Screen screams: what are you watching for Halloween?

And where are you watching it? You’re not staying home, are you? Oh, sure, you could Netflix up a scary movie marathon, but watching horror movies on a laptop just doesn’t compare to submitting to the darkness with a like-minded crowd. Toronto’s repertory theatres offer darkness aplenty this week.


Hot Docs horror

The Hot Docs Cinema veers away from its documentary mandate for a quote-along screening of Wes Craven’s Scream on Friday (October 28) and late-night screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with live performances by Shadow Cast on Friday and Saturday (October 29), plus two on Halloween Monday (October 31). See listing. 

Royal terrors

Over at the Royal, it feels like all of that theatre’s specialty programs have come out to play for Halloween. Rue Morgue’s CineMacabre screening of the month is the questionable 70s classic I Drink Your Blood on Thursday (October 27), while the Laser Blast Film Society presents an evening of kid-themed horror on Friday (October 28), starting with a selection of “traumatic children’s programming” that includes episodes of Are You Afraid Of The Dark and Eerie, Indiana and capping it with Frank LaLoggia’s 80s creeper Lady In WhiteSee listing. 

Saturday (October 29) balances kid-friendly matinées of Hotel Transylvania and The Monster Squad with a Neon Dreams evening screening of Brian De Palma’s Phantom Of The Paradise. Sunday (October 30) walks the line between funny and scary with ParaNorman, a Musicale screening of Little Shop Of Horrors and a Screen Queens presentation of Beetlejuice. And on Halloween night, the Retropath folks remind us all that Robert Wise’s The Haunting remains one of the most potent ghost stories ever committed to film. See listing. 

Anime and classic at the Revue

Over at the Revue Cinema, the regular series Anime! At The Revue presents Ryôtarô Makihara’s The Empire Of Corpses – a fanciful anime mashup of Sherlock Holmes and Frankenstein set in a Victorian England where the walking dead are employed as labourers – on Monday (October 31) at 7 pm, followed by a free screening of the Bela Lugosi classic White Zombie at 9:30 pm, presented in glorious 16mm. See listing. 

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Freakin’ Frankenstein

If you’re still in a classy-monster mode, Cineplex offers an encore screening of Danny Boyle’s 2011 stage production of Frankenstein – in which Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated playing the scientist and his creation – in its National Theatre Live series. (The version being shown has Cumberbatch as the monster and Miller as the madman, with Moonlight’s Naomie Harris as Victor’s beloved Elizabeth.)

 It screens Saturday (October 29) afternoon at Yonge-Dundas, Canada Square, Empress Walk, Scarborough and Queensway theatres – with additional screenings at Yonge-Dundas Friday afternoon and Monday evening. I caught it the first time around, and it’s pretty great. It’s also never been released on disc or VOD, so don’t even think about watching it at home. See listing

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