detectives?) Enjoy, kids, and just know how lucky you are. Read Cinefantasitque Online’s review of the film here.

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click to purchase

The Princess Bride (MGM/UA Blu-Ray)
MGM’s new Blu-Ray, released under parent company Fox, is an absolute beauty, far surpassing the previous DVD editions. The film was shot on location in Ireland and England, but its gorgeous visuals have long been slave to iffy transfers on home video, and MGM’s recent track record (the old, substandard encode used for the Silence of the LambsBlu-Ray leaps to mind) hasn’t generated high expectations. But the news is very good indeed; the transfer retains a distinctly film-like look and hasn’t been over-processed with digital noise reductions. The Blu-Ray carries over the featurettes and the Reiner-Goldman commentary track from previous editions. We were also interested to see MGM adding an extra we haven’t seen from them on a Blu-Ray yet, a separate disc featuring the standard definition version of the film. This is a fine idea and a good way for people who haven’t yet taken the HD plunge to make a future-proof purchase – but a $34.95 list price for a catalog title isn’t exactly conducive to sales. Read a complete review here.
click to purchase
click to purchase

Faust (Kino International DVD) and The Haunted Castle (Kino Video DVD)
F. W. Murnau secured his place in horror history by directing the vastly overrated Nosferatu(1922). He also helmed some other, more interesting genre titles, two of which are coming out on DVD this week: Faust (1926) and The Haunted Castle (1921). The Haunted Castle disc offers a gallery of set design paintings and excerpts from the source novel. Faustis a two-disc  deluxe edition, including numerous bonus features: the restored German version of the film with optional English subtitles; a 53-minute documentary on the making of the film; a new musical score in 5.1 surround stereo; lost screen test footage of Ernst Lubitsch’s abandoned 1923 production Marguerite and Faust; an image gallery; and an essay by film historian Christopher Horak.
Also out this week:

  • The Company of Wolves, the artsy 1985 werewolf film directed by Neil Jordan, arrives on Blu-ray.
  • Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick are being re-released in packages that contain “Fast & Furious Movie Cash,” presumably so you can buy a ticket to the upcoming Fast & Furious movie starring Vin Diesel.
  • Chrysalisis some kind of direct-to-video French sci-fi flick that lists Marta Keller among the cast. We are just old enough to remember when Keller could be relied upon to deliver her sexy Euro-mystique in ’70s thrillers like Marathon Man and Black Sunday.