5 of the scariest screenings in Scotland for Halloween 2013
Featuring Drive-In Ghostbusters, A Nightmare on Elm Street and NT Live: Frankenstein
Sitting in a darkened room with a bunch of strangers wilfully terrifying the crap out of yourself – scary cinema is never more frightfully fun than at Halloween. As ever there’s an excellent selection of cellular horror happenings going on around Scotland, from deadly drive-ins to ruthless re-issues and a cult foreign-language classic reworked with a gory live score. If we could take our couch with us to hide behind, we would.
itison Halloween Drive-in Movies
Roll-up and roll-down your windows for hot dog, pizza and popcorn deliveries courtesy of Street Food Cartel, in-car trick-or-treating and possibly a visit from a certain elusive bogeyman, all while watching two bloodcurdling blockbusters on the world’s biggest outdoor movie screen. Early evening showings of the Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis-starring supernatural family comedy Ghostbusters will precede more adult-friendly late-night dates with John Carpenter’s iconic Halloween, during which Michael Myers may or may not roam Victoria Park looking for unwitting prey. Punch the central locking anyway just in case.
Victoria Park, Glasgow, Thu 31 Oct–Sun 3 Nov.
The appropriately grand surrounds of Usher Hall will play host to a Halloween event with a gothic twist, as Carl Laemmle’s 1923 silent adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel is screened with live organ accompaniment from Donald Mackenzie. Directed by Wallace Worsley and starring Lon Chaney as the titular cathedral bell-ringer Quasimodo, this illustrious take on The Hunchback of Notre Dame was ground-breaking in its day with its spectacular sets and make-up. Patrons are encouraged to come in themed fancy-dress, and there’ll be a fortune-teller on hand for palmistry and tarot readings.
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Thu 31 Oct.
It’s spawned many sequels and spin-offs and even a dodgy reboot, but there’s only one original and best – or should that be worst? – Nightmare on Elm Street. Returned to cinemas nationwide for a few days only by Glasgow’s Park Circus, Wes Craven’s 1984 low-budget slasher movie about a bunch of small-town teens who’re stalked and killed in their dreams by a disfigured serial-killer with razor-tipped fingers as good as reinvented the horror movie genre, and introduced one of the most underwear-soilingly scary bad dudes Hollywood has ever seen. Oh, and it features Johnny Depp in his big screen debut.
General release, Sun 27 Oct—Thu 31 Oct.
Where most Halloween film events feature frighteners of a famous calibre, this production touring Scotland showcases an obscure gem of scary cinema – 1922 Swedish silent picture Häxan (or Witchcraft Through The Ages, to give it its full English title). Highly controversial in its day for its very graphic dramatizations of Satanic ritual, Benjamin Christensen’s masterpiece will be accompanied by a specially-commissioned live score written and performed by Verity Susman of experimental indie-rock ensemble Electrelane.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Fri 1 Nov; DCA, Dundee, Sat 2 Nov; GFT, Glasgow, Sun 3 Nov.
Join audiences across the country in watching special Halloween encore screenings of this critically-acclaimed 2011 live theatre simulcast, as part of the National Theatre’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. Directed by Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternating between the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his hideous creation hell-bent on getting even with its maker, this landmark theatrical/cinematic event was hailed as one the finest takes of all time on Mary Shelley’s perennially-petrifying mythic fable.
General release, Thu 31 Oct.