5 of the scariest screenings in Scotland for Halloween 2013

5 of the scariest screenings in Scotland for Hallowe'en 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 Hunchback of Notre Dame

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.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

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.

Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages

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.

NT Live: Frankenstein

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.


  • 5 stars
  • 1984
  • US
  • 1h 45min
  • 12
  • Directed by: Ivan Reitman
  • Written by: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
  • Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts

Three disgraced parapsychology researchers team up to fight spooks. An efficiently-managed plot, solid jokes, a cast let off the leash – Murray in particular – and thrilling and imaginative effects combine in a masterful balance of respect for the sci-fi genre and mockery of it; sly humour and wide-eyed wonder; star…


  • 5 stars
  • 1978
  • US
  • 1h 31min
  • 18
  • Directed by: John Carpenter
  • Written by: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
  • Cast: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, PJ Soles, Nancy Loomis

The first and best of the series – and one of the best of all slasher movies. Escaped psycho Michael Myers returns to the town where he killed his sister several years before and picks up where he left off with remarkable ease. Pleasence is the obsessive psychiatrist on his trail, convinced he is to blame for the escape.

National Theatre Live: Frankenstein

  • 2011
  • UK
  • 15
  • Directed by: Danny Boyle
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller

Mary Shelley's classic gothic tale realised by Danny Boyle in his return to theatre. The roles of Dr Frankenstein and the Creature are alternated between Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

  • 1923
  • US
  • 2h 17min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Wallace Worsley
  • Written by: Perley Poore Sheehan
  • Cast: Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry

An early adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel about a hideous hunchback (Chaney) who falls in love with the gypsy queen.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

  • 1984
  • US
  • 1h 31min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Wes Craven
  • Cast: John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Nick Corri, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund

Perhaps the quintessential teenage slasher flick, A Nightmare on Elm Street obliterates the distinction between fantasy and reality. Nancy (Langenkamp) and her friends Glen (Depp), Tina (Amanda Wyss) and Rod (Nick Corri), discover they’re all being stalked in their dreams by the grotesque psychopath Freddie Krueger…