The best Halloween events and film screenings in Edinburgh and Glasgow
Zombie Walks, screenings of Saw 3D, Halloween and Evil Dead II
DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE
The first feature-length version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella was a 1920 adaptation starring John Barrymore in the dual role as the misguided scientist and his maniacal alter-ego. For Halloween the Usher Hall is bringing this silent classic to life with a live organ score from Donald MacKenzie. ‘I don’t know quite what it is but the organ lends itself very well to accompanying horror films,’ says MacKenzie. ‘Live music adds another dimension to the whole experience.’ The organ’s gothic sounds should suit the film and the grand surrounds of the Usher Hall perfectly, with MacKenzie’s score enhancing the action on screen: ‘I pick a few themes for characters but a lot of it is improvised, so I watch the film and improvise with the mood of the film.’ They’re also asking patrons to embrace the Halloween spirit by dressing in 1920s fashion to make the screening feel even more authentic, with live music in the bar before and after the performance. ‘It should be a great night out, they’ll see a restored print of the film and be able to enjoy a unique score because none of my performances are the same twice,’ says MacKenzie.
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 30 Oct.
THE DUNWICH HORROR
Premiering at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Colin Edwards’ adaptation of the HP Lovecraft tale of Cthulu is a sound-only journey into horror that lets your mind fill in the gaps with your own evil imaginings.
Grosvenor, Glasgow, Sun 31 Oct.
EVIL DEAD II
The ultimate horror comedy, director Sam Raimi is a visual genius splashing the screen with buckets of blood and big belly laughs. Everything you could ever want from a horror film: demons, a haunted forest and Bruce Campbell. ‘Groovy’.
Cameo, Edinburgh, Sat 30 Oct.
Many cite 1974’s Black Christmas as the first true slasher film, but it was John Carpenter’s 1979 low-budget masterpiece that took the genre to the masses. A sharp and terrifying slice-and-dice classic as Michael Myers hacks a bloody swathe though small-town America.
GFT, Glasgow, Fri 29 Oct.
The Sawjuggernaut grinds to a stop as the seventh instalment brings the most successful horror franchise of all time to a suitably bloody conclusion. This final entry promises to bring the gore right into the audience in terrifying 3D. We’ll miss you Jigsaw.
HALLOWEEN EVENTS AROUND TOWN
Halloween à La Carte (Ramshorn Theatre, Glasgow, Sun 31 Oct, 2pm) is the latest in the Ramshorn Theatre’s ‘à La Carte’ series, in which you can choose from a ‘menu’ of short, spookily-themed performances that are then performed at your table. If you’d rather get up and about (after a fashion), the Glasgow Zombie Walk (Kelvingrove Park, Sun 31 Oct, 3pm) was such a shuffling success last year that it’s risen again, along with the gruesomely glamorous Zombie Ball (Sloan’s, Glasgow, Sat 30 Oct, 7pm). Not to be outdone, Edinburgh has its own Zombie Walk (Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh, Sun 31 Oct, 7.30pm), which is included under the cobwebbed umbrella of Death Weekend (Roxy Art House, Edinburgh, Fri 29–Sun 31 Oct), a selection of morbidly themed cult films, literary events, live music and more. The Edinburgh City of the Dead walking tour (daily, call 0131 225 9044 or visit www.blackhart.uk.com for details) has its own take on stalking around town in a deathly state of mind – and since it’s Halloween, they’re promising to be extra-special scary. The more light-hearted and indoorsy Trashy Halloween (Boda Bar, Edinburgh, Sun 24, Sat 30 & Sun 31 Oct) teaches you how to recycle your old rubbish into spooky accessories, and will – bizarrely – also feature a bra auction.
The pagan daddy of the Halloween festive period is Samhuinn (their spelling) (Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Sun 31 Oct, 7.30pm), hosted by the same pyromaniacal mischief-makers who give us Beltane every year. There’ll be tribal drummers, symbolic costumery, and no doubt some fire-play as well. For a less urban Samhain experience, you could attend the Spooks and Sacrifice event (Crannog Centre, Kenmore, Sun 31 Oct, 6pm) on the beautiful banks of Loch Tay; bring along your own flaming branch and enjoy a torch-lit procession, storytelling, apple-dookin’, hot soup, and of course, the obligatory fire shows (including the burning of a wicker ram).