Your Guide To All The Halloween Horror Movies Screening In Chicago
By Joel Wicklund in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 9, 2015 3:45PM
"Night of the Living Dead" (1968)
We enjoy our treats and appreciate a good trick, but the spooky season would not be complete without horror movies. Fortunately, Chicago is a haven for fright flick fanatics in October. Several scream cinema showcases are already underway and plenty more will fill out the month. We know some horrific happenings might slip by us, so feel free to add to our list in the comments section.
Horror Movie Madness, Now through Oct. 31, Logan Theatre
The Logan is already well into their month-long series of horror movies playing every night. But you still have time to dot your calendar for A Nightmare on Elm Street, Rosemary's Baby, Beetlejuice, Child's Play, Friday the 13th (the original), The Exorcist, The Lost Boys, Frankenstein (the Universal Karloff classic), The Shining, Gremlins, Young Frankenstein, Night of the Living Dead and Black Sheep. The theater also hosts a Halloween party to go along with The Shining on Oct. 23, and a 3 Sheeps Brewing event Oct. 30, to tie in with Black Sheep.
Released and Abandoned Halloween Screenings, Oct. 14, 21 & 28, Comfort Station
Obscure cinema scholar Paul Freitag-Fey presents "forgotten oddities of the home video era" at Logan Square's Comfort Station. Films include a double feature of Shock! Shock! Shock! and The Orbitrons (Oct. 14), Help Me...I'm Possessed (Oct. 21) and The Jar (Oct. 28). Screenings are free and start at 8 p.m.
After Dark at the Chicago International Film Festival, Oct. 15-29, AMC River East 21
See horror on a global scale with new features and shorts from the U.S., Japan, India, Austria, Mexico, South Korea, Romania and more. Horror offerings in CIFF's After Dark sidebar include The Abandoned, Bite, They Look Like People, Tag, Ludo, The Laundryman, and a short film showcase, Shorts 3: Drawn to Blood. And though not in the After Dark section, the excellent German film Homesick is also more than creepy enough for this time of year.
A Celebration of Stephen King, Oct. 16, 10:30 p.m., Music Box Theatre
The prolific author of The Shining, Carrie, Cujo, Salem's Lot, The Stand, and dozens of other beloved horror novels and short stories gets a tip of the hat with this event organized by Consequence of Sound. The highlight is a midnight screening of Brian De Palma's Carrie, but the prom-themed evening begins in the theater's lounge at 10:30 p.m. with King-inspired artwork and cocktails.
Fall Throwback Series, Oct. 16-17 and 23-24, McHenry Outdoor Theatre
Yeah, it's a bit of a haul from the city to get there, but if you crave the drive-in movie experience during Halloween season, it's worth a road trip. It could be pretty chilly late at night, so bundle up for a double feature of Halloween and Halloween II (the originals, not the Rob Zombie wrecks) Oct. 16 and 17, or a family-friendly twin bill of Hotel Transylvania and Beetlejuice on Oct. 23 and 24.
Midnight Movies, Oct. 16-31, Landmark's Century Centre Cinema
Landmark gets in the haunting spirit with upcoming showings of the Spanish zombie pic [REC], the Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg '80s fave Poltergeist, and Sam Raimi's hilarious and underappreciated Drag Me to Hell.
The Massacre, Oct. 17-18, Patio Theatre
The lineup for this 24-hour scare-a-thon is great and we know the loyal Massacre crowd brings a fun vibe, but we've had too much trouble at the Patio recently (no heat, no A.C., no hot water or paper towels in the johns, poor-quality DVD projections) to bet on this event. If you want to take your chances at Eddie Carranza's poorly kept domain, you can see Dead of Night (perhaps the best of all horror anthology films), Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Dawn of the Dead, and a whole lot more. Special guests, short films, charitable auctions, and vintage trailers are also all on tap.
The Music Box of Horrors, Oct. 24-25, Music Box Theatre
While The Massacre (see above) gets props for renewing the 24-hour horror movie marathon tradition in 2005, its first home carries on with its own event—and frankly it has surpassed the original. The Music Box of Horrors boasts a superior venue, a more organized presentation, and greater access to quality prints or DCP editions. On the downside, they charge more, but it's still a bargain if you see more than three films. As of this writing, only 6 films have been announced, but recent rosters have been solid. So far, Dario Argento's Deep Red and the Tod Browning/Lon Chaney silent classic The Unknown (not really a horror film, but dark and weird enough to fit) stand out as highlights, but the full schedule should be up soon.
Dracula and Drácula Double Feature, Oct. 25 & 28, Multiple Venues
Turner Classic Movies presents back-to-back theatrical showings of Universal's two 1931 productions of Dracula. Filmed simultaneously with the Bela Lugosi version, using the same sets but different actors, the version made for Spanish language audiences is considered by many to be visually superior. Judge for yourself at select area AMC, Regal and Cinemark theaters.
Witchcraft Through the Ages, Oct. 28, Northwest Chicago Film Society at Northeastern Illinois University
Not terribly scary but unforgettably odd, the silent Swedish film Haxan (1922) is a must-see and this 1968 recut of it is certainly a curiosity. Narrated by William S. Burroughs and scored with jazz music featuring Jean-Luc Ponty, this version has been decried by movie purists. But the original is widely available and enough time has passed to make this hippie era artifact an item of interest.
Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, Oct. 29, Pickwick Theatre (Park Ridge)
Matthew Hoffman's Park Ridge Classic Film series presents the enduringly popular, family-friendly horror comedy with Bud and Lou coming face to face with not only Frankenstein's monster, but also Dracula, the Wolf Man, and, briefly, the Invisible Man. Live pre-film music will be provided by organist Dave Drazin and there will be a costume contest for the wee ones.
Antiviral at Horror of the Humanities 3, Oct. 29, DePaul Student Center
DePaul's Humanities department presents a program of special exhibitions and shiver-inducing cinema. This year, Antiviral, the impressive first feature from Brandon Cronenberg (yep, David's son), will show and the director will appear live for a Q&A. Before the movie, stroll through an interactive, avant-garde haunted house and enjoy Halloween-themed improv comedy sketches. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., with Antiviral showing at 6:30 p.m. It's all free, but get there early if you want to get in.
The Fall of the House of Usher, Oct. 30, Southside Hub of Production
The always-adventurous Southside Projections presents a screening of Jean Epstein's surrealistic take on the Edgar Allan Poe masterpiece. The silent feature will be shown with a new musical score composed and performed by Gel Set.
Don't Be Scurred! Black Horror Movie Marathon, Oct. 31, DuSable Museum of African American History
An intriguing new twist on the horror movie marathon, DuSable's entry features movies starring black actors and/or prominently featuring themes connected to the black experience. The lineup includes The Haunted Mansion, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs and Candyman.
Halloween Marathon, Oct. 31, Gene Siskel Film Center
No, the Film Center isn't quite competing with Music Box of Horrors and The Massacre, but they are showing four horror flicks on Halloween, including one double feature. Special discounts are available if you attend more than one event. The double feature concludes the UCLA Festival of Preservation with restored 35mm prints of White Zombie and The Crime of Dr. Crespi (the twin bill will also play Oct. 30). Showing the same day are a restored version of Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula and a new animated anthology of Edgar Alan Poe stories, Extraordinary Tales, which features the voices of Christopher Lee (his last completed film work), Roger Corman (who made the best Poe movie adaptations), Guillermo del Toro, and archival audio of Bela Lugosi.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Multiple Dates and Venues
The definitive audience participation film turned 40 this year and during 'Ween season it will be, well...everywhere. The place to be sure to do the Time Warp again with all the proper theatricality is the Music Box (Oct. 29-31) or, if you're in the western 'burbs, Hollywood Blvd. in Woodridge, where it shows weekly. But while we can't guarantee as much showmanship, the movie is also showing at multiple AMC theaters in the city and suburbs on various dates for its 40th anniversary.